Friday, May 9, 2008

Giving Up

Boy, I sure hate to do this, but I can't finish this book. Compounding the problem is that Fuse #8 gave it such a glowing review, I almost feel like I've missed something really, really obvious with Starcross by Phillip Reeve.

The first strike against Starcross is actually not the book's fault; it's mine. I was under the false impression that Starcross was the first book in a series of two and it turns out, it's second. I really should have stopped as soon as I realized this. Problem was, while I suspected it might not be the first book for the first 50-75 pages or so, when it finally became clear, I was 30,000 feet in the air on my way to Salt Lake City and, some of you may know, I have a fear of flying bookless. So I kept reading.

The second problem I came across while reading Starcross again, doesn't have a thing to do with the quality of the book. Traveling and sharing a small hotel room with two other family members does not lend itself to solitary activities like reading. Even though everyone knows a nose in a book is the universal sign for "leave me alone" my traveling companions insisted on doing things like talking to me and watching TV. Consequently I only got a page or two read before I lost concentration or had to discuss something with a real person. Reading a book two pages at a time doesn't make for excellent story fluidity.

Another issue (we'll call it problem #3) I have with this book, and the first which refers to the book itself, is the way the author simply cops out, in my very humble opinion, at very exciting times in the story by saying something like, "well, I can't go into all the details here, but we won the fight" or "somehow everything was resolved while we were away." Well, he doesn't actually say that second thing, but somehow a VERY MAJOR thing is resolved while the protagonist is off fighting the evil Moobs. The main character returns to Starcross, expecting a fight, having taken much time to come up with a plan of attack (a pretty weak plan, actually) and the excitement builds and builds and...oh, nevermind, all is well and we are drinking tea. Why don't you join us?

And the final problem is that every time I open this book to read I start to fall asleep. I can barely keep my eyes open after just a few pages.

So, no offense to the author but, I have a around 20-30 pages to go and I just don't care anymore. I'm pretty sure that if I'd started with the first book, Larklight, and read in a less distracting environment, I could have loved Starcross. I think I'm going to return this book to the library and just move on.


Fuse #8 said...

Ah well. If it's any comfort I feel like the vast majority of readers feel as you do about the series. I liked it, but I acknowledge that it's a weird little puppy. The first one is apparently going to be a movie, though. Oddity upon oddity.

Catherine said...

Wow. Dropping a book with 20 pages to go. I've only done that once for D.H. Lawrence. I just couldn't muster a single care in the world.

Afton said...

I think it was when this major issue was resolved magically while the protagonist was away that made me feel a bit cheated.