As fluff goes this was pretty good. After the first book deflated my somewhat overblown expectations for this series, this one went down quite a bit m...moreAs fluff goes this was pretty good. After the first book deflated my somewhat overblown expectations for this series, this one went down quite a bit more smoothly. Which is not to say these books are bad. In the grand scheme of space opera they're actually pretty good. To put them in perspective, they're about as insubstantial as Game of Thrones, but without (most of) the repetitiveness. I even laughed at a few points in this book! For reals! One chapter ends with a cliff hanger in which a technical glitch ends up being a large, angry monster in the hold. The next chapter leads with one character saying, "Well, there's your problem," which earned a chuckle. A chuckle which I swiftly revoked after reading the totally superfluous following paragraph, which explains, "He was trying to make a joke. Had made a joke. Normally, Holden would have laughed at his exaggerated drawl and comic obviousness. Alex could be very funny, in a dry, understated sort of way." Seriously guys, do we really need this after about 1000 pages with these characters? Just when you're maybe kinda sorta flexing a sense of humor? Some authors need a governor on their exposition engines.
I liked having some more POV characters in this one, but was disappointed when, yet again, they all had to converge on the ship. Keep them apart! Maintain some complexity! It's ok! They don't all have to be best buds at the end!
Avasarala was somewhat frustrating. She's a little old Indian lady who cusses like a sailor and holds one of the highest ranking positions in Earth's government. Now, I can totally imagine little old Indian ladies ruling the world, no problem, and I'm completely willing to believe that little old ladies can cuss up a storm, but little old Indian ladies are probably the only ethnicity of little old lady that I cannot imagine cussing like a sailor. My mind can man a flotilla of 74-gun ships-of-the-line with cussing little old ladies but none of them hail from the subcontinent. I feel like this book has outed some hidden prejudice I've been harboring against little old Indian ladies, namely that I cannot believe any of them anywhere are capable of cursing at the frequency which Avasarala maintains in this book. Is my world so terribly parochial, or is this character just extra ridiculous?(less)
If you're unfamiliar with Jeff Smith's Bone you need to stop reading this and find out why it's a comics and cartooning masterpiece and why Jeff Smith...moreIf you're unfamiliar with Jeff Smith's Bone you need to stop reading this and find out why it's a comics and cartooning masterpiece and why Jeff Smith is a comics demigod. All set? Cool. RASL is Smith's next long-format work, and is different from Bone in all kinds of interesting ways. Smith's great timing and effortless scenery are on full display, but sadly his clumsiness with depicting "realistic" characters has returned as well. In Bone, more stylized characters like the Bones and the (stupid, stupid) rat creatures have wonderfully expressive faces and bodies, usually hilariously so, but just as often Smith employs this expressiveness in a wide array of complex emotions. Some characters are infinitely more static, with about 2 or three set expressions (Grandma Ben, Lucius), but that rigidity is usually its own joke. And then there's Thorn, the realistic character, who's best visual moments occur at her cartooniest, but who often bears inexplicable expressions at other times. Every character in RASL is of the Thorn type, usually giving them a deranged, incorrectly assembled appearance. Sometimes this serves the story, particularly in the case of Crow, who is intentionally deformed and looks deeply (and wonderfully) deranged, but in the main characters it makes sympathy difficult, and this isn't really the kind of book that challenges the reader to deal with unsympathetic protagonists.
This might simply be emblematic of the work as a whole: none of the characters have that much individuality yet. The Tesla stuff is fun, because Tesla is fun (now I want to find a good biography), and by the end I definitely wanted to keep reading, so overall it was pretty enjoyable, but I fear that it's headed toward the sort of dissolution Bone experienced toward the end of its run. I don't think the same kind of cute baby animal tangents are much of a threat, but there could easily be some deus ex machinas lurking between the worlds. I'll probably check the library for the next one, but I'm not dying to buy it.(less)
Zombies are boring. I said it, bring the hate you (un?)necrophiles, but it's true. They're slow (ok some are fast), they're dumb (pretty sure this is...moreZombies are boring. I said it, bring the hate you (un?)necrophiles, but it's true. They're slow (ok some are fast), they're dumb (pretty sure this is universal), you always know what they're going to do next. Yes, they're good vessels for our fears about the implacable, relentless nature of our animal selves, and yes, they're interesting metaphors for mid-century proletariats, dead-eyed consumers, andthepoor, but as characters or even just antagonists, they kind of suck.
