It takes a lot for me to abandon a book. I don't do it often (though I feel like I should), but even if I'm not liking a book very much, I still tend to finish it. The Flight of the Silvers is a book I feel like I should have abandoned, because once I realize that I don't like a book, all the things that are wrong with it start jumping out at me, and I start to nitpick. I realized about 200 pages into this book that I didn't like it, so this review is going to be a whole lot of nitpicking.
First, the narrative is very odd. It's clunky, and kept tripping me up with its awkwardness, but by about fifty pages into it, I started to get a handle on it. I remember having the same response to Joe Abercrombie's style in The Blade of Law. Each time I picked up the book, though, I found myself having to get used to the style all over again.
The story is odd, too. There are odd things in the story, and odd things take place, but that's not what I mean; the flow of the story just doesn't make much sense. There are a lot of events that take place in the story, but outside of that, nothing much happens. I had the feeling like the story was moving forward, but not going anywhere, and when I reached the end, I realized that this novel was just lengthy exposition that could have been a summary at the start of the next novel.
Parts of the story strained credibility with me, too. At one point in the story, our six main characters are hiding within the hotel where they're being sought, some of them going in and out of the building without being noticed. I find it hard to believe that anyone in a highly secured area -- we're talking about a location where armed government guards check everyone as they enter and leave the building, and refuse entrance to people without keys -- can sneak in and out through the lobby wearing a pulled-down ballcap and sunglasses without raising suspicions, or that someone who looks like that can walk right up to the reception desk and check in without luggage, using cash, and not have anyone step up and arrest him right there. I found that harder to believe than all the superpowers the main characters exhibited.
For some reason, Price referred to three of his characters by their hobby or profession or state as much as he did by name: Hannah was "the actress"; Zach was "the cartoonist"; Amanda was "the widow". Given that these identifiers had little to do with the plot, it mystified me why he kept reminding me of what they did. It wound up being more distracting than anything else.
I was also troubled by how he had other characters act toward the female characters in the book. Other characters consistently remarked to them about their attractiveness, and in one case, a couple of characters are shown looking up another's skirt. Later, a new character refers to the female head of the investigative team searching for the main characters as "Hon". I don't know why, as it didn't seem to impact the story in any way, but Price seemed intent on subjecting his female characters to this kind of misogyny. There's also an inordinate amount of attention paid to Hannah's breasts, from male and female characters. I'm not sure what's up with that, save to constantly remind us that she has them, they're large, and people notice them.
The characters didn't seem consistent to me, either. Conveniently, there were three male main characters and three female main characters, so everyone paired off as the story progressed, but seemingly at the whim of the author. Plus, they weren't drawn well enough to care much about them; they felt more like props than fully realized characters.
Despite the range of ages of the characters (early teens to late twenties) and some of the content of the books (violence, sex, and language), the book read like a YA book. It's not marketed as one, and doesn't strike me as one, but the way the characters acted reminded me of teenagers. In fact, some of the teenagers in the book acted more mature than the older characters, at least until the author needed them to act more appropriate for his needs.
The book isn't awful -- it was readable enough to keep me going, and the action scenes were done fairly well -- but the story itself isn't all that meaningful. It reminded me of Twilight, of all things, since it, too, was pretty readable, though nothing significant happened. Unfortunately, this first volume of the series didn't impress me enough to want to read the rest of them.