BOOK REVIEWS

Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-08-24 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 162 user ratings
ISBN:0312368577
LANGUAGE:English

"I don't really have too much to say about this book. I liked it a lot better than #3 in the series, < a href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77... Swiftly Tilting Planet, but I still didn't love it. I understand why L'Engle's books endure-I think she does a great job of bringing sophisticated science to young readers in a way that is interesting-I can see how some kid might decide she wants to be a physicist or a mathematician after reading some of L'Engle's books, and I think that's great; however, I don't think she's a very good writer. I hate to say that, seeing as how I have no credentials to base that on and I didn't really notice it as much in the first three books, but I almost couldn't keep reading after the first 20 or so pages of Many Waters. Things just feel clunky and awkward and so very non-< a href="http://www.goodreads.com/search/searc.... (File this under "things that are being unfairly compared to The Sparrow")

That said, I thought this was an interesting interpretation of the story of Noah and the ark. Sandy and Dennys Murry, the popular twin brothers of Meg and Charles Wallace, find themselves whisked away to Biblical times when they accidentally mess with one of their parent's experiments. As in L'Engle's other books, there are mythical creatures, like unicorns and manticores, right alongside her other characters. There are nephilim and seraphim, which I didn't know anything about, but I took them to be similar to angels and fallen angels or angels and demons-in-the-making. After some wikipedia-ing, I see that I pretty much had it right.

Like A Wind in the Door, this book is filled with creatures that I think would capture the imaginations of younger readers, and I'm sure it would also promote some good discussions about both religion and science.
" said.

"Madeleine L'Engle published Many Waters in 1988. Time had changed again. The Baby Boomers had grown up and shacked up together, sometimes married, sometimes not. Divorces were way up. The importance of marriage seemed an all-time low; the sacredness of sacrament well past its peril and nigh unto its doom. How long until God looks down upon us with sorrow? At the same time, wedding themselves were getting more extravagant and overblown, events more to impress the neighbors than to celebrate a union.

Against this backdrop Madeleine wrote Many Waters. The Twins, Sandy and Dennys (whose common enough name had a strange spelling before it was cool), find themselves whisked away on a portal adventure, finding themselves in a strange world filled with people, seraphim, Nephalim, unicorns and miniature mammoths. The strange world itself is our world, Earth, shortly before the flood. Humans are interbreeding with Nephalim, their love enough to make babies, taking women away from the world of men.

This is a desert world, where sand is common, heat is worse, and water is a valuable commodity. How could a place like this ever drown?

As in all of Madeleine's novels, the pacing is remarkably even, like a Bose speaker. Critics of the speaker system say, "No highs, no lows, it must be Bose." Much the same can be said for Madeleine's stories. They move, perking along at a steady pace, developing the story along as a wandering weave, until realizing that an end ought to show up, and so an end shows up. Some sexual tension shows up as the twins may find themselves seduced, but this is never a serious threat, for Madeleine writes with the morays of a different era, one where characters don't bonk each other in a fit of plot fulfillment. Some physical threat shows up in the guise of the Nephalim, but as evil goes, these guys are pretty milk toast. They seem ominous enough, but don't actually get their act together.

Yet, even as the book soft pedals the situation, the books raised uncomfortable questions. Will God really drown everyone? What will happen to Noah's daughters who aren't in the story? How do you reconcile this of God?

In the end, the book misses the most critical mark, for the twins have lived in the past a long time. We should have been shown what experience has given to them, and how it has shaped the men that they are. Instead, they magically revert to their old selves, older but no wiser, taking no reflection and no instruction from the time that they experienced. In the end, they were not invited onto the ark, being no more favored than those who were drowned.
" said.

" This is my second favorite in the quintet--the first book being my favorite. By the middle of the story there are some obvious loose ends that I started trying to figure out how they'd deal with them. The author wrapped up the loose ends in a satisfying way that I didn't predict. I only gave it four stars because it's written for younger audiences and because of that was a little less engaging, but it was interesting. " said.

"I’m still not sure about the point of this book. I get it, the Murry twins travel back in time (because they did what they were not supposed to do and touched a machine in their parent’s lab) to Biblical times before the flood.