And this book, which has been fêted far beyond the festivity demanded by the zombie's current cultural ascendancy, suffers from many of the same problems: it's plodding, it's redundant, it has a single-minded (or even mindless) obsession with geopolitics and battle tactics when pressing questions like where did the zombie plague come from?! remain unaddressed.
And yet... it does not suck! Ok, some of the personal stories are excessively maudlin (maybe all of them), and the tone was unvarying enough that a genre-loving friend of mine had to put it down (with a shotgun?), but the extent to which Brooks has thought out how people around the world will respond to the zombie apocalypse is amazing (I'm stopping with the parentheses, seriously)! What country is most prepared? Israel, because they're good a building walls, and they already feel like everyone is trying to kill them. Where are the final zombie holdouts? The poles, b/c there are uncountable frozen zombies thawing every spring, and the ocean floor, b/c zombies don't need air and aren't that buoyant. What's more dangerous than a zombie? Living zombie mimics and feral people orphaned during the early stages of the apocalypse, because unlike zombies they're actually smart and don't freeze.
I know, you're probably thinking this sounds lame, and for a lot of people it probably will be, but if you're like me and you actually like these kinds of plotless "what if" stories (if the writing's tolerable (psych!)), you should probably check it out.
Why do you think zombies are so popular? Reading those posts I linked made me feel like people seriously over-think zombies. We like them because they look like people and yet it's totally cool to chainsaw their heads off. Atavistic murder porn, right? Right? As much as film makers and critics would like to infuse zombies with some commentary on the masses who love them, isn't their appeal just that of the slasher pic, pumped up by marketing execs who fear the coming ebb in vampire fandom?(less)
There are some things I like in this one. Flam, Drub, and Mender. Shuna leading the rebels. Brandon McKinney's improving pencils. But on the whole it'...moreThere are some things I like in this one. Flam, Drub, and Mender. Shuna leading the rebels. Brandon McKinney's improving pencils. But on the whole it's a very conventional "seize the castle" plot, without the wonderful subtexts woven through ElfQuest's previous big "seize the castle" story in the original quest (the mixed meanings of the castle, Two Edge's intentions, Leetah's hubris, etc). The fact that Two Edge reprises his earlier role is disappointing. He's been through so much, and yet the only novelty we're offered is his ability to develop an adolescent crush. He seems to be single-handedly fomenting an industrial revolution. Can't we go somewhere with that?! Winnowill is an equally dull, static Big Bad. Also not a fan of the Peace Hounds. Unbeatable monsters always feel a bit gimmicky (they always remind me of the Neo Warriors in Exosquad). They make the the plot seem more like an obstacle course than a story.
On Wednesday I found myself at a party (an occurrence itself worthy of remark) at which everyone wore "I'm currently reading..." stickers, so I had se...moreOn Wednesday I found myself at a party (an occurrence itself worthy of remark) at which everyone wore "I'm currently reading..." stickers, so I had several opportunities to explain why I was loving The Man in the High Castle. One such conversation went like this:
"So what's that about?" "Well, it's scifi. Or rather speculative fiction." "Er, hm. No. I don't do scifi." "But it's got Nazis!" "Oh my god I love Nazis!"
Another conversation involved me explaining to a white guy how interesting I (a half-Japanese guy) found reading about defeated white Americans kowtowing to their Japanese overlords. The awkwardness of the words coming out of my mouth did not even occur to me for several sentences.
I'm pretty sure at some point during the evening I also said, with party-speaking volume, "I think I really like Dick!" Sometimes I wish English had fewer homophones.
Suffice it to say that I am swearing off parties and returning to my safe, almost-completely-akwardness-free hermetic lifestyle.
Ok, this book. Let me just establish that neither the Nazi-lover nor I are, in fact, Nazi-lovers or racists (or no more racist than the average person), and that despite (or perhaps because of?) the uncomfortable conversations this book might occasion, it's a great read! My former experience with Phillip K. Dick (whose first name and middle initial are considerably more important in conversation than heretofore imagined) was with a collection of his short stories, which was amusing but very much in the Atomic Age sort of a vein: THE BOMB, robots, space ships, THE BOMB, etc. After finding J.G. Ballard's similar ruminations on mortality and atomic annihilation to be unfinishably boring, I was wary of returning to PKD (ah, much better), and the premise of a world in which the Axis powers won WWII could definitely have lead down that road. Plucky American rebels fighting their Nazi oppressors and thwarting a plot to nuke New York while chronically hamstrung by their moribund contemplation of non-existence? No thanks.
