13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining read, but not spectacular,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Songs of the Earth: The Wild Hunt Book One (Kindle Edition)
First things fist, I would like to say that with books at least, I am a harsh reviewer. Three stars to me is still good, and I wish maybe I could give half stars.
Before I fly in the negatives, I want to say "Songs of the Earth" is a good read; not particularly amazing or original, but entertaining nonetheless. I do find myself involved in the tale, and turning pages to find out what happens. The writings style is an easy-to-read prose and Cooper doesn't get pulled down by over-describing or over-dramatising.
However, a few things mark its score lower than other fantasy novels I have read; the main thing being characterisation. I can't relate to any of the story's characters, they just don't seem feasible to me. Gair is remarkably uninteresting, the only thing that makes him stand out is the fact he is more powerful than other people, and just generally better. Then, he even has the shame to be modest and unassuming. The fact he has no apparent flaws to me, is just a massive flaw in itself. He should be psychologically scarred from being tortured. He should have some arrogance with his superior ability in almost everything he does. He shouldn't be able to socialise easily due to his reclusive upbringing. He shouldn't be able to become best-friends with a really popular guy, with a few uneffectual conversations.
These things say to me that Cooper hasn't really learnt how to build relationships between the characters themselves, and the reader and the characters. Gair is one primary narrative of three we follow. The other two I can barely even be bothered to read. The characters aren't interesting. Some novels handle relationships really well; with a mix of dialogue, association and intimacy. However, this seems to alternate between two elements: 'Love at first sight' and 'Yay let's have sex.' To be fair, I appreciate the occasional intimate scene and do feel it adds to the story, but only if integrated with the relationship properly.
Apart from that one major flaw, the only other things I would comment on is the lack of originality in the story structure (at the moment appears to be classic good vs evil; primary protagonist vs primary antagonist), and the lack of originality in the the elements of the fantastical universe. Other people have made the comparison with Rothfuss's work, and they are correct. At points this felt exactly like a watered down, less immersive "The Name of Wind."
Edit: When writing this review, I did not realise that this was a debut novel. Considering this, the novel is a spectacular effort and success on the author's part, despite the weaknesses. Kudos to her.
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Initial post: 13 Sep 2013 11:53:24 BDT
Mrs. M. Boyd says:
this reviewer is too full of her/himself and so does not give a feel of the novel itself which what I want from a review not a rundown of the reviewer's make-up
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