Gossamer Mage by Julie Czerneda (Q and A/Giveaway link) has much to love for a fantasy novel. The world building is in done in extraordinary detail. The magic system is incredibly well defined. Everything is built up in a way that gives readers buy-in and plausibility.
Thank You to Daw/Penguin and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for a fair review.
However, for me, it was very difficult for me to really love this book. It felt very weighed down in almost too much of everything it needed. If you simplified some of that information and gave the story more room for the story to breathe? It would have gone a long way to helping the story along.
Secondly, the characters titles are all very confusing. There are many books, especially fantasy books, that have a lot of characters thrown at you up front, all at once. If I can get through that initial push and move forward it can work.
The problem with the characters in Gossamer Mage is that there is not just a huge cast of characters. There are a huge cast of characters with multiple names and titles each. That becomes really confusing, really quickly. The hard part again is that if you simplify that piece, Czerneda has to be applauded for the dimensionality of the characters. They are not flat, surface characters. They are all well developed and interesting to read about throughout the story.
Lastly, goes back to a well thought out and intricate magic system. I loved how it was unique and again well explained so you don’t have the issue of readers lacking plausibility. This is a wonderfully set-up system that gets bogged down in technicalities like how many types of gossamer’s are there and what they are utilized for. That takes the fun out of it because it goes too far and bogs it down.
Czerneda has so many foundational parts down for a brilliant fantasy story with Gossamer Mage. However, everything that is done really well, often gets tripped up in becoming over complicated and clumsy. Simplify technicalities like the need for numerous character names/titles, number of gossamers and the abundance of research that muddies the plot, and you have a really promising story.
15 thoughts on “Blog Tour Arc Review: Gossamer Mage by Julie Czerneda Releases Today, 8/6”
I just read Tammy’s review and she had issues with the writing style and plot! So if you had issues with the characters too.. OMG! I don;t think I’ll ever read this one! Too bad! So much potential. Totally agree about making stories too complex! Great review!
Yeah you know I try very hard to stay away from reviews until after I’ve written mine unless I think I really need to double check myself on something. So I’ve been hopping around and unfortunately in one way or another most seem agreed that ta lot of good pieces got bogged down in either pacing, writing style, characters etc… it was just too much. The story never had a chance to lift off. 🙁
I really liked how you put this. The world building was almost too much. I felt like the concept of how writing magic stole life was repeated SO many times and eventually I just wanted to scream I GET IT ALREADY!! While the world building was fantastic, I feel like more time should have been spent on other elements of the story like the plot and the characters. In the beginning there were just too many story lines and since it was so easy to set down for me I found myself forgetting what was going on. It had tremendous potential, but just not enough follow through. How did you feel about the ending?
Thank you! The book just came out so I don’t want to say too much but I agree that all things considered the book wrapped up well. It was just all so much by the time that it ended that I was just sitting there like… huh? What? Lol.
I completely agree and hate when a book has so much going on that you cant put it down without forgetting everything when you pick it up. You get really tired as a reader, really fast.
I agree. While the last quarter of the book brought up my rating a bit, I still was left feeling annoyed at how slow paced it was for me. It had some really beautiful and vivid writing though, and I can appreciate the world building. I can appreciate it for the parts of it that were amazing, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.
I found it funny that we both felt the same way about this one AND Here There Are Monsters. You truly are my book-a-like. I should coin that term…
What are you currently reading? I just finished The Ten Thousand Doors of January.
That is a great term! Copyright it!
Everyone should have a book-a-like, you can rely on their recommendations like nothing else!
Yep! It is hard to find those that can really help recommend books that others will love
Right, because so many oth3er bloggers have such different preferences than I do. I can’t get lots of great fantasy recs from someone who reads mostly historical fiction.
Lol… I have some varied taste but then I don’t do romance which a lot of people understandably do… I get that it is very popular and in another time and place I’m sure it would be with me too but not now.
I used to love romance, but now I am not a huge fan. My real problem is that I don’t like lust. If it’s a proper romance and it’s done well… sometimes I wind up loving it. But I am a huge fan when it’s not in a book, because every book seems to have a romance lately. It’s part of the reason I wound up loving The Bone Ships so much!