Top critical review
There is Nothing New Under the Sun.
on 21 August 2016
This was abysmal. I'm usually patient with books but I barely started it before losing the will to continue. It's a shame because the overall concept is intriguing.
I've not come across a more cynical paint-by-numbers thriller in a very long time. This books is a laundry list of cliché stacked upon cliché, with obvious over-the-top attempts to hook the reader's interest in the most blatant fashion. I'm wondering how many more he can get through without running out? I suppose the half-baked dive into Norse sagas and the superficial look at Viking culture, in reality seemingly little more than a banal hyping of warrior's codes of honour and so on, just gave Ridpath more places to draw yet more clichés from, with which to add to the substantial pile.
It's a book with the literary equivalent of a severe premature ejaculation problem. It doesn't make it into the apartment before blows its proverbial load everywhere. Random meaningless sex and violence, and oh God those damn hysterical females with their emotions. It charges from chapter to chapter with the barest of establishing arcs or attention to pacing. I say this a man who has always argued against books drawing things out for the sake of it. Worst of all, it's such a blatant attempt, on the author's part, at just cynically trying to grab the reader's attention by throwing in some arbitrary ham-fisted drama without purpose or context or weight.
There are better choices.