Holiday reading …fails

book piles

I brought 6 books with me on holiday, 4 of them from the library were essentially chosen at random from the sci-fi/fantasy shelf. It would appear, from yesterday’s attempts to start a new book, that the library random-choice method has a 50% success rate. The 2 books whose bindings you can see have been read & appreciated. The 2 whose bindings you can’t see, were less successful. I generally have a rule that I give a book until page 50 – only one of these even made it that far.

The first unsuccessful book was by Melinda Snodgrass and was chosen partly because of the awesome name of the author. Another reason was because Melinda has, according to her bio, written for Star Trek. Unfortunately the title I chose was the second in a series and I was unable to get past the necessary slight Basil Exposition style of the first few chapters where the first paragraph was this-and-this-and-this had happened to this person and it was only when I realised that this was #2 of however-many that I worked out why. This I did not like. Also, I found her narrative style slightly annoying. Very early on, someone who was escaping while crawling through mud was described as dragging themselves forward “reluctantly”. Given the circumstances, this felt like a carelessly wrong word.

The second was a retelling of the Medea legend – I think – I don’t know the Medea legend, so it could have been a tale at a liberal tangent, a prequel or a sequel for all I knew, but from the start I found the writer’s style frustratingly impenetrable. In a lot of cases, it took about half a page to work out what the action was, and the main character, Medea, started taking actions which I found incredibly annoying, didn’t understand why she was doing what she was doing, and didn’t have enough invested in her to give her license to do what she was doing. I stopped at page 49. Life is too short to be struggling through a book this annoying in style.

Instead I’ve gone for a book that I’ve borrowed from my father in law, and although I’m on day 1, I’m about half way through. It’s by an author I like, so this is not unexpected.

The other books that I like will be reviewed on the book gnome all in the fullness of time…