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Novel Tease

Random meanderings about the books I love—or don't. 

Interspersed with observations about my hobbies: Beer & Wine, Bridge, Bikes and Bow-wows.

Currently reading

The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Pontypool Changes Everything
Tony Burgess
Primae Noctis - Aimery Thomas

A pretty good story, with a couple of glaring holes. The holes may be purely due to its biggest drawback — which is that it is not book one of a trilogy. It's the first third of a thousand page tome. I really hate that. In a series, every book needs to have some conclusion. In this case, I received this volume free, so it's more like a teaser for the rest, but if I'd paid for it, I'd be more than a little miffed finding it end in a cliff-hanger, without even really much of a clue what the apparent conspiracy is about.

The major plot hole is the rebuilding of an incredibly advanced civilization just 59 years after an apocalyptic event. Sure, it looks as if the collapse of civilization may have come 800 years or so from now (some diary entries dated 2814.1 and 2814.2)  and so the technology demonstrated is probably less advanced than the tech before the collapse, but you couldn't possibly rebuild our current technology from nothing in 59 years. You need working machinery to build the machinery. It took 300 years to get where we are from the beginning of the steam age. We can be sure that, if we managed to save the know-how, we could do it over in much less time, but you need to show me how that's going to work, instead of assuming it.

Sometimes it reads as if Thomas is trying out words just to demonstrate his vocabulary. Unfortunately, he needs to actually consult a dictionary. There's a difference between wrath and wroth, and between apropos and appropriate.

Edit: May 16

OK, this just took a nosedive from a 2-star review to a 1-star because I received a "thank-you for your review" message from the author, who proceeded to tell me I was wrong.

"There were a few errors in your review that pertain to the details contained within the story. Perhaps it is simply me who has failed as an author, but I would like to point them out to you. There are no spoilers, as you have already read the novel.

1) The events of the novel take place over a time span of 300+ years. This is covered in detail and exposition as the story progresses. The protagonists are simply led to believe that the story takes place over 59 years."

Yeah, except he forgot to tell us that... [oh, and the blurb says it's "Sixty years later..."!]

"2) Primae Noctis is a trilogy, as the books were planned concurrently in a story arc. Many authors choose to write one novel and see where the whim of story takes them, but The Once and Future Lords Trilogy has a story bible for all three books. I apologize if you felt that the end of the novel was a bit of a cliffhanger, but this was my deliberate intention to set the stage for Tempus Belli."

So what if it was your intention? I have a right to feel cheated. And to warn readers that they're likely to, as well.

"3) Wrath and wroth are different forms of the same root word. ... I choose my words quite deliberately and chose the language I use in the novel as a patois of older more formal English and the 'newspeak' of the world of the novel."

Except that you used the adjectival form where you wanted the noun. And that was only the example he actually thought he could defend...

Geez, authors. Take your lumps and be quiet - you can never win by arguing with your reviews.