Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of One-Eyed Jacks edited by George R R Martin

Review of One-Eyed Jacks edited by George R R Martin

One-Eyed Jacks coverUnusually, Martin isn’t credited as an author of any part of this, book eight of the Wild Cards series. Also, the book takes the form of linked short stories, much like the very first volume, instead of a ‘mosaic novel’, like most of the other books. I think it suffers a little on both counts.

More than anything, this book doesn’t feel like a complete story. In fact, it is the first of a kind of internal trilogy about the threat of Jumpers – a gang of hoodlums who have been granted the ability to exchange their consciousness for that of a victim (who usually gets knocked out (in the body of the Jumper) in the process). Each story tells a small part of the overall narrative, but no one provides the whole picture.

The one consistent thread is a story split into a number of short parts which alternate with the other stories. Jerry is a former giant ape and now a secret shapeshifting ace. He begins a rather inept investigation, which, along with events in the other stories, establishes the potential threat of the Jumpers. I say potential threat because, as a group, they don’t really do anything. One-Eyed Jacks seems to be very much a prologue to what I hope will be a much more interesting story in books nine and ten.

Categories: Literature, Reviews
  1. 11 April 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Oh, how I hate these “share-cropped” series and franchises. Rather than creating new and original concepts, publishers will milk and milk and milk a notion until the udder is not only dry, it’s withered and dessicated. Martin can be a good writer, enjoyable and fairly literate. Putting his name on a franchise like that does his reputation discredit, methinks.

    Have you read his book ARMAGEDDON RAG? Very fun…

  2. 11 April 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I appreciate the danger of milking this kind of thing, but, while I despise actual soap operas, Wild Cards is a kind of soap opera and the attraction of such an ongoing story and the loyalty it breeds in the reader is completely understandable – and something I don’t mind being subject to. The quality of the earlier books isn’t an absolute guide to the quality of the later ones – but it’s something.

    There’s a review of The Armageddon Rag on here somewhere. I thought it was the weakest GRRM book I’ve read by some margin.

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