Caveat emptor – trans. let the buyer beware …
Some books read themselves into your brain – Clive Barker’s Imajica, Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series, (even Lord of the Rings if I remember back far enough.) And some do not. Some are so cringingly awful that you cannot force yourself to push past page twenty …
When I started this blog, I thought that I would have problems maintaining a level head. Keeping the focus on the reader’s interests rather than the struggling indie writer’s feelings.
And then I read (or tried to read) C.S.Marks Elfhunter, and found I had no problem at all.
I, like many others, went through the Tolkienology thing – reading all the Lost Books, the alternate endings, writing my name in runes – and for a brief second or two, I remembered the awe of reading The Lay of Beren and Luthien, Melkor’s fall, of Thingol and Maia’s Girdle …
But it didn’t last long.
Any book that starts with a two thousand word info-dump is bad. A book in which main characters talk in fake ancient-speak offends mine eye till blood weeps from its core (italics intended, ’cause they are speaking elven!) And then using the word ‘perimeter’ while searching a camp.
This book gives fantasy a bad name. People who wrinkle up their noses at fantasy think of this kind of book. A hopeless rehash of Tolkien, without the fluency of prose, the awareness of dialogue or pacing. And a total lack of love and respect for the craft of writing, or fantasy as a genre.
I can’t say it any clearer. There is a lot of crap out there. I just didn’t believe just how well it sells. I admit, I was just as duped. Amazon’s star ratings assured me that it was amazing, fantastic, compelling. The Amazon star rating is swamped by long, glowing reports, and it is ranked #1,918 in the Kindlestore.
There have been books I have disliked (The Shanarra series, for example,) and books I have hated (whatcha-ma-thingy of Gor), but even they shine with a respect for the genre, and the reading public at large.
This does not.