Non-pony story review tuesday

30 Jun

Just recently I had that moment that most writers have probably had, and us unproductive writers have more than others. Running across someone writing a story that’s really close to an idea for one you’ve had. Maybe even a story you’ve done a bit of work on and always planned to finish it that mythical ‘someday’. Then someone else comes up, steals the story you weren’t working on, and writes their own version just to spite you! Or, you know, just had the same cool idea and are just better at actually following through with the execution.

Anyway, today some non-pony stuff I’ve read recently.

Second Suicide: A Short Story by Hugh Howey

Huh, this was not what I was expecting. Mostly because its been so long that I forgot what the description was so I was going in blind except for the title. Was an interesting short story though. A bit of scifi musing about immortality and conquest and how things might eventually grind a person down. Though in a very slice of life fashion.

Two Serpents Rise

This is a sort of sequel to Three Parts Dead. Which was a book I really enjoyed. The author created a universe of magic and logic and gods and law. I actually read Three Parts Dead a second time before jumping into this one and it was good the second time e even though I knew all the twists and secrets. The characters and ideas were just that engaging.

This one, Two Serpents Rise, is not nearly as enjoyable. The plot is much more cliche and it doesn’t have been half as many cool ideas or interesting characters. I’ve had to pull myself through the book and finally just gave up at the halfway point. Reading the previous book a second time was more interesting than this.

Standard romance, shallow characters, and a pretty normal plot. The first book was law and dead gods and decades old secrets and history. In this one we’ve got romance and terrorism by some unknown dark force. Unknown menacing forces are boring.

Take, for example, the pony fanfic Beyond The Borderlands. I’ve only read the first five chapters and I already know the stakes and players of at least the first act, and I have every confidence the author won’t ever resort to dark evil unknown force. Which is kind of funny when the evil overlord that the evil guys serve is based on the least interesting evil force in classic fantasy. Or the first Dusk Guard story where the main villain was a complete mystery, at no point was I bored. The characters were interesting and we got little glimpses of the activities of the evil minions even before we knew what they were or why they were doing it.

So, not sure I’ll give the third book in this series a try. I suspect this might be another casualty of second-book-syndrome. Author spends years (or whatever) coming up with concepts and characters and plot for a book and it comes out great. Then the publisher says “great, now gives me another one in six months (or one-third the previous whatever) and the author has to get something out quickly.


Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Reading 2015, Reviews


4 responses to “Non-pony story review tuesday

  1. Max

    June 30, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Woo! Thanks for the plug! 😀

    • Griffin

      June 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      Was at the top of my head when I was reading the book, actually. Since it was pretty soon after the preview review you let me do.

      • Pascoite Fics

        July 1, 2015 at 9:11 am

        Don’t you mean “reading the boom”? (I’m guessing you use a touch tablet or phone or some such where it’s really easy to type an m instead of a k.)

  2. Griffin

    July 1, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Yeah, most of the reviews get written up on my mini-tablet. Probably the auto-correct, but I usually catch them. Instead of it happening three times in this one post. Thanks for pointing it out. Though having a series be just a series of story-filled explosions could be interesting.


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