01/06/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Ballantine Books Spectra. 405 page small enlarged paperback. Price: $16.00 (US), $19.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-553-38543-4.
check out website: www.ballantinebooks.com and www.autumnrain2010.com
Part of the duty of reading a book for review is to ignore the comments others have made because there's a need to make up my own mind and not be dictated to by the herd. With 'The Machinery Of Light', I scanned the review comments for the previous two books in this series and wondered if we had all read the same books. Certainly, this third book is going to continue my adverse comments, mostly because it truly is a terrible read. If we have read the same book then perhaps I'm the boy spotting the Emperor has no clothes on. This one is truly naked.
Am I old-fashioned to want to see character development and some semblance of plot? David J. Williams story seems to be in freefall with endless pages of dialogue about nothing at all. The plot essentially revolves about the aftermath after the assassination of the American President in 2110 and a commando team seeking justice but you learn more about what is going on from the back cover than the contents. The pace of the story is such that you literally race through the book without anything much sinking in. I'm very much an advocate of pace in a story but it should be used to control the rate the reader reads and absorbs information. Instead, the scenes often change more than twice on the same page without making any point. I was getting to the stage of wanting some story chucked at the dialogue. With a messed up pace, you find yourself racing with it than any storytelling.
If it was deemed an experiment then I would consider it a total failure and I'm being polite. If this is considered the future of storytelling then reading is going to be in serious trouble.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA