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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: The Many Colored Land by Julian May 
22nd-Sep-2010 11:09 am
Summer
I finished The Many Colored Land, published in 1983, this weekend. It started very well, with interesting profiles and back-stories of all of the main characters. Then these characters went back in time and the main plot both started and took an immediate hard right turn. The characters split up, more characters jumped in, and everyone gained a second layer of motivation.

Unfortunately, by 2/3 through, it was more than obvious that nothing important was going to be resolved in this book. It was basically just a preface to some other story. Additionally, there had been so much dilution of the main character group with more characters that I was losing track - and interest - of the original characters. By the end of the book, I was only still really interested in and sympathetic to one of the original characters.

It was a reasonably interesting book, and I enjoyed the word portraits, the conceits of fantasy, and some of the links of science. I just wish that she'd kept a tighter hold of her characters, or made me care more about them being scattered to heck-n-gone by the end of the story.
Comments 
22nd-Sep-2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
My vague recollection of this book, which I read when it came out, was that I quite liked it and read the next N books in the series hoping that one of them would not suck and being horribly disappointed every single time.
22nd-Sep-2010 03:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, dear. That's not exactly a rousing endorsement for me to go onward...
22nd-Sep-2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
I remember wanting desperately to stop reading but being paralyzed by hope. Which is to say... "Save Yourself!"
22nd-Sep-2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
I actually really enjoyed the present-to-future part of the series (Surveillance/Metaconcert/Galactic Milieu trilogy) a lot more than the Pliocene stuff. I think it's also a less confusing introduction to the world, and avoids some fairly significant spoilers.
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