Of course, this is only my opinion but for a good novel must have the following attributes …
- Fully 3D characters
- Excellent description of places, so you feel you are there
- Complexity – nothing is simply black or white
- Heroes who get it wrong some of the time
- Bad guys who get it right some of the time
- Events and characters that explode cliches
- The ability to make you think, turn your values upside-down, if only a little
- The story should grow you, your attitudes, as it does those of the protagonist
Novels that have all this do not grow on trees :-).
I’m currently re-reading Frank Herbert’s “Whipping Star”, it has all of these qualities and is still brilliantly thought provoking after 38 years.
What do you think? What makes a good novel for you?