Thursday, January 25, 2007

As on a Darkling Plain (reviewed)

As on a Darkling Plain, by Ben Bova.

This book is awful.

I hate to put it so bluntly — especially since I am a struggling writer myself and I know how tough it can be to write a tightly plotted novel — but this one is just inexcusably bad. An entire dream sequence is accidentally repeated almost word for word in two separate chapters. (Editors, what happened to you?) It has no flow whatsoever. The dialog is embarrassing. Characters do things inexplicably, suddenly, without any precipitating decisions or choices.

Okay, it's just bad, bad, bad. If you want to try reading Ben Bova, don't read this one. It's a stinker.

If someone else has enjoyed a different book by Bova — maybe one of his later novels, for example — feel free to speak up. I hate to knock the guy based solely on one of his earliest works. But the fact that he even considered this novel to be ready for a publisher has me scratching my head.