Jul 30, 2011: There’s something I’d like to explain about myself before I review this story, because me being me directly explains why my review will say what it says. Reviews are always personal opinions, there’s no mathematical, objective standard for what makes a story "good" or "bad" in a universally agreeable way. There are standards of cohesiveness, grammar, characterization, etc., things that people notice and care about when they read. But ultimately, whether someone enjoys a story comes down to personal preferences.
Me, I have an over-active mind so I have wide-ranging interests. I’ve spent time studying literature, theology, philosophy, education, science, history, art, theatre, sociology, psychology . . . I am not an expert at anything, but reasonably informed about most topics. I have learned along the way that I prefer structure and narrative to abstract pieces—whether the medium is literature, music, art or theatre, I want the piece to be "about" something. I want a focus.
I think that interest in focus and narrative is a reaction to the over-activity of my mind—one that has to cope with being over-stimulated because I have high functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome. Focus helps me get my own thoughts in order.
"Kings of Rainmoor" is not focused. The narrative voice employed by the author is a rambling, conversational tone that at moments contains intelligence, wit and whimsy. But these moments are not rooted in the events of the narrative. Jinx is half-human and half-tiger, the product of magic, and you would think such a creature would be intensely aware of their surroundings, using their enhanced senses. Jinx says that he is aware—but the narrative doesn’t show it. Instead it shows a rambling thought process that is disconnected from the physical aspects of the story, making it hard to see any connection or motivation between what Jinx is thinking and what’s happening.
I can see the energy and enthusiasm of the writer’s mind, and if they could harness that to create concrete images and scenes, then perhaps Jinx would be more interesting. Instead, it hints at potential, instead of delivering. For me that makes it even more disappointing than a poorly written, cliched story—because the pieces for something enjoyable are all there, and just not quite put together.
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