Sunday, March 7, 2010

Book 9: Ceres Storm by David Herter

This book is the complete opposite of the last one I reviewed. This is a perfect example of when the prose gets in the way of the story. Ceres Storm is so full of jargon and convoluted descriptions that I'm not at all clear on most of the plot.
There was a boy, who was also his own uncle and grandfather, and the grandfather was a machine who's soul was at one point in a tree, and before that he was the ruler of Earth and Mars. I think. And somehow the boy saves the universe by blowing up Charon, Pluto's moon. A lot of other things happened as well, I just have no idea what they really were.
Just to show how hard this book is trying (and that seems to be the main problem to me, it's just trying way too hard), here is a description of a sunset:
The afternoon dwindled to a vague silver-blue on his eyelids, to the specks of dust floating in his tears, brittle and translucent, twitching as he turned his eyes left and right, settling for a time while the silver-blue deepened, gained dimension.
That passage is one of the more easily understood things in this novel. I don't have any objection to a novel being a challenge to read. But what has happened here is that the author has pushed the novel out of the realm of enjoyment. Novels that are written in a dense language where every word is fraught with meaning can be a joy to read. This novel is awkward and clunky, like someone got overzealous with a thesaurus.