As a reader, I have this overwhelming need to connect deeply with the characters I’m reading about. Even when I’m dealing with anti-her...moreDNF - no rating
As a reader, I have this overwhelming need to connect deeply with the characters I’m reading about. Even when I’m dealing with anti-heroes, there’s always something (usually humor, no matter how non-PC it might be) that keeps us firmly linked. No matter how hard I tried, forming that or any other kind of connection with Anderson’s three characters proved to be impossible for me.
It was all intentional, of course. The overall coldness and detachment wasn’t an accident at all. If anything, it was proof that Anderson is a very skilled writer, one capable of creating the exact atmosphere she desires. Based on the few reviews I’ve read, the distance between the reader and the characters is not without its purpose – it’s simply a deal breaker for me personally.
I gathered from those same few reviews that the story doesn’t end on a positive note. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a closet romantic at heart. I like my stories to have hopeful endings, perhaps to make up for the fact that I don’t really believe in HEA in real life. Being denied both the emotional connection and a reason to smile in the end seemed like as good a reason as any to give up on this book and find something else to read.
I’m not telling you not to read this book. I’ve seen plenty of enthusiastic reviews so I’m pretty sure some of you will absolutely love it. Perhaps just read a sample first to see if this type of prose works for you.
Why would someone who is so obviously not good at worldbuilding decide to write fantasy is beyond me. I wasted a lot of time trying to find so...more1.5 star
Why would someone who is so obviously not good at worldbuilding decide to write fantasy is beyond me. I wasted a lot of time trying to find something nice to say about this book, especially because Jo Anderton is a debut author and as such, deserves my best effort. So here it is: the IDEA for Debris was really very interesting. (view spoiler)[Come to think of it, this probably isn’t much of a compliment considering the end result. (hide spoiler)]
Everything was made up of pions, from the steel in Grandeur’s finger bones to the sun-spotted skin that stretched across the back of my hand. I saw them as lights, a myriad of tiny fireflies.
A woman with the ability to control pions, the smallest particles of I-have-no-idea-what (it was quite unclear) finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy and loses the thing that separates her from the rest of the population. Without her ability to see these particles, she is unable to perform her job at the center of a nine-point circle (quite unclear, too) and has to start collecting debris instead. (Basically she goes from being a CEO to being a trash collector in just a few days.) Seeing as she was blamed for the big accident that, wonder of all wonders, wasn’t her fault at all, veche, the organization that controls everything, makes her work off her debt with a group of debris collectors in the worst part of the city.
This story, in its core, is about class differences and social injustice, but in order to sympathize with anyone, be that an individual or an entire (invisible) layer of society, I must understand the social structure first! The city of Movoc-under-Keeper is controlled by the veche, an omnipotent organization, council or something similar, but the exact nature of veche or how it came to power remains a mystery throughout the novel.
Here's another good thing (good because I found it interesting): the author used a lot of Slavic words and Slavic-sounding names: Tanyana (the main character), Volski, Devich… In fact, the word veche itself is Slavic (that would be vijeće in Croatian) and it means council. So I guess that answers my earlier questions, but it still should have been made clear(er).
Tanyana was a terrible character: no matter how hurt she was or how much they took from her, I found it very hard to feel sorry for her because she was… well, a selfish cow. True, she went from being a Lady to being nobody in a week, she lost everything, including her home and her friends, but she insisted on behaving like a spoiled, irresponsible brat.
I could go on and on about every single thing that was wrong with this book, but it would be a waste of everyone’s time. Here’s what it comes down to: the worldbuilding was incomplete, the main character was whiny and the love story was unconvincing. All in all, I did my best to like it but I really can’t recommend this to anyone. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)