I am in a different place today than I was last year. But I found this to be relevant as pertaining to length of books, particularly fantasies or science fiction. Even though I did break up the proposed third book of my series to become two I find myself writing well over 102,400 words so far on the third installment. Not where I thought it would be. I am cruising into the final scenes and action and then will return to the beginning and begin first round of editing – hope to cut a lot of words. Below is where I was at one year ago – reading two too long books. Oh, I did finish The Curse Breaker: Enchanted before the end of 2017. Still frustrated and not sure I want to go through the process again with a sequel. I have my own to write and, today, I am praying my third book, The Blades: The Stone’s Blade, Book Three will not drag on and on and the ending will tie up some loose sub-stories while intriguing the reader to continue to follow the characters as they and their societies discover their true past and embrace their new identities. So on with my thoughts and reactions to two books from a year ago.
Below are reactions to two of my most recent reads (in early 2017). Both are fantasies. Over the past several weeks I have wondered how I managed to start two “long” books at the same time. I am a bit miffed with myself for trying to do these, perhaps, overly long diatribes (at least one of them) while working to publish a quarterly publication for a nonprofit organization and get a handle on the third book of my own science fiction/fantasy series. Now I am glad I realized that I needed to split the proposed third book and now have a fourth in the planning stages. I really don’t want to publish a book over 400 pages. Book one, The Blood, has 362 pages and book two, The Balance has 382 pages. So, anyway, here is my take on two different fantasies that are a bit long winded.
The Curse Breaker: Enchanted by Melinda Kucsera. I have struggled with this one. I abandoned it after Chapter 77 and was only about 60% through the book. A very long book that is taking way too long to get to the point. I have put it down for weeks at a time but still try to come back to it so there is something to the story but then it gets bogged down again and I put it down. At 564 pages for the print book and well over 100 chapters (actually 137) it is almost boring in many places. Too often I feel like I’ve been at some point more than once. I just want the author to get on with it. I think a good editing job would bring it under 400 pages and there’d be more action and it would hold the attention of many readers better. It feels like the author is telling the story in a very roundabout way, not wanting it to end – maybe she’s stuck in the labyrinthine maze of tunnels under the mountainous weight of the story. She seems to have included all the cut scenes (or scenes that should have been cut). I want to finish reading but I have other things to do that require my time and energies. Perhaps I will return to finish it. I thought I might be the only one who thought this was too long and repetitive, but there were several reviewers on the same page as me. The author refuses to end it just as Sarn refuses The Queen of All Trees’ summons, refuses to help himself (so far at 60% into it), and refuses to accept his magic, etc. Perhaps this type of journey story is not my favorite cup of tea, as another reviewer put it – for me the tea got cold thirty chapters ago.
I have abandoned only one other book so far, but feel like I am wasting time, spinning wheels, or being led down another twisting endless tunnel with no end in sight. Too bad, I had hopes for this one.
The Emperor’s Blades, by Brian Stavely. Another long read. Finally hit its stride about page 167. After that my reading speed went up as did my interest in the story. I liked how Staveley handled the P.O.V.s, even though the book begins with Adare and it is a long time before she is back – almost forgot about her. Most of the book concentrates on the brothers so it is almost a shock whenever Adare’s story appears. A bit on the gruesome side which is sadly typical for many of today’s fantasies. Cruelty makes people better? I wonder.
That being said, I am still intrigued with the “story” as a whole and am curious about the second installment.
At least I finished this one!
Have you abandoned a book? Did you ever return to it and finish reading?