Sunday, June 24th, 2012
Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I heard so many great things about the novel, but, honestly, I didn’t really enjoy it. It got off to a pretty good start, but then the middle was just so mundane. And the conclusion…
I found it extremely convenient that everyone converged on the throne at the same time. There wasn’t any particular reason for the enemy to wait that I could see. It just felt too easy, just a way to bring the story together. That’s kind of how I felt about the entire book. Everything just fell into place with no justification.
In addition, I felt that the motivations of the enemy were woefully under explained. Why was there an attack at Adoulla’s house? Was it just revenge? There didn’t seem to be a point to it. I guess I like a more complex villain than those that are simply inherently evil.
On top of all that, I listened to the audio and I didn’t care for the narrator. His portrayal of the characters was so over-the-top and bombastic. I definitely think I had a hard time connecting with the characters because of it–they all just came across as annoying.
I can see why others liked it and I really expected to myself, but it didn’t work for me. I wanted to like it and I did enjoy it for awhile, but then I started getting bored. Eventually, it got so that I really didn’t even want to finish it, but I did and I’m glad. I just wish I enjoyed it more.
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Monday, June 4th, 2012
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The novel follows seven strangers as they debark on a pilgrimage to the Time Tombs and the dreaded Shrike on the world of Hyperion. Hyperion is a fringe planet in post-Earth universe, which is divided into three factions: the ruling Hegemony (humans), the Ousters (humans) the TechnoCore (AI).
Simmons’ universe is very believable, more or less an extension of Earth society combined with modest technological advancements. But it’s Hyperion that is truly defines the setting. Hyperion is a world of mystery and drama. It takes on its own persona, much like the “island” in Lost. Exploring those mysteries was among the best parts of the story.
The novel itself is modeled after Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and is broken up into the individual narratives of each character. I enjoyed seeing the story told from that perspective for the most part. The only caveat was that some characters had more interesting tales than others. I really enjoyed the tales of the priest, poet, and scholar, but I found that I made very slow progress through the detective’s tale.
Overall, I really enjoyed the novel, but it’s a bit difficult to rate at this point. It ended on a cliffhanger and I don’t think I can truly judge the merits of the novel without reading the sequel. I gave it four stars for now, but I may feel compelled to adjust that after reading the Fall of Hyperion.
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