Brandon’s Half World blog

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: 18+

Summary

Melanie is an unpopular teenage girl who lives a very sad and insignificant existence with her depressed, alcoholic mother. Then one day her mother vanishes, and with some help from a friendly neighbor Ms. Wei, she learns that the universe consists of different realms. The spirit realm, the half realm, and the realm of the flesh. Melanie’s mother has went back to the half realm. In order to get her back, she must brave the bizarre surroundings and characters or half realm.

Read Aloud: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybwdT2wi8DE

Themes

One of the things that was central to the plot was the birth of a child in half realm. When we see Mr. Glueskin finally defeated, it is revealed that a newborn baby is lying inside of his head. To me, this represents a kind of rebirth and second chance. Glueskin was evil in half realm but will have another chance outside of it. Also, Melanie’s mother is given a second chance, albeit briefly, to show that she really loves Melanie and that everything she did, she did for her.

The other major theme I saw was sacrifice. In the very beginning, we see Melanie’s father stay behind for another 14 years of cruel torture and suffering just so his wife and unborn daughter can get away.

Connections

I think everybody goes through something in there lives where they don’t see how they are going to get out of it and it seems like a living, breathing nightmare. This story was very much like that. Melanie was terrified but knew she couldn’t give up. While I’m sure none of us have ventured into half realm and faced Mr. Glueskin, we’ve all been in a situation that scared us stupid and we see absolutely no way out it. However, in the end we always seem to buck up and persevere.

Reaction

Truthfully, I really did not like this book. Fantasy is really hit or miss with me and this one missed big time. I found the entire concept of the realms a bit confusing and I couldn’t really follow the entire story because I would just get lost at times and not understand what was happening. Don’t get me wrong, this story took a great deal of creativity and I applaud the author for that because it is very clear that she has great talent. I’m sure there are those out there who really loved it, but I am not one of them.

Reception

http://www.strangehorizons.com/reviews/2010/11/half_world_by_h.shtml

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About brandonroe27

I'm a junior and English Major at WIU.
This entry was posted in Book Blogs. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Brandon’s Half World blog

  1. Brandon, you do a nice job with your read aloud analysis. You also make some good points with your themes, I wish you would have spent a bit more time in that section writing about the themes in a bit more depth, what they show in the text, and especially with the theme of sacrifice address some specific examples. I like the point you make in your connections section. How could you incorporate this into a classroom setting?

  2. brandonroe27 says:

    I think one way you could bring this to the classroom would be to use some common YAL situations such as peer pressure or divorce. For instance if all your friends do drugs and you refuse to, they may turn their back on you and then you are left stranded and completely alone. You are isolate from those with whom you use to care about. However, you can sit there and feel sorry for yourself or you can put one foot forward, realize that if your friends are going to act that way they aren’t really your friends then, and you move on with your head held hight.

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