Rogues: #19-21

We made it folks! Final thoughts this afternoon!

Title: Now Showing
Author: Connie Willis
Genre: Thriller

This was boring. If I didn’t like Bad Brass because I found the concept odd and the main character a bit skeezy, at least I could say it had be interestd. This? Just bored.

It centers on a girl trying to go the movies to see a film called The Christmas Caper, and how her attempts keep getting derailed – tickets not available at the kiosk, shows selling out, texts saying she won tickets to other shows and the like. It’s the future and now movie theaters have 100+ screens, multiple restaurants and shops. She runs into her ex who suggests that the move doesn’t exist at all, and the theater is the one trying to prevent her from seeing it. There’s an obvious and completely unsubtle critique that all that Hollywood makes are remakes/reboots/sequels and it’s about as subtle as a brick to the head. If the story was shorter, then maybe it would have been okay, but this just didn’t grab me, at all. Yes, the story did eventually go somewhere beyond the “WILL SHE GET IN” but at that point I just didn’t care.

This one completely missed the mark for me, which is a shame because she’s probably one of the most decorated (and long-last careers) of any of the authors here.

Grade: D

Title: The Lightening Tree
Author: Patrick Rothfuss
Genre: Fantasy

Confession time – this was the story that made me pick up the anthology. I absolutely adore the Kingkiller Chronicle, so when Rothfuss announced his involvement, it’s what got this book on my radar. So yeah, I pretty much bought the book for this. And did I find it worth it? Totally.

Would someone who hasn’t read the books from which Bast comes from appreciate it? Probably.

Rothfuss is a fantastic storyteller, and that is on full display here. He’s also fanastic at crafting characters, and Bast is every bit as engaging as his master, Kvothe. But, as is not unusual for Rothfuss, this is a story in which something does happen, but only after it seems like you’ve read a tale where little has happened. It actually comes off as a day-in-the-life piece. And if you’ve read my reviews of other tales, than you know I don’t find that a bad thing.

Grade: A

Title: The Rogue Prince or A King’s Brother
Author: George R. R. Martin
Genre: Fantasy

If you haven’t read A Song of Ice and Fire then you can skip this entirely. There is literally no point in reading this. It’s a history of Daemon Targaryen and of the Targaryen line in general. It is written like a history, as in “X did Y and resulted in Z.” or “X married Y and had children A, B and C.” There is little narrative beyond that. If you haven’t read the parent books, you probably won’t get anything out of it. It’s too dense, there’s too little narration and I honestly don’t think anyone but GRRM fans are going to be able to make it through this. Of course, of all the stories in this book, this one was probably the one most written for fans of the author. While other authors made efforts to make their stories friendly to those who were unfamiliar with the characters or the setting, GRRM made no such efforts here. A lot of people buying this anthology probably ARE GRRM fans and probably will get a kick out of this, but that doesn’t quite excuse it. At the very least it’s one of the (if not the) shortest in the entire collection, so I don’t feel like non-GRRM fans are really getting cheated. Flip side of that of course, is that GRRM fans are probably going to be upset that this wasn’t as long as the rest.  Guess it’s going to be one of those ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situations where you just can’t make everyone happy.

Grade: Pass (if you’re a GRRM fan you should enjoy it on at least some level)/Fail (if you’re not a GRRM fan, you can skip this entirely)


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