Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Dark Volume by G.W. Dahlquist

You may remember I reviewed 'Glass Books of the Dream Eaters' a couple of years back. Well, this is the follow up.

If you loved Glass Books..., you've probably read the sequel already, so I guess there's not much point in reviewing it for you. So, what did you think?

I found Glass Books a really exciting and engaging experience. It really was one of those books you lose yourself in. But it wasn't perfect. Probably my greatest complaint about Glass Books is the ending - it comes too abruptly and leaves the central characters in an unresolved setting. Glass Books is a very well told exploration of an unfamiliar land, as you read you find out more about the people, more about the place, more about the science, etc. It doesn't all make sense at the outset, but as the story unfolds bits fall into place and you deduce what's going on, or it is revealed to you. But. It ends with the feeling that you've only been told about 9/10ths of the story.

The Dark Volume picks up where Glass Books left off and carries on the story. But the main problem is that there isn't a whole load of story that we were unaware of in the first book. There's still only 1/10th of the story of Glass Books left to tell. And this is padded out to fill a book the size of its predecessor. Indeed, I was very annoyed to discover that the story is still unresolved at the end of The Dark Volume, so we've actually been told less than 1/10th of the story. There's at least another volume to come.

Glass Books worked so well because it teased the reader with tantalising partial revelations for most of the first half of the book, which were then fully revealed later on. There was also plenty of adventure and exploration. But all the revelation was done in Glass Books, there was nothing really new to reveal here. And for the most part we visited the same locations as the earlier book. And the adventure was fairly run-of-the-mill. So, by the end, I really didn't care anymore.

I hope the next book is better. I also hope the next book concludes the story. But what I really want now is for G.W. Dahlquist to go and write a brand new adventure, with new characters and new twists and tease and tantalise us like last time.

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At 1:18 pm, Blogger jo cachia said...

i agree completely; while i thoroughly enjoyed glass books i was not so impressed by the sequel. however, i'm still waiting longingly for the ending. jo cachia

At 11:25 pm, Blogger Blanche said...

I loved both books, though yes the second one didn't reveal as much as one would hope, yet, it was still a great page turner. I'd love it if G.W. Dahlquist would finish off the trilogy. Why are we waiting? I was just doing a search to see if a new volume was in progress. No luck I'm afraid. Does Dahlquist need another 2million for motivation? Blanche Donnery, UK.


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