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Review: Son of Spellsinger

By pcurd

Son of Spellsinger
Son of Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, it’s from the 90s so of course it has rap. For 6 books Foster has managed not to include any lyrics, giving little treats to those who know the songs and can guess what might happen but now, because 90s, it has to be rap and because (I assume) he’s made up the lyrics himself he can include them in the book. And it’s awful. Not to mention the pseudo-cockney accent of the otters makes completely bizarre rhymes and really terrible wordplay the apparent order of the day.

The story is another romp through the world (in one of the few directions we haven’t been before, naturally) meeting increasingly exotic animals that need to be looked up in an encyclopedia (or Google) before you have any idea what they are and solving problems at a rate of one per chapter.

So, it’s a Spellsinger book. Yes, and apart from the change of musical genre it’s fairly unchanged from the previous 6. The group dynamic is used to good effect and the sense of comradery is more believable here – not least because the group starts out fully formed (for a while anyway) from the beginning. New characters being introduced is another Spellsinger trope and of course we get that too – one of my favourite of the series is introduced. Never to be heard from again, I assume.

After all of the books I’ve trudged through for this series you’d think the eighth one would be the easiest to jump straight into, but the new direction of this part of the series makes it hard. The characters just aren’t as interesting, and plots getting very stale by this point. But I must, I will finish this series – by sheer force of will if I have to!

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Review: The Time of the Transference

By pcurd

The Time of the Transference
The Time of the Transference by Alan Dean Foster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the last of the original Spellsinger books and actually I enjoyed it quite a lot. Some of the story didn’t make much sense, and the entire ending is just mad but I came out of it with a positive feeling. The onward marching plot from the first few books is now well and truly replaced with “books in a bottle” where a fresh calamity is created and resolved within one book. This was one of the more believable plots, although some of the sub plots make very little sense – in typical style for the Spellsinger series.

There continues to be a seemingly never ending cast of new characters and species to introduce but for once I wasn’t entire put off by any of the characters.

As a finale of a series it’s disappointing but considering two more books were published I assume Foster felt the same way and perhaps his second chance at a finale will be better.

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