Hmmmm. I wouldn't put _The Alchemist's Door_ on my short list,
personally. One of the things that I had trouble with was that all
the characters use similar sentence structure and vocabulary, and
it's impossible to distinguish individual "voices" among them. I
would expect Dr. Dee's conversation to be different depending on
which language he's speaking at the moment, for example. Even the
golem uses language the same way as the other characters. By
contrast, the characters in _The Fall of the Kings_ and _Ombria in
Shadow_ are easily distinguished by their speech patterns.
I also found that, for one of the most famous magicians known, Dr.
Dee had an appalling lack of basic occult knowledge, especially in
the area of self defense. He did show significant growth over the
course of the book, and increasing tolerance for others. I'm just
not convinced he should have been quite so shallow at the start.
Magdalena's character was interesting, but her overcoming of her
previous abuse did not approach the depth, or believability, of
Maureen's in _The Summer Country_.
On the whole I found _The Alchemist's Door_ to have a fascinating
concept, but it was not well enough executed for the short list.
Patricia Vivien Yarrow
--- In email@example.com, Joshua Kronengold <mneme@i...> wrote:
> I don't much care for it either, actually -- like _The Wooden Sea_
> from Caroll (which it basically has the same plot as), it's
> and even well written, but not all that good, far below the level of
> the Ted Chiang, Pauline's book, Fairy Feller's, _The Alchemist's
> _The Fall of The Kings_, and _Ombria in Shadow_.