The Magickers Chronicles Vol. Two: a Non-Review

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group

 

To recap: when I put up a “non-review,” it means I couldn’t finish a book. I’m not going to review it on Epinions or Amazon, and this isn’t going to be a full-on review, but I don’t mind telling you folks here why I decided not to finish it in case that information is useful to you. Just keep in mind that my judgment isn’t based on the entire book. And in this case I also haven’t read volume one of the series; I imagine that the scattered elements of this installation in the series would probably be more interesting if I was already invested in the characters.


 

These days, books go out of print so quickly, and some series go on for so long, that it’s become fairly well expected that authors will try to make each book stand on its own as much as possible. That way, if the start of the series is out of print (or 30 books back) by the time you discover it, you can still dive in and become a fan. I didn’t really find that The Magickers Chronicles: Volume Two stood well on its own. It felt scattered and chaotic, as though we were still in the denouement period following the climax of a book.

Even though the characters depicted covered a wide spectrum of ages, I had trouble pinning down any individual character’s age until something gave me a clue in the text, which didn’t happen often enough. And then I tended to be surprised, as in, “that character’s THAT young?” or “that character is an adult? Really?” In practice there just didn’t seem to be enough distinguishing many of the characters from each other, apart from a few that clearly had had more thought put into them.

I managed to make it just over 100 pages into the more than 650-page book. Then I realized that after that many pages I still didn’t have a good grasp on what was going on, didn’t have a feel for the focus of the current chapter of things, and honestly, didn’t really care much about the characters or what happened to them.

If you read volume one, enjoyed it, and want to find out what happened to the characters, I expect you’ll probably get a lot more out of volume two than I did. But I can’t recommend diving in at book two.

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