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Saturday, January 13, 2007

*** The Ghatti's Tale, Book One: Finders, Seekers by Gayle Greeno. Fantasy.

This is one of those times when I look at the reviews on Amazon and have to double-check that we're talking about the same book. They were so universally positive that it almost made me want to go back and re-read the book to see if maybe I'd missed something. But it's a 500+ page book that I had to force myself to finish, so there's no way I'll be doing that.

On the world of Methuen, there's a sentient alien race called Ghatti, who look like oversized housecats. They can mind-speak among themselves, and bond and mind-speak with certain humans referred to as Seekers. A Seeker-Ghatt pair is able to discern truth, so they serve as something like circuit judges in the old west.

When a Seeker is killed and his Ghatt basically loses his mind, it's up to his friend and lover Doyce and her Ghatt Khar to solve the mystery.

There's really nothing new or exciting here. The Ghatts are just too precious, starting with the name. The concept was interesting--both the set-up with the bonded pairs and the mystery, and it did pick up once it was revealed whodunit, near the end, but it was just a chore to read.

I'm sure Finders, Seekers wouldn't have looked quite so dull if I hadn't read it right after Cursor's Fury, but it illustrates some of the comments I made--it's full of way too many characters with oddly-spelled names, and long passages of authorial intrusion--interminable descriptions of things the author wants the reader to know about the fantasy world.

Worse yet, too much of the narrative doesn't really have a point, and just bogs down the story. For example, we learn everything about Doyce's life history (in dreams, no less), and only a small portion of that has any bearing on what happens later.

This is the sort of book that made me stop reading fantasy in the first place. I just don't have the patience to sift through all the extraneous stuff to get to the story. Not my cuppa.


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