Aaron Bunce's Reviews > Dragonvein

Dragonvein by Brian D. Anderson
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The Dragonvein series has been a love-hate relationship so far. It is mired by flawed, passive-rich writing, and is awash in cliche and overused tropes, and yet, Anderson has managed just enough new elements that it keeps me going - more out of curiosity to Shinzan's ultimate secret than anything else at this point (unfortunately). I found book four to be the weakest of the entries so far, and for a number of reasons.
1 - irregular story structure. Book 4 takes the term deviation to an entirely new level. Although the books begins with our cast of motley characters, the story quickly jumps back for an excessively long, and in my opinion necessary, time leap - simply to tell's Martok's story. By the time you jump back into the present to continue the story, most people will have forgotten what was happening before this jarring leap. Caution, whiplash warning.
2 - the writing. I can excuse book 1 for its obvious flaws, just as I can excuse any author a lot of things in the first book of a series. (side note, I do not believe this is Anderson's first book) But seriously, there is enough passive voice and indirect mechanisms at work in this writing to float the Titanic off the ocean floor. As a writer, editor, and English major, I find this sloppy and sometimes lazy writing style extremely distracting. It's considered bad form, as passive voice removes the connection between subject and object, and more than not, disconnects the reader to all intended action. Active writing engages the reader, while passive writing disengages and distances us. Either Anderson doesn't want to improve his writing, or his editor doesn't know any better. But for me, it is a sliver in my paw, so to speak.
3 - Convenience. There have been many moments in this book series driven by deus ex machina - but let's be fair, Fantasy does offer the freedom of (need-it, create-it) that no other genre, save for Science Fiction, has. So many conflicts in this story are resolved by convenience. A love interest separated by age? No worries, pull them through a portal and have them come back five years older. Have an antagonist too powerful for your protagonist? No worries, just pull an ancestor out of the hat and have him do all the fighting. I could go on, but I don't want to beat a dead horse, and in reality I have enjoyed these books - if not for their skin blemishes.

I would recommend these books, not not wholeheartedly, especially considering there is considerably fresher and better written fantasy out there.
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Reading Progress

July 19, 2017 – Started Reading
July 19, 2017 – Shelved
July 30, 2017 –
64.0%
August 12, 2017 – Finished Reading

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