Book info

The Named (2005)

The Named (2005)
Rating
4.06 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
1582349134 (ISBN13: 9781582349138)
languge
English
genre
publisher
bloomsbury usa childrens
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The Named (2005)
The Named (2005)

About book: I was really excited about this book...it got such a high rating and seemed like such a fantastic premise. Maybe that's why it seemed to fall short. Ethan is a Guardian of Time; he travels to the past in order to keep evil denizens from the Order of Chaos from changing it, thus affecting the future. Of course Ethan's only a teenager, but he's already very good at what he does. So the Guard decides to test him by giving him the willful Isabel as his new apprentice. But Isabel's initiation brings a whole host of problems to the surface, most of them revolving around an ancient prophecy.It sounds so wonderful, and so much could have been done with such a concept. Which is why it comes so close to painful to watch the story enacted quite a bit below its potential.In fact, I think my irritation with this novel stems from the wasted potential. It was enjoyable on some levels, but all I could think was how much better it could have been. Ethan and Isabel have all the seeds of great characters, as do others they interact with; Ethan's wise and ever-youthful mentor Arkarian probably comes closest to being a truly relatable person. But again, they never come to life; they remain flat and stiffly-written, shifting between easy teenage narration and speech too stilted to ever really come out of a mouth. I think this is partly due to the first person narration, something that most authors are either good at...or aren't. Curley unfortunately is not. The emotions are also only vaguely felt.The story itself also grazes shallowly along the surface of its awesome premise. Plot bumps detract from the realism; it's too obvious how the author hand-waves the various parts of the Guard with magic, illusions, or mysterious powers. It's also a tad misleading; I was expecting the bulk of the story to involve the time traveling missions, but by the end more focus is put on old feuds with evil Chaos denizens then on anything historical. And the few missions sprinkled in do little to actually expose the reader to the time period, barreling through the process and tossing in some random historical figures like King Richard II and Abigail Adams.The premise saves the story, giving it some decent moments and a pretty good climax and conclusion. I'm not sure I'll be reading the rest of the trilogy right away; it didn't reel me in as I'd hoped it would.

This book is the literary equivalent of Chinese food. You really enjoy it sometimes, you share it with friends who enjoy it too, and an hour later you forget it because it didn't really satisfy you in some fundamental way. The better attributes of the book are the greater-than-average number of ideas included in the plot and the fantasy elements. Interesting choices of destinations in time and historical figures to meet (not the obvious choices) set the book apart right away. Then the description of the catacombs or chambers between worlds with their magic puzzles and traps takes the book to a cool fantasy place for a while. The weakest attribute of the book is the shifting perspective. It feels VERY short attention span to go back and forth between Ethan and Isabelle so often. This relates to the other major problem, which is anything that pertains to a character other than Ethan or Isabelle. Because Curley already has her hands full trying to flesh out two characters in a first-person way (which requires a lot more dextrous writing than having multiple main characters in third person omniscient), she just has nothing left to give the characters who aren't given a first-person voice. Arkarian, Matt, and Rochelle are all little more than sketches, which is disappointing when you find out that they are going to be much more important in the later books. I also don't think Curley does very well at giving Ethan and Isabelle distinct voices -- there's virtually nothing about the way they speak that differentiates gender, intelligence, priorities, interests, influences... and Curley misses almost any opportunity to have them think/see/notice different things about the secondary characters, which might differentiate Ethan and Isabelle better and give you more insight into the people they know. Also gotta say, Ethan is pretty smooth around the edges for a teenage boy, which starts to seem implausible the more seriously you try to take the book.So, all in all, The Named is a lot like Chinese food among friends. You get to sample a lot of different things, some of which are pretty tasty and some of which are just variety for variety's sake. You have a nice, chill time. And soon after you put it away, you're hungry again.
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Reviews
Arya
What if you could protect the Future...by traveling into the PastThe Named- where the Gaurdians of Time travel into history to protect life as we know from the Goddess of Chaos, a rampaging Immortal intent on taking over the world. Ethan- a member of "The Named", part of a prophecy made years ago fortelling the end of the battle that rages between Lorian and the Goddess, and the main character of the book. He has been promoted to "Trainer" and his apprentice is - his ex-best friend' sister- which doesn't set well with Matt (the ex-friend) who is overprotective as well as the jumping-to-conclusion's type. With his fragile peace with Matt verging on all out war, and his standing with the Tribunal in jeopardy this is an interesting time to spend with him.Isabel- Matt's sister and Ethan's apprentice she is a huge part of this story. With her gift- healing- revealing itself the Guardians recrute her and Ethan has only two weeks to get her ready for her first mission- to save King Richard the II of England. In this book of ambiguity and beautiful ideas. Everything is not what it seems. Mysterious and mesmeric this is a very, very enjoyable read. Fantasy and reality intwine in this lovely book where worlds and deminsions collide.
Caitlin Mitchell
In the first few chapters of "The Named" the main character, Ethan is introduced. He is an intelligent 16 year old boy who has spent the last 12 years of his life working as a member of the Guard, a secret society of "named" people who work to protect the past, and future. Ethan's membership to the Guard becomes more interesting when he is assigned an Apprentice named Isabel. They must work together to stop the future from changing, work through events that occured in the past and protect the ones they love. When I first started reading "The Named" it didn't capture my attention. The beginning was slow and uneventful. However, I was intrigued by the idea of people traveling into the past to protect the future so I continued reading. The choice proved beneficial because 6 chapters in I was unable to put the book down. I reccomend this book to anyone looking for a story about adventure that includes unpredictable twists and turns.
Lonewolf
So I finished the book and I certainly enjoyed the time that I was reading it, but I feel that this only deserves 3 stars because anything higher should be reserved for particularly good work. This was candy. But the candy tasted a little bitter because with such an intriguiging concept, the execution was a bit of a disappointment. There could have been so many interesting theames explored with the idea of how tightly interwoven events in space-time are. But it often seemed like the timetravel aspect was just a vessle used to chug the story along to the end. And this wouldn't be such a problem if it felt like that end had any sort of purpose at all. But this is a story that exists just to exist. On the positive side I will say that I liked the central characters Isabel, Ethan, and Arkarian which is a plus. And I actually liked the shifting of perspectives because I enjoyed hearing from both Isabel and Ethan.In the end though, there's just so much more that could have been done with the plot and characters which is why I'm so frustrated that it only ended up being a fun read.
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