a pretty bad book

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by swope01, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. swope01

    swope01 author of Need for Magic

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    Hi,
    I just finished reading a pretty bad book. I guess I'd like to warn others away so they do not spend money on what I found to be a poor use of my limited funds and time.

    I'm still kind of new on this forum, so I'm hesitant to bash a book. So, I will not mention the title unless others ask me specifically.

    Joe Swope.
     
  2. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    Not much point starting the thread if you're not going to name the book. So let's have it. But rather than just bashing it, maybe let us know what about it you didn't like and whether it had any redeeming characteristics at all.
     
  3. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    Bet we know who it was............insert **maniacal laugh**
     
  4. Ironhill

    Ironhill Registered User

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    Was it Need for Magic - Joe Swope?

    A lot of people who have read that can't talk about it afterwards.
     
  5. KatG

    KatG Effulgent Staff Member

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    Alright, settle down. We allow book covers as avatars and mention in the profile info. He's not pimping. He's actually trying to start a conversation, but checking on forum guidelines first -- we're overjoyed.

    Joe -- It is not uncommon, as you will see, that people discuss their negative reactions to a work. So you can name it, say why you didn't like it, whether there was anything you did like or thought was okay. The book was bad for you; it might not be bad for others and they may argue with you about it, but you certainly can give your opinion.

    First, check that the book was not from an author who has a separate discussion forum here at SFFWorld. Very popular authors who get discussed a lot such as Robert Jordan and George Martin have a special forum which we ask people to use when discussing only their work.

    Second, if the author is popularly known, whether that author has a special forum here or not, you will get opposing views, sometimes passionate ones, as well as ones that agree with yours probably. Keep it civil and about the work in question, not personal. If they get personal, let a moderator know.

    So the mystery title is?
     
  6. swope01

    swope01 author of Need for Magic

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    pretty bad book revealed

    The title of the book is 'Dark Glory War.' The author is Michael A. Stackpole. It is written in the first person. The gist of the story is it is narrated from an old warrior who is telling how the saga began. The second biggest problem I have with the book is that the author seems to tell the plot. I know it is supposed to be a memoir, but the description and plot are pretty much flat. The biggest problem I have is that the main character is maybe 18 years old, out on his rite of passage quest and gets swept up in a huge saga, military campaign, and all around save the universe thing. As this untested man goes through his trials he kills untold number of bad guys. He seems to do it without fear, without a scratch as easily as I type. It just seems way too comic book like. Even experienced vets of combat get nervous and scared as hell. But, never does our young protagonist get scared. And by the middle of the book, he is famous, army-wide and becomes some kind of champion charged with taking down the 4 mythical demons who are all but unkillable. He kills them, of course. Oh, he and his two companions are the spitting image of Matt, Rand, and Perrin.

    I can suspend a fair amount of disbelief, but towards the middle of the book I realized there was no drama. The boy was never in danger. Even if he was facing a hundred bad guys, never once did I as the reader get drawn in.

    That is my 1.5 cents worth. I didn't see Michael Stackpole in the authors section. I hope this comes across as fair. Let me know if you want my copy.

    Swope01
     
  7. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    I have some lighter fluid & a Zippo.
    Thanks for the warning though Joe, Personally I haven't had any desire to read that author.
     
  8. Ranke Lidyek

    Ranke Lidyek Guest

    Stackpole's Talion: Revenant is actually a near-great novel. I recommend it. However, I read his Cartomancy series and disliked it. He did "tell" quite a bit and nothing felt real, immediate, or compelling. I've not heard of Dark Glory War...
     
  9. Ranke Lidyek

    Ranke Lidyek Guest

    But... at least you finished that novel. I tried three times to read Lies of Locke Lamora and each time ended up throwing the book down in disgust. Eventually, I'll suppress the gag reflex long enough to finish the novel...

    Eventually.
     
  10. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    Haha! I loved Locke Lamora! To each his own, I guess.
     
