It never ceases to fascinate me how differently people can view the same book. I just finished a book entitled: Morigu: The Dead, by Mark C. Perry. When I went to review it on Goodreads, I found that most reviewers loved it. Several readers literally raved over the work. One said he’d give it 5.5 out of 5 stars. Another said it was the fantasy book that he judged all others against. Another reviewer of my acquaintance said it was the equal of Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword, which is one of my favorite books. It was that comment that persuaded me to pick up the book in the first place.
My impressions of the book were somewhat less glowing. I thought it was very well written. I really enjoyed the prose, but the story didn’t engage me as much. There were so many characters and I didn’t particularly connect with any of them. The main character, the “Morigu” of the title, was interesting but wasn’t even on stage through most of the book.
There were a lot of scenes where the main heroes were talking about their plans. I generally find one or two such scenes to be plenty. The battles were fairly frequent but I generally felt somewhat distant from them, much more as if I were watching objectively from a distance than if I were down in the midst of the action experiencing the danger. The high level poetic language may have accounted for part of that. I ended up giving the book 3 stars. There is another in the series but I don’t imagine I’ll be reading it.
I wonder why the differences between my response to the novel and the responses of others. Could it be something as simple as mood? I felt like I wanted to read a fantasy novel, but maybe I wanted something with more blood and gore and less on the “high fantasy” end of the spectrum. Maybe the plot was more complicated than I was looking for. I think I did want something more straightforward, with fewer characters and more time spent with those characters. The book was only 202 pages but had so much packed into it that we often seemed only to scratch the surface of events.
Do you find this kind of thing with your own reading? You love a book that others either don’t like or find average? Or you find a book average that others love? Do you have any insight into why such things happen for you?