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Nearly finished the 3rd book - overall impression
on 2 April 2011
Plenty of reviews describing the merits of this series so ill just say what lessened my view.
This series is a rather slow paced affair. Significant plot developments are few and there is alot of material inbetween. I did not really get into the first book until I was already 2/3rds through it.
For reasons I cannot put my finger on or articulate into words the story has not imprinted alot of caring or interest in the main characters for me. There is no single main character, rather a large ensemble of major characters. The chapters shift between them constantly which can get annoying when it switches from someone in the middle of an event to someone else making camp for the night on a journey.
Perhaps its partly because two of the central characters (Raif, Ash) generally have no idea whats going on and just coast through the whole story reacting to the consequences of being clueless and aimless.
The overarching antagonists of the series are somewhat vague and esoteric. This could make them mysterious and intriguing but in this case they are just uninteresting and detached from the story and the lore of the world. I am on the 3rd book and this far into the story the main threat has still barely been touched upon. The threat has shown itself less than 4 times and been quickly eliminated each time but what's frustrating is that the threat is constantly alluded to in the background.
Lastly, but most of all, JV Jones is relentless in mundane details. She goes into detail on every single subject and I find myself by the 3rd book skimming rather than reading some sections because its just page after page of minutia. Clothing, the act of making camp, the act of making dinner, traveling, the scenery, the terrain, the characteristics of items, the random internal musings of a character on anything and everything.
To put it in context an entire chapter can be about a few hours or days of traveling including near every chore involved in being a human being, outside, on the road.
Even when its not whole chapters worth, its irritating to have a character pause during an interesting moment to ponder the fascinating attributes of a block of stone for half a page. The way it looks, feels, bends light, where it came from, how long its been there, the skill in its working, the colours and so on. You get the picture.
The series has enough to make me finish it but I will not be putting this on my re-read list.