Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Book Review: Saga by Conor Kostick

In the sequel to Epic (2007), a Booklist Top 10 Fantasy for Youth, the Dark Queen infiltrates New Earth’s central computer system, erasing the role-playing game called Epic. It’s replaced with Saga, designed to enslave New Earth’s populace. In Saga, Ghost, a 15-year-old girl with no memory of her first 9 years, is part of an anarcho-punk airboard gang. Strange things have been happening in Saga—strangers are appearing, then disappearing into thin air—and Ghost’s gang eventually learns what readers already know: Saga is not a real world but a sentient computer game. When Eric arrives in Saga as his avatar Cindella Dragonslayer, he joins forces with Ghost and her gang to stop the Dark Queen from destroying New Earth. Amazon Summary.

As mentioned, this is a sequel to a book I, in retrospect, should've read before this one. But I was browsing the library, and saw this one first. So whatever.

Throughout the reading of this novel, something was bugging me. The basic storyline was good, the chracters not annoying. What was it that kept me detached from the whole thing?

Oh, yeah. It sucked.

Let me elaborate: it was written like a mix between bad fanfiction (see to see what I mean) and Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (fear not--you'll hear my exact thoughts about her and her little vampires some other time). I just didn't notice, as I read it at a time when I didn't obsessively notice these things.

Saga contains the textbook examples of a bad book: 2-dimensional characters, melodramatic bouts of post-breakup (there is no breakup, but I'm using it as an example) angst, ridiculously detailed account of the characters' physical appearences in one shot (as opposed to sprinkled throughout and when appropriate), the characters' own obsession with exclaiming their self-given label (as evidenced: when one character, the token imp male, upon him and the other cyber-folk 'gang' that headline the majority of the story winning an admittedly awesome death race for fame and a rise in status, looks into the news camera that shows up and dedicates the win to all of the "anarcho-punks out there!"), the almost sickening amount of Mary Sues, among other things.

I know, the whole world isn't like ours--a New Earth and an entirely fake world with it's own personality--but I highly doubt you'll be respected as an 'anarcho punk' (which they, might I add, are not) if you go bitching about it all the time.

Even the intercuts the Saga's Queen are horribly abusing the thesaurus on the author(a computer programmer--hm)'s computer. Between these over-descriptions and the gross under-descriptions of things that actually matter--for example, neatly summing up a person in a one-to-two word category ('punk', 'nerd', 'girly-girl', etc.), we have the equivelent of some dumbass, discredit-to-their-species teenage girl writting a harrowing account on what would happen if Joe Jonas would break up with Bangs McCoy (Girl With Really Red Lips??) on Camp Rock ( by Rocker-Chick-12345--who is both a Republican and a wannabe-emo\poet\cool person--forgive my bitter bias, but I read this girl's profile and Jesus Fucking Christ).

This is running long, isn't it? Bottom line--while a satisfying sequel for fans of Epic, for new readers, there is nothing you would find here that you couldn't find on some of the shitty Sci-Fi posts of Fictionpress. Maybe a little better. Whatever.

Rating: 3

PS No offense to said Rocker-Chick-12345, if she is so inclined to sue for defamation or something, but you were a very conveniant client. My sister sent me an email with a link to her story, which led me to her profile, the contents of which sent me in a vengeaful rage about the idiocracy of teenagedom and the decay of our future as a sprecies, which wasn't that great to begin with, and---I'm doing it again, aren't I? Whatever, I was in a bad mood to begin with when I saw that, so, sincerely, I apoligize if you were to catch wind of this and be offended. You probably won't, as this is ridiculously under-seen, but just in case.

1 comment:

  1. Decay of a sprecies? Dear god the devolution has already begun!