Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: The Cold Commands by Richard K. Morgan

I'm going to be honest. I have several problems with this book. True, it has an interesting storyline and some fascinating characters. The world building is, on the whole, well done. It's well written.

Here's the thing, though. First of all, it really seems as if Morgan is trying to be George R. R. Martin, or at least to ride on his coat tails. I love Martin, but Morgan? You are not him. Don't try. Be yourself.

Second thing? This is being touted as an amazing epic fantasy debut, but the more I read, the more convinced I become that it's all a massive bait and switch...and it's really some kind of weird post transcendental/post apocalyptic science fiction. Either we're being conned by marketing (possible) or Morgan just can't quite give up science fiction. Either way, I like genre bending. I like it a lot. What I don't like is something being sold me as one thing and turning out to be another.

Also, a little bit less swearing would be nice. I realize that's how he intends his characters to talk, but swear words and derogatory terms lose impact when over-used.

I like Morgan. He's a decent writer. But this work falls short of being great.

(Also, as a note, both this book and the prequel, The Steel Remains, contain graphic violence and some fairly explicit sex, including M/M and F/F. It doesn't bother me, but it might bother some readers. And, of course, appeal to others).