Thursday, September 28, 2006

Books: Phantom

Several weeks ago I finished reading the latest Terry Goodkind book: Phantom. I've been delaying writing anything about it for a variety of reasons and eventually just forgot about it. I only recalled tonight when I went to write something about the latest book I finished, and was trying to figure out why it took 6 weeks to read.

As I've exhaustively covered previously, I used to really enjoy Terry's books. But of late I've been reading them more out of duty then anything else, with a slim hope that he might turn things around eventually.

Unfortunately Phantom did nothing to change my opinion of Goodkind's recent books.

The book continues but does not complete a storyline (an invasion by an evil force) that has been going on for 6 or 7 books now. That would be fine, except that instead of advancing the plot Terry Goodkind spends half the book laboriously reminding us just how evil the invasion force is. Over, and over. And then just when you think you are through it, again, the characters sit and philosophize about the matter for another 20 pages.

We get it. They're evil. And not the 'I want to be good, but I make wrong choices' kind of evil, or 'I have slightly suspect' ethics evil. Full-on evil. They are invading the world and killing and enslaving everyone after all, of course their evil. I'm sure they have some vague justification for why their way isn't 'evil', most evil people do. It doesn't matter to me. I'll consider them the bad guys, just get on with the story already.

Sadly, there were hardly any redeeming qualities to the book, other then that it appears Terry Goodkind is getting dangerously close to having to resolve the storyline in the next book. That, and the fact that the books relatively frequently is not exactly a glowing endorsement.

Unless you've read the other 9 books in the Sword of Truth series, I can't really recommend Phantom. And if you've already read the other nine books, then you probably aren't surprised by this review at all.

No comments: