Welcome to Promise City: A Review

I love the tv series The 4400 and got quite upset when the writer’s strike meant the series stopped with a bit of an unsatisfactory ending, so you can imagine my delight when I found there were a couple of books that continued the series. I even got excited when I saw Billy Campbell’s Jordan on the cover (my favourite character).

The book starts a couple of months after the ending of the series and I don’t want to say too much because I’d hate to plot spoil, but I was sorta hoping they’d start a little sooner. I really wanted more about Jordan’s last move at the end of the tv series. It was so brief and I still have so many unanswered questions about him and the movement he’d created.

Unfortunately, the book was generally rather disappointing the whole way through. It was still more about characters I love so I didn’t hate the book, I just felt a lot of time was spent trying to explain backstory for the benefit of people who hadn’t watched the tv series that what little plot and action was in the story was entirely weighed down by constantly having to explain who everyone was.

I noticed that several of the descriptive moments read like the short snappy lines found in tv scripts to set the scene. The lines that aren’t really meant to be read by the audience. I felt Greg Cox could have done a better job of setting the scene without sounding so robotic.

Finally, I also felt the plot was weak for a book. It was a single episodes worth of story, spread out too far and leaving far more questions about the character and series than I began with. If I knew there were lots of them I might not be too bothered, but there’s only more and it’s by a different author again. At this point I’m very unsure about spending more money on these and for such a big fan that’s a heartbreaking thing to have to say.

I also feel for one of the first times in my life that I could have done a better job. Not just as a fan, but as a writer. I could have bought this world back to life again in the printed form in a way this author totally failed to do.

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