It was highly entertaining, I won’t lie, but the point I’m trying to get to here is that I don’t know why they needed to travel back. To learn about love? To show that history can’t be changed? To meet a different stage of human evolution?

There are too many questions, and so few answers to them. It’s almost frustrating. Especially because this book stands alone among the others in the Time Quartet and the events here, unlike in the other books, are not related to what’s going to happen in the series. Actually, the third book, A Swiftly Tilting Planet actually is set after this one, but the events are never even brought up.

So, Sandy and Dennis travel back in time, as I said before, to the land before the flood. And, of course, they meet Noah and his family. Especially his younger daughter, Yalith, who is strikingly pretty and attracts both boys from the very beginning.

While trying to understand what happened and how to go back, the twins confront a series of perilous adventures, including the hostility between Seraphim and Nephilim, two powerful races of angels who appear to be fighting over the control of the human race. Well, that’s more for the Nephilim, as the Seraphim are more inclined to help humans.

There’s a very original element in this book in the portrayal of pre-flood humans. To begin with, they are a lot shorter than modern humans. And they appear to have longer life-spans and maturation process. So, they reach adulthood at one hundred years old. That’s, apparently, how Methuselah lived so much (and it seems it wasn’t such a big deal back then). And there are also a few mystical creatures that do not exist right now, like manticores, which attack people when they’re hungry. Mammoths are also very much included in the story, as people in the oasis use them to find water and they are about the size of a dog (I imagine them to be very cute). And there’s unicorns! Cool, quantum-leapers, unicorns! How awesome is that? And they only approach virgins, so the twins can totally ride them (they’re about sixteen here).

So, as the novel goes on, the twins learn about love and about history. Or more, they learn about their own role in history. One of the parts I enjoyed a lot was when they commented how chauvinistic the flood story is in the Bible, as only Noah’s sons are named, and not their wives. And Yalith and Mahlah, Noah’s daughters, are not even mentioned at all.

This actually becomes a real plot point because the twins don’t know whether the girls aren’t mentioned because of the chauvinist vision the Scripture gives, or because they aren’t in the Arc at all. And they’re not mentioned in there either, so that may means that they die there in the flood, or that they return home?

A bonus point for the funny sexual stuff you get in there. I remember a line saying that Japheth (one of Noah’s sons) and Oholibamah (his wife, half Nephilim), “become one” (or something along those lines) and “it was good”. And there’s the other bit when Tiglah, a girl who comes from an evil family and that’s involved (probably, in a sexual way) with one of the Nephilim, tries to seduce Dennys. And he says that having sex with her “is not worth losing his ability to touch a unicorn”. Which works as a brilliant euphemism for virginity, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I enjoyed the book and getting to know the twins more deeply. They are cool kids and they don’t get much screen time in the previous installments.
" said.

" I really liked this one. The twins starred this time and went back to the time of the Ark. Great way to capture the story. " said.

" I thought this was interesting, bordering on weird. ;) " said.

""A Wrinkle in Time" is one of my favorite books ever. L'engle's imagination is singular, and her ability to pull the reader into her imagined world is also unique. "Many Waters" is the fourth book in the "Wrinkle in Time" series, and it fits well into the aesthetic and tone of every book before it, which is a wonderful thing. The pre-flood world is a mysterious and fantastical place, defying any traditional explanation, and L'engle sparks the reader's imagination while painting compelling characters, even though they are worlds apart. If you are a fan of L'engle's previous work, this is highly recommended." said.

"This is the other contender for my favorite Madeleine L'Engle book. I especially love this book because of its version of the biblical story of Noah and the flood, a story that I've heard often and that loses its luster since I spent my entire childhood in Sunday School. L'Engle blends biblical ideas and stories with her own imaginative renderings of that time, like her interpretations of the seraphim and nephilim, mythical creatures like manticores, and her explanation of Noah's daughters' conspicuous absence from the ark and the Bible. It's a great read and it's always refreshing to see a familiar story in a new and meaningful light. " said.

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