Battlepanda: Monday Book Blogging: Ombria in Shadow


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Monday Book Blogging: Ombria in Shadow

Ombria's Shadow by Patricia McKillip

I have a friend who is a big fan of McKillip. But the reason I picked up this book was because it was lying around the hostel I was staying at and I'm always on the lookout for non-exorbitantly priced English language books in Taipei. Also, I've been going on something of a Sci-fi kick, so I thought, "why not add some fantasy to the party?"

You gotta say this for McKillip -- her writing is extremely poetic and evocative, though perhaps a bit too literary for me. The woman never uses a simile when she can use a metaphor. Sure, the plot is a little bit strained, but hey, I was digging the Finely Drawn Characters and the Intricate Use of Language. I could have dealt with the odd convenient coincidence or implausable turn of events, until...

(Here be spoilers...)
Until the last chapter, which was just an unforgivable undoing of all her hard work in establishing the reality of the rest of the book. Yep. It was one of those "it was all a dream" endings. Given that we are left hanging on several crucial plot threads, I really felt like this was a cop-out. I'm not saying that I'm never going to read another book by this author again, but next time I would be more careful in asking for a specific recommendation.