Tuesday, November 07, 2006

what I have been doing

I think I have 4 layouts in the past month. and 2 of those were actually ATCs. I've hardly posted on DSP or here. So what have I been doing? I've been reading. I bought David Eddings latest book "The Younger Gods" about a month ago. It's the last in his latest series & the previous one had been published 2 years ago. I love David Eddings. He is my favorite fantasy writer. His stories are the basic "young hero on a quest" but so much more. His Belgariad series is incredible. A great story, well written, strong plot, great characters. I cannot wait until the boys are old enough to have it read to them. It's follow up series - the Mallorean - is also really well done, same characters mostly, but the new ones are also well drawn. The plot is strong with good dialog. Both are 5 books long. He also has 3 stand alone books associated with these series that focus on 2 of the characters and the writing of it all. His next series was the Elenium. I really enjoyed it, good plot, interesting people, witty dialog. The main criticism that I've heard about it is the strong similarity in characters between it & the Belgariad/Mallorean. I don't mind that. Almost all authors are dealing with certain archetypes in fantasy stories and for the most part drawing from basic ancient to early medieval world cultures. So you are going to have the thief, the warrior, the teacher, the Vikings, the Romans, etc. You try and write 3 different stories stretching over 13 books and not have some repetition. It happens. The 4th series is the Tamuli and it is a continuation of the Elenium but, as with the Mallorean, is in another part of the world, with some new characters. Also, a really good series but...it is also the start of a dependence on certain writing styles and characters that really irritate me. He is great with witty dialog, it is one of the things I love about his writing. But as the Tamuli progressed it started seeming a bit forced. And there is this character Flute, who is a "just-too-cute-for-words-everyone-loves-me-kissy-kissy" little girl that by the end of the series I just wanted to grab with both hand and give a good hard shake. God she is irritating once she starts talking. Well, both her type of charater and the forced witty dialog were carried over into his most recent series the Dreamers. Book one started out with promise, though its copying of old characters was a bit much even for me - the 'sailor' had a ship that was an exact duplicate of the one the 'sailor' in the Belgariad had, right down to the name. And the new Flute character was even more annoying, which must have taken special effort. But it had a strong plot, interesting setting and some new character types. It had some real promise, but the ending was let down. The second book had the same problem, started strong, ended badly. By the time the third book ended you were left wondering what the point of the whole story was if all it really took to win the 'big battle' (every time) was for the same person to twitch her nose. Why bother to drag all these people into it? Why bother to tell the story at all? And he seemed to start several promising plot lines only to drop them abruptly for no apparent reason. He could have done alot with the Amazons but after building up the idea he just cuts it out. The fourth book sucked. And I don't say that lightly, especially about an author I love. but the book sucked. The plot was a tedious repetition of the one that happened in each of the first 3 books. The dialog was pathetic. "I thought you might have noticed that." "I thought I noticed you noticing me noticing that." Pathetic really. And the ending! OMG! Don't get me started on it! It was all basically a dream! It never really happened! OMFG! Are you freaking kidding me with that ending? All I can figure is his publish was getting on his case "David it's been 2 years, finish the damn thing already."

So the point of all this reviewing is what I have been doing. I read the 4th book. It has so many characters in it and had been so long since I had read the 3rd that I was confused until about a quarter of the way into it, trying to remember just who was who. I finished the book & was very disappointed. So I decided to reread the whole series, thinking my initial confusion might have caused some of the disappointment. Read all 4 books and was seriously disappointed. Seriously. I decided to reread all his books to remind myself why I loved his books. So in the past month I have read 15 thick hardback books, am current reading number 16, with 7 more to go.

I haven't read much in the past few months, been too busy scrapping, so I am probably due for this extended reading time.

1 comment:

Glynis said...

I'm a huge Eddings fan too, but I have to say that I haven't read one in years, because they just didn't interest me anymore. I wasn't able to quantify what I didn't like, but you've said it perfectly. It's too bad. His early books were AMAZING!