My God, what was she thinking???

Posted by me on Tuesday, the 27th day of December, anno domini 2005 at 9:00 PM, local time.

So, I have previously read all of the fantastical works of Robin Hobb, a female fantasy writer who only (relatively) recently burst on the scene with three great series, the Liveship series, the Assassin series, and the Tawny Man series. All three were great. A great cast, plots that were worth reading about, and while you might or might not come away from reading them with a new sense of wonder about the world you live in, or feeling closer to the core of your being, at least you got some enjoyment out of it!!

Now, coming off of all that greatness, she has released a new book. Shaman’s Crossing. A standalone novel in a new universe about a boy’s childhood and early adulthood learning to be a soldier. And to do so, he must defeat the evil tree woman. Yes, thats right, the evil tree woman. Now, throughout the entire book, I was hoping for a bit more, and just not finding it. There was a modicum of enjoyment, but the cast was shallow (really just one main character and a few supporters that you actually might give a crap about) and the plot was extremely stationary. The first several chapters were told in what appeared to be flashbacks, and so maybe you would expect to eventually get to the real story, but no, the last flashback just turned into the rest of the book and then you were done. The End.

So, really, I don’t know what she was hoping to achieve in this meager offering. I think she should go back to what she is good at: High Fantasy! Stop experimenting with this tripe and use your talents for good, not for evil!

Ok, just to step back a bit, overall, I didn’t completely hate the book. At no point did I fear that I would keel over for boredom, nor was I made a worse person for reading the book. But it didn’t change me in any good way either. Also, before you just take my word for it, you should probably know that Uncle Orson actually liked it quite a bit, which is saying something. Overall, I placed the book in the “That which need not be read” category (which wasn’t really intended for books to begin with, but here we are) and not in the “That which must be mocked” or “That which must be stomped upon” or “Those books which must be burned” categories.

But, it was also not placed into the “That which should be praised” or “Those books which must be read” categories, so, that says a lot too. It takes a lot for me to not really like a book. (Which very nearly calls into question the very existence of the bad-book and bad-movie categories on this site. They could, quite possibly, be rather empty of content for some time to come.)

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1 Comment»

  1. » While I’m on the topic… said,

    December 27, 2005 at 9:17 pm

    […] So, I have decided that I do not always agree with Uncle Orson. By decree. (Note the previous post for an example, if you don’t accept my simple decree.) […]

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