on April 24, 2009
After going through all the previous books, including the Dies the Fire cycle, this book determined me to finally give up on the series. Here is a moderate brick of a book where nothing much happens. The author is out in selling mode and for the life of me I cannot figure out why we have to suffer through 4 volumes to learn how Rudi beats up the bad guys.
on October 23, 2008
I was seriously disappointed with this book having read and enjoyed the original Change series. In fact, I accelerated my reading pace so that I could move on to something else. The classic `band of brothers (and sisters) set out on a quest' plot is lame and never really progresses. As the back of the book suggests, the heroes must make their way from Idaho to Nantucket Island - but after more than 500 pages they barely make it out the back door. At this rate it will take 14 sequels to complete the voyage (maybe I'm on to something there). The characters are formed with cookie-cutter perfection; all the protagonists are good looking, virtuous, honest and broad shouldered (and that includes the horses). You can hardly tell them apart. The baddies are evil sneering monster types despite an absence of motivation to be that way. They're your standard religion zealots determined to kill everyone but with no apparent reason or purpose. If you're looking for SF, this book is probably not your style as it borders on the wrong side of fantasy. Everyone is an expert with all forms of medieval weaponry even though it's been barely two decades since the `change'. I would imagine that these sorts of skills would take generations to relearn properly. Lord of the Rings references are rife (and unabashed). Some of the characters actually speak elfish. Page per buck is good but vast tracts of the book are merely filler, leaving the reader wondering why it needed to be so long. Characters will engage in endless dialogue that seems to serve no real purpose. The little character development afforded is given in the form of annoying flashbacks to previous events. You can almost picture the characters gazing upward as the image begins to waver in true flashback style. This book has the feel of being yet another widget churned out of the fantasy series book machine.
on March 28, 2010
Sorry to disagree with the previous two reviewers. The Sunrise Lands is a transition book that moves from the previous generation to the new one and, as such, is in a difficult position. Stirling leaves behind the characters we have gotten to know and love/hate and introduces new ones that will carry the story forward to its eventual conclusion (several books from now). Transition books are always difficult to write and to read but they are a necessary evil. "The Empire Strikes Back" in the Star Wars trilogy holds the same position and I had to watch it several times before I caught on to what it was really trying to do. I do agree, however, that Stirling sometimes seems to be channelling Tolkin!