Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Unfinished books

There have been several books I've been unable to finish in the past 6 to 12 months.  All are books that I was excited to read, but can't get through the darn things.  Here they are:

Blackdog, by K.V. Johansen.  I really, really wanted to like this book.  Lou Anders, editor at Pyr books, sold the hell out of it at Worldcon last year.  The problem is... it's so boring.  It's beyond boring.  I started skimming to just get through pages, and still put it down.  I like a few of the characters, but the problem is that the book doesn't stay focused on the ones I want to read about.  It jumps all over the place, to points of view I find uninteresting.  It makes me sad, but there it is.  Wish it had been better.

Goblin Corps, by Ari Marmell.  This one is quite hilarious.  It's about a squad of goblins, who do terrible things, for terrible reasons.  It's the bad guys being bad.  Problem is, beyond being funny, it's pointless.  I can't read a huge book only for laughs.  There has to be a story and characters to care about.  Good news is that Ari wrote one of my favorite books of the last year as well: Thief's Covenant.  You can read my review for it here.

Shadowmarch, by Tad Williams.  I didn't know a thing about Williams' books before starting Shadowmarch.  It started off well enough, feeling similar to several medieval fantasies out there.  Again, though, I got bored.  I didn't feel like there was enough interesting conflict to keep me listening.  Maybe I'll give it another try, but not for a while.

The Dervish House, by Ian McDonald.  Hmmm... third Pyr book on the list of unfinished.  Kind of weird, since Pyr has also published some of the best stuff I've read recently.  Anyway, this was was just too hard to follow.  The points of view and tense are extremely odd.  It turned me off to the story, despite sounding intriguing.

The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.  Picked this one up on the advice of a military sic-fi panel at LTUE.  Holy crap, I don't know what those guys were smoking.  This is by far the most boring of unfinished books on the list.  I kind of think the narrator has something to do with it, but he isn't the only one to blame.  This book is just full of line after line of mind-numbing dialogue and description.  I usually avoid older sic-fi works because a lot of them tend to read like this.  Last time I listen to a bunch of nerds on a panel at a con.

The Black Prism, by Brent Weeks.  I was already iffy about this one, but it went on sale as an ebook, so I picked it up for cheap.  I don't know what to say other than the characters just didn't grab me.  I gave it a good try.  Sorry.

Wolfsangel, by M.D. Lachlan.  Haha.  Another Pyr book.  This one should have been one I loved.  I'm a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon series, and so assumed I'd love Wolfsangel just as much.  The point of view was poorly done, and so kept me from getting lost in the story.  If you're going to go omniscient narrator, go ahead.  But don't do it half way, and then try for third-person limited the rest of the time.  It's got to be one or the other.

That's all that I can think of.  There are probably a few others, but they're so forgetful I can't list them.  The only one I'm truly bummed about is Blackdog.  I tried so hard to love it, but it just wasn't meant to be.  The rest... meh.  Life is too short to waste on sleepers like these.

P.S. Lou, I'm sorry.  I still love you.  Seriously.  Want to buy my manuscript?  I'd really like to be a part of the Pyr family.  You're the man.  Thanks for giving us Abercrombie.      

1 comment:

  1. I actually gave away one of the books I got at Worldcon last year. The character just wasn't someone I wanted to spend time with.

    Sad thing is, the person I gave it to made it farther into the book, but quit for the same reason.