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Review of Windhave by George RR Martin and Lisa Tuttle

Posted by phduffy on 2003-11-16 19:50:20
It's pretty simple really. George RR Martin is writing the fantasy series to end all series, "A Song of Fire and Ice". These books are fantastic, Epic, full of complexity and emotion and awesomeness.

They are also best sellers. So, publishers figure, 'hey, why don't we release his old stuff'. So this is an older novel that he wrote with fellow author Lisa Tuttle that has been re-released.

I'm not quite sure how co-authored books work. Does one write and one edit? One decide on a general story and then one fills in the details? Do they alternate chapters and send them back and forth to each other?

Anyways, on to the book. This is set after settlers have crash landed on a water filled planet. All technology has been lost, and the people live on a few small islands. In order to get information from one Island to another, a small group of flyers has made wings from what was left of the ship, and they fly from island to island. They're basically the most powerful group in the world. The job is hereditary. The story revolves around the adopted daughter of a flyer, and her struggle to be accepted. As she's not the true born heir, people want to take her wings away. Story ensues.

The story is all right, and it moves quickly (I read the 400 page book in 2 days), but has a lot of flaws. The characters are basically idiots. I think that the problem was that the authors decided which way they wanted the story to go before they figured out how to get there. So you have "How do we get to situation B? Have character A do C". The problem is that A is stupid/unreasonable/unnaturally stubborn, etc. Now, part of this could have been on purpose, as we're being shown what might happen in a hereditary society. Still, they're human beings, and it didn't play well.