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Friday, May 29, 2009

Three Un-reviews - "The Ingenious Edgar Jones, Honor of the Clan and The Third Sign" (by Liviu Suciu)

Following Rob, moderator and reviewer extraordinaire for my favorite forum sffworld, I decided to do three quick "un-reviews" of three novels I expected to like and did not, explaining why and hoping they find their intended audience of which sadly I am not a part.

The Ingenious Edgar Jones by Elizabeth Garner - Victoriana, unusual boy growing up

Very disappointing book; neither the style nor the subject worked for me; I expected a book on par with Hannah Tinti's superb debut novel The Good Thief or with Tom Pollard excellent The Minutes of the Lazarus Club and this one is far, far away. The prose was ok enough to rate two stars, rather than a one star but a huge disappointment nonetheless. I think it would appeal more to a YA audience or to a Dickens-style loving one.

The Honor of the Clan by Julie Cochrane and John Ringo - hardcore mil-sf, space opera

Just could not find more than cursory interest to read the never-ending Posleen/O'Neal saga latest installment; John Ringo has great talent but outsourcing books and churning them in a saga that needs more and more complications to hide its essential preposterous setting is losing me as a reader.

The only books I have recently enjoyed from the series are the Kratman ones (Yellow Eyes and The Tuloriad) and I wish both authors will start writing more original stuff soon.

This one should appeal to people finding the O'Neill clan of interest; for me all its members became very uninteresting and I am out of this series as long as it features them.

The Third Sign by Gregory Wilson - true and tried traditional epic fantasy

I had high hopes for this book based on the excerpt, but sadly it was quite disappointing; the only positive thing I can say is that it has narrative pull, energy if you want, so it was a tolerable fast browse after it was clear to me it is far away from my tastes.

It is basically a by the numbers fantasy with very annoying names both for some characters and for the world stuff and there is nothing particular to distinguish it from the tons of similar stuff out there.

Since I had the pleasure to exchange emails with the author, I truly hope the book will find its intended audience and I regret profoundly that I am not part of it, which I thought I would be based on the excerpt I originally read

Should appeal to lovers of Robert Jordan's books and similar traditional epics.


Fabio Fernandes said...

excellent idea, Liviu! We should do this more - on the other hand, we shouldn´t, since we all hope we find more books we like than the opposite, of course. ;-)

Liviu said...

There are several issues here and it's hard to strike a balance. I really do not want to spend time/energy for a full review of a meh book or one I disliked (with some notable exceptions), but I want people to have a rounded impressions of what I like/dislike and definitely we do not want an HK label.

I try and point to my Goodreads account which I keep updated (not only read, but tried and not for me, started to read later bookshelves that are mutually exclusive - give a reasonable accurate picture of what I like and not) but when I saw Rob doing this "un-review" thingy recently, it struck me as a good way to balance, so I think it's a good idea once in a while

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