Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Being Of The Field Being Of The Field
by Traci Harding
Harper Voyager

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Being of the Field is the start of a new trilogy by Traci Harding, and also her eleventh book. The trilogy is loosely connected with her other trilogies: The Ancient Future, The Celestial Triad, and The Mystique Trilogy. (For those keeping count, she has also written a standalone novel The Book of Dreams.)

Upfront I have to state that I found it very difficult to get any enjoyment from reading this book. In fact I had to reward myself with treat books to continue to the end of what should have been a light easy read. For me, this book was low-rent melodrama; poorly written at that.

So what was it about Being of the Field that I didn’t like – almost everything. The characters were clichés with no real depth or personality; dramatic tension and differences between the principal protagonists were resolved within simple and short conversations; characters skills, education, knowledge and abilities were blithely revised to suit difficult moments in the story; there was over zealous use of spiritual and spirituality concepts that, while eminently suitable for a fantasy series, were distinctly out of place in a science fiction setting; deus ex machina escapes; even the science reeked! There were other failings, but I would be belabouring a point, viz, I didn’t like the book or its style. The only positives I can think of are that the book was written in English and that the author sells (one doesn’t get to eleven published titles without adequate sales).

So, if you enjoy soap opera melodrama dressed up as science fiction (in truth, fantasy) then this is the book for you. I, however, would rather have another colonoscopy.

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