Monday, December 27, 2010

Book Review - Bright of the Sky

I know, I know, this was on my list for the 2011 E-Reader Challenge, but it's close enough to 2011 for it to count, right?

Now, as a disclaimer, I do not like to dog people's work because at least they wrote a book and got it published, which is more than I've done. Marveling at the brilliance that is Kurt Vonnegut, I shall quote him here, "Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae."

However, I don't think it's fair if I only post reviews of books that are, in my opinion, spectacular. With that said, I didn't like Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon. By the last few chapters, it was a monumental struggle to get it finished, which is probably not a good sign.

It had an interesting premise, the plot was decent, there was some very good alien creature and world building going on, but I simply could not relate to the characters. I realize there will be many who counter that statement with, "It's SCI-FI, for pete's sake. In SCI-FI, characterization is secondary (or tertiary, or even further down the list of priorities) to the SCIENCE portion of the story."

Yeah, well, I think you can have both. And I want my sci-fi world to have both, because you invited me to visit this planet with your intriguing back cover or inside flap teaser, damn you, and now that I'm here I want... no, I DEMAND, both.

Bright of the Sky didn't have both. There was a lot of telling the reader how the characters felt (particularly toward each other), but not a lot of showing. In life and in literature, actions speak louder than words. As I was reading, I often found myself wondering, "What?? Where did that come from?" Having not seen the emotion between characters develop over time it would come as a suprise when BOOM!, all of a sudden we have significant feeling between them. The characters seemed not just reserved, but robotic.

Frankly, I started out liking the main character, but by the end I thought he was an asshat. Maybe he redeems himself in later books, but I don't know that I want to spend the time finding out.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you Holly, no matter what genre I'm reading I demand both, developed characters and a developed plot/world.

    Funnily enough I've never had any trouble bashing a book or an author if I have really hated it. Usually I can always find something in a book that I like and so I will always try to mention it. But if the book sucks then it sucks and I'm not one to sugarcoat my opinions. But that is probably just yet another example in how you are a much better person than I am :)