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BLEAK PLOT RHYTHM - SCIENCE OUT OF ORDER
le 18 novembre 2007
James Rollins is not a bad writer. By now I must have given a try to most of his books - and discovered the same weaknesses to almost all of them: he aims too high for his writing wingspan; his suspense is constantly peaking so that, when the big moments do come, they fail to convey the climaxing feeling; and his science gets weaker and weaker.
MICHAEL CRICHTON used to be able to both educate on cutting-edge scientific theories and yarn a good story at the same time (not with his latest couple of novels I am afraid though). James Rollins probably gets impressed by new concepts, feels they could help the credibility of his fiction - and then does not know how to use them properly.
I remember in SANDSTORM, he used bucky-balls (60-carbon atoms spherical crystals) to enclose ancient...anti-matter - and then used it, all in all, to..propel a boat across a subterranean lake and cause a couple of minor explosions.
BLACK ORDER suffers from similar shortcomings: there is one narrative peak after the other and this never lets the story unfold; and he scrapes up quantum effects on evolution only to create a bunch of superhumans and enlarged animals.
By the way, to anyone who has studied even one semester of Evolutionary Biology, the concept of...de-evolution is a B-Movie gimmick: evolution can only move forward (yes, even if the resulting organism seems more "primitive"). Even if it were a possibility, it would probably need more than ...a few days - say, a few MILLION years.
I am willing to suspend my disbelief when reading a work of fiction: after all, good fiction does not have to be real. This, however, sticks out too much to ignore.
Give one of his other books a try instead. AMAZONIA was good and ICEHUNT even better.