Friday, August 15, 2008

Maybe I Just Need to Grow Up

I tried. I really tried.

The writing is decent, and the world of the story is credible and well-presented, but I. Just. Can't. Go. On.

This morning, I pulled the bookmark out of Across the Face of the World by Russell Kirkpatrick. When that happens to a book I've not finished reading, the bookmark rarely goes back in.

I found the book at a bookstore in the mall where I was running an errand for work: picking up a ginormous cookie cake at the Chocolate Chip Cookie Company on behalf of a volunteer who worked his butt off for us all summer.

I went in to the store knowing what I was looking for--either The Born Queen by Greg Keyes or The High King's Tomb by Kristen Britain--but found neither. Instead, the cool cover art and the thickness of the paperback drew my attention to Across the Face of the World. After all, if I'm going to spend the money, I want a decent amount of story for the buck. And I was already in the mind for fantasy/adventure.


Just look at it. Who wouldn't want to read a story with a scene like that?

It had an interesting and Tolkienesque premise, there were maps (I like maps), and a cool glossary of ancient terms and names listed in the back of the book, so I lifted it from its place, sandwiched between blander--and smaller--volumes, and felt like I was rescuing a deserving story from its prison of a dark bottom shelf.

First problem? A head-hopping third-person omniscient POV: the so-called God's-eye point of view. Readers of this blog know my opinions on POV, so I shall not reiterate them here. Some writers can make me overlook the POV; some cannot.

Second problem? Much as I wanted to like this story--I gave it 200 pages--it bored me. And there are nearly 500 more pages still unread.

If someone else has read this book, or the others in the series, please let me know if I should suck it up and persevere, or just let it go. Kirkpatrick put his time, sweat, and inkpen into this project, not to mention his cartographic skills. I'd like to know they yielded something more interesting than a detailed description of a journey across a fictional landscape.

4 comments:

Phy said...

...and it's the first part of a TRILOGY! ;)

If you're in the mood for a sprawling fantasy, go, now, and pick up a copy of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. You can thank me later.

http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/content/books.asp

KEANAN BRAND said...

Thanks for the heads-up.

I have ventured over to Mr. Rothfuss's website and poked about from page to page, read a few reviews on Amazon, but haven't sauntered into a bookstore yet.

I do happen to have a $25 gift card from Books-A-Million. Hmm.

The Texican said...

Perhaps you could auction it on E-Bay and recover a portion of the sales price. Don't you have three days after a purchase to change your mind? Glad you told me about this. Someone might have tried to give it to me as a gift and I would probably have read maybe a chapter. Whew! Glad you spared me that grief. Pappy

KEANAN BRAND said...

Glad to be of service, Tex. Unfortunately, the day is long past for me to return the book. I have an account on the Amazon.com Marketplace, where I sell most of my used books and DVDs; there are more than 60 for sale, starting at only pennies. No chance to sell it there.