The Unfinished Land by Greg Bear 2/5

I would like to thank the author/publisher and NetGalley for providing me with this copy in exchange for my honest review.

The Unfinished Land is a fantasy book full of lore, mythical creatures, journeys and difficult vocabulary. The story takes place during the Elizabethian time hence the language was full of 'thy', 'believeth" and similar words. If you have no trouble with this, that is great. For me, this makes the book hard to read. In the first chapters, there was some Spanish mixed in as well and because I speak no Spanish at all, it almost resulted in DNF. But I pushed through in a hope that this book will deliver exciting adventure. 

Unfortunately, I am disappointed. Half of the book did not make sense to me. It was like a dream you partially understand but can't really get a grip of the story. I feel like things were overcomplicated while there could have been an easy explanation for it. And a lot of things were not explained at all. 

There were too many characters without any real purpose to mine liking. I don't know what the main goal of Reynard was? What did he want? What was his dream? Why did he do things he did? I missed the driving force or motivation behind his decisions and actions. He says he wants to escape the island but then he never even tries to do it instead he gets willingly intertwined in other character plots. And what motivation was behind the other character actions I don't know either. Everything and everyone is mysterious. I guess the reader is supposed to keep guessing but some answers are needed in order to make the reader interested and invested in the characters. 

The tone of the story seemed very static. There was no build-up, there was no tension, there was no boring part. The whole book was written at the same emotional level. To me all characters were the same, there was no distinctive language that would separate them or any special features they would have to make them stand out.

Those are the reasons why I decided to give this book only 2 stars. However, there were things I did love about this book. I loved that chapters were short, it made the read dynamic. The chapters also had names and I just love to have that little 'spoiler'. Words can't describe how much I love a good title to a chapter. I also really enjoyed the name and background of the main character Reynard. I feel like the name fit him really well. I also recognise that the author has an amazing imagination and combines legends and lore with his own ideas and creation which is hard to do and not many authors are able to fit their own "creations" into the real world. 

But these things, unfortunately, didn't make me enjoy the read. I had to push through the chapters. I had to force myself to read it and in the end the book didn't deliver what the synopsis promised.


1 comment:

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