Mike’s Prattle


Dan Simmons – Fires of Eden

Posted by Mike on February 27, 2006

18 to go, although I almost made it 19 in a moment of weakness by adding another book. Must … be … disciplined…

Anyway, this was the Locus Dark Fantasy/Horror award winner the year after it was released (I’d say it’s the former and not the latter), probably due to the magazine’s rabid Simmons’ fanbase than the merits of the book itself, which for Simmons is a fairly minor work. It’s basically about the remergence of the Hawaiian gods who are disturbed and making strange appearances around a luxurious corporate hotel. In fact the corporation head is probably the weakest part of the book, a cookiecutter evil, greedy character with very few redeeming qualities.

The plot is pretty tight nonetheless and resolves fairly well. Even if you thought you knew who was making it to the final battle, hints started coming early that it wouldn’t be who you expected. It was also nice to see one of his return characters from Summer of Night grown up, as in Children of Night, and Cordie Stumpf here works well as the brawn half of the two leads.

Using Gnosis grades I’d probably give it a 10 just barely as it was mostly readable all the way. The best parts had to be the diary that runs in parallel to the main story featuring an ancestor of the other protagonist, Eleanor, and Samuel Clemens blazing the trail to be later taken. Simmons writes Clemens as a character larger than life, a skeptic who is convinced sanity has fled after a series of supernatural occurences.


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