Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Review: Red Prophet (Tales of Alvin Maker)


Author: Orson Scott Card

Pages: 320

Genre: Fiction/Sci Fi. & Fantasy/Epic/Series

Personal Rating: 2.5/5

From the back cover:

It's the 19th century, and Napoleon is in command of an army in Detroit. Andrew Jackson is a lawyer from Tenezzy, and William Henry Harrison is the self-appointed governor of Wobbish just east of the Mizzipy River. And somewhere up north, in a small town called Vigor Church, is a young boy named Alvin who is the seventh son of a seventh son, with the power to shape the world around him. These are the tales of Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker, which takes place in an alternate American history where folk magic really works. And this is the story of the Red Prophet, where Alvin finds himself caught in a war between the Red men and the Whites on the American frontier.
Book II from Tales of Alvin Maker was not my cup of tea. If it wasn't the second book in a series for the Series Challenge and if I had not enjoyed Book I, I probably would have stopped reading. It's not that it was a terrible story, or horribly written (quite the opposite actually). It just wasn't my thing.

The focus of Book II is Alvin's relationship with the Red Prophet and Ta-Kumsaw (the Prophet's brother) and the impending war between the Whites and the Reds. I'm sure it is important for the foundation of the series but as a stand alone novel I found it boring. There was a lot of foreshadowing involved so I'm pretty sure you couldn't just skip this book and move on with the novel.

There were sections I found very interesting and hope to find more sections like those in the upcoming books. Alvin using his knack for healing, references to the Torch, who pulled the caul from Calvin's face when he was born. The prophet's visions of Alvin's future with the crystal towers were all topics i found interesting and wished were covered in more detailed.

I wouldn't abandon the series based on this book alone. It seems that many people really enjoyed book II. I'm however ready to move onto Book III.

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