Mephistia's Reviews > Orcs

Orcs by Stan Nicholls
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Jan 02, 11

bookshelves: fantasy
Read in January, 2011

** spoiler alert ** It was . . . an interesting concept. I liked the idea of a book featuring the orc as the anti-hero protagonist. I thought it would be a neat way to explore fantasy tropes and I was intrigued at the possibilities.

The execution was a bit choppy. It's not bad in the way that Twilight is bad -- the pacing was decent, the writing was overall okay with flashes of brilliance. It was vaguely annoying how he would spend 5+ pages describing each sword-chop and flung blade in battle -- during the first battle, I thought it was cool. By the 3rd, I was getting irritated, and by the 5th, I would just flip to the scenes post-battle. I guess maybe battle is one of those things where the excitement and terror and trauma are better transmitted on-screen than on-page.

The other major complaint I had was how predictably he moved the story along. I swear, every single person/ group who met that orc warband was under a death sentence from the time they saw them. It didn't matter how innocent they were, or how kindly or cruelly the orc warband treated them. They either fought the orcs and died, or the orcs interacted in some manner with travelers who were then tortured and killed for information regarding the whereabouts of the orcs. It was so predictable, I started getting irritated.
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