Terence's Reviews > Lamentation

Lamentation by Ken Scholes
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Apr 20, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: sf-fantasy
Recommended for: Insomniacs?
I own a copy , read count: 1

A deeply heartfelt "meh."

I started reading this Easter Day (2011) because I had finished The Mammoth Cheese - two thumbs up! waaaay up! - and wanted to mentally vegetate for a bit.

There's nothing particularly memorable about Ken Scholes' debut novel nor anything particularly awful about it. It's just another title among the myriad that crowd the SF/Fantasy shelves at any bookstore.

As with any book, there's almost certainly an audience out there to whom Lamentation speaks or for whom a character takes on a special life but it's not me. The writing and story are pretty pedestrian and uninspiring; and there're far too many instances where Scholes tells you how clever his characters are but you're left wondering "In what way?"

And for a world that is supposedly millennia in the future, why is the hero's name Italian, the heroine's vaguely East Asian, her father's Slavic, the bad guy's Anglo-Saxon, and another's Latin?

Stefan's review makes the point well: "With Scholes, it feels more like they're... templates." This is a paint-by-numbers work by a competent but not inspired or inspiring writer.

Sadly, because I enjoy finding authors whose next book I look forward to.
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Reading Progress

06/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Terence From their descriptions, you'd think a lot of books would be great for me :-)

It's impossible to over emphasize just how depressingly pedestrian the writing is in this book. I wasn't looking for a mind-bending, envelope-pushing tour de force (though that would have been a pleasant surprise) but I hoped for someone who could write with style and verve and appeared to be having fun with the language.

But it wasn't.

It also suffers in comparison to some recent reading: Steven Erikson's "final" volume in The Malazan Book of the Fallen or the Sherri Holman books I've been reading. Even in Anthony Huso's The Last Page, which had its faults, there's an exuberance in the writing that carries you over the rough parts.


message 2: by Zach (new) - added it

Zach This seems to be the consensus on this book, which is too bad, because it sounds like he had some great ideas that he just didn't actually know what to do with.


Terence The title of this and its sequel, Canticle, put me in mind of A Canticle for Leibowitz and if Scholes had done something with the themes raised in that classic I would have been more forgiving of the bad writing.

It's a cut above the typical self-published stuff but still not worth the time to read it.


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