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Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Last Guardian of Everness, by John C. Wright

John C. Wright is a Christian writer of fantastic literature. By Christian, I don't mean that he tries to convert his readers, as some do -- which is OK, I guess -- but that he has a Christian world view. C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and other writers of fantastic literature have had similar world views. (See this post for more about Wright. He didn't used to have a Christian world view.)

Wright is a good writer, I'm sure. He has quite a few books published, and one of them was a Nebula award nominee, which is high praise, indeed. However, I was somewhat less than enchanted by this book. Maybe he had an off day, or I had an off week, or maybe he is better at science fiction than fantasy.

The Guardians of Everness are engaged in a battle against evil, but the dimensions of that battle were unclear to me. Much of the story took place in dreams. The good side consisted of a Russian immigrant to the US, who didn't speak the best English, and, amazingly, got a job as a park ranger, although he didn't seem very qualified; his wife, a cute little woman who can be flighty and strange; the three generations of Waylock men, two of whom only do anything significant when they are dreaming, and one of whom doesn't believe in what the family is supposed to be doing, namely guarding the world against evil. I couldn't identify with any of these characters. There were all kinds of beings on the side of evil, including some from various kinds of mythology, including Irish and Norse, and apparently several others. I got confused by all of these.

Wright is worth a try, but I'm not sure I'll try this series again. I'll try Orphans of Chaos, the Nebula award nominee.

Thanks for reading, even though I (or you) may be having an off day.


Tap said...

I enjoyed both The Golden Age and Orphans of Chaos much more than Everness. (And I tried twice with Everness, too!)

By the way, Orphans of Chaos is not exactly hard sci fi; it's more like science fantasy or fantasy. But I think it is really good (the second and third books, maybe not so much).

The first chapter in the second Everness book is my favorite part in the whole thing. (It's like a little fairy tale outside of the flow of the story.) The rest just became annoying.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks. So it wasn't just me.

Elliot said...

I had the same reaction. I was very impressed with Orphans of Chaos and The Golden Age, but The Last Guardian of Everness left me cold.

Elliot said...

PS: I only read the first few chapters. I just couldn't get into it.

Martin LaBar said...

So that's three of us, and all three of us fans of fantasy. Thanks.