Apr 142012

100 word reviews

I’m starting a new project, to keep me scribbling on this blog. It’ll be completely random, as well as revealing a bit of the subject matter of what I’m currently reading.

Here’s the thing: I hate book reviews. I want to like them, and they always start off interesting, but then they devolve into meaningless drivel where the review writer wants to show off their writing skills. I get it. It’s hard to say “this was a good/bad book” in an interesting way, again and again, along with enough content to give you an idea of whether or not you actually want to read the bloody thing.

Some folk I know have been experimenting with 30 word reviews – a la Twitter- which is excellent, but I want a bit more meat.

Hence: 100 word reviews.

Inaugural 100 word review: Sophia McDougall’s Romanitas

I’ve met Sophia McDougall, and she’s lovely, with what turns out to be a borrowed teeny hat. She wrote a brilliant story for Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse which had me sit dreaming for days, excited to start her full-length novels.

Romanitas: Rome never fell, and there’s a love-and-politics story happening now. It gave me a bit of trouble. Fabulous ideas, well-researched, innovative, and there’s this thing that McDougall does with a shifting POV that’s brilliant if sometimes disconcerting. The plot suffers from some stops and starts, but bits of utterly gorgeous prose crack through. File it under “Very-promising start”.

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