Hybrazil's Reviews > A Shadow on the Glass

A Shadow on the Glass by Ian Irvine
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U 50x66
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it was ok

Very hard to get excited about. The author has obviously developed a formula for structuring sentences. Everything he says is structured in terms of this formula. It reminds me of the sort of advice my year 6 school teacher gave me in Creative Writing class. For example, he seems to take every opportunity to insert an adjective, a la: The tall man carefully handed the old paper to the suspicious woman. Okay, it's not that bad, but it's on the way there...

The themes are also cliched and boring. There is a big emphasis on a college of historians, so he has an academic theme going, then there's the theme where the scholar is cast into the wilderness. There are several strong female characters who seem to have no other purpose than to be strong female characters, and whose depth seems to serve that purposes (and not much more). The male characters are somewhat more carefully woven, which seems to undermine the point of making a point of having prominent female characters. The villains tend to be stereotypes even to the point of wicked laughter (literally), and the cast of lower-class characters are all Oliver Twists, Fagans, and monsters from Grimms. The plot seems to have been badly borrowed from The Hobbit (which was never itself all that original) and the twists and turns are boringly predictable.

Did I mention the writing style? He writes in a way that is half-poetry, half-vulgarity. You're never quite sure if he's trying to sound like a King James or a monster truck blog. It's as if he couldn't decide if it should be high prose for the ages, or if it should "tap into" gritty street realism (which in a fantasy world, comes off very oddly).

The world reminds me of Myst, which is nice, but he doesn't pay a lot of attention to describing it, so it kind of feels like travelling on a bus at night - can't see anything, but you're sure the scenery is lovely.

Wake me up when we arrive...
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 13, 2016 – Shelved

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