Posted in Books

Book Review #7

Hi, there. Long holiday this trimester. I’ve been rearranging my books due to the stuff I brought back home from Bandung. And believe me, when you’ve been seeing books anywhere for a week, you’d felt like step away from them for awhile, ahaha.
Enjoy!

 

Negeri Di Ujung TandukNegeri Di Ujung Tanduk
Tere Liye

A year after his nearly-died experience in Pacific, Thomas has been running his days as busy as ever. Expanding his firm into politics by being consultant of a president candidate, later on Thomas found himself in a grave situation. His enemy, the person behind all things happening to his family years ago, decided that Thomas has been too big of obstacle and trying with all means to knock him out. Soon, Thomas is forced to face his family’s unfinished business.

Thomas is back! With a more dramatic adventure, bigger virtue message, and of course, more dangerous enemies.

The overall plot is almost the same with the first book, honestly. Thomas’ activities, beginning of problems, a little flashback, sudden turning point, and life-threatening end. It’s somehow annoyed me how even there’s a new female reporter character being dragged into Thomas’ trouble. IMO, it will be felt better it it’s the same character as the previous. Furthermore, the heroine at some points really look like a must there item and not someone giving an impact to the story. In the other hand, Thomas secretary appears as a more handful person than the heroine.

Given the circumstances in the book, you might find yourself asking whether it’s true or not. Since this book presenting some characters of political background similarly with what really happening in Indonesia, you need to tell yourself that whatever being written in the pages is completely fictional. Or that’s how it seems. Only God knows.

Aside from those things, this book is nice. The adventure’s good, though I’ll say more fictional, too. Thomas is still enchanting, being smart as he is. The characterization is a little off, though, especially the heroine.

Interesting points of this book for me are politics,information technology, and bonds.

Negeri Di Ujung Tanduk is mainly built in the stage of political chaos in Indonesia before President election. It is, of course, a fact. What interesting is, in this book, Thomas the realist has become a bit of an idealist. But presented from Thomas’ view, we can see that there are so many things involved in a thing called politics. Economic, power, demands. How just a good cause simply won’t work without necessary strategies to make it stands out.

Technology become a crucial thing in Thomas’ way of figuring out his enemy. We are also shown the undoubted fact of media’s power through actions taken by Thomas party. Who control the media, he controls people’s opinion, and therefore, their action.

Family bonds, once again, being presented beautifully in this book. Bravery, as well as good will and respect to other people, portrayed well in the story and the character. One important message the author gives, as spoken by Chai Ten to Thomas here, is for people to stop being careless to people around us. One sincere word or action may change many things without we realize it.

The Ring of SolomonThe Ring of Solomon
Jonathan Stroud

Bartimaeus, the-so-called legendary spirit of history, is being tied to serve the wizards in Jerusalem under the reign of King Solomon. But being as mischievous as it is, it’s just a matter of time for Bartimaeus to run into troubles. Together with Asmira, an assasin from Sheba, he’s turning over the palace of Jerusalem in a chaos concerning the King’s ring, a ring being said containing a very powerful spirit able to fulfill any wishes the holder wants.

Bartimaeus is back, yeah!

Although it’s the fourth book, this one tells Bartimaeus’ story way back before it meet Nathaniel. Still full of heart-beating adventurous moments and Bartimaeus sarcastic jokes, it’s definitely entertaining. Barty has became one of my fantasy fiction character ever since the first book so yeah, I was delighted to find out there is another book of it since the trilogy has ended.

While in the trilogy Bartimaeus always lecturing Nathaniel about how great it was in the past, you can read it yourself in this book. It’s no different, of course. Barty’s still as sarcastic, sneaky, and smart as ever. What else do you expect from it? Being a few centuries younger doesn’t make Bartimaeus more wise, or likely, keeping its mouth shut properly. But that’s one of many reasons why we like it, right?

Aside from the different time background, like the other three, this book presenting a nice story line. As usual, the adventure always begins with something simple and in the end, becoming big. You can find the answer of some things mentioned in previous books in this one, too. Remember when Bartimaeus said Kitty is like someone it met before? Yeah, it’s Asmira.

One thing different from the previous ones, The Rings of Solomon is the only book added with explanation of wizardry, spirit classes, characters, and map of the location. Nice addition.

Tetap Saja Kusebut (Dia) Cinta2Tetap Saja Kusebut (Dia) Cinta
Tasaro GK

Mau kubilang lantang…
…atau kupendam dalam diam
Tetap saja kusebut (dia) cinta

These lines successfully made me pick this book out of the other in the display shelf. This is the first Tasaro GK’s book I’ve ever read, though my friend had suggesting another title long time ago. He said the author’s good, so I read this one both with anticipation and neutrality.

