Thursday, November 09, 2006

Authors New to Me

Eaters of the Dead, by Michael Crichton. Previously published as The 13th Warrior, I can see why this book was a New York Times Bestseller. The first three chapters actually are from an account written in the tenth century. This is seamlessly blended into the rest of the story: the author copies the style very well, so the whole thing feels like a true historical account. He includes fictional experts and references, and creates a background for his "translation," giving it a story of it's own in the preface, although he confesses its fictional in an afterward. It was fun and plausible, and I wanted to believe it. Morrigan's Cross, by Nora Roberts. I see that this author has quite a few books out, and I've heard that she's rather popular, but this book doesn't really tell me why. The story was interesting, but seemed to drag just a bit. The author used fragments very often, but they weren't too distracting and sounded more natural than most authors make them. (Still, fragments of any sort or for any reason lower my approval rating.) The biggest problem was that the author would give dialogue or use pronouns and it wasn't very clear to which character she was referring. This made it difficult to follow conversations or events, as ascribing the action to different characters changes its meaning. The book ended very abruptly, with no sense of closure. I strongly dislike books that rely so heavily on any following books to give the reader satisfaction. Books should be able to stand on their own. Dance of the Gods is the sequel.

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