I'm not finished yet. About 80% done. My thoughts so far: the story is very interesting, in fact, it kept me up way way *way* past my bedtime. I wanteI'm not finished yet. About 80% done. My thoughts so far: the story is very interesting, in fact, it kept me up way way *way* past my bedtime. I wanted to know what would happen next, I wanted to have things revealed. It kept me interested. I'll try to keep my comments as spoiler-free as possible.
It starts off a bit slow, in a tavern (reminding me of the beginning of Dragonlance). That's just the setting for the real story being told, but sometimes the narrative takes a break in the tavern, but mostly (well, at least 80% through), it appears to be about the beginnings of some famous person who started from humble beginnings. Now being as the main character comes from a troupe of wandering performers, you're just going to have to accept that the dramatic will often swing over into the melodramatic. Just imagine if Harry Potter had been in his high school drama club instead of the quidditch team. ;p
Protagonist starts with a wonderful, lovely beginning. Everything is great, and he's happy. Then, of course, his world turns up-side-down, and his life sucks, and he's barely surviving a hardscrabble guttersnipe's life a la Oliver Twist until he's able to pull himself up and get going on his journey to becoming a legendary hero.
It reminds me of a cross between, say, Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy plus a bit of Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, Thorn series, with a bit of a Harry Potter-ish vibe. I don't know if any fantasy novel set in a school for magicians will ever escape that comparison, but to be fair, it's less cutesy, and not for kids, and unrelated to the real world, no nudges and winks to the reader with fanciful candies and nonsensical sports games. But it's got the typical poor outcast kid going to school with some rich snobby assholes who are always looking to get him into trouble. But whereas Harry Potter (in the first few books/movies I'm aware of) was always a nice honorable kid with only a dash of mischief, this main character is way more mischievious and gritty. His few friends at school come across as an insignificant blur in the background. The masters (professors) are much more interesting and integral to the character's learning and development.
The story gets a 4 from me. But the Marty-Stu nature of the main character gets a 3. He learned *everything* quickly, can do *everything* well, except chat up pretty girls, that is. So far that seems to be his only acknowledged flaw, nevermind his lack of modesty about his extraordinary brilliance. Maybe he would have come across less cocky if he wasn't the storyteller for his own story. I wonder how it'd be to read another such protagonist-cum-legend, say, Aragorn telling his own story around the tavern fire.
Okay, now that I'm finished, I am willing to ease up a bit on my annoyance with the hero telling his story. Not enough to give the book 5 stars, but I am looking forward to the rest of the story to unfold....more
I first came across the title of this book from someone else's GoodReads, I think; just the title was enough to have me click to find out more. That wI first came across the title of this book from someone else's GoodReads, I think; just the title was enough to have me click to find out more. That was a little while ago. Browsing around on Amazon's kindle site looking for a paid book to try out (did you know there's Kindle software for Mac/PC?). Bought it on the 26th, finished it on the 27th.
I wasn't expecting too much because I saw at a quick glance on GR that there were some negative 1-star reviews. However, I ended up liking it a great deal, maybe because I didn't have too much in the way of expectations.
I found myself comparing it to another book with another modern day "wake up with a mysterious, inexplicable talent" novel, The Time Traveler's Wife. I couldn't quite fall for TTTW. But here with Lemon Cake there were no fancy-pants houses, no convenient lottery winnings, no characters painted with the author's Dream Guy brush. The mysterious talents were less flashy and more touching. The Time Traveler had a problem with staying connected, as he was always leaving. The girl in Lemon Cake has the opposite problem, always connecting too much more, and she has to figure out ways to eat without being overwhelmed by other people's emotions in her food. I cared more about her and her family. I liked the little questions that were left uncovered, so that we could only just make out the shape of Something underneath, but never revealing too much.
This book was a combination of Han Solo (with ensemble cast of characters) + Serenity/Firefly + a dash of The Exorcist. The story follows a whole lotThis book was a combination of Han Solo (with ensemble cast of characters) + Serenity/Firefly + a dash of The Exorcist. The story follows a whole lot of different characters and settings, which can be difficult for some readers to keep track of (I always had to shift my eyes over to the next page or two to get a recognizable name to jog my memory as to which character this or that particular passage is going to be about), but I enjoyed it for the huge variety of different crews, planets, galaxies, and cultures, some of which we only just dip our toes in. The "bad guys" are not some Evil Empire (or Emperor), in fact, in the beginning there really isn't a "bad guy." The "omg we gotta stop this handbasket from descending into hell" takes a while to build up, only just beginning at the end of the first half of the book (ahem, where, if you read the North American paperback copy, you might not have known there was a 2nd half to the first book of this trilogy like I did!).
Anyhow, don't read if you don't like swearing or some casual sex (not too explicit, in my opinion, but some folks might find some word choices a little rough), but overall I felt that was more light what future space colonies would be like, provided colonization didn't come strictly from Puritans :) so it worked for me....more