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The Howling Stones (1997)

The Howling Stones (1997)

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3.64 of 5 Votes: 4
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0345383753 (ISBN13: 9780345383754)
del rey

About book The Howling Stones (1997)

I'm a fan of Foster and have read around 50 of his novels. This one had a few problems that are uncharacteristic for him. First, the novel has some definite pacing issues. The introduction phase seemed to take about 70 pages, which is considerable for a relatively short novel. Very little happened in the first 100 pages, and there was a lull around the 200 mark. Again, for a 320 page novel (give or take), I found the pacing to be an issue. If it hadn't been a foster book, I would have quit around the 200-page mark, as it hit a stretch in which I was sure that the course of events was obvious.After putting the novel down for a week or so, I was surprised to find that just after this boring section, the novel became packed full of trippy, hallucination-style scenes that were quite well done. The book was well-worth the read just for these passages and the similar ones that occur toward the end of the novel. There also seemed to be a fair amount of philosophizing in these sections, which was a pleasant surprise for a Foster novel.Another issue for me was the lengthy descriptions, which were far more frequent and obnoxious than is typical for the author. I have never scanned so much of a Foster novel, but I was bored to tears by the long descriptive passages. Those who enjoy fantasy-style descriptions will undoubtedly like them, but they are not my cup of tea.Foster usually excels (in my opinion, is one of the best) at writing alien encounters, but they were done in near-montage style in this novel. The first few pages of the protagonist's "first encounter" were amusing, and after that, it was just plodding and dull. The culture created for the aliens was somewhat boring, and the the author never delved into many interesting idiosyncrasies of the species, which is unusual for him. Overall, the novel seemed to me like a bare-bones plot padded with tons of description. The book was an alright little romp, but compared to his other work, it was light on adventure, heavy on tropical descriptions, and devoid of humor, twists, or (to be honest), fun.I would recommend it for completist fans only.

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