About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Falls Flat in Character Development

By Cory Doctorow
Tor Books (2009)
Hardcover, 416 pages
Rated 3 Stars of 5 Possible

Normally, I can't wait for a good, new, science fiction book to be published, and jump at the chance to get an advance review copy. So, I got the chance and jumped on that chance... Makers is a futuristic account of inventors who dream up things that don't exist and figure out how to make those things work. Not just run-of-the-mill inventions like a new car or kitchen appliance, but really weird things like a 3D printer that will print out any invention you can dream up... no, not the plans, the actual inventions.  So, we have an alternative future, we have crazy inventions, we have likeable characters, and some not so likeable characters; in all a good premise from which to begin.

So, you're probably wondering why I'm only giving this book three stars... well, it's kinda the writing. The tale is told in little vignettes strung together into about three VERY LONG chapters... That's deadly from the start with me. I like my chapters about 30 or 40 pages in length (if something really happens in them) or shorter if less happens.  The chapters in Makers - if you can call them that - are over 100 pages long, and do not really contain  that much action.  I gave up around page 145.

Then, too, it's the characterization.  The characters in this book (both good and bad) are only minimally developed, more like a picture hanging on the wall instead of living people. To really suck me into his world, make me feel as if I belong there, a writer needs to develop both the scenery and the characters.  The scenery is just about well-enough developed, but the characters sure could use some work.

And, then, too, it's those little vignettes connected into the long chapters... yeah I know, I mentioned them already, but they drive me nuts. Sorry, Cory Doctorow, you missed on this one.

This review is simultaneously published on Amazon.com, Dragonviews, and LibraryThing... Umm and I've posted a link to Dragonviews on Tor.com too, since that's the publisher's website... and where I found out about this book. Sorry I'm so late with the review; the book was published in hard cover, late October, 2009. Oh, and now the FTC has kicked in a new requirement for us bloggers... I'm told I have to say that Tor Books gave me this copy free to review, but truthfully, that makes no difference in my opinions.

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