Tag: Robert Goddard

Abandoning The Corners of the Globe

Posted September 21, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Historical Fiction / 0 Comments

Having recently read The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard I was so angry that the book ended mid story, I didn’t plan to continue. However I received The Corners of the Globe (book 2) in the mail and I decided to give it a go. I started reading and got a few chapters in before I remember the rage I had for the first one. I didn’t want to go through that again, so I flipped to the end of the book. There it was, the words ‘To be concluded’, and I abandoned the book on the spot.

Maybe I will read the book again when the final book is released but I suspect that I will have no interest in attempting it again. The story sounds entertaining enough but after The Ways of the World I have too much rage to be forgiving. It is a shame that Robert Goddard would do this to his fans, it doesn’t make me want to read anything else he has written.

The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

Posted September 20, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Historical Fiction / 14 Comments

The Ways of the World by Robert GoddardTitle: The Ways of the World (Goodreads)
Author: Robert Goddard
Series: The Wide World Trilogy #1
Published: Bantam Press, 2013
Pages: 404
Genres: Historical Fiction
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Set in Paris just after World War I, The Ways of the World takes a look at the battle for peace. James ‘Max’ Maxted was a Royal Flying Corps ace during the war but now finds himself in a completely new situation. While the world looks to Paris as diplomats and politicians try to negotiate peace, Max is trying to work out what happened to his father. Sir Henry Maxted was a British diplomatic who mysteriously died from a fall off the roof of his mistress’s apartment building. The authorities rule the death as a suicide but Max suspects there is something far more suspicious going on.

The Ways of the World is everything I expect from an espionage novel; nothing like the popular spy thrillers. I view the intelligence game as one of diplomacy and manipulation, not high tech weapons and action. Robert Goddard uses the murder mystery as a device to manipulate the story and keep up the pace. This is a successful tactic as the majority of the novel is told in conversations and the novel could have easily fallen into the realm of boring and tedious.

The Paris Peace Conference allowed the game of espionage to play out. France, Britain, America and Italy all have representatives there and inter-country politics feature heavily here. Each country has their own agenda and I really enjoyed watching this play out. As the host country, France also wanted to quash any notion of a diplomat being murdered and keep their image. This perfectly sets up the story that Robert Goddard wanted to tell.

However there is something terribly wrong with this book. There are three words that took me from loving this book to throwing it across the room. I actually didn’t physically throw this book across the room because it was a library book but I was very tempted. Those three words at the end of the novel that ruined everything were ‘To be continued’.

I am normally ok with a story continuing into a series, but when you end a book without a sense of closure, it really doesn’t work. When I was getting close to the end of the book, I wondered to myself how to possibly conclude the novel that quickly, and then I found out. This works well in a television show when people only have to wait a week for the next episode but in a book there is normally a year between them. This situation makes me so mad that I don’t think I can continue the series.