on 2 January 2007
Having never played any of the Myst video games, I was reading this book purely because of one of my friends' recommendations. Hopefully, therefore, my opinion is not biased in any way. The book is divided into seven sections plus an epilogue, the first of which deals with a sci-fi/fantasy subterranean world in which the civilisation of the D'ni is introduced. To be honest, this first section begins too Star Trek-esque for my liking, and it comes across as somewhat pretentious at times, as a previous reviewer pointed out. However, I'm glad I persevered reading this, as it greatly improves after a while. The second section onwards is absolutely classic, with a mixture of genuine emotion, intellectual depth, adventure, action, and drama. It takes a lot to impress me and I was certain that I would hate this book, but after finishing it I was left with a deep impression that has remained with me since. The author manages to evoke real emotion, mostly a happy one, in the reader. I actually felt so inspired by this book that I wrote five poems immediately afterwards, inspired by the emotion I experienced during reading. Very few books have thus far made me feel such a way!
Of course I'm sure some people will find some fault in this book to complain about, but I really cannot understand what it could be. To me, this book is far superior to the majority of so-called modern "classics," and is easily on par with the true literary geniuses I admire most. I thank the author for such a wondrous experience reading this book!
on 6 February 2006
Science fiction that isn't very scientific. This is not a total failure but it's damn close. It is supposed to flesh out the "Myst" computer game which is great but let down in the end by its annoying pretension, just like this book. The central characters, Aitrus and Anna, are 2 of the smuggest,most irritating characters in fiction and would make Ghandi reach for his baseball bat. If anything it makes you ashamed or liking the game.
If you are a Myst completist (guilty) it is worth owning only for that reason but as a work of literature it stands below "Noddy" or "Biggles"