Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Orcs / Stan Nicholls...



This trilogy had a lot of potential – a fantasy epic told from the perspective of a race of creatures often maligned in the literature. I usually love this twist on the standard canon (my favorite is probably Wicked by Gregory Maguire), but this one left my very disappointed. It started strong enough, but over about 800 pages, every cliché, every derivative plot element, every undeveloped character started grating on my already impatient nerves.

I’m not saying I could write a better novel, but everything about this book seemed half-assed. By the end, I wanted to forget I had even read it. I don’t spoil endings, but the final 20 pages of this book turned this series from a half-way satisfactory read into a complete waste of time.

The first book is actually quite good. The characters are adequately motivated and the tension is well-paced. I wish I’d stopped there. By the middle of the third novel, I felt like I was reading the narrative attached to a bad platform video game. The action was transparent, predictable, and thus… boring. And seriously, how many times can one read the exact same fight scene?

I don’t make a habit of writing bad reviews, but I was so disappointed in this one that I felt the need to purge the bad energy. I feel better now.

5 comments:

Erin G said...

I canNOT get through Wicked, and I have tried... several times. Betty and Henry like it, so I feel like I should enjoy it too. Any tips?

Reeva*Dubois said...

I think if you've tried several times then it's probably not going to happen. Maybe it's just not your thing.

Do you like the original Wizard of Oz story - I don't mean appreciate for its literary significance - but actually LIKE? I think that's a pre-req.

You're not the first person I've known that couldn't get through it. And to be honest - I like the musical better.

Erin G said...

actually, no, I don't love the wizard of oz story. I mean, I like the movie and the characters and the songs, and I can appreciate the significance, but I don't tend to love ANY story that's about people on a long journey trying to get somewhere. Like the Odyssey, Homewward Bound (Incredible Journey), Toy Story.

These are all exhausting for me.

Maybe I should see the play. The score is excellent.

Mary said...

Sometimes books are not meant to be trilogies. I wonder if the author started getting bored by book three.

Reeva*Dubois said...

@ Mary - "bored" would be a nice way of putting it. I bet it was more like "under deadline" or "didn't give a crap anymore."

hehe...

@ Erin - hmm... I'm not sure I'd classify Wicked as one of those 'journey' books, so it has that going for it. Anyway - yes! the Wicked score is excellent and one of my all time favs. Next time we're together I'll do one of my epic a capella recitations of Popular. I swear, it's even better than my opening cheers.