Tuesday, March 4, 2008

And the Next Page Is...Still Boring

The summary inside seemed promising. As did the [insert small number here] positive reviews to be found on Amazon. Norse gods. The Good Folk. Glimmering Runes. Unfortunately they were promises like those of a big brother. "If you will do my chores for the day I won't invade your bookshelf and de-alphabetize them for at least a week." Now we all know that is a lie. And so was the summary of Runemarks by Joanne Harris. A "romp" it may have been. But your feet barely lift from the mire of bore as you attempt to frolic.

Maddy thrives on magic, a forbidden thing for her time. It is 500 years after the apocalypse-like rise of Chaos and anything unknown is simply ignored. Goblins there may be, but the good folk of Maddy's orderly town refuse to acknowledge the fact. Blame it on the rats. But when Maddy meets a traveler, a mysterious man (?) named One-Eye, her isolated world changes. He teaches her the way of the ancient runes and the legends of the Old People. And when he asks her aide in seeking out the mysterious Whisperer, there can only be trouble awaiting should she even survive the World Beneath to seek her prize.

Maddy's adventures are disjointed and her motives unclear. Is she out for adventure? to seek this Whisperer out for a reason other than One-Eye's cynical ramblings? or simply to get out? Characters appear and disappear in a frustrating display of meaningless and thread-thin connections . Even the protagonists aren't especially interesting and sacrifice depth for half-hearted attempts at wit. Plus (worse and worse), the gods are petulant and weak. I would be personally offended if Loki had been included in the facade, but impact was minimal. This flaw is forgiven. The only interesting part of this 544 page endeavor into the plot-less and vague was the quaint speech of the goblins and their trademark malicious behavior, wreaking havoc and supporting Chaos everywhere they go.

It is quite unlike me to be so very abusive to
any novel. But this deserves it. Trust me. It does. 1.5 lightnings and no sound effects to boot.

With the Rare Expression of Disgust,

Aella Siofra


Reese said...




I must never read this book. Ever, in my life.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm...brutal but most likely deserved.

i actually started this book, but was lazy and never got anywhere and then it sort of disappeared (also known as "was returned to library, i assume")

i didn't get far enough to really judge, but i know two at least superficial things that turned me off about the book.
1--list of the "cast of characters" in the beginning. why did this bother me? i'm not sure. really not sure at all. it just annoyed me. like, shouldn't reading it tell who they are.
yet, silmataneously, i think the Golem's Eye (or maybe Ptolemy's Gate), which i loved severly, did that too, so not sure why i'm complaining.
2---had skip-a-line in-text pictures of the runes. like, descibe them or do them in font or something. such things bother me deeply.
but once again, i think they did that in Touching Darkness, though it bothered me there too.

moral is i am picky and annoying about typeface and ect.

Medeia said...

Oooh I loved the Bartimaeus trilogy...

Anonymous said...


I know how it feels when you have a book with high expectations and then it fails. It is stinkeh.

Anonymous said...

as did i. Bartimaeus rox.