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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Dangerous

Dangerous - Shannon Hale

No matter how lovingly drawn, how accurate, you cannot explore the territory by studying the map. This book. This well paced, cleverly written, strange kitchen sink book. This book is just a map.


I so want to love Dangerous and recommend it to all of you, but I can't. As good as it is at so many things, as much fun as it has, it just isn't enough. In covering this vast amount of plot, there are just too many shortcuts in terms of character. 


This is an amazing trilogy, sadly trimmed down to a single volume's length.


Shortcuts. All these shortcuts connecting really great scenes, reducing the whole wondrous, dangerous tale into a shallow read that its unrealized potential.


The first part is basically Spacecamp. Does anyone remember that movie? The cast of characters is briefly introduced, but so little of each (besides the boy, and isn't there always a boy) is seen that they're basically just a name and some trivia. Camp itself has these awesome "fireteam" challenges with interesting puzzles and problem solving. One is described in rushed detail and rest, sadly exist only by implication. We don't have time, I guess, to show the bonds forming between these teens or learn anything about them.


Part two, Hale attempts to back-fill character development by having the protagonist remember things from camp that never happened on the page. 


Part three should be amazing, but there have been so many shortcuts by now that why should I care? 


Oh, book, why? Why could you not have either been amazing or just better hide your potential.