Archive | July 2012

Reviews

I’ve officially given up attempting to read 50 Shades of Grey and its sequels. Sorry if you wanted a review, all can say is I got so bored of the bad writing and repetition I gave up. I’m glad I didn’t buy them, only borrowed them, because they really aren’t worth the money. You can get better smut free on the internet – go have a look around Live Journal or http://www.archiveofourown.org for instance.

However, I will be reviewing ‘The Long Earth’ by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I had to wait a month to get it because out library got flooded in June (we had flash floods) and has only just re-opened. I started reading it this morning, If I hadn’t had other things to do I’d have finished it this evening. Safe to say so far i like it. So, review sometime in the next few days, dodgy internet connection and other commitments (a.k.a. work, why do I have to work? I’d much rather spend my time reading and writing than go to work) permitting.

Bye for now,

Rose

50 Shades of Gray: The review might not happen

I know I said I’d read and review EL James’s 50 Shades trilogy but I got 150 pages in to the first one and got sick of it. I am going to finish reading them, eventually. So far the writing is poor. It’s really not that shocking in its contents, so I really don’t know what the fuss is about. I’m more irritated by the poor writing than anything else.

Give me a few weeks and I might actually post a review.

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The Short Story that turned in to a Monster

A while back I wrote a short story called ‘Summer Wine’ and then it just sat in my notebook/laptop/brain for a few months. And now it has mutated in to a creature that could very well become a novella, or even a novel.

Now the only problem is, can I get my act together and actually work on it. I might even finish it.

Since that’s the case, I’d best be off and do some writing hadn’t I?

Review: The Wolf Gift, A Novel, by Anne Rice

After years of writing about vampires, witches and demons Anne Rice has turned her authorial eye on the werewolf myth. Set in the damp northern Californian city of San Francisco and its environs, over a period of a few months this 404 page novel attempts to explore the nature of good and evil, as the author does in ‘Interview with the Vampire’ and its subsequent series. As with the Vampire Chronicles Ms. Rice has built a world and history of a species that has its origins deep in human prehistory, in this case before the early cities of the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia.

It starts with a young ‘gentleman journalist’ falling in love with a house and its owner. Inheriting the house after a vicious attack that leaves him changed the journalist struggles to find his way. Luckily he meets a beautiful woman, falls in love, and finally finds guidance in the form of much older werewolves. It’s a coming of age novel with werewolves.

Okay, I’m really being succinct and I’ve missed out the big ‘adventure’ that provides all the action, but that’s because I found it a bit predictable. It was a fun read once I got into it. Unfortunately that’s the best I can say about it.

The characters are such stock archetypes I couldn’t really feel any sympathy for them. The hero is too good, always questioning himself, poetic, handsome, and wealthy; his mother is too much the protective superwoman with a brilliant career, his father the retired and retiring academic. His true love is so patient and perfect, his mentor so wise and good, the ‘bad guys’ are truly evil. In short, none of them felt real.

While the plot is good, it lacks any true excitement, one never feels the imperative to continue reading because one absolutely must, there is no feeling of doubt that the hero will overcome  and there will be a ‘happily ever after’. Basically it doesn’t go for the throat. It took me almost two weeks to read, and for a book of just over 400 words that’s a long time by my standards.

The prose is at times poetic, especially when describing the freedom the werewolf feels running through the forests and hunting, but at other times it is heavy, clumsy almost. And she should never, ever again attempt to write ‘intimate’ scenes, they sound awful.

It feels like Ms. Rice is re-writing her old books with a different species, and more Catholicism. Theological and philosophical questions of good and evil enter the narrative right from the first chapter. I don’t have a problem with people allowing their religious feeling to influence their writing; I just don’t like it shoved down my throat in fiction. The theology and philosophy is too heavily laid on; instead of being a subtle background melody informing the narrative, it is more like someone wanders in every few pages to beat you about the head with some religious tract.

I liked it by and large, but it never reaches the eloquence or genius of ‘The Vampire Lestat’ or ‘Queen of the Damned’.  There’s nothing original about the story but it was still a decent read, if nothing else is available. It’s a fairly good werewolf story, but Reuben Golding is forgettable where Lestat de Lioncourt is a genre-defining legend.

That’s all for now,

Rose

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