June 12, 2018

Hugo Reading 2018: In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan

Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan (9781742378398)

Bah. I tried to like this book, I really did. I gave it 70 pages, which I think is a fair shot. I usually take my current read to work and read it during my lunch break. I did that today, and looked at the book and thought, "I don't like this, and I don't care what happens to these people" (otherwise known as the Eight Deadly Words). With all the good stuff I have to read, I'm not going to waste my time with something I don't like.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that Elliot Schafer, the protagonist, is a mean, nasty, sarcastic little jerk. This kind of character can be done well, obviously, but that is simply not the case here, at least as far as I am concerned. He has a few funny lines (one in particular made me laugh out loud, but no more than one), but he is not the kind of person I want to spend any time with. The second problem is the paper-thin, cliché-ridden worldbuilding. I realize, according to the blurbs on the back cover, that these well-worn fantasy tropes were deliberately set up to be subverted by the author, but since I didn't care enough about the characters or the story to get to the subversive parts, all this cleverness was rather wasted on me. The story came across as a cheap, shallow, boring network sitcom, and I am not a fan of sitcoms.

Nope, going to move on from this one. The next book I've started has already drawn me in, even though I'm only on page 28. (The Art of Starving, by Sam J. Miller, if you must know.) Life's too short to slog my way through what is, for me, a bad book.

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