Reviews: Zendikar In The Teeth Of Akoum

Completely awful, yet strangely funny

Zendikar: In the Teeth of Akoum is a book that is, fundamentally, about walking to a place and doing a thing without doing anything interesting in between or actually resolving the plot. The big crisis of the book is not resolved, only worsened horribly through the protagonist's own mind-numbing stupidity, and most of the characters have either inappropriate or bizarrely malleable and inconsistent characterization. About the only redeeming factor in the novel is Sorin Markov, who I thought was hilarious after I decided that he was deliberately trolling everyone he meets instead of just being a jerk. Once you imagine that Sorin is spending the entire book just in it for the lulz, the book becomes almost unintentionally hilarious. Almost.

It's still an awful book of random encounters with no significance and horrible prose (the author misspells Nissa Revane's last name as Revine MORE OFTEN THAN HE GETS IT RIGHT), and you have weird early-development quirks like having Lorthos the Tidemaker replaced by Brinelin the Moon Kraken, but if you're the type of person who enjoys reading terrible books in order to laugh at them and have no minimum quality demands from the object of your mocking scorn, Robert B. Wintermute is here to see that you get your fix.

Just don't read the Scars of Mirrodin novel, because it is much much worse.

Yeah, this is bad.

The plot is bad. Nothing happens. They walk someplace, get in a fight with throwaway characters, walk someplace else, get in a fight with throwaway characters, take a boat, get in a fight with throwaway characters, and that's basically a summary of twenty chapters of the book. Oh, and spoiler: Sorin is a vampire. Yeah, that's supposed to be a major plot twist. I don't understand why Wintermute thought it would be shocking, or whatever, leaving it for The Reveal when the book is nearly over...I mean, the whole point of Sorin is that he's a vampire. Seriously, it's not a secret, and having Nissa not catch on just makes her look stupid.

Speaking of which, the characters are bad. Nissa is an idiot. Sorin is a jerk. Anowon has hardly any characterization at all. None of the heroes are likable. Sarkhan, Jace, Chandra, and Gideon don't appear in the book at all. As for the villains, there aren't any, really, so I suppose that's why the plot sucks so much.

Yeah, the whole book is just bad. Not like So Bad Its Good bad, just boring. You know how some books are so good, you can't put them down? This is the opposite of that. Every chapter, I had to struggle not to put it down. Nothing interesting or enjoyable happens. Nothing really relevant to the story happens except in the very last chapter. Here, I'll tell you how it ends, okay? Nissa stops Sorin from resealing the Eldrazi titans because she's an idiot and she thinks (in defiance of all observation and common sense) that if they're free, they'll go away. Whoops, turns out they want to rampage through Zendikar anyway. Sorin says "Screw This Im Outta Here, you messed it up and I have more important things to do than clean up after you, so have fun." Then he leaves and Nissa tries to fight the Eldrazi, but she's like "Oh shit that didn't work, I'm an idiot," and leaves to look for Sorin again. The end. And that's it, I'm not exaggerating, that's all that happens. Now you don't have to read the book. You're welcome.

Look, if you don't believe me, you can try reading it, but don't say I didn't warn you, okay? It's not a good book.