I just finished a fantasy book from a famous award winning publisher and edited by a famous award winning editor. I will not name names because it’s just not a professional thing for an author to do. I will say that I’ve never read a book I didn’t like from the house or editor before. Until now.
The difference is that I have improved as a writer and I know what didn’t work for me in the book.
The book failed to properly flesh out the characters almost at all. The only 2 characters who felt fleshed out at all were one of the antagonists and one of the minor characters. The main protagonist of the book did not get fleshed out at all and the only windows into his character were through other characters explaining to each other his actions and by very short paragraphs stating that this character knew something and that is why his decision was a certain way.
I’m very surprised that this famous award winning editor didn’t diagnose these problems and fix them during the editing stage. I’m also surprised that the writer didn’t try to flesh out his characters more as he has written before and this is not his first published work. Judging by the reviews on Amazon US I know I’m not alone in my problems with the book, many readers have given it 3 stars. I also noticed that the third limited POV of the book was too limited and was not allowed to open up a bit and breath more life into the world. Some reviews have credited the author with creating a great imaginative world but I just don’t see it. One blurb I saw before I bought the book compared the writer to fantasy great Guy Gavriel Kay, which I not only didn’t see but now think the author who provided the blurb didn’t read the book thoroughly!
At least I’m happy that I know why the story didn’t work for and possibly for other readers and what should have been done to improve it. On to the next read…