Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book Review: Shaman's Crossing

Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb.

I tried to like it. Really I did. I wanted to enjoy it, immerse myself into the world.

Instead, every page felt like a chore, every paragraph took great effort to work through.

Robin Hobb captivated me with her Farseer Trilogy. Assassin’s Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin’s Quest--I loved them. I liked the characters, I felt as if I knew the world, had walked the streets, smelled the smells, heard the sounds.

The world of the Soldier Son Trilogy felt completely alien. It felt false to me.

It’s not that she cannot write; she can, and does it well. It was the alien nature of the world and the pacing. I could not see where she was going with the characters. I did not like the characters and I certainly was not vested in them.

I did not care about them one whit.


That’s the feeling for which I’ve been searching: jerky. It felt jerky. Not disjointed--well, maybe a bit--but just plain jerky. Like a 15-year-old boy trying to drive a car with a racing clutch. The story jerked and halted in fits and starts until I just could not take it any longer.

I finally rescued my bookmark from the middle of the book and the book went back on the “library book” shelves in the front room. If I run out of reading material before it is due back to the library, who knows? I may pick it up again and plow through to the end. I may even find something entirely surprising and enjoyable in the process.

But saying that I ran out of reading material? That’s like saying the Rocky Mountains ran out of rocks.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ll try Ms. Hobb again. I can’t wait to start the Tawny Man Trilogy. Plus, the Farseer Trilogy has made it onto the “I liked it when I read it from the public library so I’m willing to spend money on buying the book and adding it to my own shelves” list.

Maybe I'll try again in a year or so to pick up Shaman's Crossing again. Maybe I just read myself out of the mood.


But it'll be a while.

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