Monday, February 17, 2014

Avatar the Last Airbender The Rift - Part 1

If you've been following this blog for any length of time you may have begun to notice a trend. Book Reviews!

Now, I'll be honest with you. I meant to have, at least,  slightly more balanced content when I restarted blogging.
However, this winter's really kicked our family in the butt.
The last month has been filled with doctor's appointments, teething, and illness in the middle of a polar vortex that's meant it's rarely safe enough to venture out.
Not exactly the kind of things I want to write about, or remember.

Books have always been a great source of entertainment and stress relief for me though and with all these amazing titles crossing my path. Given the winter we've been having curling up with a good book and a cuppa just seems like the logical thing to do once Peanut goes down.
As a good blogger, I'd be remiss in my blogging duties if I didn't share what I found and, oh boy, have  I found a good one this time.

Some of you may recall I'm a geek.
Card-carrying geek to be honest.
I've done the convention thing. I game with my hubby. I have fandoms (and write fanfiction). I love quite a bit about the geek culture and the different stories that give it life. One of the gems I've encountered on my geeky journey is a series called Avatar.

Now, for the uninitiated, I'm not talking the blockbuster movie with the big blue creatures.
Actually, i'm not referring to any movie . . . let's forget the Airbender movie happened, agreed?
Avatar the Last Airbender and it's sequel The Legend of Korra just consist of some great television.

The basic premise follows the idea that some people are born with the ability to control one of the four elements: air, water, earth, and fire. Into each generation is born, a leader or hero, who can control all four elements - the Avatar. In the case of the series, we follow Aang - the Last Airbender and his successor Korra a waterbender the latest to take up the mantle.
 So what does all that have to do with book reviews?

Guess what book crossed my desk!

Alright, I suppose my title may have lessened the mystery a little :) but I actually squealed with delight when this title crossed my inbox! More adventures with Aang and friends, how did I not know about this??

In The Rift - Part 1 (this is a serial for those of you who like the entire story at once), readers rejoin Aang and the gang following the events in the television show (nope, not telling you what events, it's honestly a fun show, go watch some it's worth it).
Aang is working hard to unify the nations and rebuild the fallen Air temples.
What better way to teach the newest acolytes about Air traditions than to revive Yangchen's festival complete with traditional music and food (vegetarian of course much to poor Sokka's disappointment)? Unfortunately, time has changed many things and Aang must determine what the past is attempting to teach in a rapidly changing present.

Basic thoughts?

I loved this book and will eagerly be awaiting part 2!
For new fans, this is an easy read and doesn't require having watched the entire series, though a few episodes wouldn't be amiss.
For older fans like myself, it's like coming home. The book reads as an unaired episode, drawing on much of the humour and personal interactions fans came to love (I was so excited to see Uncle Iroh back with his tea). The characters fell quickly into believable rhythms and old tensions in order to bring it's audience to a yet unfinished lesson.

That said, I will confess I may be a little biased.
This book offers a lot of Aang and Toph with a quick cameo from Uncle Iroh which are my three favourite characters in the series.
Fans of Katara, Sokku, and Zuko may feel a little less love, although I'm not convinced Sokka and Katara won't  feature more strongly in later sections.


All in all this was a great continuation of a well crafted universe and fans of the avatar series new or old should definitely check out this latest offering from Dark Horse Books

I was given a chance to read this book for free from Dark Horse in exchange for my honest review, the opinions are my own.