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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Disappointing Books

Thanks to MTV's (who would've thought?) The Chronicles of Shannara, I'm rereading Terry Brooks' Sword of Shannara and Elfstones of Shannara. I first read both of these somewhere between 10 and 14 years old (I know I read Lord of the Rings in Hawaii when I was 12, but I can't remember if these came before or after that). Barely remembered Sword, so I'm thinking I read it once and Elfstones more than once.

Sword is... well, it reads like a first book. Lots of unnecessary words. A more than passing resemblance to Lord of the Rings (Elder Brother was less kind in his opinion on that). Omniscient POV that irks. In short, a good story made harder by less than stellar execution. If I can finish this second read, I won't pick it up again.

Elfstones was smoother, as happens when a writer continues to hone his skills. I hadn't realized how much Star of Justice pays homage to Amberle Elessedil, who was my favorite character.

I'm also rereading Mansfield Park by Jane Austin. I say "rereading" only because I find evidence in my copy that I read it in 2008. I have literally no memory of anything from the book. If it weren't my handwriting in the margins, I would swear I'd never even seen it before. Since I'm halfway through and unable to find a single character I like, I'm not sure I'll finish it, either.

I remember loving the Arrows of the Queen triology by Mercedes Lackey when I was young (although her Companions were a total rip-off of Anne McCaffrey's dragons). I reread it as an adult and threw the books away because the writing was so poor. I'll never read anything of hers again.

I wish I was able to pick up a book and just read it. The books I finish anymore are rare. Too much effort for too little reward. I find myself wishing the author would just leave these people alone and let them live out their little lives in peace and quiet. Hardly the stuff of legends.

Push button. Receive bacon.

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