CBR #74 – Doomed to Repeat It

The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind

It’s just…it’s my fault.  I don’t know what I expected.  I thought maybe I’d be getting necessary information pertaining to the remaining Richard and Kahlan books.  Deep insight into these characters and their past that they’ve thrown into the mix.  Instead, I get a rehashing.  By rehash master himself, Terry Goodkind.  It’s literally the same personas as Richard and Kahlan.  Get the symmetry?!  There’s no new insights.  There’s nothing.  There’s no chance for drama, since we know everything that’s going to happen in the story because it has been explained to us in the previous works.  Oh, my goodness!  Is Merritt going to die? Is Magda going to marry Lothain?  NO.  Because these are all preordained events based on the fact that it’s a prequel.

Maybe we’ll get insight or origin stories on some other stuff? Well, now we know the name of the mystery journal writer.  Quinn.  It’s fucking Quinn.  Oh, and all that stuff that got completely retconned in the later books and seemed like sloppy writing?  No, no, no.  It was all part of their MASTER PLAN.  The end of the book plays out like an end scene credits played out as John Adams ends.  Where George Washington, John Adams and Ben Franklin are sitting around drinking beers and going, “Man, being president is hard.  At least there’s no way James Madison will get elected!”  And then they laugh.  And then John Adams says, “Well, at least 13 colonies is enough.  We’ll never have more than 13 states.”  And then they all laugh.  And then they say, ‘Ben, you better stop flying kites in the rain.  That’s gonna end bad.”  And Franklin says, “Bad all the way the to the bank!”  And laughs.  And then someone yells, “THE LIBERTY BELL!”  And we hear a clang and a crack.  Scene.

Worse than shoehorning all this crap at the end of what may presumably become a series of it’s own accord is his explanation for why this was a self published book.  Obviously, I’d never excoriate anyone for self-publishing — BUY MY BOOK — but if you’re a multi-million dollar author with 18 books that have all been best sellers, why?  Could it be that it’s just so bad even your publishers went, “No thanks.”  No.  We get a MANIFESTO — And yes, it’s actually fucking called a Manifesto — at the end.  Telling us that he wanted to avoid the boundaries of the publishing game and to deliver it directly to the reader because of the BRAVE NEW WORLD of eBOOKS!  And he’s the first author ever to do this.  Here.  In 2011 or whenever he published this.  Which is so much horseshit he should be arrested on domestic terrorism charges.

Anyway, this book was a waste and I regret it.  It was a diversion proved to be utterly unnecessary.  And woe to anyone who reads this first — being that it’s a prequel — because it pretty much “spoils” the big reveal of the series.  So read up to Confessor.  Then read this.  Then read the Kahlan/Richard books.  Or, you know, read GOOD books.


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