Wellspring of Chaos – L. E. Modesitt Jr.

This is a very promising book: not your usual hero but a middle-aged man who is discovering he has more powers than usual.

Contains spoilers!

Unfortunately instead of starting from the basis that this man has life experience, all he begins with is family and social ties, which are rapidly discarded. He then becomes a standard normal person to hero, with no more sense or maturity in how to deal with other people. He doesn’t really develop this either, continuing to see the world in (literally) black and white and incapable of adapting his behaviour or learning from past experiences. A book in which the “hero” stumbles around the world, learning a few technical things and then happening to find a sponsor who ensures he gets the recognition he has clearly always deserved is not a satisfying read in my opinion.

There is also an absense of any feeling of completion for the hero at the end of the book, he lost his home and family and ends up with a new home but no attempt to reunite his remaining family which is disappointing

The dialogue is also very “choppy” whilst using a style of language which feels fairly educated, which is an odd contrast. The choppy dialogue alone would suggest uneducated characters, but the language and attitude to education of the characters contasts with this.

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