I don't have a lot of time to read any more. When I was growing up in Westover books were harder to come by, so during the summer I relied mostly on the Bookmobile. The Bookmobile came by every other week and stopped at my grandmother's store, which along with the other store in town, owned by my other grandparents, made up the entire downtown area of Westover.
I was allowed to check out as many books as I could carry in one load, so I would carefully step down from the huge steps on the Bookmobile with a stack of books that was as tall as the distance between my chin and as far down as my hands would stretch. Yes, I was one of the Bookmobile lady's favorites. She would even go out of her way to bring books she thought I'd like.
The point of all of this is that the choices available on the Bookmobile were limited. I probably read 200 to 300 books every summer so often times quantity trumped quality. I've read bad books before, just for the joy of reading. I've even slogged through several John Norman Gor books.
Lately I've developed a policy that if the book hasn't at least somewhat interested me by the time I've gone through the first 20%, I just give up on it. It might take me a month or two to finish it if I decide to, but unless I'm told that it starts slow and picks up later on, like say Dune by Frank Herbert, that 20% is all you get to draw me in. If I'm trying to find a book to buy in a bookstore you may get even less.
So a few weeks ago I'm in the local library, trying to find a few books to read, and I picked up The Tyranny of the Night by Glen Cook. It had a decent looking cover, and the dust jacket promo sounded somewhat interesting. Unfortunately, there's an old saying about covers that I think we all know.
I did give it a chance. I struggled through the first 100 pages, so I went over the mark, but it was no use. This book just sucks. The biggest problem is that it's too complex to keep up with, and there's no map, or glossary or anything to help you along. Is it really that hard to draw a quick map to show us where things are in relation to each other? Would it be so bad to spend a few hours coming up with a glossary so we can quickly look up a person to see who they are? Books that are much less complicated, like the Wheel of Time include such devices.
Also, in the first 100 pages there is very little action. It's mostly boring descriptions of cities and people. Yawn. Of course the first villain we're introduced to is a pedophile. Wow, no one's ever thought of that before. I've never read any of Glen Cook's other stuff, and I highly doubt I ever will after wasting an hour or two of my life on this dreck. Avoid this book at all costs unless you're stuck in a small town during the summer and have nothing else to do.