This review is from: Shadow Dawn: Second in the Chronicles of the Shadow War (Mass Market Paperback)Alright, credit where credit is due, Claremont has improved some from the frightful start of this trilogy- 'Shadow Moon'- but only just enough so that by the time you realize the novel is going nowhere you've wasted too much time to back out now.
The chapters are still far too dense- a chapter of twenty pages takes nearly three times to wade through what those of a decent book would- most of the new characters introduced are one-dimensional bores and Claremont seems to make it a habit of killing off the few that aren't. On the plus side, Elora has become much more interesting and the few chapters where she's allowed to adventure across the land on her own are by far the best bit of the book. The underlying problem is that this is absolute middle of a storyarc so nothing much happens except what is needed to reenforce what happened in 'Moon' and pave the way to the inevitable showdown in 'Star'. Expect lots of pointless wandering and expository dialogue.
Which brings me to the biggest problem of all: an Epic fantasy requires an Epic villain because, lets face it, Good vs. evil is nowhere near as exciting as Good vs. EVIL, and the story just does not deliver. Instead we are treated to baddies like The Deceiver, who is little more than a glorified zombie, and...wait for it...The Lord Of The Dance. That's right, gasp in shock and awe at the might of a guy who will literally two-step you to your doom. It's books like these that make me sincerely wish there was an emoticon for a smiley repeatedly banging their head against something hard an unyielding- perhaps the skull of whichever of the two collaborative 'geniuses' thought any of this would be a good idea.
Cheer up, there's only one volume to go!