Thursday, 4 November 2010

Black Sun Rising by C. S. Friedman

Black Sun Rising
I had a lot of expectations for this book. It seemed like a good fantasy book, long and dark. But I just couldn't finish it. And that is a rare thing for me.

Black Sun Rising is a mixture of Science Fiction and Fantasy. It is set in the Planet Erna, that has been colonised by the human race. Yet this planet is very different from Earth, where there are fae currents going around that can be Worked like magic. This can be done consciously or not, and the latter can be quite dangerous as it makes nightmares and other terrible things come true.

The plot was slow moving, and at points I felt that it completely stopped. There were paragraphs that said nothing of consequence, and others where a small sentence would have sufficed. The story is also full of twists that, maybe because of the pacing, never really astonished me or made me care.

Yep, just like this.
What I also didn't care about were the characters – I couldn't really connect with them. The only one that I sort of liked was Gerald Tarrant, but that wasn't so much because of any qualities he had, but because I kept imagining him as David Bowie. His character was somewhat less one-dimensional than the others, but still there isn't that much to him – and the big twist concerning him was quite obvious since the beginning.

The world building was actually pretty good, and I'm still left wondering a bit about it. Yet not enough that justifies the torment of continuing to read the book.

About half-way through this it was getting harder and harder to stay interested on the story. I went to look for reviews to find out if it got better or not (some say yes, some say it gets even worse towards the end). Yet I couldn't read much more – I simply stopped caring about the entire thing and went to Wikipedia to read the plot summary and call it quits.

So, I made it to page 335 out of 589 – in the middle of an earthquake, where the characters have two options and both mean death, and close to the Castle of the Evil Guy – but I really have no desire to keep reading or find out what happens next.


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  1. I can be your witness if you like, for I can swear upon my honor that you are one of those very very very patient readers who always gives one more chance to an awful book. I'm sure poking one's eye would be more pleasant than reading this book, if you, above all people, couldn't finish it.

  2. (btw, I think you're metamorphosing quigui...from an alternative reader to an YA reader xD ...kidding, kidding, don't poke me in the eye *ahah*)

  3. Thank you for being my witness. This one was just unfinishable. I managed to read 3 other books while trying to read this one, and almost finished a 4th one. The sheer size of this one was also a big problem. Reading 300+ pages felt like an eternity wasted, I just couldn't push myself to read another 250.

    As to becoming an YA reader - I always was an YA reader, although I read less and less of it these days. But I always liked my alternative books :D (And Mordred's Curse is not YA by any means, and I'm quite enjoying it)

  4. " Black Sun Rising made a turn to Bookmooch Road, determined never to be seen again. The End."

  5. I really like your ending. I still haven't listed it on Bookmooch, but it's going there :D

  6. One of my favorite series of books ever. The characters are not one dimensional by any means. The goals of a Holy Knight and a lich and they team up to take down a common enemy. The relationship is between these two is very interesting, conflicted and exciting. Whoever wrote this review lacks imagination and basic comprehension and decided they were smart enough to write a review with out ever actually reading the book.

  7. I started this book with good expectations, but I never managed to really connect to it. It should have been my kind of book, but it never got there. The problem was I didn't really connected with the characters, and I didn't care what happened to them. Thinking back, I can see what you say about their conflicted relationship, but the sense I have is that it was rather lost on the writing style. In the end I wasn't getting anything out of the book besides a bit of disappointment and I was forcing myself to read it, so I called it quits.

    Maybe it does get better after where I stopped. Maybe it just wasn't a book for me like I thought it would be. But the truth is that it didn't work out for me.