Crys Harris's Reviews > The Black Prism

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
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's review
Dec 13, 2010

liked it

I am just less than half way through this book and I am not enjoying it. The writing is fine. In fact, Brent Weeks may have developed a bit more dexterity with his prose since the Night Angel trilogy. The problem, so far, is two-fold.

1) Nothing much is happening. I'm not intrigued, drawn in, excited, or even really interested. There is political intrigue at work, but it isn't compelling. There is magic afoot, but it is hard to be in awe of it. I don't even care where this is headed.

2) I don't care for the characters. Gavin Guile is the most interesting, but not enough to really carry the story. Kip is alternately boring and pitiful. His dual personality makes absolutely no sense. He is either mouthing off or quivering with fear. You can reconcile either quality with his awful upbringing, but both living in the same body is crazy. Abused kids either have a huge chip on their shoulder or they are quiet and self-effacing, even shy. Not both. Karris? Who cares? She inspires no sympathy at all. Carrying a torch for a powerful man for 15 years and still being so angry about it is ridiculous, childish, and irritating.

Lots of people have talked about the book's magic system. I can almost get it, especially as Weeks spends a lot of time trying to explain it. But manipulating light with will in order to manifest it in the physical word is a huge stretch. Light + plastic != bridge building

I continue to press-on, skimming when I get too annoyed.

I finished it. Eh. Not impressed.
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Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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Pesto You got it right Crys... I wanted to like the book and each time I would get to a new section I was excited.. only to be let down by stupid Kip... what a loser. The magic system is both exciting.. and well... dumb. Too much time needed to explain the stupid thing - if you have to spend so much time teaching me about it - you made it too damn hard!

All in all.. an average read that could be much better in the hands of a better author. I said the same about the Night trilogy... so close.. yet so far. Oh well....

Donni Hakanson It took me eactly 303 pages to realise I was actually liking this book, and yes, it was worth perservering!

message 3: by Liz (new) - rated it 3 stars

Liz Crys, my thoughts exactly - you hit the nail on the head. I gobbled up the Night Angel Trilogy, so I had high expectations for Lightbringer, but it just wasn't there.

message 4: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Littrell You are Better than me. I just finally put it down and said, not going to finish it. :(

Crys Harris @Joshua, I have a terrible struggle to not finish a book. It's like leaving home with the stove on or the iron or something. My brain itches in the background until I finish it.

Robert jones I normally hate the old "stick with it, it gets better" but with this series it's very true. book two improves everything that's wrong with this one and tells an interesting story.

K.C. May I completely understand your gripes with the book. They didn't bother me as much as they did you, but I can certainly see everything you pointed out. I agree 100% on your issues with Karris.

Molly I agree. I rarely leave a book unfinished and I LOVED the Night Angel books! Just didn't care about the characters or the world or the story or the magic system.

message 9: by Karl (new) - rated it 1 star

Karl I'm 50% through the book and I'm really struggling. I'm almost at the point of abandoning it, but like you I have this issue about not finishing books. I cannot buy into the characters at all.

message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Offutt I'm reading the Night Angel trilogy and your review caught my eye. The Night Angel books are really slow. I'm almost done with the third book and nothing has happened other than Kylar throwing a sword into the wood and some guy whining about it incessantly. In the second book, only the last 10% were interesting. Kylar just spent tons of time trying to be married and Logan was in a pit doing nothing. Ugh. Sometimes fantasy just drags so much.

Curtis Shephard I agree with you. I am frankly surprised at the high rating this book has. I finished, and didn't care enough to go on in the trilogy.

Andrew Obrigewitsch It should be 2 stars or 1. 2 means its was OK and 3 means you liked it, from the review I don't think you liked this book.

message 13: by Crys (new) - rated it 3 stars

Crys Harris I suppose you're correct, Andrew. However, even though I didn't really care for the book, the writing deserves more than 2 stars.

message 14: by Andrew (last edited Jan 19, 2014 11:08PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Obrigewitsch Well I see, however goodreads should reflect how you felt about the book, there are plenty of people on here giving the book 5 stars, so people leaving their honest rating of it will even it out more to where it should be, which may be 3 stars, or 2 stars if it's just an OK book.

Jacque i had the same problem but i kept going with the series and im glad i did! the whole first book is more like an intro to the overall crazy and complex story. kip is a pansy so he has a ton of room to grow into a badass. youc're not expected to fully understand the way the magic works right off. you're supposed to piece it all together yourself. the characters and their growth are fantastic. just read the second book. you wont be disappointed.

message 16: by Crys (new) - rated it 3 stars

Crys Harris Hmmm.... Jacque, you intrigue me, mostly because I need a new book to read. I'm so surprised that this review has garnered such a response. Clearly it resonates with other readers. Perhaps I'll get the second book since I've still got birthday book money. Thanks.

Russell I agree with evrything Crys said. I also didnt like addition of guns to magic world. And i tried and tried to understand the boat-plane thing but just cant. It just doesnt make sense.

Guillermo i am in the page 200 and still dont understand why I am reading this.

Haïfa I am having the same feeling so far! I really don't care about the characters or the story although I've reached 65% of the book... And the dialogues (when I get to understand them) don't bring anything to the story... But I will push until book 2 (which is better rated... I still have hope).

Rafael Crys,

I thought your review was interesting but I had an issue with your perception of Kip's character. It's true that he seems both a wimp and likes to mouth off. I would maybe point out that because of the writing style you do get to see both his inner dialogue and his outward impulses. It seems to me that on the outside he has developed a smart mouth to compensate for his low self esteem. He feels very inadequate but he also has a temper and when pushed or acts impulsively he lashes out verbally and later in the books he becomes more confident and you see him take ownership of his flaws and his dueling personality. Don't forget his is really only 16. I know this review is old so I'm hopping you prodded through and read the other two books as well because this is definitely a good series and I think the character development though slow at times is actually pretty well thought out.

message 21: by Crys (new) - rated it 3 stars

Crys Harris Rafael wrote: "Crys,

I thought your review was interesting but I had an issue with your perception of Kip's character. It's true that he seems both a wimp and likes to mouth off. I would maybe point out that bec..."

A few people have suggested I push on through the series, but I'll admit I never did. I'm a bit at loose ends for reading suggestions right now, so perhaps I'll re-visit this series with fresh eyes.

MichelleRae I agree 100% with this review

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