Saturday, 19 January 2013

Why Abercrombie is not Best Served Cold

I am reading Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie at the moment after having finished Cold Days (yea, review is coming).  I read some of it but I stopped to pick up something else (I can't remember what book that was, it was too long ago). 

When I loaded it to read on my tablet, Moon+Reader  kindly loaded a chapter table for me and I picked what I thought I was up to. I had stopped reading on my Kindle but as it is now deceased (who would of thought the screen can't handle 60kgs of weight distributed on the small surface of my foot?) I didn't really know where I was. I did re-read a little last night but you see, I just didn't care anymore.

Then I remembered why I was able to put it down in the first place, It wasn't holding my attention. Monza and her quest for vengeance just doesn't matter that much to me anymore. I am 90% of the way through and I feel no sense of urgency, no desperate need to find out if she succeeds. Abercrombie will or will not end this book in his usual dark, twisted way, meh /shrugs. 

Biggest problem is that I don't really care about Monza. She was wronged, yep I get that and so she starts off down a road on a quest for revenge. She wants all the people who messed up her life dead, kinda scary but again, that's her deal. She enlists the help of some nefarious companions and they set about to kill and wreak havoc. I can't find anything to love/like/dislike/hate about Monza. She is this empty shell of a person. The companions aren't very different, some were interesting at first, but now I find it hard to care what they are doing. The heart of the problem I guess is that instead of the morally ambiguously 'grey' characters with deeply held convictions that Abercrombie normally writes about, in Best Served Cold I got empty shells of those characters, and man is that boring to read about. 

The fights and the battles aren't engaging me either. I am desensitised to the brutal bashing of a character's head into the ground several times. I am not inspired or excited by a character's war cry or the cries and begging of the victims in the heat of the battle. Please be aware this is no small matter for me. I am ALWAYS super emotionally involved in books. It is very strange that I feel so far removed from a character's journey. 

There is one thing that really stop out to me while I was reading this book, and I was again impressed as I re-read it. In one particular scene there are adults who are doing some adult 'things'. Abercrombie puts onto paper something I've only ever seen able to work in a movie, his ability to write this scene in an incredibly creative way was pretty awesome. I can't tell you anymore it'll spoil it for everyone, you'll get it if you read the book though.

I am not saying don't read the book because I said I didn't like it and I still have a huge author crush on Abercrombie. The First Law trilogy was awesome and you should definitely all read those books! Maybe just try to read this particular book in one go, so you know ... to keep it hot.

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