Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On the Oceans of Eternity by S. M. Stirling (review)

Title: On the Oceans of Eternity
Author: S. M. Stirling
Illustrator: N/A
Pages: 630
Genre: Fiction
Dewey Decimal: F Sti
ISBN: 0-451-45780-3
Cost: $6.99

Eternity. I never expected it, but that's what this book felt like. An eternity. It is much longer than the previous two in the series but I don't think that's really the issue the reader faces. I think it's the lack of strong characters and the plethora of military references and strategy.

There are moments of glory in the book, moments of tenderness, and moments of vengeance long coming. Yet those moments are surrounded by armies moving through battles. Battles long on detail and short on action.

While I'd give this a middling rating, somewhere in the area of where I'd put Stirling's Conquistador, I was still glad to see how certain characters turned out. Raupasha became a surprising character for me to bond with, as was Spring Indigo. And of course Walker's ... well, I'll let you find out about that yourself.

It's been some years since my first reading of Eternity, and since then some of the shine has worn off. It's still a good read, just not as enjoyable as the first time through. And I have noticed that with time, Stirling has improved his writing. With that, I have raised my standards (not only for his writing, but others as well).

So in the end, On the Oceans of Eternity finishes the Nantucket series. No big bangs, no bright flashes, it just tapers off. After taking you on a long ride.


1979 semi-finalist said...

Also, am I crazy or have you been pretty unimpressed with the last few books you've read (including the most recent Atlantis etc.)? What's up with that?


TK42ONE said...

Yeah, there's been a bit of a low-streak lately with the books I've been reading. I'm reading one now that will be even lower than that, but I'm expecting it. Same goes for On the Oceans of Eternity, I half expected it to be lower than I had hoped.

But good news, there's at least two positive reviews coming soon (one is already written and one I'm still reading the book).