Customer Review

18 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reeled in by positive reviews!, 13 July 2013
This review is from: Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow (Hardcover)
As a massive fantasy/si fi fan I find trawling the customer reviews on Amazon extremely helpful in choosing my future must have books, so when one comes along with such positive comments its a breath of fresh air considering most were made before a hard copy was available. Finding new authors is becoming quiet a task, so I really became confused as to whether I was reading the same book. It starts off encouragingly enough but as I progressed I realised with no little disappointment that I'd been here before, all to often, and could pretty much predict the outcome.
Disappointment has driven me to write my first review.

Most important in this kind of read for me is to be able to relate to the main protagonists, especially when this kind of plot has been done time & time again. Sadly I just didn't connect with any & therefore couldn't really empathise with any (except for Scratch the slavehound). There are some fantastic authors out there that can achieve this in the first paragraph (Joe Abercrombie).

I can only assume the reviewers have never come across authors such as Mr Abercrombie or Steven Erikson or Patrick Rothfuss, surely everyone's heard of G.R.R Martin by now!!

I really struggled to finish this book as I had decided to read it while awaiting the final instalment of the excellent Expance series Abaddon's Gate by the Abraham/Frank writing team. By the last twist reveal I felt really annoyed that this was a kind of after though. The King for me showed promise as did Makril & Lyrna the princess, but doth seemed to be underdeveloped as characters. Sadly I won't be counting the days until the sequel is published.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jul 2013 21:59:11 BDT
Russ BC says:
Most George Martin fans I'm pretty sure have given up hope he's ever going to finish the Ice & Fire series, and to be honest Dance of Dragons was well below par. He must be too busy counting all the money he's making off the TV series & re publishing every other book he's written. Steven Eriksons last effort was also a struggle to plow through, a bit depressing really. I've had to search in other areas and have discovered some real jems such as Justin Cronin's "The Passage" & Hugh Howie's "Wool" & best of all Chris Beckett's "Dark Eden" different & thought provoking.

Posted on 3 Aug 2013 22:15:07 BDT
A Reader says:
This review says nothing other than that you didn't like the book. Not very helpful.

Posted on 25 Aug 2013 11:07:47 BDT
That Fella says:
While I think 2/5 is harsh (I'd rate it about 3.5/5) Russ' comments are pretty much how I felt too. After reading a lot of Joe Abercrombie's stuff this novel felt like it fell short by comparison...

I found it difficult to buy into the the characters as real within their world, apart from maybe King Janus and Caeniis (you got a sense of what was occurring under the surface here with these two) The rest of the characters largely felt like cardboard cut-outs being pinged about by plot points rather than inner drive or need including, somewhat, Vaelin himself.

Compare those characters to one in The Blade Itself, for example: Glokta and Logan, where you felt every little bit of pain, understood why they are compelled to act the way they do, connect with their inner struggle even if you find their actions abhorrent... This is what was lacking in Blood Song for me.

I never brought into the world either, there was no sense of authentic reality for me. It all felt a bit too glossy and skimmed over. A bit like watching one of those Hollywood films; although you are entertained by it you never really buy into and connect with the world or the characters.

Almost, but not quite.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Aug 2013 20:52:46 BDT
Russ BC says:
I could possibly go to 2.5 because I enjoyed some sections of the book, but no more. It made me suspicious getting so many glowing reviews being so similar to say Paul Hoffman's 'The Left Hand of God' for one but not as good, that book being a 3.5 at the most.
The characters you mentioned from the The blade itself are in my opinion among the very best I have encountered in modern fantasy. I would be hard pressed to choose which, OK its Logan. There are others, the way he introduces Curnden Craw in The Heroes for example. He really is leaving other writers in the dust & seems able to publish every 12 months or so.

I also had problems buying into MrRyans world. I realise that this also seriously affected my enjoyment of the book. Some aspects just didn't seem thought through enough. These may cause problems in later instalments but sadly I am unlikely to find out.

Posted on 17 Nov 2013 16:08:50 GMT
Your feelings about the book aside, it's a little pretentious to assume that your tastes are more refined than those who liked this story. Most anyone who is invested in fantasy is aware of those authors, so please, keep your conceit to yourself.
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