Reader’s Coma (and then panic…)

A few times in my life I have had the luxury of spending almost ALL of my time reading. Even fewer times have I been able to stay up almost all night reading.

One of those times was last night. I just finished the Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance) by Christopher Paolini. I’m one of those people that if I get past the big-bad-bitch/boss (no matter what time of day) in a book, game, series, whatever, I have to see the end through. Right then and there. Much to my chagrin, however, I noticed in the corner of my dimly lit kindle that I was only 83 %or 85% through with the book. Durn!

Of course, there was a ton of loose ends to tie up, and then the name dictionary (elven, dwarven, human, even nomad, which we didn’t get to see…) and then the author’s note. He did what all kind and non-ruthless authors (unlike someone we know whose initials are GRRM) and said a goodbye to characters and then gave us a peek into the future for himself and maybe JUST MAYBE a bit more story for the characters of this cycle.

But still! It was a lot for me to get through, and I ended up finally putting the kindle down with glazed and teary-eyes at about 5-ish, and started my nightly roll-around for an hour until I could finally find a good spot and sleep. I thought I saw some weak rays peeking through my blinds, but I shut my eyes real tight and hunkered down.

Now I believe I’ve encountered the reader’s coma. No, I’m not somehow typing this with my mind or relaying it through telepathy to somebody. I’m not prone, but I sure as feel like I should be. I woke up with a sore throat and a clogged nose (more clogged than normal) and a budding sinus-headache. I guess I was asking for it. I did reach the end of the semester unscathed by sickness, but DAMN right on the peak of my break? It might have been the almost all-nighter with my kindle (without my glasses, bad sign!).

I’m dubbing it reader’s coma. The series has ended, the characters you love and hated are moving on and you don’t get to be with them, and now it’s time to burrow down into another series.Quick! Before reality sets in!

I panicked a little last night and ran through some series firsts that might be able to fill the space left by Inheritance. Cinda Williams Chima’s Heir series sounded promising. It seemed much like Inheritance but branched out a little. But too soon! Too soon. Too close and too soon. I couldn’t get more than a chapter in. I’ll come back to it with renewed ferver at a later time, Ms. Chima, I will.

I also tried Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series (there are TWENTY of those mofos. 20?!). But I just couldn’t stomach another sardonic narrator and any more vampires. I had to stop at the vampire strip club. Maybe another time. When we’re not all juiced up on fangbanging.

And now I think I must return to GRRM. I was in the middle of A Storm of Swords earlier this year, and for some reason had to put it down (most likely for school) and then I think one of my cats knocked the book over and the bookmark fell out. I must have lost the courage then. I hear from other fans and sources that I’m about to stumble into the “Red Wedding”, and from what I hear I am not too enthusiastic.

BUT. I will do it. I think this is the right step. Albeit, it is a long and fearful drop from the easy-fantasy of Inheritance. (Things will ALWAYS work out, against insurmountable odds. What a bastard Galbatorix was, huh?)

It will be bloody. I might cry. But the panic is settling down now. I can go forth! (Hesitantly…) into Westeros again.

Wish me luck.

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