Top critical review
Fiction light, weak plot and weaker character development
on November 22, 2015
I have to be honest here and admit that I didn't finish this book, I didn't even get very far into it because it just failed to catch my interest. I can count the number of books I've started and not finished on two hands, it's not something I usually do, but this is actually the second book I've done it with in the past year.
The other book, like this one, was written in the first person. I've been around awhile and been a voracious reader for going on five decades now and I've always considered first person fiction to be lazy and amateurish. Twenty years ago it wasn't all that common but it seems these days it is, something that, in my opinion anyway, is a bad sign. The first person novels that are being produced these days remind me of many hour long dramas on TV, not a lot of substance usually, poor character development and un-inspired plots. They're just basic stories told very quickly and usually very badly. The main character, who is speaking to the reader, is a two dimensional character who rushes through one plot twist after another usually tied together with devices that make no real sense but pass by so quickly that the author hopes you won't notice. And they are surrounded by supporting characters who act in ways that no real person ever would but that fit neatly into the superficial plot lines the author has constructed.
First person is really a quick and lazy way to tell a story and it's most often used by authors who don't have the chops to build a strong plot populated by complex characters and viable plot lines. There are of course a few notable exceptions to this, C.J. Sansom's Mathew Shardlake mysteries come to mind, but more often than not they're basic black and white works of fiction aimed at those readers today who have very short attention spans and little appreciation of good literature.