Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The Book of Ile-Rien by Martha Wells

I think maybe I just only love Murderbot and not Martha Wells’s fantasy books?

After all, we all love Murderbot, right? Murderbot is one of the absolute best characters to come out of SF in years. I remember when I read the description of Martha Wells’s All Systems Red and thought to myself “I’ve got to put that on hold at the library!”  And I was right - it was excellent. I have eagerly awaited each new Murderbot book. So I was very excited when NetGalley and tordotcom gave me an eARC of The Book of Ile-Rien, a republishing of The Element of Fire and The Death of the Necromancer, two of Martha Wells’s earlier novels set in the same world, in exchange for an honest review. 

This was not my first foray into Ms. Wells’s fantasy novels - I had previously read The Cloud Roads and The Witch King, both of which were fine, neither of which blew me away. But I was surprised at how bored I felt reading these novels. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and I didn’t enjoy the setting, either. I prefer my fantasy worlds to not have guns in them, and that may have been a part of my dislike, but I also felt that the chapters were too long and the characters were not likeable. I didn’t want to spend time with them, or in this world. I’m sure there is an audience out there for these novels, but it isn’t me. 

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