Spent the weekend reading, Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. Decent read. Didn't blow me away. Better than the Shadow series that Card's been putting out lately. Still, I'm going to focus on some negatives.
First, why do Card characters always seem to be so Machiavellian? Manipulation is the name of their game. Everything is so calculated. ANd how did they get so damn prescient? Characters in a Card novel are always thinking 3 moves ahead of their opponents. Always. And of course, they are always incredible scholars and Renaissance men. One of the things I liked about the Alvin series at the start was that Alvin was such an everyman, in spite of his gifts. Can't think of a Card character that is relatively normal in recent years.
Second, why does Card feel the need to have the narrator explain everything that is going on? Can't the action & plot explain some of it?
Okay, so the basic plot is this: Sleeping Beauty. Add in that magic is real. And a gateway between ancient Ukraine and modern Ukraine. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court meets Alvin Maker meets Sleeping Beauty meets Peter Wiggin. The stories work best when Card is spinning his fish out of water yarns: Ivan in pre-medieval Ukraine, and Katerina and Bab Yaga in the modern world. Ivan being the unlikely prince charming. Katerina being the perfect Sleeping Beauty. Baba Yaga being the witch. The Hollywood ending, complete with the happily ever after vacation in suburbia, totally sucked.
By the way, if you couldn't tell. I love, hate, or find very mediocre all media. Tend to love very little and write about the hate and mediocre works in the same manner. In other words, I tend to be very negative about both mediocre and horrid works. So it can sometimes seem like I hate stuff more than I do. Really though, this wasn't a horrible book to spend an afternoon reading.