Leo Elijah Cristea's Reviews > The Summoner

The Summoner by Gail Z. Martin
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Aug 08, 11

Read from August 03 to 07, 2011 — I own a copy

FULL REVIEW AVAILABLE HERE: http://leocristea.wordpress.com/2011/...

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The Summoner is the most boring fantasy book I have read. The most annoying, too, and certainly the most patronising. Nothing in this book keeps me interested in reading the sequel—The Blood King—and then further in the series after that. It is, in fact, The Sworn that restores a little of my faith in Martin’s ability as a storyteller. Whilst it exhibits some of the overwriting that I have a feeling Martin never outgrows, the crafting of The Sworn is far superior and any flaws are only noticeable after having read The Summoner.

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Everything that happens in The Summoner can be summed up in precise bullet points, and without the overwriting, the repetition and purely indulgent encounters that serve the single purpose of having Tris take baby steps with his powers, it could have been half the size it is. Then perhaps it would have been a good book, with interesting characters, an intriguing plot and an original world.

Instead, we have a drawn out story with a video-game like course (travel, encounter, rest, and repeat) that not only bores the reader into submission, but infuriates to the point where you feel Martin must be having some kind of private joke with herself given the quality of her prose. It’s so awful, I thought the book must predate 1990. It doesn’t. To my alarm, I discovered it to belong to 2007. Modern fantasy is no longer entirely filled with 600+ page slogs through a writer’s imagined world—and if these exist, the craft of the writer is honed, deliberate and precise, unlike Martin’s sloppy workmanship.

I lose count how many times I literally yelled at the audio book, cutting out sentences, toning descriptions down, and generally losing my temper at seeing a perfectly decent story absolutely gutted and slaughtered by terrible, terrible crafting.

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However, I do intend—though in how long, I can’t say—continue with this series. Why? Because of The Sworn. The improvement in Martin’s craft is tenfold, and having been invited to her world, having glimpsed the originality of the setting, I want to trust her and I want her to improve. The Sworn promises improvement and I can only hope this improvement is realised somewhere between the remaining three books of the series.

A truly awful book that seems to have had the last laugh either way; I will be reading further, and I already bought the books. But thank god they were second-hand.
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Reading Progress

08/03/2011 page 78
12.0%
08/05/2011 page 267
42.0% "I feel like this will never end!"
08/05/2011 page 319
50.0% "THANK GOD. Ugh... now just the other 50%..."
08/05/2011 page 341
54.0% "This book is getting worse and worse."
08/05/2011 page 361
57.0% "Still nothing happening..."
08/06/2011 page 385
60.0% "This book is bad, and couldn't end fast enough."
08/06/2011 page 399
63.0% "This is a bad book. The review will be a *pleasure*--and for all the wrong reasons."
08/06/2011 page 469
74.0% "It'll end... soon..."
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