Monday, October 15, 2007

Free Books Available for Download

Mayer Alan Brenner wrote a series of books called The Dance of Gods published in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These books are no longer in print, but Brenner is making them available for free on his website since he feels the books fit in better with today's popular fantasy authors than what was the norm for the genre when the series was first published. The first book, Catastrophe's Spell, is currently available for download on Brenner's site under a Creative Commons license.

I first heard about this website and the series from a recent review of the first book on The Book Swede. It got a rave review and Brenner's description of the series on his website sounded very interesting and showed a fun sense of humor. Also I thought it was wonderful that Brenner was making the series available for free, so I downloaded the first book. However, after reading the entire first chapter and part of the second one, I was rather disappointed. I found the writing rather choppy and the first chapter contains a character who constantly talks like Yoda, which I found annoying.

I don't like to judge a book after 15 pages, but honestly, I'm not sure if I'll finish this one or not. There was nothing that really made me want to keep reading, and I came away from the first chapter thinking I could see why the series never really had a lot of fans. Apparently, the fans it does have love the series, though, which makes me wonder if it's a case like Firefly. After watching the first few episodes of Firefly, I thought I could understand why it had been canceled, but after watching more episodes, I grew to love it and wonder how they could ever cancel such a fantastic show. So perhaps I should give the book more of a chance before making a decision on it.


Chris, The Book Swede said...

This is an interesting post, thank you for it.

I suppose you either like something or you don't, but you should probably know that I wasn't too keen on the book from the first two chapters. It was around chapter three that it had built up well (and Yoda is gone forever...!) and that it began to really draw my attention.

It got better and better :)

Hope you give it another chance like I did, and that you enjoy. I can understand, though, that not everyone has the time to be able to stick with a book they're not too sure about.


Kristen said...

Thanks for your comment, Chris. I will have to give the book another try after all.

I don't mind reading a not-so-compelling beginning as long as it actually gets better later. Especially if the Yoda character is gone. ;) I saw that character listed on the author's website so I thought that one would be around for a while.

Normally, I don't give up on a book that easily, but I guess it makes it easier to do so when not only is it free but it also is not a material object sitting on your nightstand all the time reminding you that you should just give it a chance.

If you weren't hooked until at least the third chapter, though, I think I'll have to try a few more chapters before deciding whether or not it is a book I would enjoy.