Very nice! I'm sad for this series ending, but this was a nice way to do it. As a bonus, Maron has a way of incorporating realistic romance elements tVery nice! I'm sad for this series ending, but this was a nice way to do it. As a bonus, Maron has a way of incorporating realistic romance elements that is nonpareiled. (sp?)...more
I enjoy this series a lot, but in rereading I definitely noticed several continuity errors. Also several elements that didn't make sense--including thI enjoy this series a lot, but in rereading I definitely noticed several continuity errors. Also several elements that didn't make sense--including the plot.
But I love the inside look at fashion styling. 3.5 stars....more
Oooh! So happy to get my hands on this finally. So far, it is just as good as the first one! I am in a book fog right now--it was really hard to stopOooh! So happy to get my hands on this finally. So far, it is just as good as the first one! I am in a book fog right now--it was really hard to stop reading and go in to work.
Finished it, happy sigh! I SO hope there will be another soon. I love this complex world and its interesting people. There's so much scope here to grow--I hope she keeps going. May I say how much better this type of world-building works for me than the poorly thought out kind of thing that has burned me out on reading most Paranormal/Urban Fantasy books?
I also want to point out that one of my favorite things about this series is the slow growth and development of the relationship between Simon and Meg. This really works for me. It's believable and sweet, and honest. For two such different creatures, this makes so much more sense, and feels so much more real than the stupid fated soulmates trope I all to frequently see. To me, that trope is just an easy hand wave by authors who can't write their way out of/handle relationship building in a made-up world without subverting their own rules. Caused by poorly thought out world-building. It takes someone who can handle complex ideas, and stay within their own parameters to do this type of thing well. (I.e. not the type of author who gives their Mary Sue character a new different power every book because they can't figure out how to resolve problems AND stay within their own rules.) Kudos to Bishop.
Going off on another tangent... I read a blog post last week discussing what makes a strong character to readers? I've been thinking a lot about that in context of this book. Is it violence--i.e. being able to pull out a sword and lop off someone's head, or set demons on them, or call up a storm, survive terrible abuse, whatever? What is strength to you?
There's a place for that type of character sometimes (although I'm not a huge fan of gratuituous S/M-ish character behavior/violence porn.)
But to me, being a strong character is someone who has emotional intelligence. Someone, who when bad things happen to them, they deal with it and move on. Someone who maintains integrity, takes care of the weaker and those they love and protect, and someone who gets up and keeps going. A good example of this done well would be Jamie Fraser in Diana Gabaldon's books, or Cazaril in Bujold's "Curse of Chalion".
I've seen some reviews that've criticized Meg because of her seeming passivity and weakness, but I think that's what I really like about her. Her sweetness. The way she has survived horrific abuse but doesn't pass it on to others. The way she connects with people and earns their friendship and respect. The way she keeps trying and growing. Rarely have I seen a fantasy character where one of their aspects of their race is sweetness. That's unusual, but it really works here. Meg is. I don't think that makes her weak, I think it makes her admirable.
I'd much rather read about this type of character than one who is violent and destructive and, frankly, ...silly. (Sometimes, I think that type of over-the-top behavior is just wish-fulfillment fantasy for an author or reader that who feels powerless and dissatisfied with their own life.)
But, you know, I'm relatively old as a UF/PN reader, so I look at people with a more experienced (if sometimes jaundiced) view. And what I've experienced, and the people I respect, tend to be those who--no matter what life throws at them--come through it with grace rathern than violence. Adversity either strengthens the character or damages it. I respect the type of people who come through stronger, more empathetic and real IRL, and in characters in my reading material.
I also like Simon, the rest of the Indigenes, Meg's human pack, and the police officers. I want to call them out for also behaving in admirable ways; trying to work together and resolve situations using violence as last ditch approach--i.e. when absolutely necessary. (Speak softly and carry a big stick?)
It's going to be really interesting to see how Bishop continues her world-building, because now this conflict between humans and indigenes is ratcheting up to conflict on a global basis. It feels like the build-up to a world war to me, like I'm watching history unfold. Hawks vs. doves. Will the powder keg explode, or will small interventions make the inevitable less apocalyptic?
Probably more of a 3.5 stars, but rounded up because it kept my attention captured until the end.
I enjoyed this one much more than Pegasus. Probably bProbably more of a 3.5 stars, but rounded up because it kept my attention captured until the end.
I enjoyed this one much more than Pegasus. Probably because I found Maggie to be comparatively likeable and less of a whiner. Plus, she actually took action to make things better, instead of sitting around and moaning...Yay!
