Saturday, 23 April 2011

James Lovegrove: Age of Ra

I may have already said that I need to stop buying books purely because they've been recommended by the Grauniad, but it does bear repeating, if only in the hope that I might start listening to the things I say.

Age of Ra is the first book of a trilogy, and deploying the immense reserves of stupidity which have made me such a boon to web-shops throughout the civilised world, I actually bought all three books without considering that the first one might put me right off the other two. In part this is a holdover from when I was much younger and it was more cost efficient to buy on line if you bought in bulk, but I really ought to know better.

It has taken me ages to finish Age of Ra, because I rapidly realised I'd rather do almost anything else than pick it up again. It's not even bad enough to be funny. It's just "meh".

It's a shame, but I think what happened was that Lovegrove shot his wad with the idea, and then didn't have a book, as such, to go with it. The notion of a world where the whole place is run by the gods of Egypt; interesting. The idea of exploring it by showing it to us through the eyes of the doomed plucky rebels fighting against it; boring. The rebels aren't that interesting and the big twist in the rebellion is one of those things that reads more like the writer trying to paint himself back out of a corner than a carefully managed plot. Stuff happens, more stuff happens, then some other stuff. Then the book is blessedly, tediously, over with.

And I still have two more to go. There's the Age of Zeus, which I dipped into the other day before putting to one side, and the Age of Odin. I already have a bad feeling about the Age of Zeus, because it's also about showing us the world through the eyes of the people rebelling against the status quo, and also because like Age of Ra it opens with an action beat that doesn't really go anywhere, like the cold open on a million dumb episodes of TV. Age of Odin comes last, and it's the one which actually got a good review. Lord knows whether I'm going to get to it, but then again, I went on line today to see if Don Winslow's Savages was in paperback yet, and it turns out that I won't have anything good to read there till September. I might just have slogged through the other two ages by then.

No comments: