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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: The Door in the Mountain

The Door in the Mountain - Caitlin Sweet

A disappointing read, with flat characters, little action, and no resolution. I loved the last Sweet book so much, but this has none of the depth or beauty of the writing in The Pattern Scars.


There are interesting aspects to this re-imagining of Greek mythology, but the story here hardly touches those. I like that the two narrators are normal people in this world full of god marked wonders, but it would have been nice if they hadn't also been boring people. Or if the first 80% of the book hadn't been filler text and the last 20% set up for a sequel. 


The majority of the narrative follows Ariadne, an obnoxious brat always trying to manipulate every situation. Well, that may be giving her too much credit. Most of her scenes play out:


Ariadne: I will say or do something mean!

Other Person: I will effectively counter!

Ariadne: Well, that was unsatisfying. 


I want to read more unlikable women, but I don't think Araidne qualifies as she's so flat she's hardly a character. I can see versions of this book where I hate her, or pity, or possibly even root for her, but she's basically as effective and interesting as a bad smelling tea towel.


The other narrator is Chara, a slave girl. She might be interesting if her sole motivation for every word and action weren't a boy. Like, seriously, all of them. All about a boy.