But this book is so not that book! As with other works by PKD (or at least the cinematic interpretations I've seen), the underlying horror is not about annihilation, but about anxiety over identity. In High Castle, the American identity has been completely crushed. There is no rebel faction, there are no competent or truly sympathetic American characters, and American cultural artifacts that *we* keep in museums are now collector's items to be pawned off to Japanese connoisseurs (not unlike the 19th century European obsession with Japonisme). The idea of infinite American ingenuity and resourcefulness has been discarded along with our belief in democracy. The Japanese are consistently depicted as high-handed, elitist, occasionally racist, but generally fair and benign in intent... much like American occupational forces in reconstruction Japan. So if we as Americans aren't rebels, if we're not democrats, if we're not plucky heroes with wild ideas so crazy they might actually work, who are we? What a great subject for a scifi novel.
There's also quite a bit about the life and meaning of objects, or the "historicity" as the characters call it. Why is a penny touched by the President more significant than any other penny? I'm not entirely sure how this theme plays into the rest of the novel. It may have something to do with the arbitrariness invoked by the use of the I Ching by almost every character, i.e. the specific history of any given object is as intrinsically meaningful as a pattern of tossed sticks, and it is the evaluator's interpretation that has true significance. Again, though, how does it relate to Nazis?!
Also, hawt book-in-book action! All the characters in this what-if book are reading their own what-if book postulating a world in which the Axis powers didn't win WWII. I mean, yo dawg, I herd you like speculative fiction, so we put a book in yo book so u can speculate while u speculate. It's kind of cool.
The book's not perfect. Women get the short shrift. Betty Kasoura seems both intelligent and sympathetic to the plight of the Americans, but doesn't take action to the extent that her husband does. (view spoiler)[I'm not sure if Juliana's murder of the covert gestapo officer was due to self-defense so much as hysteria. (hide spoiler)] Up until that point she was basically Don Draper's 1st season mental model of a woman, plus judo. Sign of the times (this was published in 1962) or a part of the narrative? Races and ethnicities are mercilessly stereotyped, but seemingly without bias: Japanese are polite and inscrutable, Americans are emotional and clumsy, Chinese are crude and servile, Germans orderly and maniacal. I suppose you could interpret that as the triumph of the Axis worldview over Western egalitarian principles, or you could read it as the biases inherent in our own 1960s America.
Anyway, totally worth trying, even if you don't like scifi OR Nazis.(less)
With each new deus ex machina (the void?!) one gets the impression there is no master plot, or at least only a vague one. Have to admit I'd basically...moreWith each new deus ex machina (the void?!) one gets the impression there is no master plot, or at least only a vague one. Have to admit I'd basically forgotten most of what had happened before, but I'm pretty sure there was nothing about any "void" or time travel. I felt like the narrative flow was a bit choppy in this one too, with scenes ending abruptly, or serving little purpose. The art's still beautiful, so I'll keep reading, but I'd like to see more about the stone's motives. I hope they're not unambiguously evil. And what about their mom! I want her to have a role.(less)
I read about half of this before deciding most of the stories were pretty similar: atomic annihilation, sleep as a proxy for death, scientific hubris,...moreI read about half of this before deciding most of the stories were pretty similar: atomic annihilation, sleep as a proxy for death, scientific hubris, etc. Some of them definitely contained compelling concepts (time-based autocracy, anti-time autocracy!) and imagery (giant birds!), but the bogus biology and underlying belief in historical and evolutionary determinism got me down. Each of these stories seems to echo the fear of death within the broader fear of death of the world, of civilizations and ecosystems reaching their end, and it all just feels a bit old fashioned. Like, we survived the Cold War without blowing ourselves up and now we have other fears, like the fear of fear (also a Cold War thing, obviously, so where's it at, J.G.?), and the fear of lost identity, or false identity. Maybe that's why Phillip K. Dick has more currency these days than Ballard. Or is Ballard's other work different?(less)
Part of the magic of comics (well, independent comics) is that in some ways they are more immediately personal than prose. The labor put into creating...morePart of the magic of comics (well, independent comics) is that in some ways they are more immediately personal than prose. The labor put into creating them is more obvious, as are the many quirks of the artist. It's like conversing with a stranger who isn't treating you like a stranger, who assumes a level of intimacy that you may not share. When it works, it's magic. When it doesn't work, man, it's awkward.
