Stephen's Reviews > Prentice Alvin

Prentice Alvin by Orson Scott Card
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Question: How is reading a sequel to a book you loved similar to a restroom visit after “Spicy Night” at the Taco Emporium?

Answer:...Both require you to manage your expectations and BE PREPARED.
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Well, stupid toss-pot that I am, I broke the cardinal rule of sequels and went hopscotching headlong into this book with my mental gas mask safely stowed up on the top shelf behind the untouched can of “use your brain” spray.

And it happened...

...I got a stinging, gut-twisting case of "the sequels"...for which I was idiotically unprepared!! Man, was I pissed right off. I mean anyone, anyone with half a neuron firing in their thought factory could see it coming a kill-me-now-o-meter away...anyone except for me, Senor Asshatio.

So there I was...staring into the bowels of a stinky, painful, cramp-causing, sweat-inducing case of the quels...and watching my overly optimistic, unmanaged expectations shatter like glass goblin.
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The most embarrassing part for me is that this was not my first sequel rodeo. I've been down the highway of broken dreams and dashed hopes before and thought I had sufficient trained myself to avoid such bright-eyed optimism. I mean I'd cried myself through Star Wars I, II and III (I still hate you George Lucas), Chapterhouse: Dune, The Exorcist II, Dead and Alive and Star Trek III through ??? (God Bless you J.J. Abrams for saving the franchise).

Anyway, I'll cease ranting and move on to the book.

So after really enjoying the first two books in the Alvin Maker series, Seventh Son and Red Prophet, my romance with this series has come to an abrupt and, as mentioned above, painful end. The writing was fine and even fairly polished. However, I found the plot so excruciatingly boring that I actually felt my will to live begin to wane. I just wanted it to be over and that is no way to think while your reading.

As for the plot itself, I will assume you know the "alternate 19th Century America" background and basic premise of the series if you are up to book 3. So young Alvin continues on his way to becoming a superhero, learning the ways of the force or the Ninja or the secret of the Matrix....some magical crap like that. His nemesis is the Unmaker (just think Satan + Darth Meanie + Cruella de Vil and you got it). The Unmaker's current scheme is convincing Mr. Horny White Slave Owner to change his name to Sir Hump-A-Lot and get busy, busy, busy with ALL of the black female slaves so he can spread his seed far and wide and create a new race of people....apparently in contemplation of a new Sith army or something like that.

In addition, you have some good people, some bad people, quite a few dumb people, way too many boring people, a Torch, a Blacksmith and....A Magical Plow made of Living Gold (I am not kidding about that...Magical...Plow....Living....Gold!!!

That was enough for me!!! 2.0 Stars and a request for a permanent separation from this series.
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Comments (showing 1-28 of 28) (28 new)

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message 1: by Kemper (new)

Kemper Senor Asshatio??? I am definately going to call someonet that at work today.


Stephen Kemper wrote: "Senor Asshatio??? I am definately going to call someonet that at work today."

Could it be Mr. "never wash" by any chance?


message 3: by Kemper (new)

Kemper Stephen wrote: "Could it be Mr. "never wash" by any chance?"

There are many, many candidates....


message 4: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Senor culosombrero!!


Stephen Stephanie wrote: "Senor culosombrero!!"

Oh..that is so much better. May I please use that. It totaally just gave me the idea to take the "Cat in the Hat" song and turn it into the "Ass in the Hat" song (e.g. "In Spanish it's El Culo in a Sombrero.") Now I need to do the French, German and Russian translations...to the Batcave.


message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Anything I say you may use......if you find it useful :)


message 7: by Gary (new)

Gary Oh Stephen I am so with you on the seemingly never ending Dune series... why oh why do these authors who have created such gems not see when it's time to draw the curtains on a theme? I still can't forgive Piers Anthony for the monstrous Xanth series (it's never nice watching a grown man cry and my family may never recover.
In French it would Monsieur Connardchapeau...


Stephen Gary wrote: "Monsieur Connardchapeau"

That has a terrific ring to it.


message 9: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Even after being bitten by many a mangy book, I still get suckered on occasion by some charming mutt that ends up having sharp teeth, a bad attitude, and worse rabies.


Stephen Daniel wrote: "Even after being bitten by many a mangy book, I still get suckered on occasion by some charming mutt that ends up having sharp teeth, a bad attitude, and worse rabies."

Ain't it the truth...we must remain vigilant as the next Caddyshack II could be lurking around the corner ready to pounce. Ugh.


message 11: by Leon (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leon Aldrich Might be time for me to revisit this series. I stopped at #5. I liked them.

p.s. Stephen? Is there a way to share a reviewer link (i.e. yours)? I want to spread your fame far & wide.


message 12: by Tilly (new)

Tilly Slaton Heh .. Senor Asshatio?


Stephen Leon wrote: "p.s. Stephen? Is there a way to share a reviewer link (i.e. yours)? I want to spread your fame far & wide."

I sent you a message Leon. Hopefully my explanation makes sense.


Stephen Tilly wrote: "Heh .. Senor Asshatio?"

Glad you liked it, Tilly. It seemed to sum up how I was feeling about myself.


Richard Derus The writing was fine and even fairly polished. However, I found the plot so excruciatingly boring that I actually felt my will to live begin to wane.

Gold. Pure gold.


Jahlia ((thing 10 Evil 1)) Oh gosh.


message 17: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell LOL! The book was that bad?


message 18: by Apatt (last edited Jan 01, 2012 11:19PM) (new)

Apatt LOL! I only read book 1 and kept postponing the rest. May be this one will help with my constipation :)

Definitely the best review of any kind I have read so far this year ;)


Stephen Ronyell wrote: "LOL! The book was that bad?"

It wasn't quite 1 star bad, but it was certainly a huge letdown from books 1 and 2 which I thought were both excellent.


Stephen Apatt wrote: "LOL! I only read book 1 and kept postponing the rest. May be this one will help with my constipation :)

Definitely the best review of any kind I have read so far this year ;)"


LOL...Thanks, Apatt.


message 21: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell Stephen wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "LOL! The book was that bad?"

It wasn't quite 1 star bad, but it was certainly a huge letdown from books 1 and 2 which I thought were both excellent."


Yeah! I hate it when the first two books are so good and then when you read the third book, it's so terrible!


message 22: by Duffy (new)

Duffy Pratt Apparently you didn't see Jaws 4? That's the one where Brody shows the shark Jaws 3, and it dies of boredom.


Stephen Duffy wrote: "Apparently you didn't see Jaws 4? That's the one where Brody shows the shark Jaws 3, and it dies of boredom."

Nice...I actually never did see Jaws 4, but Jaws 3 definitely belongs among the top of "franchise killing" sequels. That thing hurt it was so bad.


Kevin Xu I never thought this book or the series was actually any way close to being bad. It could have been better though.


Stephen I know a number of people that feel the same way you do, Kevin. I really liked the first two and this one just didn't work for me.


message 26: by Jackie (last edited Jan 04, 2012 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jackie The first two books were really good, but from this one on to the finish weren't as good. If you weren't happy with this one, then you're doing the right thing in going no further because they don't get any better and cannot compare to the first two books.


Stephen Thanks, Jackie. I may have been tempted to give the next one a chance, but I think I feel better about walking away now. I'll always have my memories of the first two books.


Jackie Put it this way, this one was better than those that follow, I still liked this one, not as much as the first two but much more than the rest. You can always pick them up at a future date if you feel you're missing out.


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