Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Did Not Finish: The Moon King by Neil Williamson
Sometimes a book just doesn't work well enough to be finished. Most often when this happens the reasons are obvious – the book is just poorly written, offensive, or just bad. But sometimes the reasons are harder to quantify.
The Moon King by Neil Williamson (Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon) is one such book. I simply got to the point where I didn't care to read it anymore. It was a gradual thing that I still can’t understand. Because I still think this is a book I should like. It’s an interesting exploration of the relationship of humankind and nature as well as the psyche of humankind itself. It focuses on characters who can’t quite conform. And one of those is an engineer – given my day job, I love to see such a character in a SFF book.
BUT I called the exploration interesting. Only for some reason it was not for me. The characters didn’t hold my interest. Even though the writing is quite well done, it couldn’t hold my interest either. The setting of a city dominated by the moon and its mysterious king who dominates all of culture just refused to work for me. And I don’t know why.
That quality break-up line seems to fit best – ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ Work and home life are crazy busy and more than a bit stressful. I have less and less time to relax and what time I do have is often spent in an exhausted daze. I suspect that what I’m looking for is just not the deep, subtle exploration of humanity through SFF, but something more shallow and entertaining. I suspect that if I return to The Moon King in the future when I’m in a different place, I will react differently. But I don’t know for sure. I do know that I decided not to finish the book, and once that decision was made reading became much more enjoyable for me.
Really, it’s not you, it’s me.