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Cynically Sweet (Booklikes)

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Sweet Silver Blues

Sweet Silver Blues - Glen Cook
I began reading this book two months ago and haven't enjoyed it. I've put it off and put it off. Today I finished reading it. I was less than pleased with this novel. Usually I don't finish books because I don't really have the time or forget what I'm reading. However, with this one, I just didn't want to finish it. I wouldn't say it was confusing at first, but there were a lot of aspects that weren't introduced properly. I felt, mainly, that the supernatural/ fantastical element was the biggest problem here. At first, the fantasy creatures are passed off like some weird joke, "We're invaded by dwarfs," I moaned. From then on, it doesn't really speak much about how different our culture is to their own. It felt like we were meant to assume a lot of the differences. On a similar note, the war was a major part of their history and even the main character participated in the marines, yet I just didn't think it was very well explained.

The characters were decently written, I can't deny. Yet, my biggest problem with them is that I didn't "connect" with any of them. I didn't emphasise with any of their actions or motives. Garrett was pretty much the only character whose motives were really fully explained; he was hired to do the job as a family friend and he had other personal reasons to find the girl. Yet, other major characters like his sidekicks Morley and the triplets, had very little actual plotline. They were simply hired to do the job. In the end, they were nothing more than hired muscle. Rose is another strong example; she and Tinnie were basically nothing more than family members who wanted a little money from the estate. I didn't enjoy any characters. They all felt hollow and lifeless.

I suppose others might find the fantastical elements more amusing than I did. I just felt that none of these elements fit. Much of it (well, almost all) could have been replaced with normal humanoid happenings and there wouldn't be much difference. The groll triplets could simply have been replaced by a few really muscular guys and it would all be basically the same. Even the magic could have been explained by a little bit of science. I've read a lot of fantasy in my time, but the supernatural aspects in this novel felt worthless. Likewise for the scenery and settings. I would go so far to say that these elements were lazy. Later on in the book, they're travelling (for reasons you'll find when reading it) and very little is explained of the actual travels. The author, Glen Cook, basically washes over these datails by skipping over the majority of each day. We know little of the scenery and their surroundings. Other things were a little more described, but nothing much of worth to know about. I didn't particulary need to know about his window in the beginning. I would much rather know a little about the later scenery than bits about his window...

My main reason for choosing this book to read is the mystery aspect it's tagged under. The other reason was for the private investigator aspect. (Fantasy was a close third.) Yet there was little mystery to the piece. I was quite disappointed by this because it wasn't so much of a mystery, but more of going on some awkward adventure with four mystical beings that he doesn't even like. More to the point, it's an awkward adventure featuring a bunch of characters I don't even like. Usually, in mystery novels, the ending chapters are where I'm most likely to be excited about the outcome. For this, it was quite different; who killed they guy? What was with all the precious metal? Who really cares? The fact of the matter is that I just didn't care. More to the point, unless I missed it, in the end there wasn't really any mystery...

Finally, I was disappointed. Very disappointed. Looking over my other book reviews, I guess it might seem like I'm a little easy to please in some cases. Yet, this just couldn't meet my basic expectations. The author has a certain writing style, which I guess just doesn't appeal to me. I was disappointed by the characters, the descriptions and even the mystery aspect of it. I'm sure others have rated it highly (and you're all allowed your own opinion), but I didn't think much of the book at all. I just couldn't get interested or excited about any aspect. I will most likely not read any of the further books in the series. I don't think it's really earned more than one star. I will be generous and give it two because I liked the idea of the novel before I'd read it. It's just such a pity it didn't meet expectations...