Fran Wilde
Updraft Cover



This book is definitely worth reading, but I guess I'm not understanding the massive amounts of love it seems to be getting. After I finished it, I was kind of thinking, okay, on to my next book which will hopefully be better -- and I wanted to figure out why I had that sort of "whatever" response to it.

I finally decided that it was because, while the worldbuilding is pretty interesting (though there are a few things which get handwaved which I felt should be better explained), and the plot, though not original, is certainly made more so by weaving it into the world, the character development leaves something to be desired. It just felt flat to me; none of the characters' internal lives really gets explored. It was sort of an Eight Deadly Words situation where the worldbuilding was interesting enough to keep me going.

I suspect that part of my ambivalence was the main character's selfishness and self-absorption -- when their actions cause severe hardships for others that will last a lifetime, their response was essentially "Gosh, I feel kinda bad about that -- oh, well, on to what's really important now: Getting What I Want". Flawed characters are fine, but I like to see them achieve some growth -- and I didn't feel like the main character ever really grew in awareness of how their own actions affected other people, or took responsibility for those consequences.