The Door into Fire  - Diane Duane

This is definitely the most underwhelming book I've read this year, so much I was on the verge of dropping it a few times, and it's a shame.


What got my attention and made me curious to go and read through it is the fact that the main character is a bisexual man leaning towards other men and mostly in a relationship with another man, and that aspect is very well portrayed. In general, it's refreshing to see a cast of characters of so different identities and orientations, and it's definitely interesting to see that aspect through the lens of someone writing in 1979 (technically, 1984, since this is the revised version, but still).


Sadly, I can't really say I enjoyed much else. The dialogue felt too much like it was banter ripped off a tv show, and while I love me some corny fantasy shows it's way too distracting. If the author was trying to be tongue in cheek, it didn't really work (or at least it doesn't feel like it) and because of this, even the attempts at worldbuilding by using quotations from works that exist in the fiction world felt a bit too artificial.


I found the prose dull, to the point that, despite having descriptions of some pretty seemingly epic sights of events, I struggle to remember any of them just after a day after having finished the book. And because of these things the plot, which in itself is pretty basic and predictable and is basically an excuse for a character study, turns out extremely uninteresting, which made for an extremely slow book to get through - especially because the focus isn't on the more interesting characters, like Sunspark or Segnbora.


And yet, while the attempts at creating a world with its own identity don't always work out, there are still here and there interesting elements that made an interesting world. Too bad they were too few and far between.


Before reading the book I didn't know it was an earlier work from the author, but I had already guessed that halfway through the story. On the bright side, I can imagine that the following books are going to get better.