Sunday, February 24, 2008

50 Book Challenge #12: Tracing the Shadow

I only read this book a few days ago but I've already forgotten most of it, which is a blessing. It's just a bunch of cardboard characters doing completely irrational things for the sake of a nonsensical and boring plot. The dialog consists of strings of clichés and uninspired descriptions. Developments are telegraphed chapters in advance, making further reading dispensable.

The only moderately interesting thing about this book was how its poor character development was highlighted by my heterosexist assumptions. When a thinly-drawn male character inexplicably hops in bed with an incredibly flat female character just to move the plot in an improbable but necessary direction, it registers as being clumsy but doesn't bring my reading to a halt. When one of the male characters in this book, who has not been previously indicated to be gay, suddenly begins a torrid sexual affair with a strange man* , it comes off as very disruptive. I thought more about my reaction to this than I did about the book itself. Not recommended, even for long flights.

* A spy out to seduce him into joining a group that's a cross between the Dark Side and the Hashshashin, and let's not even get into how easily this is done, thanks to the instantaneous bond of luuurve between Stupid Magic Student and Spy Guy . . . .
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