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Book Title: A Meeting at Corvalis|
The author of the book: S.M. Stirling
ISBN 13: 9781607757948
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 972 KB
Edition: Findaway World
Date of issue: February 1st 2009
Reader ratings: 6.8
Loaded: 275 times
Read full description of the books A Meeting at Corvalis:
As a fantasy reader, I've read my share of tedious books. I have a high tolerance for world building, flowery descriptions, and long expository prose.
_A Meeting at Corvallis_ went far beyond my tolerance level. I picked up the book assuming that it was the first in the series; so thoroughly did the author rehash everything in past books that I did not realize it was the third until after I finished reading it. Nothing was left up to the imagination; every rock, tree, grass blade, hair, fold in fabric, cloud, you name it was described in painful detail. Long descriptive passages interrupted the action so often that I frequently forgot what was happening and had to flip back pages to remind myself.
Increasing my frustration was the constant rehashing of incidents in the characters' pasts, explanations of character motivations (usually through preachy dialogue), and introduction of so many minor characters that my head was reeling.
Despite the incredible amount of detail, the author still made painful errors in the narrative. Once, a figure pulled out an arrow shaft--which had penetrated through armor and into the ribcage--with his thumb and forefinger. Another time, a horse at full gallop somehow managed to see and avoid a tripwire stretched across the road.
Adding to the level of incredulity the reader was supposed to sustain is the whole "Change" itself. Perhaps I overanalyze, but if natural laws change, I want the new laws to make sense. Electricity suddenly stops working. Okay, sure. High-pressure combustion also stops working (i.e. guns). Um, okay. That's a bit weak, considering low pressure combustion still works, like fire, but whatever. Nuclear reactions suddenly stop working. Wait, what? Nowhere does it say that the earth is suddenly enveloped in darkness and ice, so I'm guessing the sun still works. Are these changes then limited to Earth? If so, that's hardly a universal change in natural laws. Magic didn't work before the Change, so magic couldn't have caused it. This leaves me to assume that some intervention of deity, some deus ex machina, caused the Change, purposely changing only those laws that would allow the creation of a world ideal for medieval playacting. Give me a break.
An author who respects his readers leaves some things up to the imagination. He does not feel it necessary to spell out a character's motivations. He keeps suspension of disbelief within reasonable bounds. S.M. Stirling did none of these things in this novel. I felt like he created an unbelievable world so he could play out his own ridiculous fantasy wherein the medieval model reasserted itself. Except for hamburgers, which everyone cooked.
The only reason I gave it two stars, instead of one, is the writing is not abominable. It's lazy and self-indulgent, but it is not impossible to follow. Regardless, if I hadn't wanted to leave a review on the book (I always finish books I review), I would not have wasted my time reading it.
Read information about the authorStephen Michael Stirling is a French-born Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author. Stirling is probably best known for his Draka series of alternate history novels and the more recent time travel/alternate history Nantucket series and Emberverse series.
(personal website: source)
I’m a writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin and American by naturalization, living in New Mexico at present. My hobbies are mostly related to the craft? I love history, anthropology and archaeology, and am interested in the sciences. The martial arts are my main physical hobby.
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