Doris Lessing
Shikasta Cover



I read this as a selection from my random author for the WoGF challenge. It's a very interesting book but in my mind it's over long. It's divided into two sections. The first section, which is written in the form of diary or case notes, is extremely good and had a great plot, a cracking idea and held my attention very well. The second section is more of a traditional story and while it's well written it didn't really do anything for me. It's as if the author lost her way, couldn't work out how to end the book in the style of the first section and just wrote a separate novel and stuck it on the end. I will say that the second section got skimmed when it was obvious how it was going.

I think the one thing that really jarred with me was the lack of any attempt by Canopus to resolve the problems created by the Shammat so that the events in the second section were mitigated at the very least. There's lots of running around and trying to save people but nothing to prevent the issues in the first place, especially when we know that Canopus knew there were problems almost from the start.

I won't be reading the rest of the Canopus in Argos series.