I wanted to like this novel because I found the concept to be interesting, but there were too many hurdles to leap over to actually find it enjoyable. There were problems with the characterization and the writing, which weren’t particularly well done, but the biggest problem was believability. And the lack of believability had nothing to do with the concept of an alien tree-like creature being launched somewhere from deep space in an impenetrable pod before landing on the sea floor, growing into a structure that was miles long and was going to then destroy the planet. And yes, that does sound a bit far-fetched but I was willing to go with that. It was everything else that was a problem.
For starters, the team was able to get a nuclear weapon placed on a ship with the intent to destroy this alien life form without any government in the world noticing them. Things like the obtaining of nuclear weapons typically doesn’t go unnoticed by government agencies. Not to mention this type of voyage would have possibly cost into the hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, but funding and resources seemed to be no problem for these folks. The science in the novel was preposterous and turned me off because it was almost silly at times. The way the characters acted on the crew did not come off as realistic, but what really lost me was the ending.
Without spoiling the ending, to kill the alien creature and have the characters actually survived would have been a one in a trillion shot, and that’s being generous. Yet, somehow they threaded the needle so that everybody could live happily ever after. Except that it wasn’t remotely satisfying since it was so preposterous. For me, this novel is a pass. I think you could do much better.
This series started off so strong with God Save the Queen. I enjoyed the concept, the writing style, the characters, and was digging the novel. I was lukewarm about the second entry into the trilogy, but still had hopes for the final addition. Unfortunately, it only got worse with Long Live the Queen. The series kept losing steam and then ran out of gas at the end. There was a lot not to like about this novel. The one thing that really bothered me is the illogical treatment of technology. So, the series sets up as not quite being a steampunk novel, but with technology that is considerably behind our technology. But somehow we are supposed to believe that their cloning technology is light years ahead of ours. Somehow they are not able to just clone a human fetus (which would be a serious stretch given the disparity in technology), but they can clone a fully grown were/goblin. They also have extremely advanced bioweapons. It also felt tired. The storyline never advanced from the first novel. It just felt like more of the same. The fight scenes were poorly described. The author just kind of skimmed over them, even during climactic fight scenes. Xandra is a very generic character, the type that has been done to death in this genre. If you have read the first two novels in the trilogy, you will probably want to finish it, but I would not bother.
I was glad to see Robert McCammon return to Matthew Corbett and his circa 17th-century novels. I’m both a fan of historical fiction and McCammon, who is one of my all-time favorite writers, making his mark in the horror genre. Making it even better, I had a chance to meet McCammon, and he signed a copy of this book for me.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the other two Corbett books prior to this one, and The Queen of Bedlam did not disappoint. The prose is rich in this novel. The pacing worked out great. The character development and the array of characters were really strong. There were some very memorable characters, including the villains, which mostly consisted of some strange individuals. The backstory behind this when it got revealed was compelling. The elements of mystery were well done. There really wasn’t much that I can complain about, except that I thought there some parts that were perhaps a bit too long-winded, and some of those sections could have been trimmed to make the novel better.
The novel concluded nicely. The final action sequence was strong, and it left itself open for additional novels in the future, as Corbett now has a job as a private detective and has made some really serious enemies. I look forward to reading more in the series.
Although there were some elements that I liked about The Passage, this novel was flawed in so many ways. For starters, this novel is way overwritten. It’s 766 pages that could be cut in half. There are entire pages that could be chopped, and it would make this a better read. The editor should have taken a hatchet to this novel. The novel lacks in believability, and that has nothing to do with the sci-fi/supernatural elements of it. It’s the parts that are grounded in the real world that lack believability. And then there are the characters. Oh, there are a great many of them, but only maybe two or three are remotely memorable. The rest are drab and lifeless and don’t come off the page.
I got through the first part of this novel, and it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t particularly good either. When I realized that the novel had fast-forwarded into the future, and I had over 400 pages of reading all-new characters, I just couldn’t get myself to read the rest of it. I gave it a shot, but it felt more like a chore than entertaining. After about fifty to a hundred pages of the second part, I raised the white flag and surrendered. This was just not compelling enough to keep going forward.
The second installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series was an improvement over the first novel. I’m not entirely sure where this novel fits in with the television show, but my remembrance is that the two primary plot lines encompassed more than one season on the show. The two main storylines are the one involving Sookie going to Dallas to help find a vampire that has gone missing, and Lafayette (who was a much bigger character on the television show) showing up dead in the sheriff’s car.
This novel was an easy read. Charlaine Harris writes in a pleasing style. The plot is not terribly complicated, although there was still room for a plot twist or two. Eric starts to become more of a major character in this novel, which is a good thing since he was my favorite character on the show. He has a certain confidence and swagger about him. Harris did a fine job breathing life into the character. Although not overly complex, the plot had enough meat on it to make it compelling. In a day and age where novels seemed to be growing in word count, this novel was short, sweet, and to the point. This was a fun novel that I would recommend.