søndag 4. januar 2009

On The Company.

Right. A month since last entry? Been slacking too much, then. (And very likely my blood has been replaced by pepsi.)

First of all, every december there tends to be a lot of travelling, so got myself a couple of books to read. The one that ended up being read properly after reading the first couple of chapters in all of them, was The Company, by K J Parker.

In short, it's a book about a gang of old army vets going to an island after being apart from each other since they left the army, and wanting to do something together again. It's a mix between one of those old "put people on an island and see what happens" fads from a few centuries ago, and military fantasy. For me, the term "fantasy" in this regard, doesnt really attach - there is no magic, its just some madeup lands that seem very familiar to real world ones, and island stories seldom use true stories either.. But anyway.

K J Parker can in some ways be said to be my favorite author, and for a long while I bought everything with Parker's name on the cover, same thing with this one (first hardcover I have bought since.. have no idea), and the style of writing was the thing that drew me into reading it from the get go. For some reason, the phrasings and so on, even though it's not in my first language, flows so well, so its a joy just to read it in that regard. But when it comes to actual content in the book.. It's incredibly typical, and dare I say, completly void of surprises. I am pretty bad at guessing plot things normally, but this one I wasnt surprised by at all - something that was a major letdown, when one of the key elements of such stories is people having dark mysteries, twisted plots, and weird endings.

There's the usual dose of various "how to build or use medieval tools, weapons and buildings" parker style, some pretty boring battles, and some delving into the minds of shock trooper minds (not that I am in a position to say "spot on !" in that regard), but thats about it. The only thing that the book really delivered on, was certain takes on society, and what is a good thing to find on an island and what is not, government and some other things, that I found fun to read. Of course, I didn't mind some of the battles and such either, but meh.

I used to reccomend Parker's other books to friends and such, most of them complained about the books being too heavy on the boring elements that I just listed. I guess I see their point now - the book is like the second book of a trilogy - some plot things, but not really any proper point to it, or start, or finish.

Parker is hereby taken off the "mustbuy" list, and the book duly put in the "will not be reread" part of the shelf. Improvements needed on next published book please, Mr or Mrs Parker! Though, the writing is still class..

Rated: 6/10

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