  11. LordVodak

    LordVodak New Member

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    Couldn't be as bad as For a Few Demons More. That was a time I look back on and ask myself exactly what I was thinking....
     
  12. Davis Ashura

    Davis Ashura Would be writer? Sure.

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    Well, for a truly great bad novel, the list begins and ends with The Fifth Sorceress. A not very good novel that when read in a certain pharmacological manner ie pleasantly buzzed on alcohol turns out to be a great read. Or so I'm told. Haven't tried it yet, but plan on it. One of these days.
     
  13. JHerzog01

    JHerzog01 Registered User

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    I read that series once. It was pretty bad. I put it down about halfway though
     
  14. Whiskeyjack

    Whiskeyjack sapper-in-chief

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    I agree with swope01's review. I started DGW twice and never made it past the halfway point. Stackpole's 1st person narrative style lacked suspense. Characters were introduced too abruptly within the first several chapters then were poorly developed, remaining "comic book like" as swope01 said. The lack of suspense made finishing the book unbearable, which is somewhat a shame because the three follow-up books in the series by Stackpole seemed interesting. It's probably possible to skip DGW and go directly to the second book, Fortress Draconis, which is written in the more familiar 3rd person narrative style. I think a fantasy story told in 1st person takes an especially talented author (such as a Robin Hobb in Farseer, or a Patrick Rothfuss in Name of the Wind) to carry it off properly -- i.e., maintaining suspense, allowing main characters to grow, while avoiding the "omniscient protagonist" pitfall commonly seen when the 1st person narrative is poorly executed.
     
  15. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Really?! I hadn't seen anywhere on these forums where you've expressed dislike for that book.
     
  16. Mock

    Mock N/A

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    Same goes for me with Locke Lamora, except my problem wasn't disgust so much as sheer boredom. I've tried it three or four times and I just can't do it. It is pretty funny though.
     
  17. Psylent

    Psylent Registered User

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    Dark Glory War is not that bad. Its a fairly average Epic Fantasy novel.

    Genre convention. Heroes don't typically display much fear. If you want an in story explanation for it just assume that Tarrant was trying to make himself look good and so didn't bother to include that stuff or that he was pressed for space. Also I don't recall him being specifically tasked with killing the Dark Lancers. Wasn't that more happenstance the first time then any sort of plan? And I recall Tarrant receiving far more than a scratch throughout the book.
    And while the four companions do have some similarities to the WoT boys they aren't spitting images. Perrin and Mat never had class issues and spent time sniping at one another, and Rand was not Mat's retainer.

    Well, yeah we know who isn't going to die, after all the book is supposed to be him writing about what happened. Obviously he is going to live. That being said I thought this story took some surprising turns. Most of the book is very average, but the ending? The ending is one of my favorite in all of fantasy.
     
  18. Ranke Lidyek

    Ranke Lidyek Guest

    Maybe they should devise a special punctuation mark for sarcasm... Perhaps a little bird.

    Hey, I hated the book. I wish I could fawn over it like half the people here, but it's simply not a good novel. It's one of the very few things I've read that made me regret spending the money. It's also rare that I end up rolling my eyes three or four times a page (unless I'm stuck at a doctor's office reading Cosmopolitan).

    Funny that you don't complain about the thread instead, Rob. I'd think my opinion of Lies fits within this discussion. You can always spend the next five minutes convincing me that Lynch is brilliant and that Lies is a flawless masterpiece.

    I'm sure I'll agree with your well-reasoned arguments. (Now, where is that little bird when I need him?)
     
  19. Alex

    Alex Registered User

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    I think Robs little sarcasm was aimed at your somewhat disguised trolling attempt.

    I think someone said it best a few posts ago. "You can dig up a thread called Your worst reads EVER and amazingly you'll find your favourite author on someones list."
     
  20. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Give me liberty!

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    Yep, that's about the height of it, and why I usually take little notice if someone makes a blanket statement to the effect that something is 'just a bad book'.

    ...Albeit I'm sure I've been guilty of writing this myself at some point somewhere on the forum.