Jay Daze's Reviews > The Dervish House

The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
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's review
Jul 23, 11

bookshelves: library-book, sf, abandoned
Read from July 16 to 23, 2011

My first recommendation would be not to get this as a library book. Perhaps if I owned a copy I could have put it down and come back to it when in a better frame of mind. That said, I dragged my way through the first 100 pages, but that was as far as I would go waiting for the story to pick up.

The multiple characters and overly digressive style slowed the book down to an unpleasant crawl for me. I love fine writing and fully realized worlds, but there was not enough narrative candy to get me through the book.

I'm giving it two stars because the book just didn't engage me, but would not be surprised to see it win a Hugo award for its ambition and scope.
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Reading Progress

07/20/2011 page 60
17.0% "Really, really dragging my ass through the opening pages. Lots of world building and ideas, not so much story, and probably too many characters. I may just be in the wrong mood at the moment. Will get myself to page 100 before giving up."
07/23/2011 page 100
28.0% "Made it to page 100, but as expected (by reading other people's status updates) I haven't had a significant uptick in engagement. The book has little narrative drive, continually going off on what is either digression or world building on a paragraph by paragraph level. Having so many main characters makes it very hard to pick up speed. McDonald isn't up to it. Don't think I want to wait another 100 pages."

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