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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Chemickal Marriage by Gordon Dahlquist

Getting the third volume of Dahlquist's series was a bit of an ordeal; thank you, Public Library of St. Louis, Missouri!

And it was an ordeal to read.  There's just too much -- too many arch-villains, each one stepping in to take over the dastardly plan when the previous one dies.  Too many allies who help the heroes for a moment, only to disappear or be left to their fate. Too many interchangeable underlings. Too many separations and reunions of the protagonist trio. Too many action scenes that don't change the outcome, chases that don't go anywhere, and conversations that don't reveal anything significant. Above all, there is a sense of ugliness that pervades the narrative.

And it's a shame -- there are some wonderful characters in this trilogy and a lot of neat, original concepts, starting with the mysterious blue glass that can take or infuse memories, wipe out a personality or replace it with another, brutally kill the body or give it strength.  Pruning this story down would have done wonders.

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