so right now i'm reading some piece of fantasy called Across the Face of the World. Its a somewhat interesting book in that the author comes up with a decent plot and then proceeds to muck it up with bad writing, and entirely predictable twists. That, and the creation myth he thought up for his nation sounds entirely too similar to the garden of eden for my liking. I hate it when authors take stories right out of religious texts. Not only does it show a lack of originality, but its not like the biblical versions were that great, ya know? Sure, there are a few changes to the basic myth, but like his not-so-twisty plot twists the changes aren't exactly riveting. And the ending is exactly the same, god gets angry, says "how dare you do X that i forbid, get out of my garden!" and so they leave.
The plot concerns a boy called Leith, whose father has been gone for a few years. Turns out he was gone because he was on a royal mission, and when he comes back they need to flee. But before that can happen his pursuers strike and take Leith's parents as captives. causing a small band of people from the village to set out after them. Incidentally, his father is being pursued because he knows that the enemy kingdom is planning an invasion. So somewhere along the line they have to fix that too. *yawn*
So far there've already been a couple of massive plotholes concerning these pursuers. For example, if they only interrogate Leith's father, why are they dragging his mother along too? And why do they later take on yet another captive? A good author would resolve these issues in a really satisfying way eventually. Sadly i have no faith that this author will do the same.
Summary of the book so far: Like LoTR without the song and dance scenes. Actually, scratch that, i just came past a poem on the way which i skipped. As i did for LoTR too. And i didn't even finish LoTR to the point where i can authoritatively say whether something is like it or not because i found it too boring. This guy is similar to LoTR in that he spends way too much time dwelling on the inconsequential details, and while sometimes they are interesting in themselves, more often you just want him to tell you whether the Company catches up to the raiders during the next day or not.
About the only good thing i can say abut the book so far is that at least he attempted to go for a more non-stereotypical hero. Leith comes across as immature and a coward, and in general a really stupid choice for the target of a prophecy. I guess this goes to show that some ideas aren't used much in literature for a reason.
Footnote: Incidentally, i suspect that LoTR itself draws on Wagner's ring cycle or its sources for its plot, thus proving the whole postmodernist crap that no story is ever truly original yada yada. And yes, HSC English has scarred me to the point where i can't talk about postmodernism without automatically pouring scorn on it.
EDIT: I finished the book a couple of weeks ago. The plotholes weren't closed and while i do feel a mild curiosity about the main plot I'm not sure if i would choose to put myself through more bad writing to find out what will happen. Plus, i suspect that those plotholes will never be closed, which is a major annoyance.