8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
NO SWEARING IS BETTER THAN FAKE SWEARING,
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This review is from: Steelheart (Steelheart 1) (Kindle Edition)
I needed to put on my thinking slippers before I reviewed this book. My thinking slippers (fluffy, pink, with a dusky-rose bow and memory foam sole) allow me clearer reasoning of complex feelings and issues. I often don them when deciding pizza versus curry, long skirt versus short, and whether or not I like a book.
I read Steelheart because someone said it was great, another person did Puppy Eyes at me, and it's about superpowers. I'm a big comics person, so the superpower theme is right up my Crime Alley. So I think I came to Steelheart with a certain expectation. An expectation that was heightened by the most incredible prologue I have ever read. Writers, don't know how to write a prologue? Write it like that. Breathtaking. Faultless. Enviable. It got my heart pounding and made me want to run into the street to stop the rush hour traffic with a dramatic reading.
I wish the rest of the book had been so perfect. So here it is, my list of complaints, delivered quickly because I hate being mean. "Sparks, Calamity, Slontze" - the obsessive repeating of these words as slang swearing was irritating, confusing and tiresome. Stop it. PLEASE don't use this technique for swearing in a YA book. Even if the characters had used the actual F-word, it would have been annoying. People who swear that much just are. One big impact use of the actual F-word is better than twenty uses of a fake swear. Yes, Battlestar Gallactica did it, but they were the fracking exception.
Next, the Scottish jokes that appeared ALL THE WAY THROUGH. It really got up my bagpipe. Cody was not a funny character. The Scottish thing just made him weird - back-slowly-away-weird. And David's bad metaphors? Again, the repetition made it irritating and in the end I began to wonder if it was the author himself who couldn't muster up a decent metaphor. I don't think Sanderson does humour well. As a writer and lover of humour, I take my custard pies very seriously. Sanderson is a good writer, but his talents aren't in the funny department.
Lastly, I didn't think David was developed well enough. He seemed rather flat and I struggled to believe that he existed anywhere but on those pages. But guess who I did love? STEELHEART. There was something about him in the prologue that made me want to know much much more, and the fact that he barely appears in the book is probably the reason I've just childishly picked holes in it. That's why the book didn't work for me. I didn't want to read about the ragtag group of rebels. I wanted the supervillians, the Epics. They were the interesting characters, not the weirdo Scottish wannabe and the boy avenger. I wanted to be where the real action was - right by Steelheart's side.
Saying all that, it was still good, with interesting ideas. I enjoyed it, despite all the whining I've just done. It is well written and has lots of action and plot twists. It was a good story and I loved that it was from a male POV with the romance kept to a minimum. It was a good book. It just wasn't the book I was hoping for.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Dec 2013 12:46:54 GMT
Got to say, I love your writing style. You should write something yourself. Fun review to read, as well as useful.
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Dec 2013 15:28:36 GMT
Thank you so much! I'm really chuffed you enjoyed my review. Your comment made me smile to the point where I blinded a few people with my many teeth. I actually am an author.Bounty Hunter
Posted on 6 Dec 2013 13:17:19 GMT
I think your review just saved me £6.99. If it was £0.77p, or maybe even £1.99 like many other books here on Amazon are, I might still have bought it. But for £6.99 a book should be great, not just ok.
I read the sample and was tempted to buy the book, but as you said, I would want the action to be with the Epics. I think the things you pointed out would irritate me. So I'm going to give this one a miss.
I'm really desperate to find a great sci-fi book. I've gone through at least twenty samples in the last few days and I can't find anything that pulls me in.
So many authors seem to over describe things and forget that a story has to have a certain flow to keep the pages turning. I really can't find anything engaging and interesting to read.
It's great that almost anyone has the opportunity to write and publish a book now. Unfortunately that means there is a lot of junk out there to wade through while looking for a great story.
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2013 09:06:00 GMT
I've just bought it - it sounds really interesting, and even the description made me smile.
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2013 15:27:08 GMT
Oh that's brilliant!! I do hope you enjoy Bounty Hunter!!!!!!!
(Look at the explanation marks you made me type!!!)
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2013 15:37:13 GMT
Hi! I'm really glad my review helped you to make a decision about whether or not to buy this book.
You're right, there is a whole heap of junk out there and the tendency to over-describe is sometimes quite rampant in SF. Sometimes authors forget that SF isn't about the tech or the alien woman with three boobs. It should still be character-based, and those characters should reel in a reader and push a story forward. Unfortunately in this book I was reeled in by the Epics and then abandoned. It's such a shame because I've heard that Sanderson's other novels are a real treat.
Thank you so much for commenting. It's always nice to know I'm not talking to myself!
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