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The Reading Jackalope

Range of Ghosts

Range of Ghosts - Elizabeth Bear I really, really don't like books that do not have a complete plot within the novel. It is a problem that plagues many a fantasy novel. There are some books where the author makes not bones about the fact that this book is not a complete story (like The Lord of The Rings, or The Orphan's Tale), but most of them simply assume that it's ok to have a complete book where in nothing happens. This book falls into that. It is all set up, there's no actual plot arc. A few things happen, but all of them are set ups for the later novels and that's just UGH. Hilariously, I just read Sanderson's large novel, that is part of a promised multi-tome epic, but I didn't have the same problem. Because while Sanderson sets up overarching plot points, and certainly has a larger plot he is working on, each novel has it's own plot and story. So that the larger plot arc is built of mini plot arcs.

The reason I really hate books that are all set up is that there is no sense of satisfaction or completion once I've finished. Yes, you leave your readers wanting more, but that doesn't mean they can't have some kind of satisfaction from the current book.

So while this was pretty fun, and there was interesting world building going on, ultimately it left me unsatisfied. And because of that lack of satisfaction I, ironically, have no desire to read further in this series.

There's also the fact that Bear's writing style leaves me cold. I feel like you can see the effort she puts into her phrases. She definitely tries for a more poetic prose, but I can feel the effort it takes, and it just leaves me cold.