Review: Axiom’s End, by Lindsay Ellis

If this book was readable, I bet it’d be really good.

If you don’t know, Lindsay Ellis is a Youtuber who does media analysis. I checked out her channel after giving up on her book and enjoyed everything I watched. It’s clear she has a deep understanding of what makes stories work.

Unfortunately, it turns out she writes at around the level of an eleventh grader. Even books I have roundly condemned for their prose manage to out perform Axiom’s End. Flipping to a random page, I get a sentence like this:

“The monitor to the computer was on, a dull blank light emanating from it, but the computer itself seemed to have been dismantled. It was up and running, but its shell had been removed, and was now on the floor.”

If you followed that passage and it didn’t make you want to grab a red pen, maybe this book is for you! Brendan, who cares a lot less about prose than I do, managed to get through it (and either liked it enough to recommend it to me or secretly hates me). But even if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t typically care about prose, I think it will be a barrier here. Unless you want to spend each page trying to wrest meaning from her carelessly arranged words, avoid.

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