Author: Erin Larson

Author of: Erin Larson: Book Reviews & Essays
About: Book Reviews and Essays by Erin Larson.

Posts by Erin Larson:

“The Fall of Gondolin” by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fall of Gondolin By J.R.R. Tolkien Edited by Christopher Tolkien with illustrations by Alan Lee   I’m going to start out by saying something which probably won’t encourage you to keep reading: this is a pointless review. It’s pointless because The Fall of Gondolin is a Tolkien deep-cut, targeted to the most die-hard of … [Read More]

“Endling: The Last” by Katherine Applegate

Endling: The Last By Katherine Applegate   It’s time to declare Katherine Applegate our greatest living children’s author (greatest of all time isn’t entirely out of contention, either; she has perhaps a half-dozen serious rivals, most of whom are no longer with us). Her latest novel and the first of a trilogy, Endling: The Last, … [Read More]

Children’s and Young Adult Literature in 2017 (Pt. 2): Three Mini-Reviews

Children’s and Young Adult Literature in 2017 (Pt. 2): Three Mini-Reviews Summer 2018   Anyone who dares to transcend those fussy demographic delineations when choosing their reading material has likely realized by now that high-quality non-genre adult fiction has been largely nonexistent since the ‘90s; if you want good books, you’ll have to go genre…or … [Read More]

Children’s and Young Adult Literature in 2017 (Pt. 1): Three Mini-Reviews

Children’s and Young Adult Literature in 2017 (Pt. 1): Three Mini-Reviews Spring 2018   Anyone who dares to transcend those fussy demographic delineations when choosing their reading material has likely realized by now that high-quality non-genre adult fiction has been largely nonexistent since the ‘90s; if you want good books, you’ll have to go genre…or … [Read More]

Author Spotlight: Paolo Bacigalupi

Author Spotlight: Paolo Bacigalupi Winter 2018   There are a few authors, not many, who excel in every aspect of storytelling. These are your Faulkners, your Fitzgeralds, your George R.R. Martins, your David Mitchells. Most, however, excel in one specific area, and that’s enough to patch over their weaknesses: Rowling’s strength is in structure, Tolkien’s … [Read More]

The Weird World of Jeff VanderMeer: “Southern Reach” & “Borne”

Like China Miéville, Jeff VanderMeer got his start as a pioneer in the genre of New Weird; although he had decades of experience publishing novels and story collections (not to mention editing anthologies), his work remained highly niche until the release of the Southern Reach trilogy gained mainstream traction in 2014. This is where I … [Read More]

Author Spotlight: China Miéville

Author Spotlight: China Miéville Fall 2017   “‘I don’t want to be a simile anymore,’ I said. ‘I want to be a metaphor.’” –Embassytown   I like to keep my books organized. I have a shelf for fiction, for nonfiction, for drama, for poetry, for short fiction, and for graphic novels. But there’s one shelf … [Read More]

Hey Girl, I Heard You Like Books With “Girl” in the Title: Reflecting on Five Years of Gone Girl

This essay contains spoilers for Gone Girl. Gone Girl came into the world on May 24th, 2012, and the five years since its publication have seen a seismic shift in literature as authors and publishers scrambled to create “the next Gone Girl.” The influence of Gillian Flynn’s novel can be seen not just in the … [Read More]

“The Beach” by Alex Garland

The Beach By Alex Garland While reading The Beach, the emotion I felt most frequently was anger. Not because the book was bad—quite the opposite. I felt angry because this book is really good, and it seems to have been collectively forgotten by the literary world despite critical acclaim and commercial success upon its release … [Read More]

“Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology By Neil Gaiman Looking back, Norse Mythology seems like an inevitable project for Neil Gaiman; his enormous body of work is chock-full of references, explicit and implicit, to Odin, Thor, Loki and various other characters and locations that stem from the Norse myths he elects to (re)tell here in their unaltered and unmitigated … [Read More]