Two weekends ago, I went to the bookstore with Julie, ostensibly to knit. We didn't ever get around to that - we wandered around a lot, and yakked a lot, but didn't pull out the knitting. I did, however, purchase some books. I just finished The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, volumes 1 and 2 over the weekend. It looked promising - it had great blurbs, it was a NY Times Bestseller, it sold itself as
"...a bodice-ripping, action-packed roller-coaster ride of suspense, betrayal, and richly fevered dreams."With a line like that, I couldn't resist. I wasn't looking for high literature after all, I was looking for escapism.
The first chapter was promising, but the book rapidly got bogged down in its own language, overly convoluted plots, and poor pacing. Parts of the book stretched on forever, and critical scenes were rushed and hard to follow. By the time I finished reading both volumes (evidently this is one larger work that was packaged into two smaller paperbacks for ease of handling), I still had no connection to any of the characters, and had lost track of much of the intrigue and the rationale for most of the actions. It was bizarrely violent, gory, and completely nonsensical, and lacked any sense of fun.
I don't think it's that I don't like steampunk - Girl Genius amuses me, and I enjoyed the Difference Engine, but this book really left me cold. In some ways I think it's comparable to Jonathan Norrell and Mr. Strange, at least in terms of being somewhat in need of an editor, but Norrell and Strange was a much better book. I didn't enjoy that one very much either, but at least I didn't want a refund of my time quite as badly.
Overall, I was disappointed, and I'm recommending a pass on these.