Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Review: Canyons of Night

Canyons of Night (*****)
by Jayne Castle

I hate to say anything negative about a book, I really do. Even if I couldn't stand it or couldn't finish it (or both), I just don't like to say anything bad about it, at least in print. The way I see it, this author plus all the people who got this book ready for the market put in a lot of time, effort, and hard work. And yet...and yet...

I've been reading Jayne Castle's (aka Jayne Ann Krentz, aka Amanda Quick) Harmony series for years and years. I think reading any new editions has just become habit. So here's the gist: some time in our (us real people) future and a few centuries in the character's past, some kind of cosmic door opened between Earth and another planet and we earthlings, being intrepid adventurers that we are, went through it. All was fine, until said cosmic door closed, and suddenly everything the earth-folk brought with them (computers, electronics, and such) stopped working. They created a primitive type society, working to stabilize the population, all next to a green (and long empty) alien city. The city couldn't be inhabited because...well...weird alien stuff. Jump to the character's present, and former-earthlings have since developed various psychic abilities enabling them to cope in their new environment, they're back up to speed with technology, and at least one protagonist will have a "pet" dust bunny - a dust bunny that has four eyes and likes to viciously attack anyone who threatens their humans.

So, I could tell you about this novel, but as so often happens with long-running series, it's exactly like every other book in the series. Ugh. The main differences here are that instead of taking place in one of the main cities, this story takes place on an island, and instead of the hero and heroine going underground into the strange, green, alien city, there's some kind of wonky nature preserve that people go in, but never return. Oh, and as the series goes on, each hero and heroine has bigger, badder powers and faces bigger, badder dangers. But everything else? Exactly the same.

Once upon a time, I really liked these books. The first few times. It was new and interesting; now it's old and stale. It also ties in to Krentz's Arcane novels. I've never read any of those, so I don't know how they stack up, but I probably will never attempt to find out. And yet I keep reading this series as new titles are published. Maybe I'm a masochist. I don't know.

I'd suggest one of the first few titles in this series if you like a bit of sci-fi mixed in with your romance, or romance mixed in with your sci-fi, but stop there. Because after that: they're all the same.

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