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High Expectations Not Quite Met
on 26 June 2007
Having read and reviewed the previous two books in the inevitable trilogy, I was looking forward to this final volume. I see it has mixed reviews and I now see why this should be so. There is at least one in-depth analysis posted prior to this review, which covers in a detailed fashion why this book is a disappointment. If you have yet to read this book, avoid tybalt-quin's critique as it gives away very significant details of the story. However, I can see why the reviewer has taken the time to be so thorough, and do agree to some extent that the trilogy ultimately disappoints, though I find it difficult to be quite so harsh. Again, as I mentioned in previous reviews, this trilogy is not aimed principally at an adult audience, so certain levels of sophistication have to be sacrificed.
On the positive side, I did enjoy the story, and even applaud the author's decision not to be too sentimental over the fate of key protagonists. Many questions were answered (if not already guessed at) and pieces fell into place as the story unfolded. However, there was a curious sense of disappointment overall. The ending was almost too neat. In some ways it was akin to eating a well-cooked and presented meal that is not quite enough to satisfy the appetite.
I would theorise that, since the author is compelled to write such that the material fits nicely into three volumes, suddenly the end of the allotted pages loomed and the story had to draw to a close. Everything came to a close rather quickly and superficially for my liking.
However, overall it is still a good yarn; entertaining, enjoyable and containing characters with whom you can feel sympathy or disgust, compassion or loathing. I certainly didn't sit there with a feeling of "I don't care about these people", and I wanted to find out how everything panned out. Which is probably why I felt the sense of disappointment - it didn't quite live up to my expectations in the final analysis.
Whether I will bother with subsequent Canavan novels remains to be seen, but I am glad I read this trilogy.