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What would have made Blood of Innocents better?
In the first book the characters developed individually and in their relationships in a moderately satisfying way. The protagonist's naive nature and feckless enthusiasm were excusable because he had grown up in a sheltered environment. In this book ,however, all of the characters just act as foils to progress a very predictable plot. Caldan is shocked, over and over, that he isn't taken seriously by people in power. This is really painful to read. It's like watching a bad horror movie where the irrational actions of the characters just make you want to punch them. And it is made worse by the fact that Caldan is supposed to be this strategic genius who is great at reading patterns and people. And he shifts between offhandedly slaughtering enemies, and being appalled that he has done something so callous as to strike a lady! (The lady in question being a murderous sorceress).
All this ends up just making it impossible to understand his motivations or maintain respect for a character which the first book managed decently. Hogan got lazy with this book and instead of working on character development and finding ways to flow forward the plot from there just makes up absurd situations and conclusions to ram forward to the next story line.
Also, he repeatedly uses the "I don't have time to explain right now" ploy to avoid characters from understanding what they need to, when there is never actually a shortage of time. Usually these phrases occur during the middle of journeys or preparation periods that are days or weeks long, and the explanation would take maybe 30 seconds. No time while making a campfire, or during eating, or before sleep? I don't mind suspending disbelief but it's much easier to get lost in a story if you maintain realistic premises for inter-character tension and lack of clarification.
Has Blood of Innocents turned you off from other books in this genre?
What about Oliver Wyman’s performance did you like?
Wyman has a good voice and keeps dialogue going smoothly. He isn't as good as some in switching between male and female characters, but overall does a pretty good job of processing the story.
What character would you cut from Blood of Innocents?
The healer. She just whines and moans and has really flimsy motivations. Basically playing the part of "moral compass" (badly) to keep Caldan from treating Bells like the villain she is and getting crucial info out of her.
40 of 52 people found this review helpful
I almost stopped listening to the book after the first couple of hours. The main character, Caldan, made so many naïve/poor choices that were inconsistent with other examples of wisdom that it was hard to empathize, like, and respect him. I suppose it is possible that someone could be that dense and inflexible, but they generally don't survive long. For a while I thought that maybe I am a sociopathic genius unjustifiably applying the fundamental attribution error. But as I thought of the main characters created by Brandon Sanderson, Michael J. Sullivan, Patrick Rothfuss, Kel Kade, etc.... I feel that this critique of the main character is appropriate.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I’m enjoying this series. There, I said it. It seems however that some others simply aren’t so why is this series causing such a wide spread of reactions?
Firstly, I do think it has a lot going for it. The plot is building nicely in terms of the conflict. The world and the factions within it are intriguing and some of the character development is actually pretty good. I have particularly enjoyed the slow reveal of the deliciously twisted Amaden over the first two books. The description and use of magic in the books is very well done. A mix of the pseudo-scientific and the bright-eyed wonder of spectacular and at times subtle sorcery. The use of that sorcery in the action scenes is very impressive with no little ingenuity. The whole thing is very, very well performed by Oliver Wyman with an impressive and consistent range of character voices.
So, what’s not to like? Well, it’s not the fastest paced book you will ever read. There is a fair amount of repetitive soul-searching and if Oliver Wyman has a weakness it’s in the narrative away from the dialogue. The lead character Caldan is a baffling mix of instinctively intuitive sorcerer, master tactician and frankly complete pillock. This seems to be at the root of many of the complaints and it’s a fair charge though I don’t think brilliant intelligence and a lack of basic human understanding is that rare a combination.
So, one that clearly splits opinion, and with good reasons. For me the story, the sorcery and Amaden will definitely draw me into following this to its conclusion in what I believe is the third and final book. If you liked the first one you’ll likely enjoy this too. If you were troubled by the first one the chances are that you’ll see the same flaws here too.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
I felt that the writing style changed dramatically in this book, the characters still developed nicely but the plot became a lot slower as a result. So if you like books that have a lot of inner thinking and character points of views/developments then you would probably enjoy this. Still a good story, just drags in the middle.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
I think I would have preferred an abridged version of this a lot more. I often only listen in 20 minute chunks so when most of what I am hearing is the same thing explained a little more each time then it can become tedious to listen to. Without adding spoilers, some parts could have had a more dramatic effect by not being so obvious, a little bit more of a twist would be nice.
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
The start and the end were very good, reminiscent of the first book. The characters are very strong and appealing in the way the develop.
Any additional comments?
I wouldn't listen to this again, which is why I gave it a low overall score. I don't feel like I wasted my time listening to it and would love to find out the conclusion to the plot mainly for the characters that I don't feel apathetic about. I also found the narration enjoyable.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
A throughly enjoyable magical adventure. Fantastic intrigue and complex story telling. looking forward to the last book.
Drags on, boring. Is book 2 written by he same person? Just find a synopsis and move on to book 3.