0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice worldbuilding, passive storytelling
, April 23, 2010
This review is from: The Singers of Nevya (Paperback)
I really wanted to like this, but no go. The concept of a world that only sees summer every 5 years is nice, as is the idea of gifted people who can musically summon light and warmth. But the author is remarkably bland sometimes, leaving huge chunks of society totally unrepresented. Worse, the main characters are largely isolated from everyone else, both physically and emotionally. For the reader, it's like being penned up all winter with a crew of psychic, cloistered nuns.
The amount of self-sacrifice Marley's characters undergo is unrealistic; at times, the characters voluntarily cause themselves pain for no apparent reason. Celibacy is apparently a requirement for the highest levels of gifted practice, but we don't really get an idea of how the gift is affected by marriage or children, we just hear that it's bad. And in what is a huuuuge plot hole, there are Singers apparently roaming the planet, hiring themselves out at will, having partners and children - but this is never really explored either! Somehow, no one on Nevya has looked at the low gifted birthrate and thought "hunh, maybe we should take another look at that giving birth thing". After all, the Singers out in the wild are apparently having gifted kids.
I've not been as frustrated with characters as I was here in a long time. They deny themselves friendship, romance, family ties -- and that carries through to other interactions, where they act like total idiots because apparently they don't know how humans operate. They don't intervene when they really should. They're immensely irritating. Altogether, I'd say go read The Hunger Games, or really any McCaffrey stuff (which often have a strong musical component). Leave these cold fish out in the snow.
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