St-Michel's Reviews > The Darkness That Comes Before

The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
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's review
Jan 13, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: 2008, own

After reading up on this series, I had really high hopes going into it - looking for something that would really revolutionize the fantasy genre. Boy, was I ever disappointed...and I mean really disappointed.

The book started off great, which lead me to believe that it was truly going to live up to the reviews I've read. Well, as soon as the introduction came to a close, this thing just began to droll on and on at such a tediously slow pace. This book just bored the hell out of me. It seemed to fall into a predictable pattern of long, drawn out conversations which inevitably would lead to a pivotal climax, only to break right before said climax; suddenly jumping to other matters which would only restart the cyclic dribble.

Now, it wasn't all boring, it did have its scenes that drove me to exclaim "Finally!" thinking that I just needed to get through the languid marsh that was first presented before I actually got to the "real deal" that seems to be an unfortunate device used in so many other books (though not on purpose of course, or so I hope). Nope, as soon as it got good, it would quickly flip back into its usual slow-paced boredom.

About halfway through, I almost didn't even bother with finishing and let it sit for two or three weeks before I finally came back to it. I kept saying to myself, "It's gonna get better." Oh, if only it did. I really don't know if I'm going to bother with the rest of the series. I mean, I really wanted to like this book - I had read so many good things about it. I wish I could have liked this book, but in the end, I really didn't care for it.

Despite it all, the scenes that perked my interest perked it enough that this book could have squeaked by with a 3 star rating, but...then we come to my biggest issue that I have with Bakker: his writing style. Good God!! Now I'm all for against-the-grain writing styles but with what appears to be a 10 to 1 ratio of fragments to sentences, this book was driving me nuts. If he could have just turned half of those periods into commas or semi-colons, maybe I could have given this book 3 stars.

In the end: I deem it yet another fantasy book to steer clear of. But then, perhaps the other two books in the series are better and pick up the pace - at least, that's what I've read to be the case. But I don't know, the way this book was, if I do choose to continue this series, it's going to be a long long time before I ever bother picking up anything by this author again.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Stuart You used "I" at least 19 times in this review. Is this a book review or are you whining just so you can say a book that was very well received is "crap" and be edgy?

message 2: by Kogiopsis (new)

Kogiopsis Stuart wrote: "You used "I" at least 19 times in this review. Is this a book review or are you whining just so you can say a book that was very well received is "crap" and be edgy?"

Book review =/= critical analysis essay. First person is not only allowed but encouraged in this format - in large part to keep fans of the book to jump on the reviewer for making opinion statements as if they were fact.

And speaking of, thanks for the review St-Michel. This doesn't sound like a good use of my time or money.

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