Book Review: Saradasi – The Prophecy by Ranjit Ratnaike

Saradasi by Ranjit RatnaikeSaradasi: The Prophecy
by Ranjit Ratnaike (Goodreads Author)

Review by Stef Rozitis
1 out of 5 stars
Feb 19, 2017

I was disappointed because I went into this book looking for positives, I really liked the idea of a Sri Lankan, Adelaide writer’s take on space themes sci-fi.

The positives though few were- a different perspective and voice than I am used to. Early on in the book I thought I would get used to how difficult it was to read and put a lot of it down to voice and creative vision. I suspect there is enough creativity here that if the author worked hard on his writing ability something better could be developed (maybe even from the central idea of this book).
A notable good point also was the treatment of gender. Female characters seemed very similar in status to male characters and there was an avoidance of stereotypes. Given the setting that was entirely appropriate.

The negatives were- Difficult writing. Lack of clarity. Long, drawn out, overly “deep” (in the self-conscious sense) and ultimately pointless dialogues. Unlikeable characters. Unintentional humour in some of the names of different species e.g. the Suxtsux and the Lesdians. The book took forever to build its climax and there were few real twists, nor were the characters easy to distinguish from each other or care about. There were some non-sequiteurs both in conversation and action and the way things were explained at times was heavy handed and contrived. While quotes like: “stupidity often manifests as poor judgement” (p34) were possibly even true, they added little or nothing to the plot and there were far too often tangential “wise” observations put into the mouth of an apparently random character.

The concepts of “good” and “evil” in the book are also underdeveloped but constantly referred to.
The best thing for this author would have been a mentor that would help him workshop and develop the plot, character and writing style more. Or at the very least a patiently ruthless editor that would cut it down to a manageable size.

Really sorry, because I desperately wanted to be glowing about it.

Link to original post:
goodreads review by Stef Rozitis

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