The Vorrh by Brian Catling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Oh where to begin reviewing this book...first, this was easily the most severe 'slow burn' read I have ever personally come across. It wasn't until I was closing in on 200 pages (of 500) that I got swept up and was enjoying and understanding the narrative.
The language is lovely and even a bit old fashioned; with some passages reading like they were penned in the 19th century instead of the 21st. The characters were diverse, and intriguing, and I loved any and all physical descriptions of the Vorrh itself. The choice to carry on so many simultaneous characters and their respective parallel story lines was at times, a bit frustrating; especially as by the conclusion of the novel, there were still multiple 'floater' characters that never joined their experiences and narratives with that of the others.
Any short comings for me as a reader were not in the concept itself, it was very original and interesting. But it could have been a bit better explained. I'm sure that the author was fully aware of how convoluted aspects of the storyline were explained, and especially the progression of the narrative from the beginning of the novel (hence the 'slow burn' comment). One can infer from the quality of the story telling, and also from some of the sources of the reviews featured on the cover of the book itself that making this tome into a seriously complicated and bizarre journey, was very intentional.
This is fantasy written by an intellectual, and not an easy read by any means. An ultimately interesting, and very unique read, but one that makes you work to unravel character traits/ambitions and plot progression on your own.
If you're up for a challenge, and appreciate weird, then jump in.
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