Sadly King City landed in the latter camp for me. Graham clearly put a lot of himself and his love of comics into the visual style, the city, and the endless puns, but a lot of the book's potential went unrealized. In a book about a totally zany scifi/fantasy city where anything can happen and everything IS happening, there was a ton of empty space. In worlds like this I feel like a Hieronymus Bosch / Geoff Darrow / Where's Waldo approach would better convey the mad claustrophobia, and not the manga-style minimalism Graham employs. There was also no plot, or character development, which can be ok if there are other things to explore in a book, but the novelty of a cat that can be used as a weapon wears off pretty quickly. I think my favorite part of the book was his innovating cussing, "fuck a shit sandwich" being one of my favorites.(less)
**spoiler alert** Another fun ride. Apparently some found fault with a lack of action in this tome, but seriously people, Danaerys rode a dragon. Bran...more**spoiler alert** Another fun ride. Apparently some found fault with a lack of action in this tome, but seriously people, Danaerys rode a dragon. Bran rode Hodor. Tyrion rode a pig. Wun wun ate many hearty vegetables. What more, I ask, could you possibly want in a novel? What? What's that you say? Resolution of plot lines? Some tiny hint at where this might all be headed? For Arya to stop treading water and start doing something awesome? Fie upon your petty misgivings! My friends, hearken to me: you must learn to love stasis, to embrace the quotidien pleasure a small man on a large pig, to feel the biting pain of your eyes rolling violently as yet another character says "jape" or "much and more" or "useless as nipples on a breastplate" and realize that yea, your suffering has transcended into ecstasy, and when yet another useless character is introduced, when yet another character survives a mortal wound, when yet another breast is cupped extraneously, you will cry out "more, you cap-donning Baltimorean god of high fantasy, more!"
Seriously though I'm pretty excited about the second season of the TV show.(less)
Satisfying! Some great names (Eli Sisters, Hermann Kermit Warm), solid characters, and some beautiful little passages, like "the blood pooled out like...moreSatisfying! Some great names (Eli Sisters, Hermann Kermit Warm), solid characters, and some beautiful little passages, like "the blood pooled out like a rug underneath him" (p. 93), and "My very center was beginning to expand, as it always did before violence, a toppled pot of black ink covering the frame of my mind, its contents ceaseless, unaccountably limitless" (p. 246). Why is it that the stereotypical cowboy is laconic while writing in Westerns always seems ridiculously (and wonderfully) overwrought?
Had quite a bit of fun reading this, and definitely recommend it. Some violence and gross out if you're squeamish.(less)
**spoiler alert** Really not enough of the characters I wanted to see in this one, and I'm not even talking about Jon and Danaerys and Stannis et al w...more**spoiler alert** Really not enough of the characters I wanted to see in this one, and I'm not even talking about Jon and Danaerys and Stannis et al who all kind of annoy me anyway. I'm talking about Arya and Sam! When is Arya's personality switching going to manifest itself physically? When is Sam going to shake the world with his knowledge hammer? When is Bran going to introduce us to Coldhands?
I don't know, I'm still enjoying these books but it's definitely getting to the point in the drug metaphor where my ability to feel pleasure is dwindling while my compulsive need to keep reading remains constant. And there is definitely a speck on the horizon that could very well be Zombie Cat leaping over a vicious elasmobranch. Seriously, why is she undead? Beric, whatever. We didn't really know him before he died. Cat was our buddy though. Also, is Qyburn playing Frankenstein? Because that would also be lame in the extreme. Not a huge fan of the amped up prophesizing either. Danaerys, like God, is coming. And, like God, she's pissed. We know.
The prospect of shelling out for the next one in hardcover only to be really left hanging until George busts out the next one does not fill me with joy.(less)
Ok, so I'm 3 books into this series. 2972 pages. Let's take stock of the Starks: (view spoiler)[ * Eddard was a lord. Now he is dead.
* Catelyn was a lor...moreOk, so I'm 3 books into this series. 2972 pages. Let's take stock of the Starks: (view spoiler)[ * Eddard was a lord. Now he is dead.
* Catelyn was a lordly lady with a loving, honorable husband and 5 beautiful children. Now she's a widow, her kids are all dead (or so she thinks), and she, also, is dead. Bonus: she's a zombie.
* Sansa was an annoying, helpless, spoiled preteen. Now everyone she's ever loved is dead, but she remains annoying and helpless despite it all.
