Saturday, November 5, 2011

Review: Black Ships by Jo Graham

Black Ships (Numinous World, #1)Black Ships by Jo Graham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on Homer's epic Aeneid, Jo Graham's Black Ships certainly has dynamic and profound material with which to work. Unfortunately, Graham's delivery falls short of anything but a mildly entertaining chick-lit read.

Having said that, there are echoes of Marion Zimmer Bradley's style here, a retelling of a male-oriented legend from a female, even feminist point of view, in this case the oracle known as Pythia replacing the Arthurian Morgaine. And yet Graham's characters failed to rise off the page, to engage, to vividly occupy the imagination. In fact, I very much felt throughout the story that Graham simply populated her story with dolls and predictably moved them about. It was as though Graham found herself bound by the very legend she attempted to illuminate.

Which is disappointing. This is stuff to fire the imagination. And because of the writing style, and the lack of vivid character development, it's a sure bet I'll give the rest of this series a pass.

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