9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
There's a great book in there....somewhere,
This review is from: The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (Paperback)
Despite being well into my forties I can still count on one hand the number of books I have started and not gone on to finish. However till about page 40 I thought I was going to have to start counting my left hand too.
We jion our heroine Miss Celeste Temple as she resolves to follow her ex-fiancee to try and discover why he has broken off their engagement. She waits for him outside his work place and via a coach and train, follows him to a secluded mysterious manor house. This takes forty pages of the kind of print that had me pawing at my bedside table for my reading glasses! It could have been done in 4!
I had almost got to the 'giving up' point when Miss Temple is accosted by a mysterious woman and told to change into a revealing (eyes wide shut) mascerade costume and suddenly the book accelerates into 500 pages of brilliance! Mystery, alchemical engineering, brainwashing, murder, intrigue, violent confrontation, compelling heroes, loathsome baddies and improbable escapes. In short Fantastic stuff!!
Sadly there is a big 'however'. The author just didn't know when to stop, and as anyone who has tried to eat a monster size bar of Cadbury's in one sitting will know, you can have too much of a good thing. He needed a much more assertive editor because the book is 200 hundred pages too long. Miss Temple is jioned by two comrades (both cracking charactors too) and they try and foil a huge scheme of world domination via the strange mind controlling properties of a newly discovered indigo clay. However the constant description of spying, getting spotted, getting chased, escaping only to be caught again, escaping again! etc etc after a while, manages to get tedious!
The scenes of confrontation put me in mind of early Star trek episodes, the main characters were seemingly indestructable whilst any troopers, hired thugs or servants die by the score!
It is a real shame, because there is a 5 star book in here somewhere under all the padding. There are some vivid scenes, some great original ideas, a genuinely erotic undercurrent and some great personalities. But the book almost gets repititious, as major confrontaion never concludes with the death of either a big baddie/goodie, they escape to confront again and again. So by time the book did conclude I was almost left feeling, at Last!
To sum up a potentially great book marred by significant over writing.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Oct 2009 14:36:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Oct 2009 14:37:25 BDT
J. Cooper says:
Been pondering about this one ever since you mentioned it, your review has given me an insight and understanding about what to expect.
Would you still recommend this one or suggest anything shorter for someone like me (a history lover!) to sample?
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Oct 2009 16:57:29 BDT
Mr. A. I. Harrison says:
Tricky one! at about the 500 page mark I was set to give it 5 stars! but come the end was just glad it had reached a conclusion. But there was much to enjoy along the way.
Stephen Hunt's 'Court of the Air' is set in a similar psuedo Victorian world with an even bigger 'Steampunk' element but has it's challenges getting into the story initially as there is no glossary and he explains nothing! but is a fantastic story.
Adrian Tzchaikovsky's empire in Black and gold (Shadows of the Apt series) is a great book though keeps a foot in traditional fantasy, but I don't know anyone who has read it and not really enjoyed it.
Halfway through under enemy colours BTW brilliant, loving it.
catch up with you soon!
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Oct 2009 18:18:49 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Oct 2009 18:19:18 BDT
J. Cooper says:
Thanks for the suggestions above, I think I shall try one of these first and dip my toe before trying something a little bigger!
Thought you might like Under Enemy Colours, certainly goes hand in hand with the Hornblower books!
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