Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica: Here, There be Dragons, by James A. Owen

I remember passing this book several times in the store, completely uninterested by the cover. I used to be pretty picky then, and totally judged books by their covers. I mean, look. Doesn't that look like a bit of a creepy story? But time and time again, I find that my first impressions are often entirely wrong. Thanks to Graham's recommendation, I had a reason to give this series a try.

The book starts off in 20th century England (a period and place I love reading about almost as much as modern America). The main characters are three Oxford men who are brought together because a professor of theirs dies. You don't get a clue throughout the story, but these three men actually go on to become world famous authors. Following Graham's example, however, I will refrain from revealing the characters' names so that you can read the book yourself. Anyway, these heroes have to guard this precious book, an atlas full of maps from the realm of fictional lands, the Imaginarium Geographica.

So these three English dudes are hurled into this high seas adventure of the imagination, where elements from various fantasy novels come into play around every corner. Talking animals, elves, trolls, magic rings, an army full of a unique brand of undead, and, of course, dragons. Well, you'd expect there to be some dragons in it, wouldn't you?

The book was really nice. The characters were well thought out and had lots of life in them. Each revelation uncovered in the course of the story was a genuine surprise, which was a good plus. I dislike stories where you can predict the outcome a mile away. I think the villain was okay. Though I'm a bit confused by Graham's review of the series. How does the Winter King keep reappearing? In the end of the first book, he literally gets sent off the edge of the world, so isn't he supposed to be falling down a dark, eternal abyss?

I know, I know. I have to read it for myself. And I probably will, eventually. But I'm going to take it easy with my fiction intake this month. I need to be focused enough to write more in my own novel. I haven't worked on it in ages. (Although as soon as Graham finished Pendragon 1, Merchant of Death, I'll see what I can do about getting the second Fablehaven.)

1 comment:

Graham Chops said...

I just got Pendragon 1 off of I'll get to it this summer after I'm done with a few more books that I've already started. Then we'll see what's up! :-)

The Winter King's reappearance in the subsequent novels is not at all anything you could anticipate. It's not like they pull some stupid stunt where he fell off the edge of the universe, but then caught something and climbed back up or whatever. It's unique and crazy-awesome, and you'll just have to figure it out when you read it.

Good job not telling who the authors were too :-)