The Face Of Time by Camille Bacon-Smith
A tale of rural horror that has no mystery or menace and everyone is a total ass. Did Not Finish bad.
The First Man In Rome by Colleen McCullough
This unsatisfactory 1990 doorstopper is the turgid first book in the ‘Masters Of Rome’ saga. Gaius Marius and Sulla rise to power in 110BC. There is exposition, people make speeches, there is sex and loads and loads of characters. There is personal ill-will, temerity and no lasting consequences. The characters are all singularly unpleasant. You don’t care about them as this was badly written and full of modern slang and winking attributes.
“What she wanted had no validity.”
“You will treat him with unfailing deference, respect, interest, and concern.”
“Would have been appalled if she had moaned in ecstasy or thrown herself around in the bed as if she enjoyed herself in the manner of a mistress. All she was obliged to do, she did in the manner her wifehood dictated - flat on her back, no fancy hip work,”
“Tended to manipulate his divine great-uncle’s human thoughts and deeds to suit his own ends.”
“Drunk in large quantities by the lowly.”
“Whatever else women do.”
“Not even decently born!”
Now I Rise by Kiersten White
The sequel to ‘And I Darken’ is not as dark and enthralling as Book 1. It is really very boring. Lada is at her gloomiest as she chases her throne while being incredibly miserable. She doesn’t handle things terribly well and has appalling ideas and makes great mistakes and starts big trouble with sheer bloody determination.
Her brother Radu is bitterly unhappy and is focused only on making Mehmed happy and berating people who point out that Mehmed is obviously manipulating him. Radu is a dumb fool and is morally responsible for tragedy. Radu is discordant and demonstrably awful.
Mehmd strides theatrically and manipulates Radu’s unshakeable allegiance. He is not sincere in his emotions as he furtively schemes. This book was relentlessly ho-hum mega-dross. It created no effective dread just endless recriminations and no rational behaviour.
“Do nothing but be born to power he could not wield.”
Antony & Cleopatra by Colleen McCullough
This 2007 novel is badly written whilst being wildly over-written. It tells of Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Octavian and Caesarion. Years pass, there is exposition, death and this was dull.
“You’re a disgrace as a wife and a woman,”