* Arya was an endearing highborn tomboy. Now's she's a murderous urchin, but still endearing.
* Jon was a bastard. Now he's a lord. But he's still a bastard.
* Rob was a nondescript dude. He's still that, except now he's dead.
* Bran was a little boy with two eyes who liked to climb. Now he's a slightly older little boy with three eyes who hangs out with frog-eaters, mind melds with animals, and is looking to get lessons from another three-eyed mind melder who might be undead.
* Rickon was a side note. He remains so.
I keep wondering whether these books are sexist or not, which usually boils down to the question of whether or not female characters have agency. I don't know if that's a reasonable test of gender bias, but that's where my mind goes. It's certainly true that most of the female characters rarely make decisions that influence the narrative, but I think that's equally true of the males. Some exceptions I can think of include Arya escaping Harrenhall, Catelyn freeing Jaime, Danaerys freeing slaves. Cersei, despite being one of the most overtly willful women in the story and the most vocal about gender bias in her society, seems to have little real power. She wanted to spare Eddard, he ended up dead. She wanted to save her kids, Joff ended up dead. She wants to marry her brother but her dad keeps wedding her off for political reasons.
Another possible way to approach the issue might be to ask whether the books sanction male chauvinism. I don't think you can read these books and believe that men are intrinsically superior to women, because there are plenty of idiotic men and plenty of capable women. As I wrote in a previous review, I do think these books objectify women much more than they do men, which at the very least is distinctly gynophilic (a new word I just looked up!), and probably allows some hetero men and lesbians to indulge in fantasy that many women might find demeaning. That said, though, speaking as a heterosexual guy, I find most of the sex in these books to be more ham-fisted than arousing. However, I doubt Martin did that intentionally. I guess "ham-fisted" could qualify as arousing if you have some kind of ham fetish. Let's just stop talking about this. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, these are all comments on the series. This particular book was no better or worse than the previous ones, which is another way of saying it still kept me up reading until 2am most nights. I wish Martin would work in a few more comic relief characters like Dolorous Ed, though. Jaime and Brienne were good for a few laughs. More of that, please.
I'm finding one of the most amusing parts of this series to be moments when I have to stop and wonder whether or not a sentence implies a fatality. Like, "..and then a boulder fell on him." Did he say how big the boulder was? Where, exactly did it hit him, and who, exactly, is "him" referring to? Fun times. Also, am I the only one who looks ahead at chapter titles to see if a character really died? I know, cheating. (less)
As fun as the first, with all the same caveats. I like how magic is slowly creeping into the world, though I found the little prognosticating swamp bo...moreAs fun as the first, with all the same caveats. I like how magic is slowly creeping into the world, though I found the little prognosticating swamp boy kind of annoying, as prognosticators tend to be. I like my gnostication thoroughly unprefixed, thank you very much. On to the next...(less)
Much like the first one, this book wasn't mind-bendingly wonderful or anything, but but it scratches the itch caused by fantasy deprivation without to...moreMuch like the first one, this book wasn't mind-bendingly wonderful or anything, but but it scratches the itch caused by fantasy deprivation without too much eye-rolling. The main exceptions were scenes where the Skill and the Wit were somehow in conflict. Describing how two imaginary, completely mental processes some how conflict in very literal ways always ends poorly.(less)
Not bad! While I dearly love fantasy, recent forays into the genre have left me bored or just groaning, but I'm happy to report this book did neither....moreNot bad! While I dearly love fantasy, recent forays into the genre have left me bored or just groaning, but I'm happy to report this book did neither. The magical elements, largely telepathy and mind control, were not squandered on fireballs or transfigurations but deployed rarely and always in service of the plot and the characters. Ancillary characters like Burich, Verity, and Lady Patience were well-crafted, though some were quite flat (Galen, Shrewd, perhaps even Chade). The prose didn't wow, but neither did it strain my eyeballs from over-rolling. Elderlings, Red-ship Raiders, the Fool, and further intrigue lured me into acquiring the rest of the series. Hobb basically fulfilled all the requirements of the medieval fantasy bildunsgroman with some style, but did not exceed them. B+. Maybe A-. Looking forward to the next one.(less)
I started watching the HBO series because a friend said it was ok. I continued watching the HBO series because my need for serialized escapist media I...moreI started watching the HBO series because a friend said it was ok. I continued watching the HBO series because my need for serialized escapist media I can consume while making dinner is greater than my need for believable dialog. I watched the last 4 episodes in one night and then rewatched the entire series and then started reading this book because I am just a sucker for political intrigue and swords and hints at unrealized magical awesomeness.