If I have to put the book into one word, I’ll pick rainbow cake. Just as a rainbow cake does, this book presenting nine different taste of love. Consists of nine different short stories, differences between stories being emphasized by putting each one into different colored pages. If you see the book sideways, it really looks like rainbow layered cake, ahaha.

What I love about this book, aside from its colorfulness literally, is the colorfulness implicitly. The author’s able to make each story conveys different point of view, different situation, and each one is unique. Some of it really is uncommon. My favorite one is Roman Psikopat. Reading it all, being tied with silver lining of love, the reader can see clearly how love is never a matter of just two person. One’s decision, surrounding, and action, in fact, have great impact.

Another interesting point, the book is very much like a cake in term of presentation. It is decorated with beautiful and flowing language in its pages. As vocal points, each story’s preceded with a painting of Dredha Gora Hadiwijaya. Strong and artistic at the same time.

For you who might be not used to read compilation, it’s best not to compare one story to each other, since each one has its own quality. Some might make you very touched, some others not. Enjoy the book as a whole, just like eating a piece of rainbow layered cake. =)

Romeo and JulietRomeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare

I’ve been telling myself to read more classics this year, and of course, Shakespeare’s in. So I bought the book about a year ago in Bandung but just reading it seriously these months.

Why I pick this one? It’s not like I don’t know the story yet. Well, I mean, most people would know already. When deciding to read Shakespeare’s, I thought: what made him known as English greatest writer? With that in mind, I chose Romeo and Juliet since I already know the story so it will be easier to observe another aspects of the play. Ah, yes, and that’s the reason I pick the English play version. I’d like to know it in its origin.

So, what I got?

To be frank, at the beginning, reading it is such a pain, ahaha. It’s mostly because of the language. Though it’s English, it’s the classic version. Adapting to thou instead of you, thy instead of your, and such, does need some time. The play was written poetically, too. So I found myself reading some lines twice or thrice to understand the meaning behind. But it’s worth to read.

Along the pages, I cant help but amazed by the author’s ability to work on words. The terms used, the portrayal, even the jokes and puns, it’s all well-written. I really had myself assisted by a dictionary in the earlier pages, then I gave up. It’s inconvenient to hold the play in one hand and dictionary in other, ahaha. So I just went by feeling for the rest of the read.

Fortunately, the play I bought is the edited version. Though the script’s presented in Alexander language, the book itself is completed with explanation, including the social and economic background in Shakespeare’s time, Elizabethan playhouse history, and analysis of the play. It helps much, especially while reading the play, there are explanations of the lines in the opposite page.

Sure enough, I’d like to read another play of Shakespeare in the future. Any recommendation?

Muhammad Al-Fatih 1453Muhammad Al-Fatih 1453
Felix Y. Siauw

I was strolling around in a bookstore, looking for another books when I saw this one. A senior of mine brought hers a year before and I intended to borrow it but never have a chance. So, I bought it home.

Mehmed II Al-Fatih, the Ottoman Sultan, is well-known as Constantinopel’s conqueror, but little did people know how exactly it happened. In this book, the author completely explaining about the event. Centering in the life of Sultan Mehmed II, we are told about his early life and his effort to achieve his long-life dream: conquering Constantinopel and fulfilling Rasulullah SAW prophecy.

For years, Constantinopel as Byzantine’s capital was known as impenetrable. No troops can defeat its three layered wall fortress and natural defences. Not to mention its expert military generals and the state of the art military equipment. Simply put, Constantinopel was almost impossible to be defeated.

That’s what Sultan Mehmed II facing when he decided to march his troops to this city. After 54 days of blockade, dozens cannons, and many strategies, finally, the city fell.

Honestly, until I read this book, I only knew one or two parts of the conquest. Reading it felt like reading a history book. Interesting for me, since it’s very detailed and well-informed. It’s also completed with many visual aids, such as Constantinopel’s maps, the military equipment, ’till kinds of ships being used. The book’s also explaining well of what king of strategies used: the meaning, the preparation, and the effect. And what somehow shocking me is, each page of the book is decorated with different image like, for real.

It conveys religious messages, too. Since the prophecy said that the troops conquering Constantinopel is the best troops, and the general leading it is the best one, Mehmed Al-Fatih took it into consideration that his troops should has deep interaction with Allah. Therefore, along the pages, we’ll see how integrated it was education of Ottoman’s troops, especially for Yeniseri. They were well-educated not only in military and defences, but also in religion’s matters.

However, in the other hand, since the book’s very detailed, you might find it’s tiring. Some of the explanations are being told repeatedly, perhaps for emphasizing, but can make you bored, too.

I’m fully aware that war, no matter the reason, would bring collateral damages and calamity. Since this book is written from the Ottoman’s side, I’d like to read one from the Constantinopel’s.

Sidoarjo, October 3rd 2013

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