3.5 stars I really enjoyed this book. For starters, it had some of the best front cover copy ever: “Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow.” I’d have picked up3.5 stars I really enjoyed this book. For starters, it had some of the best front cover copy ever: “Ender, Katniss, and now Darrow.” I’d have picked up any book with that accolade on its cover. I'd never heard of this novel, though, until a friend picked it for book club. I'm glad she did!
While the plot was perhaps a bit derivative (I told Paul it was “The Hunger Games on Mars”) the characters and the world were original and I appreciated the nods to other books (e.g. Card's Wiggins family). I didn’t emotionally connect with this novel but I was certainly caught up in the excitement of the story and read it very quickly (once I got through the world-building at the beginning). And there was surprisingly little explanation/back-story/world-building. There was just a bit of inevitable confusion as we were dropped into a new world with new vocabulary. My confusion was brief and then the plot was off at a sprint from the moment Eo took Darrow into the ducts.
In the back cover copy the author lists his intriguing work history and I’m very curious which senate campaign he worked on. Brown seems to have an interesting view of politics and I wonder how that plays out in present American political system. ...more
Early on in this novel one character asks another, "Are we allowing ourselves to get distracted?" in the midst of a lengthly and inappropriately timedEarly on in this novel one character asks another, "Are we allowing ourselves to get distracted?" in the midst of a lengthly and inappropriately timed conversation. HAH! Yes. That's a perfect description of what happens in Hamilton's novels, slowing down the pace and frustrating this reader from the original and creative world and stories Hamilton creates....more
One can be a good storyteller without being a grammarian. Apart from involving words, the two are actually quite different. I'd call grammar a skill (One can be a good storyteller without being a grammarian. Apart from involving words, the two are actually quite different. I'd call grammar a skill (something that can be learned) and storytelling more of a craft or ability. The tricks of the trade can be taught, but the imagination and the ability to carry readers along into an imaginary world . . . those defy simple rules. What, exactly, made Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey so popular? It was probably not the writing, and yet millions of readers found those stories compelling.
Anyway, I've enjoyed Schulte's Abyss world and the stories she's told involving jinni, elves, angels, witches, and other characters. Even though she credits an editor in her front pages, she leaves out "had" when she shouldn't and includes it when she shouldn't. "He should have went..." No! "Should have gone!" These sorts of mistakes are irritating and take me out of the story as I'm suddenly noticing the writing in a very distracting way.
All that aside, this book didn't draw me in as much as some of the Abyss World novels. With Tiddly Jinx I barely recognized the characters. It had been a while since I'd read the earlier books in the series and I had trouble connecting with Selene and Cheney. Both seemed . . . flat and lacking personality. Olivia, Holden, Baker, and Femi don't suffer the same problem, but the plot of Inferno felt very thin, the climax and denouement rushed, and the reunion of Holden and Olivia empty. I felt like I was reading an early draft of a story that needed to be filled in and fleshed out to come to life. ...more