Reviews Comments: Incredibly Lackluster
It's surprisingly hard for me to recommend Cold Days. Nothing really clicks compared to past books. The tone zigzags around, a lot of new things are thrown at us, the humor tends to fall flat more often, and there's too much stuff that could be cut out. Even a lot of the references seem forced, like they're there because they have to be. I suppose it'll appeal to the biggest fans, but everyone else should approach with caution. The biggest problem is the book's pacing. In and of itself, the plot isn't that bad, but it takes an incredibly long time to get going. About fifty pages pass before the plot begins properly, and as soon as it gets some momentum, it grinds to a screeching halt to make way for a completely different one. And just as that one starts moving, it stalls for a second to introduce another one. By this time, the book is about halfway over. A large chunk of the book is exposition for concepts seen in-depth (or at all) for the first time, which makes me wonder if it could've been split into two. It certainly feels like it; the plotlines don't mesh particularly well and there are several subplots that ultimately go nowhere. "Bigness", for lack of a better word, is another problem. As the fae (and, later, Outsiders) play a large part in the book, it's important to capture their inhumanness. However, almost all of their descriptions, whether as a group or individuals, have the same formula: "You think X is really Y? That's just peanuts compared to Z!" Rinse and repeat over and over and over and over. It just doesn't stop. It doesn't get much better when Things and Concepts Mortals Cannot Comprehend start appearing; the descriptions are all variations on, "You wouldn't understand." Combining these prevented me from getting engaged in the story in any meaningful way and the stakes were quickly so absurdly high that I figured there was no way Harry could lose. If the next book wants to be good, its scale should be a lot smaller. Most frustratingly, loads and loads of questions are brought up. An arc is obviously beginning to form to answer these, but there are just so many dangling threads. If this keeps up in the next few books, I'll stop following the books altogether. I've seen the series have its ups and downs, but this is probably the worst book yet.
I'm wondering if we read the same book or if you're going for a case of Poe's Law. The reason Harry's plights get larger in scale is because he involves himself with greater and greater forces, knowingly and unknowingly. You kind of sound like the people who say the Wheel of Time sucks after a certain point because the POV shifts to some of the newer characters in order to tell more of the story of the WAR that is beginning to come into focus all around them. Meanwhile, it should be a foregone conclusion that Harry isn't going to lose because, if you really have read all of the books up til now, you should know that these are his journals. If he didn't survive, how was he supposed to write them? As for loose ends and questions... what good work doesn't answer questions, only to pose new ones? Even if this series has issues, it is nothing even close to the issues that Goodkind's Sword of Truth series has. Keep that in mind.
comment #17520 Majin72 1st Jan 13
I misread part of this review as, "I masturbated to the book." We'd need to hire a wizard to track you down and destroy you. XD
comment #17521 Lightflame 1st Jan 13
Majin: It's not that the scale is too large, it's that it gets too large too fast. Harry's goal is to kill an immortal and then suddenly all of reality is at stake with no clear connection between the two until much later. I was expecting something like that with the apocalyptic trilogy, but not with six books to go before then. In books where all of the world is at stake in one way or another (Summer Knight and climate shifts, Death Masks and the plague, etc), the stakes rise much more smoothly and with a much clearer connection. The foregone conclusion was less that it was foregone (The Good Guys Always Win is a trope for a reason), but that it left very little wiggle room for any sort of major downside. It's literally all or nothing, as opposed to Changes, where he saves his daughter and ends the war, but at the cost of Susan and creating a massive power vacuum. Yes, the ending is bittersweet, but Harry's conversation with Mab regarding how much the mantles influence their bearers softens it a bit too much for me. I don't mind new questions, but this brings up a massive amount of them while very little actually gets answered. I could've handled all of the questions if they had been divided between two books.
comment #17522 TeraChimera 1st Jan 13
New questions? The one major gripe I had with Cold Days was that it felt to me like it answered more questions than it generated.
comment #21695 Kajin 23rd Oct 13
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