I can’t review this book adequately for one simple reason: I couldn’t read it.
Oh sure, I mashed my Kindle screen, turning each page trying to read it, and my main menu shows the little bar at the bottom of Awake in the Night as being one hundred percent full. But I couldn’t digest any of the words; my eyes glazed over the screen like I was getting Novacaine shot straight into my skull. Awake in the Night might be a decent read if you’re the kind of geek who does cosplay and only bathes twice a week, but if you have a functioning cerebral cortex, you’d have more fun reading the phone book.
Why did this book make me nauseous, you may ask?
Simple: the very first pages hit you with a pile of fantasy babble that is never explained at any point in the book and which you’re expected to already understand. Just try and make heads or tails of this garbage:
“Call to the gate-warden, Perithoös, and he will lower a speaking tube from a Meurtriere and you may whisper the Master-Word into it, and so prove your human soul has not been destroyed, and I will be the first to welcome you.”
Christ God almighty, this is horrible writing. John C. Wright constantly buries the reader in an avalanche of silly-looking terminology, preventing the book from building any sort of tension or drama and hopelessly confusing anyone who attempts to read it. Admittedly, it might be a tad unfair to judge Awake in the Night based on its slang-filled introductory chapters, but this first impression was so bad it ruined my ability to enjoy the rest of the book.
Memo to aspiring authors: if you can’t explain what’s going on without resorting to moronic made-up terms, you have failed as a writer.
I’ll admit this isn’t much of a review, but Awake in the Night isn’t much of a book, just a jumble of names, dates and other arcane terms that Wright doesn’t once bother to define. I’m not going to waste my time untangling the Gordian knot of his writing. If you’ve never so much as kissed a girl, Awake in the Night might be a good read; everyone else shouldn’t waste their time with it.
Click here to buy Awake in the Night.
Read Next: BUtterfield 8 by John O’Hara