Monday, February 25, 2008

Book Review: Rapiers: Twin Fangs by Jeffrey Resurreccion

Every Monday, I'll be doing spoiler-free book reviews.

I really wanted to like this book--mainly because it's a Filipino endeavor at trying to write a full-fledged high fantasy novel--but it honestly falls flat. As a proto-novel, it would have been fine but there's a reason why first drafts aren't the manuscripts that make it to final publication. The biggest weakness of Resurreccion is a lack of description--not that he can't do descriptions but they're all in the wrong places and there's a significant lack of background on many significant details such as the setting itself (which seems like a feudal mishmash of magic and a little bit of techno-fantasy) or the various characters. For example, Resurreccion cites demi-humans but we don't quite know what they are or what makes them so different (I can only assume that they are anthropomorphic). We also have the Cursed, one of the antagonists of the book, but again we don't really know what makes them so abominable, whether it's their appearance or a particular racial trait. There are also attempts at characterization but it simply falters for many reasons. There's simply too many main characters in the book and while veteran and skilled authors know how to juggle them, this isn't one of Resurreccion's talents. Instead, we have characters that are bordering on being two-dimensional and fantasy cliches. The dialogue can also be stiff and even awkward at times. Perhaps what bugs me the most is that Resurreccion clearly has an anime/manga influence yet those elements seem to be randomly thrown in as we have characters that have seemingly arbitrary Japanese names mixed in with German, Spanish, and European. There's even attempts to distinguish the speech patterns of some characters such as one character who pronounces t's with z's or another character who ends his sentences with -poyo- or -oink- but these details seem superficial. That's not to say there aren't any good lines or scenes in the book but they're too few. The ending is also a dismal failure because it relies on emotional investment in a specific character and I don't think the important characters were the ones that were developed. Oh, and the villains suffer from the evil overlord syndrome. Overall, there's lots of room for improvement and the novel could have used a good editor but for the most part, it reads like an unpolished fan fiction piece.

Rating: 1/5.

Rating System:

1 - There are better ways to spend your time.
2 - Ho hum books, usually typical of its genre. Probably only recommendable to die-hard fans.
3 - A cut above the rest, usually with one or more elements that sets it apart from the norm.
4 - Highly recommended and is easily a pioneer of the genre.
5 - A classic or it will be.


banzai cat said...

That bad, huh?

Charles said...

More of needs polishing. The author already has an outline and there are some scenes that are salvageable.

paul0 said...

I just imagine the demi-humans as davy jones' (pirates of the caribbean) servants, and the cursed as zombies.