The end was kind of a fizzle though. I wish there was some sort of catharsis, but really other than kissing and family get-togethers, there wasn't--at least not for me. Nothing was settled. (view spoiler)[Also the villain (if you can call it that)was pretty amorphous. A combo of entropy, bureaucracy and reality dissolution, I guess. (hide spoiler)]
Feel free to comment, btw. I'm very interested in hearing what other readers think.
Philosophically, I guess a frustrating ending where readers want to know more and continue on with the characters and their worlds is not necessarily a bad thing for an author. Maybe...?
It's different for the reader, however. I know McKinley rarely does sequels, but boy, is this one left open-ended and unsettled. I wish she was better about tying up her endings satisfyingly, but the most recent books (Sunshine, Chalice, Pegasus, this one) have definitely amorphous and unsatisfying endings. I always feel this way about books by Diana Wynne-Jones, and Neil Gaiman as well, so I guess RM is in good company?!? For these authors, it feels like they enjoyed creating the world, but didn't really know what to do with the story at the end. Maybe they enjoy 'Lady and the Tiger' endings a little too much. Or this just being 'literary'?
With these authors' books, I never feel that 'whoosh, happy satisfied sigh' feeling about the endings of their books like I do for Lois McMaster Bujold's or Megan Whalen Turner's. Anyone else notice this? I shouldn't complain, (I'm not really, just observing) because this book was very enjoyable really....more
Wow! That was a true pleasure! WHY can't I find more books like this?! The best I can describe the reading experience for me is that it was like one oWow! That was a true pleasure! WHY can't I find more books like this?! The best I can describe the reading experience for me is that it was like one of those filmclips of a flower slowly blooming, as the story opened, unfolded and grew more intricate and lovely the further I read. Plus, I loved the characterization and the dialogue as the characters interacted. The humor was lovely.
Please don't let the misleading YAish appearance of the cover art keeping you from picking this up. This is not a YA book.
I loved this. I wish I could find more like it.
This combination of anthropological and sociological discovery between varying peoples, cultures and characters is one of my favorite themes. And Karen Lord handled it so well. I can't wait to read more from her!
Oh my! That was amazing! I'm walking around in a happy haze.
A total stealth book with a boring cover and title. But inside...riches galore! As I've sOh my! That was amazing! I'm walking around in a happy haze.
A total stealth book with a boring cover and title. But inside...riches galore! As I've said before, I'm enjoying the books she wrote as Diana Norman even more than the ones she wrote as Ariana Franklin.
This book is totally wonderful historic suspense. Has very strong female (and male) characters, tons of adventure, and, need I say...(view spoiler)[ PIRATES!!! As well as true love, mystery, espionage, murder, torture, rape, a missing heir, slavery, rebellion, Jamaica, war. And a happy ending! (hide spoiler)]
I really wish someone would re-publish these books so that they are available again. Maybe they should put them under her other pseudonym to take advantage of the familarity of current fans? Give them more 'catchy' titles and cover art?
I had to get this book through inter-library loan, so you may have access to it that way. But I'd really like to own it. Here's hoping......more
1st read 12/9/11: 3.5 stars. I really enjoy this series!
2nd read 12/21/13: rereading series to prep for book #4.
3rd read 2/12/17: I'm re-reading this1st read 12/9/11: 3.5 stars. I really enjoy this series!
2nd read 12/21/13: rereading series to prep for book #4.
3rd read 2/12/17: I'm re-reading this series. This one, while still good and quite creative annoyed me upon the re-read. That's because it struck me this time around how much I missed strong female characters like Leslie, Beverly, and Walid (introduced here). Leslie is enduring her own trauma but is mostly off the page. Beverly is still exiled. As a female reader, I found Simone, the only female character active in this 2nd book annoying because she's such a cliche. She's only included to sex Peter up and fill a much-needed plot hole. (view spoiler)[unknowing villain (hide spoiler)] Yeah, there's some sexy banter between the two, but she's basically a cipher put in there to serve Peter's needs. At least Peter's mom is worthy of respect! Thank goodness the rest of the series is not so much male wannabe fantasy like this one. Argh....more
Tilla got a lot of time in this book, which made it for me. Her pragmatic acceptance of the new religion was grFirst read 1/2/11: I love this series!
Tilla got a lot of time in this book, which made it for me. Her pragmatic acceptance of the new religion was great and her public prayer was HILARIOUS!
And I do love the way Downie always has such great endings. The interactions between gruff, taciturn, and put-upon Ruso and Tilla are so wonderful they make me happy inside! And it's what is not said, that makes them so satisfying, I think.
And the mystery was very satisfying as well. I was sorry to see them leave Britain, but truly enjoyed meeting Ruso's irritating family members.
Second read 1/28/14: This book is worth it's purchase price just for Tilla's prayer! This series is wonderful....more