Just Finished: Eyes of the Calculor by Sean McMullen.
I decided to read Eyes of the Calculor because I enjoyed the first book of the Greatwinter series, Souls in the Great Machine. A fresh new setting, two thousand years after an apocalyptic war, and the coming of Greatwinter. Unable to use electrical devices or to live near the ocean due to the mysterious Call, humanity adapts with wind- or pedal-driven trains, a sunlight-powered mirror signaling network, and the Calculor: a new type of computer composed of a network of people.
The next book in the series, The Miocene Arrow moves a few old characters to a new location, this one featuring a feudal society whose rulers duel one another in simple flying machines. The second book captivated my interest slightly less than the first.
When I saw the third book, Eyes of the Calculor, in the bookstore, I figured I’d give it a try, based on the previous two books. In this book, we return to the setting of the first book: the great library of Libris. Suddenly, an electrical Calculor bursts into flames, and the Call stops completely. We then set these interesting events aside in order to begin following a handful of new characters.
Sometimes it seems to me as though some writers will write lots of disconnected scenes and try to glue them together into a story. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as the narrative flows and the characters behave consistently throughout the story. On the other hand, if it seems like the only thing consistent among some of the scenes are the names of the characters, then it becomes a little tiresome. It felt to me as though the author had written a bunch of material for a different book, and then, for whatever reason, adapted it to fit into this book. This may or may not have actually been the case, but it bothered me nonetheless.
Don’t get me wrong— it’s not what I’d call a bad book. It was just not quite what I had expected.