I have been reading Ian McDonald's books for longer than any "young adult" reader has been alive. McDonald is a good stylist and his writing has been innovative. I have read his book Terminal Cafe several times and loved the book enough to buy a collector's hardcover edition. McDonald's recent work Dervish House has also been excellent.
Sadly, in our post literary world even stellar authors like McDonald, with years of publishing history, seem to be struggling. Young Adult fiction is, apparently, one of the few lucrative areas in publishing. Hopefully, the readers of today's YA novels will grow up and develop a taste for more sophisticated fiction.
The first book in the Planesrunner series (Planesrunner) was good and I enjoyed it enough to look forward to the second book Be My Enemy. Now with the third book the series has faded. Empress of the Sun is not very good. It reads like McDonald has gotten tired of the series, but is writing to fulfill his publishing commitment. The innovative plotting is largely gone. I didn't find much narrative force. The moral at the end is trite and obvious. I can only hope that McDonald will go back to writing the books for adults, like Dervish House and River of the Gods.
My favorite authors are starting to die (Iain M. Banks, Richard Holdstock). Life is short. Way to short to be writing material that is beneath what an author is capable of. I know that we all have to pay the bills and if this is all that the market will support, this is a sad commentary on the state of readers and publishing.
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books; 1 edition (1 March 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1780876718
- ISBN-13: 978-1780876719
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 3.4 x 22.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 540 g
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