Saturday, August 20, 2005

Almost Painfully Mediocre

Today's book is The Charmed Sphere, by Catherine Asaro. This isn't the sort of book I'd normally read. I picked it up because I knew I'd be going to the laundromat, and I wanted something to read while I was doing laundry. The back cover made the book sound moderately interesting, though I did wonder why I'd never heard of the publisher--Luna Books. Once I got home, I discovered that Luna Books was an imprint of Harlequin Romance. I'd picked up a Romance Novel!

As a man, I normally stay away from romance novels. If this is a typical example of how romance novels are written, I can see that I made a wise choice in doing so; this book was very mediocre. The characters were mostly two dimensional, and the villains could have walked out of an old-fashioned melodrama. The pacing was extremely slow, and I found the plot to lack any real conflict. Okay, there was a battle or two, but really, two almost evenly sized armies with six powerful mages on the heroes' side and only one on the villain's, isn't much of a fight.

The book wasn't totally worthless, however. I found the idea of mages who work magic using shapes and colors to be interesting. The characters of Chime, Muller, and King Jarid were actually fairly well drawn (unfortunately they were the only characters who were).

I'd give this book a mediocre, 3 yo-yos.

I recently managed to get my hands on a bunch of "new" books. I bought three books at Borders, then I went to visit my dad at the rehabilitation center where he's recovering from a stroke, and they were having a used book sale, so I bought nine more. My next book is most likely going to be Italo Calvino's The Nonexistant Knight & The Cloven Viscount, which so far is excellent! After that I'm not so sure. Here's my list (in no particular order), and if any readers have suggestions on what to read next, please leave a comment:

Stephen King's Danse Macabre
David Brin's Startide Rising
Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End
Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Bloody Sun
Scott McGough's Outlaw: Champions of Kamigawa (Magic: The Gathering: Kamigawa Cycle)
Orson Scott Card's Lost Boys
Dennis McCarty's Flight to Thlassa Mey
Castle Fantastic
Brian Lumley's Vamphyri!
Peter Morwood's Book of Years Volume #1
Richard M. Dorson's American Negro Folktales

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