Orson Scott CardGenre:
Fantasy, Philosophy, Obnoxious preachingPublishing year:
1987The sphere is alien in origin, but has been controlled by man for millennia. A legend as old as the stars rules this constructed world; When the seventh seventh seventh human Heptarch is crowned, he will be the Kristos and will bring eternal salvation . . . or the destruction of the cosmos.
Patience is the only daughter of the rightful Heptarch, but she, like her father before her, serves the usurper who has destroyed her family. For she has learned the true ruler's honor.
Duty to one's race is more important than duty to one's self. But the time for prudence has passed, and that which has slept for ages has awakened. And Patience must journey to the heartsoul of this planet to confront her destiny . . . and her world's
I and Orson Scott Card have a strange relationship, mainly on my side of the barricade seeing as he probably can't give a toss about a random literature nut on some forum or another -. Mainly, I hate Orson Scott Card. Not because his work is bad and boy, can it ever be BAD -, or because of his dubious agendas or even because he's gotten a name for himself by basically regurgitating the same thing over and over
nooo, dear reader, I hate Orson Scott Card for all the chances he's wasting in his work.
I have read the original Ender's Saga and came away feeling a lesser man. I had gone in with my head held high, my hopes all but soaring, my resolve untainted. By the end I felt I had lost the joy of reading, of discovery, of thought itself as I looked back
For the longest time I've avoided this author on merit of how hazardous his most well known saga proved to me, especially after the shining start it had. Unfortunately, before I had time to realize the depth of the horror of those books, I had already bought quite a number of his works on faith alone and the back cover blurb -. In a way this is the author that has taught me NEVER to buy en masse based on just a few works. It has probably saved me a lot of money on Licia Troisi, Martin Page or others of the breed.
oh how they change.
Wyrms is one of the books that I have on my shelves, at which I had stared often and never worked the courage of attempting, visions of interminable, pointless philosophy and metaphors without any meaning swimming through my head. But, like with a band-aid, one must rip it out and just deal with the pain.
So here I am, at the end of said journey, dismayed once again by Card, regretting the time I invested and the money I will never again see back. This is a story I will hold in my personal collection for no other reason than because I can, because I need guidance tales of how NOT TO write, because I wish to have something to threaten my children with when they misbehave "Calm down you little monster, or I'll have you read Wyrms by Orson Scott Card and we'll see who's a poopy head then."-.
I kid, of course. I would never inflict this on a child, of any age. Not only because of the disgusting rape at the end of the book which may be the only thing I actually respect in this -, but mostly because it's gaggingly obnoxious as a read; which would actually make it great reading material for know-it-all teen hipsters. Huh.
The main idea of the story you can read above and so I won't bother regurgitating it. However, I will bother talking about what I hated in this book.
Here we go.
I hated the names. Patince? Will? Reck? Ruin? ANGEL?! Really? not a name, thank goodness-
I hated the world. There is nothing of any great interest in it as far as I am concerned.
I hated the philosophy, the endless, droning, mind tiring, senses numbing philosophy.
I hated the characters
most of the characters. Hefiji wasn't half bad
for a half-wit elf stand-in.
I hated the philosophy. I really did.
I hated the philosophy. I felt like killing characters with my mind, by sheer power of will.
I hated the philosophy.
I hated the story.
I hated the plot. It was so very, very boring, with climatic moments held back by terrible pacing and an audible, literally audible FASSSSSSSSSSSSSS! sound that came after each seemingly important moment.
I hated the obnoxious tone of the whole thing.
I hated the Mary Sues and Gary Sues of the story
and there was no shortage of them all. The main character is as close to perfection as God and it gets absolutely wretched after a while.
All in all, I hated this book. It wasn't unreadable by any stretch, just annoying and tedious.
The story is the standard fare of fantasy: main character embarks on an undesired journey, meets up with other interesting, quirky characters, forms a party, explores the world, reaches the destination, beats the big bad evil, and lives happily ever after. Thing is, how I just described the events is exactly as they happen, with almost no deviation, no grand surprises, no twists, not even a nuance of some sort of another. Everything is incredibly linear, point A to point B with a young girl mentally assaulted by lust from a monstrous worm that wants her to have his babies.
Oh, am I spoiling?
Consider it a favor then as I am protecting you, kind reader, from actually experiencing this dreg. There is almost no redeemable quality that I can recall
except for the rape. Which probably makes me sound like a horrifying person; but hear me out here, ok?
The book presents a situation that is quite hard to quantify as anything but horrifying. Most authors would usually shy away from stuff like this, especially when the whole plot point resembles a very bad Japanese horror-hentai manga. However, the author went ahead, horror and all and actually presented a story in which a young girl is drugged and then raped by what is described as a gruesome black warm. It's not something you read with any sort of enjoyment, but it is something worth respecting for the guts that were needed to put it all down in writing.
For that sheer audacity I have rated this book as 2 stars out of a maximum of 5.
Otherwise, what you're likely to get here amounts to talking monkeys, heads in jars, a smug and thoroughly annoying child-genius Mary Sue Card's preferred protagonist trope - , a boring fantasy world that could have been so much better developed and a boring, predictable plot. I assure you there is better value somewhere else if you're looking for it.
If you're interested in some of the themes explored in this book I would highly recommend Card's much better later book, Speaker for the Dead, and Frank Herbert's first Dune book as there seems to be quite a lot of inspiration from that direction.
As for my impression of the author: "Meh". I've still got a few books of his that I need to read so I can air out my bookcase, but I doubt I'll ever again hold him in such high regards as I once did with Ender's Game or Speaker for the dead. With Wyrms there are now three books that have completely baffled me as to how they could come from the same mind that gave us Ender.
Keep well away; there is better literature out there.