Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I've re-set up my Shelfari account so I can participate in my bookgroup's online group. So, since I'm online and doing book-stuff there anyway, it's much easier to blog one title at a time. 

Triggers, by Robert J. Sawyer.  I've successfully sold this author to a few readers, mostly hard-core sci-fi fans who have read everything else we have.  I do so by being honest: I say that the plot is interesting, although rarely truly solid, and the writing is not very good, but you read it for the idea behind the writing.  It's like Star Trek; it raises questions about science and ethics that are pretty interesting. 
The writing has steadily improved over the years (although can still be fairly annoying), but this book wasn't as deep or quite as thought provoking as I have come to expect.  The book was going along quite well, and then the last chapter or two killed the whole thing.  I can't talk specifically about how the plot degraded without giving away spoilers, but I think I can at least say that the original sci-fi premise was pretty cool, and then the author wanted to do something and couldn't figure out a science-y way to do it, so it became a magical, mysterious thing.  Bad, bad. 
The author also wasted a bunch of space identifying each character's race.  I think this was to set up a few (3) interactions between two characters. These interactions didn't add very much to the story and could still have been present without making a looming, lumbering thing out of each character's background.
There were many, many characters, all of them important to the story, and the author did a good job of keeping them all separate.  There were over 20 people, but they all were different enough, with different enough names, that I surprisingly didn't have any problems keeping them straight.  
Sawyer fans will want it, but it isn't very good.  Not part of a series.

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