Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ghostmaker Book Review: Sick Of Them Yet?

Well, like I said in the post from last weekend, all I really have here to do with my spare time is read. What with all of the commuting we had to do over the holiday, well, I had the time to spare, so to speak. As you are probably aware, this is Part II of my review of The Founding: A Gaunt's Ghosts Omnibus. This second installment regards the next novel Ghostmaker.
Now, if you read my last review, which was of First and Only, you know that I loved it with the intensity of a thousand suns, and expect this review to be more of the same. Well, get ready for a shock. Ghostmaker, while ostensibly telling the tale of the Ghosts' later action on Monthax, this book uses a series of flashbacks to create more exposition on the main characters of the (then) current Ghost hierarchy. So, in reality, two thirds of the novel is a series of short stories only tangentially related to the 'main' story.

And now for the Pros & Cons:

PROS
  1. Separating the men from the boys. While I do not like the short story/flashback composition of this book, it does let you know which characters are going to be important, survivable, and worth remembering. Furthermore, it let me know that Mkoll, the scout sergeant was still alive. I thought he got killed at the end of First and Only. Which scout died then?
  2. Interesting Antagonists. This is something I forgot to mention in my last review, which a commenter brought to my attention. Instead of the stereotypical "hordes of chaos cultists" vs. Cadians, Catachans, or Vostroyans, Abnett has both the enemy and ally units be interesting with their own uniforms, traditions, and manners of address. Additionally, the bad guys usually have a reason for doing what they are doing, rather than just pulling the wings off of butterflies because it's EVIL.
CONS
  1. Short Stories. Two-thirds of this novel is devoted to short stories about the different members of Gaunt's inner circle. Some of it is needed backstory, but it seems disjointed sometimes, and leaves me something at a loss at whether I am reading things in the 'present' or 'past.'
  2. Prequel. Some significant portion of this book takes place before the events of the first. I hate that. I went to the trouble of reading these in order, let's keep it that way, shall we?
In essence, I still liked Ghostmaker, just not as much as the first book. The main storyline, when it happened, was intense. I liked the buildup and the resolution to it. I just wish the main story had been the total of the book, rather than just the closing.

2 comments:

Loquacious said...

How ya hangin' in there? Hope you are in your new place soon!

CounterFett said...

We're doing okay.

That's about all that can be said of it. No word on the new house yet, but we are supposed to hear soon.

Still nothing to do here, and being driven crazy...