Jan 30, 2012

Review: Space Crazy by K. Rowe

“Story is more than plot, that it's the journey that matters, not how fast you arrive at your destination.” - George R.R. Martin

As I read this line a few days ago in Martin's “Not a blog,” I kept thinking about the latest story I read from K. Rowe, “Space Crazy.

I enjoyed the short book, but to a point. There was something nagging at me for much of the book and even after I was done. After I read that line from Martin, it hit me. Space Crazy made it seem I was watching someone's life rather than living it and feeling what the main character, Dar, was going through in different stages of his life.

There were so many different life events readers witnessed with his character. The book spanned about 10 years of his life. But only once was I ever really pulled into Dar's feelings. Even through death, leaving home for the first time and gaining the trust and friendship of people he cared about, Rowe didn't dig deep enough.

The first time Dar faced death, he had a reaction. But after the initial surprise, he didn't seem to have anything to say about it. Here's the passage immediately following the death of his friend. (I intentionally took out the name as to not to give away too many spoilers).

““You just never think…” he said softly, reaching over to flip ***** ear back over his face. Dar had never seen someone dead before, his emotions were confused. He wanted his friend to come back to life, he was learning so much. And he loved watching him fly around the engine room. Now he was gone—in the blink of an eye.”

Rowe writes: “he was learning so much.”

That's the part that gets me. Don't tell me he's learning so much. Show me. Pull me inside the character, so I understand what he is learning, what he is feeling. Don't tell me that he is angry, which he says a few paragraphs later.

It could have been a much more effective scene if Dar went back to his room and experienced a fit of rage, trashing his room from anger. Or maybe even shedding a tear, then composing himself before meeting his crew for dinner, trying to avoid showing the others just how angry and scared he is over what could potentially be his fate.

The internal dialogue is missing.

The book's best writing involves a joining – think sex – scene. If the rest of the book matched that energy, this could have been a fantastic novel by Rowe. Instead, the book's characters fell flat.

(Based out of five)
Story: 3.5
Characters: 2
Dialogue: 2
Editing: 3
Readability: 3.5

Overall: 2.8

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