colleen the contrarian ± (... never stop fighting) ±'s Reviews > The Naming

The Naming by Alison Croggon
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Jun 14, 09

bookshelves: young-adult, high-fantasy, fantasy
Recommended to colleen the contrarian ± (... never stop fighting) ± by: People who like LotR-lite
Recommended for: Coworker
Read in June, 2009, read count: 1

I'm being generous by giving this book 3 stars. I think it's probably more of a 2 1/2, and that's only because it did get better at the end.

The keyword for this book is slow. Everything about this book is very slow paced. Now, I don't always mind a slower pace, as long as we're given something to fill up that time. If it's a slow book plot wise, but has interesting characters and character development, then I can be ok with that. But we don't really learn a lot about the characters. What we do learn a lot about is landscapes. And what kind of flowers are in a garden. And lots of irrelevant information.

This book is a bad one for grocery lists. What I mean is that we can't can't pass a garden a remark that it's a beautiful garden with varied flowers - no, the author has to give a grocery list of the types of flowers. We can't pass through a village and see different types of people - we get another list. We get detailed descriptions of what a place looks like - and yet even this is done in such a way that I can't really say I ever got a clear visual, because I just didn't care.

Aside from that, there's also the problem of the fairly standard plot and characters of the story. There's the Chosen One who is unaware of her powers, the strange, but interesting, mentor, the long lost sibling, the mentor's mentor. I mean, really - could we get more cliche?

And there's a lot of tell in this book. We're told that Maerad feels a certain way, but we never really empathize with her. We're always kept at a distance from what's going on. As I read in a different book recently. "No, you're telling me about Paris. I don't want to hear about Paris, I want to experience Paris." I didn't experience this story - I was told this story...

As I said, it really deserves 2 stars, maybe 2 1/2 - but it did pick up pace at the ending, and I'm feeling generous. That said, considering the next book is more questing/travelling, I fear coming across many more grocery lists before getting to the story.
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Reading Progress

06/08/2009 page 185
37.6% "Standard quest story - bit cliche. Characters are interesting, but inconsistent. Bordering on well-written and over-witten..."
06/09/2009 page 227
46.14% "The pacing is slow. I don't mind when nothing much happens if we see a lot of character stuff - but mostly we're just seeing landscape..."
06/12/2009 page 416
84.55% "It's picked up a bit towards the end... but the "big drama" they're building up to seems horribly predictable..."

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