The review section for this novel is already clogged with the kinds of effusive, GIF-laden reviews that make one's eyes bleed, so I doubt that many peThe review section for this novel is already clogged with the kinds of effusive, GIF-laden reviews that make one's eyes bleed, so I doubt that many people will ever see my review, but even if it's only a shout into the void, someone ought to criticize this book. I'm still rating it three stars for the creativity and ingenuity evident in the fantasy worldbuilding, but overall it was a rambling, overlong disappointment.
Rick Riordan is an incredibly brilliant, creative, funny, successful author, and I have enjoyed his previous books, but this one fell short of the high expectations he has set. The novel started out well, and the narrative voice was consistently laugh-out-loud funny, but the quest plot dragged on pointlessly. Perhaps there was foreshadowing for the future in some of this, and things which I overlooked shall become significant later, but for the most part, the last two-thirds of the book were tiresome, episodic escapades that introduced mythical characters and situations but did not build character or plot enough to be worthwhile.
Riordan developed his characters adequately throughout the book, but for whatever reason, I did not find them emotionally compelling. Nothing about this story endeared me to the characters beyond mild concern for their survival and success, and the plot itself was not enough to make up for that shortfall. Quest plots tend to be troublesome for writers, since they are full of dead-end turns, episodic successes, and boring stretches, but Riordan is a master of the quest plot, and could have done a lot better here. Many, many chapters in this book seemed entirely irrelvant. The strung-together events resulted in a chaotic climax that had been foreshadowed repeatedly in exposition as characters told others what their quest was about, yet seemed entirely unsatisfying. The characters went on so many pointless missions within a mission that by the end, the final showdown was yet another episodic thing to get past so that I could move on with my life.
I will read the other books in this series, because I like this author and hope the other books are better, but even so, I would only recommend this book to fans....more
This delightfully witty and subversive 1920s thriller serves as a light parody while still unfolding a satisfying, surprising mystery. The dialogue anThis delightfully witty and subversive 1920s thriller serves as a light parody while still unfolding a satisfying, surprising mystery. The dialogue and prose both were hilarious and clever, and I appreciated the tongue-in-cheek dive into the well-worn tropes and devices which other authors of the same period used with all seriousness....more
This book had a reference to Barney the Purple Dinosaur. After twenty-two volumes, I've gotten to cultural references I can understand, and it was a rThis book had a reference to Barney the Purple Dinosaur. After twenty-two volumes, I've gotten to cultural references I can understand, and it was a revelation.
But in all seriousness, this was a fantastic collection of comics, and I appreciated seeing how even though Schulz used many of the same classic ideas and "old jokes," he kept it fresh with new punchlines and entirely new comic sequences like nothing he had ever done before. I admire his amazing drawings, terrific humor, and flawless grasp of human nature, but perhaps what is most impressive about this legendary comic strip is the fact that it stayed fresh and interesting for fifty years....more