I received a gift from my friend Michelle Anderson this Christmas. It's a very judgmental llama. The theory is that it's supposed to help me write by judging me when I don't. It works fairly well, I suppose, although it is a grammar nazi and I just find that emotionally draining.
Uncle Morty says it doesn't affect him one way or the other. I suggested that's because he never does anything and things went downhill from there. In all fairness, Morty has been working on a literature contest for our readers. We will have the details shortly, but we are excited to say there will be some cash involved.
No fear! The Judgy Llama is only judging me, not the contest! Get your weird on and prepare to write an unsettling story or two.
Today, it would seem that our society is obsessed with sex. It’s everywhere; television shows, commercials, and as a form of advertisement. Most importantly, we now see examples displaying unnecessary sex; for example, a Hardee’s commercial does not need to sell their burgers by marketing what is essentially soft-core porn, and it’s definitely true that these displays are more pornographic than they are actual sex, because displaying and exploring human sexuality through film, books and other media is fine and sometimes necessary, but we seem to have a culture that is obsessed with performing sex and sexiness, as we have a culture that is obsessed with performing gender. Modern culture is not obsessed with sex in itself, but a certain idea of what sex is and how it is performed. These are some of the issues that Levy wishes to tackle and attempts to explain. I will say that while I agree with Levy in most of her assertions, and she appears to correctly identify where our, “pornified,” culture has evolved from, she makes some insinuations and assertions that I don’t agree with, which is fine of course, as the book was not written just for me; however, these things, in my view, showcased an ignorance and a misunderstanding about certain topics.
In the first book of this series, we got to see the main character embark on an epic Tolkien-esce quest to destroy a powerful and evil king. Now, we get to see him fail in his endeavors, which is mostly what this second book entails. Much of the book’s plot is set up by a mess of Merlin’s own making. However, through his endeavors here, the author lays the ground-work for Merlin’s evolution into the famous mythological figure that we know today. Unlike the first book, the author shares more of Merlin the person, which includes his self-doubt and arrogance, both of which cost him dearly. At times, these humanizing qualities feel overdone, and leave the reader with an impression of the main character as whiny and bratty, at times, though it is worth noting that he is described as being only thirteen.