Review: The Armageddon Rag – George R. R. Martin.

armageddonSandy Blair has left his underground journo roots behind, only to find himself drawn back to the sleazy rock ‘n’ roll of the Nazgul following the murder of a millionare rock promoter. But as he sets off on the trail for the story of his lifetime, it’s far darker and more demonic than even he could imagine.

And, jeez, it took so long to get to the supernatural darkness hinted at in the blurb that you forgot it was coming, and it was pretty much irrelevant when it did.

See, by the time it started getting twisted, you were generally hooked on the rock ‘n’ roll ride, the mystery of murder, so that it became completely unnecessary. It had the down and dirty era to a T, the hippy vibe, the sense of revolutions past. It was a slow start, but then you got hooked.

And then it went mental and the already generally unlikeable Sandy finds himself playing a more integral part to this new found revolution. What’s the deal with Edan? Or Ananda? Or Gort?

You wonder, and then you lose interest. His past friends seem irrelevant other than the fact they fleshed out his road trip. And sure, you got interested in their odd twists and turns in life compared to one another, but in the end… hmm.

So then comes the ending. The grand finale. The coming of whatever the hell was meant to be coming. And it’s an anticlimax. It really is. And by this point, the Tolkien influence was clear as day from the moment you clocked eyes on the cover, so the constant reminder from the characters that this is all steeped in some sort of Tolkienology is another grate.

I swear at one point I liked this book, and I know it doesn’t sound it. The fantastical side had to be integral from early on, not as late as it came in. And the ending needed more time to unravel, because it was so abrupt; and it needed something a little more complicated, at least.

A bit of an odd one. I’m still willing to read my way through Martin’s back catalogue, but this was pretty much down the middle.

[★★★]
@heathermmcd

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