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I have only to blame myself
am 8. April 2014
I am tempted to give this one star, especially when I think about the fact that I wasted over 14 Euro on an e-book. But that would be unfair.
I did not like the book. I am not going to read another book of this series. I'll have to think hard before I buy another book of Anne Bishop. All that said, there are worse books out there. Plus the problems I had with THIS book are problems I had before with books written by her. It's just that usually the story is so interesting and the good guys (or at least some of them) so charming that I am able to overlook them. But for reasons I can't really pinpoint this book was missing the magic that makes up for almost anything. So I am guessing, if someone completly enjoyed the books Anne Bishop has written so far without making allowances they'll enjoy this one too.
What has been bothering me?
1) The graphic violence - I am totally capteable of enjoying a book without anyone getting killed or maimed, never mind lots and lots of people and getting details on it is not helping me to sleep better either.
2) The overpowered 'heroes', in this series the terra indigene aka the Others - Yes, I admit it I read romantic fantasy because I want to read books that have a happy end and that's more likely there than anywhere else. That doesn't mean I enjoy it if the heroes totally outclass the baddies from the begin on. And here we have the were-whatevers who are already superior to the humans, then the 'vampires' who seem to outclass the weres and as if that wasn't enough the elementals and the harvesters who outclass all the others and all of them alligned against the bad guys, who are plain vanilla humans and not even fighters or particularily smart. It makes the story a lot more boring than it has to be. It turns the villain into total morons, which isn't helping in making them appear more dangerous and one wonders how incompetent the 'good' side is that things get that bad despite such sorry excuses for villains. Of course 'good' or 'hero' should be open to discussion given the violent, bloodthirsty behaviour of certain Others but isn't because the bad guys are just that evil. Which brings me to the thing that annoys me the most.
3) The motivation of the Controller and the people who serve him (aka the bad guys) - I can't go into the particulars without spoilering the book, but seriously would it have been so hard to put the least bit of thought into this? I can't say I expected much given her other series evil masterminds but even the 'I doing evil because I am evil' reasoning of the eater of the world in the Ephemera series makes more sense than this.
The whole setup of the series would have left a host of adequate motivations for the Controler. A few possible examples include
- Now that the Others have Meg, she'll turn them against me. I have to find a way to kill them all before they kill me
- We are just the slaves of the Others. We have to destroy them to be free. Better if we are all dead then servants of these vile beasts
- The Others killed my friend/love/family, now I'll take revenge no matter the cost.
Why were those possibilities ignored? The Controller commits the vilest crimes not just against the Cassandra Sangue, but against the Others AND the humans too. Even if he hasn't any conscience to speak of, one would think he needed a good reason to run such a high risk. But the reader gets the impression he's just so arrogant and stupid that he thinks he can get away with anything and does it because it makes him feel powerful. And thats still more than the answers we get when we start to wonder why anyone in his right mind should help such a (extremly dumb) monster.
Maybe because if he had any half or at least quater valid reason for what he does the, readers might not be so sympathetic to the poor, victimized (despite being overpowered) Others and their not-quite-that-charming stated willingness to eat any humans who irritate them, never mind all that collateratal damage when they are after punishing someone who actually had it coming?
To conclude the way I've begun - I haven't had a single problem with this book that I haven't had with Anne Bishops books before, I am just missing the good parts of the story that usually outbalances them.