I miss the deliciously 70's cover of my mother's paperback copy of this book. This book isn't really much of a mystery novel. It's actually more aboutI miss the deliciously 70's cover of my mother's paperback copy of this book. This book isn't really much of a mystery novel. It's actually more about relationships and english manners and horses. The murder was obvious from the start. I kept being like HE OBVIOUSLY KILLED HIM PEOPLE. So much so that I have to assume surprise was not the point. Though the method I did not figure out. It was surprisingly compelling for a book where not all the much happens besides people eating breakfast at an English manor, it is basically Downton abbey with a poorer family. In fact thie particular plot line of this book (return of a presumed dead heir) was actually in a couple Downton episodes and was terrible, but it was good in this book....more
This was a mighty fine book. A great premise, set up, and execution. He really made a believable fantasy world, one that was very enjoyable, and one iThis was a mighty fine book. A great premise, set up, and execution. He really made a believable fantasy world, one that was very enjoyable, and one in which it was the characters first that I connected with, not the set-up.
So we have a Peninsula split into city states, being divided up from either end by two larger foreign powers. If this sounds familiar that's because you know your Italian history. I thought it was very interesting that the book is basically an allegory for Italian unification. Replace France and Spain with sorcerers and you have a fantasy novel.
I thought the romances were the least well done part of the story, they seemed at the end simply tacked on. Like all of my characters have to pair up! Lame. The only one that did if for me was Dianora and you know who if you've read the book. I was really rooting for them. It didn't help that all the love stories were so hetero. I normally wouldn't mind, but he sets up a culture that seems pretty swinger-ish. I can't be the only one who thought Alessan and Baerd were more than just friends, and actually that's the back story I am certainly making up for them. All we get is a few rapey priests, which was actually kind of offensive. Boo
The rest was good and compelling and all the jazz....more
As you may be able to tell from the ridiculous number of tags I gave this book, there is a bit of genre melding going on here. In many ways it resemblAs you may be able to tell from the ridiculous number of tags I gave this book, there is a bit of genre melding going on here. In many ways it resembles Japanese manga: a future that looks like the past in the aftermath of some cataclysmic war. But in other respects it is more like American Sci-Fi with a fearsome AI that has broken lose of its programming, a HAL that has quite a bit more than two astronauts in his grasps. This is the sequel to Incarceron, and I have to say it's just as good if not better, a rare thing for sequels these days. And thank god, it ended after two books, Good bless Catherine Fisher for not, like every other YA author, turning her book into a trilogy.
I believe in the last book I felt the scenes inside the prison of Incarceron were stronger than those outside. Now there is parity, with those in the real world just as compelling. However the world inside the prisin are still a favorite because of the great imagination, scene setting, and just general awesomeness. It real is a compelling world that has been created here. Not only that but the development of the Incareron AI is very interesting, a twist I wasn't expecting. Although this book is science fiction, it blends it almost seamlessly with fantasy or at least mythology. Perhaps everything can be explained with science, but at the same time there is some doubt. Is it just myth and legend? I liked that. Though it does leave the reader slightly confused as to what, exactly, is going on....more