Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: The Company

The Company
The Company by K.J. Parker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So how do I review this? Hmmm. I think I'll begin by warning off those that might want to read this without any expectations going in. I won't post spoilers per se, but I will be addressing the flow of this book, beginning to end.

That said,

What in the actual fuck? There, I feel better for having said that. Truth is, after finishing that I wanted to tear my copy to shreds, stomp on them, and kick the scraps into a firepit with the the heat of a thousand hells blazing through it.

So yeah. What the holy fuck was that???

Let's start at the beginning. The premise looked interesting, a story about five war veterans getting together after the war and settling a new home on a faraway island. Rewards for their years of service, yada yada. Of course there will be a conflict of some sort to stir things up, etc. Good so far.

I love the writing. K.J. Parker has a real talent for storytelling and character development. She (or he?) uses the flashback method interspersed with the current story flow to get us to know how these characters click and how they got to be the way they are. Great.

Then the middle happens. Or, I should say, it's more "middle" than "happens". Long narrative that seems to go nowhere. Then it breaks through and starts to get interesting, mildly.

Then we get near the end.

Shit goes down. I'm really getting interested now.

Then. All hell breaks out.

And I'm left with...????? The fuck???

That ending. I'm sitting there going, for real??

Seriously. If the middle had been a little less boring and the ending had been a little less FUCKED, I might have given this book 4 stars. It was well written, (somewhat) engaging, and had good characters.

Oh, and for the record, I don't dislike fucked up endings. Sometimes I actually prefer them. But it needs to make fucking sense. It needs to be a reasonable end of the path that we walked along the journey.

I did actually like the last paragraph or so, regarding the legend that the Company survived to fight each other continuously but it really didn't fit into the context of the rest of the book.

I'll probably try more K.J. Parker, but she's (or he's) on notice. I won't be as forgiving if I run into another fucked up ending like that.

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