If you are not that kind of sucker, you will probably not enjoy this book. The writing is adequate, but never fulfilling in its own right. Occasionally maddeningly repetitive. Can't horses make any sound besides "whickering"? I swear to the gods, old and new, if Martin continues to use that damn word in every other paragraph for the remainder of the series I will ask him whether he'd like to keep his hands or his brain. The details of the world and the machinations are certainly wonderful, with lots of imaginative places (The Eyrie, Riverrun, The Wall), but there are just as many moments that feel a bit... juvenile. Like, teenage-boy-who's-room-smells-kind-of-funny-and-you-know-exactly-why kind of juvenile. Like, ok, it's a different world, women are treated poorly, thirteen-year-old brides have to bear children, etc. No need to get judgy. But why do we need to know about Danerys's lactational state as (view spoiler)[she walks into Drogo's funeral pyre (hide spoiler)]? Why do we linger on her chest while we never hear about Jon's uncomfortable shrinkage as he tries to take a leak off the Wall? I'm not trying to say these kinds of details are wrong. I'm just saying there are some moments of maleness, so be advised.
For the record, I *did* enjoy the book, and I'm addicted enough that I am forcing myself not to read the next one immediately just so I can last until the second season starts. Frankly, though, the TV series is better. Cersei's furrowed brow and half-smile alone granted her more humanity than Martin did in 800+ pages, and fleshing out minor characters like Syrio Forel added dimension to protagonists like Arya. Lysa Arryn was at least 10 times more insane sitting on her throne suckling her 6-year-old boy then she ever was in the book.
I'm a spaceship snob, which, for those who don't share this affliction, involves both a physical need to see or imagine spaceships on a regular basis,...moreI'm a spaceship snob, which, for those who don't share this affliction, involves both a physical need to see or imagine spaceships on a regular basis, and the inability feel sated unless said ships appear in a compelling, intellectually stimulating story. Sad, right? It's like only being able to enjoy cocaine while simultaneously skydiving and solving a particularly thorny crossword. For the record I cannot personally verify the aptness of this analogy, but I imagine getting anything into your nose while skydiving is a particularly rarefied experience, which is exactly what I'm trying to convey here: good space opera is hard to come by.
Leviathan Wakes comes close, close enough to serve the methadonic role of tickling my spaceship receptors until their next real hit of Firefly-caliber scifi comes along. There are a lot of spaceships. There is a serviceable plot and decent characters. There is a plausible vision of humanity's expansion into the solar system. So, you know, there is that tingly feeling. But there's also that feeling of treading familiar turf: to say that Leviathan Wakes is a Firefly ripoff is only going a little too far. With its charming, moralistic, somewhat naive captain and its ragtag crew of pilots, technicians, and brutes just trying to scrape a living in this 'Verse of blustering nationalists and evil corporate empires, it's definitely more than an homage. Naomi is a lankier, more Asian Zoey. Amos is a lot like Jane (though I basically just picture him as Herc from the Wire). Julie Mao is a somewhat River-like in her innocence and martial arts prowess.
All of this isn't bad, per se, but it does have that slightly mushy feel and depleted flavor of regurgitation. We've got Mal, but not his existential crisis. We've got the crew banter, but without the acid wit. The duo behind James S.A. Corey are competent and have crafted a substantive world with enough lightness to skirt the morass of minutia and over-explanation that drags down many space operas, but they don't seem to be as funny or as deep as the Firefly writing team they so clearly admire.
So. I read. I liked. I will continue to read. But it's not the Jonathan Strange of space opera I was hoping for.(less)
Surprising in that it actually had some closure at the end! This one made me wish they stayed on land longer to resolve their terrestrial dramas, but...moreSurprising in that it actually had some closure at the end! This one made me wish they stayed on land longer to resolve their terrestrial dramas, but alas, the sea always beckons. Plenty of fun naturalizing and naval action in this one, plus some examples of bad captains (often alluded to but rarely included in the action in these books), and some description of the slave trade and slave ships that were sufficiently horrifying. I'll get to my notes and vocab list eventually...(less)
The art continues to be phenomenal in this installment, but the plot also continues to be conventional, with little progression for our main character...moreThe art continues to be phenomenal in this installment, but the plot also continues to be conventional, with little progression for our main characters.(less)