The Stone Gods quotes by Jeanette Winterson (Part I)

  • “Women always bring it back to the personal, it’s why you can’t be world leaders.”
  • “And men never do, which is why we end up with no world left to lead.”
  • Love is an experiment. What happens next is always surprising.
  • I want to touch you. And if you did touch me, what then? I would find a language of beginning. And you once voyaged would be my free and wild place that I would never try to tame. And the place that you are would never be sold or exchanged. I want to begin this with you. Can you love only what you know? Or is love what you don’t know?
  • Every second the Universe divides into possibilities and most of these possibilities never happen. It is not a uni-verse – there is more than one reading. The story won’t stop, can’t stop, it goes on telling itself, waiting for an intervention that changes what will happen next.
  • Love is an intervention.
  • Hand in hand, beginning the descent of you. hand over hand, too fast, like my heartbeat. This is the way down, the cliff, the cave. No safety, no certainty of return.
  • I can say no, I can change my mind, I can have regrets, but I can’t wipe out the yes. One word, and a million million worlds close.
  • Here is a moment in time, and my choices have been no stranger than millions before me, displaced by wars or conscience, leaving the known for the unknown, hesitating, fearing, then finding themselves already on the journey, footprint and memory each imprinting the trail: what you had, what you lost, what you found, no matter how difficult or impossible, the moment when time became a bridge and you crossed it.
  • Some religions call life a dream, or a dreaming, but what if it is a memory?  What if this new world isn’t new at all but a memory of a new world?
  • What if we really do keep making the same mistakes again and again, never remembering the lessons to learn but never forgetting that it had been different, that there was a pristine place? Perhaps the universe is a memory of our mistakes.
  • When I look back at my own life – and in circumstances like these, who can blame me? – what is it that I recognize? Not the stories with a beginning, a middle, and an end, but the stories that began again, the ones that twisted away, like a bend in the road.
  • Much of what I have done is left unfinished – not because I left it too soon, not because I was lazy, but because it had a life of its own that continues without me. Children, I suppose, are always unfinished business: they begin as part of your own body, and continues as separate as another continent. The work you do, if it has any meaning, passes to other hands. The day slides into a night’s dreaming.
  • True stories are the ones that lie open at the border, allowing a crossing, a further frontier. The final frontier us just science fiction – don’t believe it. Like the universe, there is no end.
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Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins

Things in Gregor’s household are slowly going back to normal, but his anxiety attacks aren’t letting up. The Prophecy of Blood, the third prophecy he is trying to decipher, calls for his help. A plague is upon the warmblooded creatures and humans alike, and when Gregor learns that his bond, Ares (a flying bat) is critical, he anxiously wanted to rush to the Underlands. His mother banned him and his sister, Boots, from leaving, as the whole family anticipated the danger once more. When rats invaded their house as a sign of Ripred’s coercion for his mother to cooperate, Gregor and Boots were allowed to descend to Regalia…with their mother as chaperone.

It starts out as a funny, teenage dilemma as our adolescent hero is mildly irritated that his warrior image will be a bit tarnished by the presence of his mother. It’s the phase when boys (and even girls) distance themselves from their mothers to feel all grown-up, avoiding the public displays of affection. Things turned serious though when an enemy attack disturbed the gathering of all kinds of species in Regalia’s stadium and a plague carrier bit his mother. The mortal danger that has struck his mother was grave, and so they journeyed to the Vineyard of Eyes to find the plant that could be the cure to save his mother and the rest of the Underland.

Warmblood now a bloodborne death,

Will rob your body of its breath,

Mark your skin, and seal your fate.

The Underland becomes a plate.
Turn and turn and turn again.

You see the what but not the when.

Remedy and wrong entwine,

And so they form a single vine.
Bring the warrior from above

If yet his heart is swayed by love.

Bring the princess or despair,

No crawlers care without her there.
Turn and turn and turn again.

You see the what but not the when.

Remedy and wrong entwine,

And so they form a single vine.
Those whose blood runs red and hot

Must join to seek the healing spot.

In the cradle find the cure

For that which makes the blood impure.
Turn and turn and turn again.

You see the what but not the when.

Remedy and wrong entwine,

And so they form a single vine.
Gnawer, human, set aside

The hatreds that reside inside.

If the flames of war are fanned,

All Warmbloods lose the Underland.
Turn and turn and turn again.

You see the what but not the when.

Remedy and wrong entwine,

And so they form a single vine.

In the Vineyard, readers are introduced to new characters, Hamnet, Hazard,  and Frill, who play crucial roles in finding the starshade plant because they served as the group’s jungle guides in finding it. Aside from that, they also provide the emotional factors of the story because Hamnet and Hazard are related to the royalty of Regalia, and their self-exile had a lot of connection with the political and emotional web of our minor characters in this book. A second reunion was in store, as the missing Luxa and Aurora have appeared and were said to be saved by the nibblers in their last quest (book 2). They have joined Gregor and his current team on their way to bringing home the starshade cure when an army of ants charged, destroying the whole field and the starshade plants they harvested. Devastated that they lost the cure, they were also depressed at the fact that Hamnet and Frill perished in their battle, leaving little Hazard in the care of Luxa, her only relative left in the world. When all hope seems lost, Gregor’s mind begins to analyze the situation and found out the answer that solved where the cure was before time ran out for the plague victims. Gregor and Boots had to leave their mother to get better in Regalia, and to Overland they went to inform the rest of the family.

This third book in the series is already opening the perspective to a greater sense of interspecies war.  I haven’t really explained the interspecies relations among the characters because the first two books felt more like isolated instances of correlation. Here, Collins already firmly imprinted that from here on, a war will divide all living creatures into the sides of good and evil. The category of living entities are as follows:

  • crawlers – predominantly cockroaches (important character in the story: Temp)
  • spinners – spiders
  • fliers – bats, not birds (important characters in the story: Ares)
  • gnawers – rats (important character in the story: Ripred)
  • shiners – fireflies
  • nibblers – mice
  • stingers – scorpions
  • killers – humans

In a nutshell: humans are bonded to fliers (Gregor & Ares), gnawers are wrecking havoc and starting the war against humans and nibblers (except for a minority that includes Ripred, the Jedi-like trainer of Gregor), and the rest depend their loyalty on whom they could get the most of their needs. Our teenage hero’s warrior skills are becoming overtly controlled especially since it’s expected of him, but the nicest surprise of all is that 3 year-old Boots, especially after meeting Hazard, has developed and learned the language of the animals. Their involvement with the Underland world gets heavier and heavier, you’d be wondering how much more deeply they’d be pulled in to help save it from oblivion. There are still two more books till this journey ends, and the next one, Gregor and the Marks of Secret review is up next!