The Outcasts By John Flanagan is a Book Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goo
The Outcasts By John Flanagan is a Book Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information.For mysteries by this same author, see John A Flanagan.John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer It wasn t until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed It turned out one of the company directors agreed with John s assessment of the executive, and happily agreed to train John in copywriting After writing advertising copy for the next two decades, John teamed with an old friend to develop a television sitcom, Hey Dad , which went on to air for eight years John began writing Ranger s Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series He currently lives in a suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.. From the author of the global phenomenon Ranger s Apprentice They are outcasts Hal, Stig, and the others they are the boys the others want no part of Skandians, as any reader of Ranger s Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength Not these boys Yet that doesn t mean they don t have skills And courage which they will need every ounce of to doFrom the author of the global phenomenon Ranger s Apprentice They are outcasts Hal, Stig, and the others they are the boys the others want no part of Skandians, as any reader of Ranger s Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength Not these boys Yet that doesn t mean they don t have skills And courage which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing John Flanagan, author of the international phenomenon Ranger s Apprentice, creates a new cast of characters to populate his world of Skandians and Araluens, a world millions of young readers around the world have come to know and admire Full of seafaring adventures and epic battles, Book 1 of The Brotherband Chronicles is sure to thrill readers of Ranger s Apprentice while enticing a whole new generation just now discovering the books.Perfect for fans of J.R.R Tolkien s Lord of the Rings, T.H White s The Sword in the Stone, Christopher Paolini s Eragon series, and George R R Martin s Game of Thrones A Song of Ice and Fire series.. Bestseller Books The Outcasts John Flanagan's Rangers Apprentice series: The Ruins of Gorlan was my favourite childhood series! I even reread the books now and love them to pieces.Naturally I thought I'd enjoy Brotherband. Well no. But the reasons I liked John Flanagan's books are:- humour- medieval action adventure- unlikely heroes- awesome female heroines- awesome and varied world buildingI expected these things (normal, nice and awesome things) to carry onto the new series. They did not. In fact, Brotherband: The Outcasts went and did some appalling things that I'm still seething about. Reading it, I honestly wanted to ask, "Is this the same author?!"It's horribly sexist.I don't think the author meant to be so despairingly sexist. Because Rangers Apprentice was a brilliant series for giving female characters starring roles and awesome attitude. But Brotherband? Oh help.Any time a girl or women was mentioned it was attached to them either working in a kitchen or laundry or being something to be owned. I'm not even kidding. The "love-interest" who is literally in the book for less than 3 pages, is Hal's impossible's crush. The first time we meet her and she talks to Hal, her jealous boyfriend looms up with the, "Step away from my girl" line. The girl rebuffs, but...but...THAT'S IT. She's no longer in the story. Oh, except for when she kisses Hal for his win at the end. Because that's totally what girls are for. Laundry and romance.I get that the "brotherband" training was JUST for boys, but it doesn't cancel the fact that women in the Skandian culture were treated as lesser beings. And that concept was never punched by anyone. It's understandable (and historically accurate) to have a sexist Men-Ruling worlds in books. But in this day and age? I think it's demeaning to do so and not at least have ONE character be against it.It's demeaning towards disabilities.This just makes me angry. Disabilities are not something to be ashamed about or mocked or have the person be treated as stupid or slow. The book is offensive and ableist.There are two characters with physical disabilities in Brotherband. First is Thorn, who has one hand (he lost the author at sea). Second is Ingvar who is very near-sighted. Obviously, in a modern setting, Ingvar would get glasses and have no issues at all. But noooooo. In Brotherband, Ingvar is stupid and everybody treats him like their pet almost, because he has useful strength...but he never knows what's going on and make slow-witted statements. Sure he doesn't have to be a bright button, but I personally found it really angering that a person with a sight impairment would automatically be "stupid" because he simply can't see what's going on. And EVERYBODY says Ingvar is slow! Even his friends. Even the adults.Which leads me to: The entire "brotherband" idea was flawed. Think of Vikings. Think of Viking kids training to become Scary Warrior Vikings. Got it? Well they call the training "brotherband", and everyone splits into teams and competes for a) becoming a Real Viking, and b) being the best team. THIS IS FLAWED.There is so much emphasis being on everyone working as a team, down to they have all these tests, but most of the tests involve them putting their best man forward. Wrestling? Each team puts picks ONE contender to represent the team. Same with races, ship handling, navigation, etc. Sure this develops really strong teams who know each other's strengths and weaknesses...but it also makes sure you have groups of trained warriors who CANNOT FIGHT ALONE.What happens when there's wars and battles? What happens when one person (maybe the strong one!) on the team dies? No one else knows how to take his place.The logic of the training system had gaping holes. Why didn't they at least try to train everyone?I felt dumbed down by the writing. I know the author has an affinity for adverbs and over-explaining. That was in Rangers Apprentice. I was fully prepared for that! But this time, because of the big cast, every. single. time a character was mentioned, their "defining feature" was repeated. Oh look, there's Thorn, the shabby old drunk. There's Stig! He has a bad temper. There's Ingvar! He can't see anything. Blind as a bat.They weren't introduced this way. EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY WERE MENTIONED, I TELL YOU.Ships and sailing...everywhere. This is purely just me. Ranger's Apprentice detailed how to shoot a longbow. "Awesome," I thought. But Brotherband detailed how to sail a ship. "Not so useful," I thought. I mean the likelihood of me shooting someone with an arrow is WAY higher than me running them over with a ship. All the ship jargon was boring to me.The details contradicted the ones in Ranger's Apprentice. These Vikings are called Skandians. We first meet them in RA, as pirates and raiders, who (actually) kidnap the protagonist of RA and sell him as a slave. Woot. Awesome. They're big people who wield axes and aren't terribly bright. Okay, okay, I can deal. BUT. It's like Brotherband didn't read RA. These Skandians a) don't raid anymore, b) don't have slaves, c) have fully detailed training programs soooo wasn't the case in RA, d) don't even have much snow, e) are totally honourable good people. Everything I remembered of Skandians from RA was discontinued to make them a more "nobler" race, I suppose. But that's ridiculous. You can't do that!? Oh and "raiding" and "pirates" are different. Yes, yes they are. See in Brotherband, the antagonist is a slinky pirate ship. Everyone hates them! Wants to see them brought to justice! They're despicable!But actually, in RA, these Viking/Skandians were introduced as slave-traders and raiders. Which is...um...the same thing as pirates.It just wasn't funny. No humour? Why? Why was there no humour in this one?! I also listened to it on audio with Bolinda.I can't recommend the narrator. He did fine reading and had an awesome voice...but every time he got to dialogue he slowed it waaaaay doooooown. I don't understand why he did this. Hal spoke normally. But no one else. I was infuriating.I can't believe this book was so lax in so many areas.