Bones of the Moon by Jonathan Carroll

February 5, 2005 at 12:00 am | Posted in 3 stars, Book Reviews, Fantasy | Leave a comment

There’s nothing more frustrating than reading a book by a promising author that squanders his or her talent. Unfortunately Bones of the Moon is such a book. After finishing Land of Laughs I was convinced Carroll was one of the best writers currently working in the SF/F field. Now I’m not so sure. His first novel was excellent, almost brilliant, but that was 1980. Meanwhile, this, his third novel, is for me a massive disappointment. Despite an extremely solid high concept and some very provocative underlying ideas, the book is a failure. I give it three stars because the wreckage of a Carroll disaster is better than many genre author’s best. This remains an interesting read, but know going in not to expect a story that is satisfying in any way. I don’t know if I can express just how disappointed I was…there’s a masterpiece here, but Carroll either could not or simply did not create it. Why I can’t imagine…either he simply is not as talented as I think or, more likely (and possibly more depressing) his gifts for character and lyricism have left him more interested in tone, imagery, and dialogue beats than the mechanics of a plot. Whatever the reason, Carroll will have to prove to me he can produce another strong story, but his undeniable talents will force me to give him many more chances.

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