Friday, 22 February 2008
‘Maelstrom’ – Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (Bantam Press)
Anne and Todd McCaffrey’s ‘Dragonharper’ was an enjoyable (but undemanding) read so when ‘Maelstrom’ and ‘Deluge’ (the continuation of McCaffrey and Scarborough’s ‘Twins of Petaybee’ series) came through the door I thought I’d give ‘Maelstrom’ a go.
I gave it a go, I really did. I struggled through just over a hundred pages and when I realised that I was skimming pages I thought, “Time to put the book down Graeme…”
The first thing that bugged me is that the blurb on the back of the book pretty much tells you the story. No hook to draw you in, just an outline of the plot. I’m left thinking that now I know the story what’s the point of my continuing to read… But I thought I’d give it a go and what I got was a story about two children who live on a sentient planet and can transform into seals. They’re not just children though; they’re ‘perfect’ children who learn to fly a spaceship just because they’re bored and want something to do. These little dears didn’t put a foot wrong during my attempt to read ‘Maelstrom’ (apart from really annoying me) and, as such, they didn’t come across like children at all. They were more like adults (apart from a slightly cringe worthy moment where the girl starts to realise she is becoming a woman) and this just made things feel like the authors couldn’t decide whether to write a Sci-Fi novel or a Young Adult version…
I did like the way that the children were able to communicate, telepathically, with the animals they met but eventually it just felt like a watered down version of the Dragons in the Pern books. It got to a point, in the book, where a race of telepathic turtles were relating their history and it was at precisely this moment I realised that I did not care at all what happened next. I put the book down and I don’t think I’ll be picking it up again. There’s no score here as I didn’t finish the book.
Like I usually say in these situations, if you’re a fan then you’ll probably get a lot out of ‘Maelstrom’, look out for the release of the next book ‘Deluge’ in early March, but it just wasn’t one for me. Having said that though, the picture of the seal flying through the air (on the front cover) had me laughing out loud…