A long time ago, I ranted about the sheer unmitigated blech that was Dean Koontz. In the comments, Thordora said I should read anything by Raymond Feist or S.m Stirling. Anything? Alright, I’m off on a mission.
First of all, it’s hard as hell to get anything by these two in audio form, either from CNIB’s library, or the public library, or from places that sell audiobooks. These fellas aren’t audiobooks fans. Since I don’t really feel like sitting there scanning in a book, a process that can sometimes produce a lot of errors depending on the quality of the print, it’s taken me forever to track down stuf. I still haven’t succeeded to find anything by S.M Stirling. I finally found a book by Raymond Feist. It was called “Flight of the Nighthawks.” Ug! What a letdown.
I must have gotten the shittiest of shitty books that this guy made. I mean, I know Thordora likes some cool books, so it’s not that our ideas of good writing aren’t the same. this was, ug, just bad. Your imagination is supposed to have some room to move. that wasn’t allowed in this book, not in the least. I think this should be used in kids’ writing classes as an example of how not to write a story.
My biggest problem with this book was his need to tell instead of show. He would tell us that the main character loved his wife, even though sometimes he wanted to strangle her. Why not bring us to that conclusion by showing us why he wanted to strangle her. I never learned why he was so frustrated with her. She always seemed pretty nice from what I could tell. The same went for the bad guys and the other characters. We were told that Nakor was a “confidence trickster”. We never saw him con anyone. We were told that Tad and Zane loved each other like brothers. We saw that somewhat, but they told us that long before we could see any of it. We were told that Marie kept a nice house. We were shown this to some extent, but there was more telling than showing. We were told that the main bad guy, Leso Varen, was bad, bad bad bad, but we never saw him do anything downright nasty until the end.
And who in christ names a character Pug? Whenever he spoke, all I kept picturing was a snorting little yappy dog. Maybe there was an extra g or something, but keep in mind this was a book that was read to me, and the narrator spoke his name as “Pug”. Pug? No, just no. And what kind of a name for a place is Midkemia? It sounds like a disease.
When there were times when he could conjure up awesome images for me, he failed. “The room was lit by magical devices…” magical devices? Describe these magical devices. I need more input! I cannot settle for “magical devices.” Our modern-day lightbulbs could be considered by someone who had never seen them to be “magical devices.”
And when I needed information that would actually be useful to the story, it never materialized. I still don’t know why one of the magicians took a crystal ball out of his pocket and said “noon tomorrow” and then it vibrated and disappeared. We never figured out why that happened. It never returned in the story, nothing happened with it. Or what about these infamous evil Desati things? They keep talking about this threat, but nothing happens. Just random happenings occurred and they were never wrapped up. Maybe they were designed for later books in the series, but if you hate book 1, what’s going to make you go find out what happens with those random bits of magic in later books?
Even the ending was just sort of there. As the climax drew to a close, I found myself checking how much time was left. Now, that shouldn’t be how you spend the climax of a book.
I’m hoping this was just a bad choice of first reads by this guy. No matter what it was, it didn’t impress me.