In terms of the writing, this book is much better than the first. However, GRRM, do you REALLY think long lists of things can take the place of good dIn terms of the writing, this book is much better than the first. However, GRRM, do you REALLY think long lists of things can take the place of good descriptive prose? Ugh.
Anyway, this whole book feels like a way-station to get you to another point in the story. But there are some surprises and exciting moments to help in the transition....more
I've been having a crappy couple of days, so it was really nice to get to read the best of the Season 8 bunch. I needed some Whedonesque snark. I'm diI've been having a crappy couple of days, so it was really nice to get to read the best of the Season 8 bunch. I needed some Whedonesque snark. I'm disappointed in the lack of actual Robot Monkeys, though....more
So, I picked these up because some people had mentioned this is the graphic novel series for literature lovers. There is both meta-fiction and I had been promised all sorts of literary characters and references popping up. If I had just stopped with the first issue of Volume 1, I would have been sorely disappointed with those expectations. Yes, there is the start of a book-within-a-book. The lead character mentions that he and his dad played geo-locational literary trivia. But that's about it. For issue 1, volume 1.
Turns out, issue 1 is just the set-up for the set-up. Each volume has 5 issues, and frequently those issues go off on literary tangents. I guess I have a little whine that at the end of Volume 2, I feel like we're only starting to get into the meat of the story.
But, but, but! A bunch of action takes place at the famous Villa Diodati. A character uses the word "fuckadoodle" which I love. Part of Frankenstein is done up all graphic-novel like. And the lines between reality and literature become blurred. Just like they are in my head. Don't go calling my doctor - I just mean that everything reminds me of books. My world is intertextual. Oh, and I like to have little chats with Dr. Watson or Paul Atreides.
By the way, the meta-fictional Tommy Taylor books are not even trying to disguise itself as Harry Potter. Instead of a pet owl, there's a pet flying cat! Instead of Voldemort, there's Ambrosio. Instead of Harry Potter, there's Tommy Taylor. You get the idea. In fact, it's more of a wink-wink, nudge-nudge thing going on with the reader. And TT is supposed to be more popular than HP himself! Ha! But it's kind of funny. In a Springfield vs. Capitol City sort of way. If you know what I mean. *wink, wink*...more
This book was quite a surprise. Yes, there are all sorts of hypocritical Monk-y debauchery and lustful, euphemiO Father Ambrosio, stop Monking around!
This book was quite a surprise. Yes, there are all sorts of hypocritical Monk-y debauchery and lustful, euphemism-filled scenes. But there are also two romantic subplots that filled with action, swashbuckling heroes, damsels in distress and deceit. All three stories end up intertwining in unexpected ways.
Did more people in olden times have prosopagnosia, or what? Why was it so damn easy to disguise yourself?
I had all sorts of naughty fun reading even more filthiness between the lines of the book. I can see why it got Lewis renounced as MP. Naughty, naughty man. But thanks for giving us such a fun book!
--------- I just wanted to update my review with a list of the cool words I found in The Monk:
* probity: integrity and uprightness; honesty. * opprobrium: the disgrace or the reproach incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; infamy. * Mountebank: a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling, etc. * perfidy: deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery: perfidy that goes unpunished. * iniquity: gross injustice or wickedness. * prolix: extended to great, unnecessary, or tedious length; long and wordy....more
I feel so guilty giving this book 2-stars. If I were a bookseller or a librarian or someone who is suggesting books to other folks, it would easily beI feel so guilty giving this book 2-stars. If I were a bookseller or a librarian or someone who is suggesting books to other folks, it would easily be a 4-star recommendation for people who love fantasy, mythology and strong female storylines. But this is Goodreads, and my ratings are reviews are mostly for me and my handful of friends here.
I just didn't connect with the protagonist, Yaine, nor her predicament. I really can't pin down exactly why this was even though I've been mulling it over for a while. She didn't feel real. Her predicaments felt detached, even though 'on paper' she wasn't. I get that there are in-world explanations why those two things might be like this -- even so, it prevented me from connecting with her. Ultimately, I just didn't care much about her fate.
My reaction was so strong (if disconnect be strong?), that when the climax, big reveal, twist, whatever-you-want-to-call it happened, I closed the book with a sigh. It took a lot of energy just to finish the last 10%.
I feel so sad about this, because the book was otherwise well written! There are some fascinating, vivid scenes that are colorful and imaginative. There are really clever god characters who are dynamic and unpredictable. Trust me, my problems with the book are not the fault of the writing.
The best part of the book is the mythology that Jemisin sets up - these gods and demigods that fight and are enslaved. It's a fascinating premise - I loved that the dark chaotic god wasn't as evil as I was expecting and the benevolent skygod has some dark secrets. Nifty!
I read a short interview with the author who admitted that her favorite characters in the book are the various gods in descending order. And, oh yeah, Yeine. Perhaps I just felt the conflicting emotions of the author barreling through the text... her nifty mythology was like fun, loving children, but the protagonist was only a vehicle for the story.
There is one other possible explanation as to why I wasn't connecting to the story: I'm not a huge fantasy fan - just an occasional dabbler. Perhaps I just don't possess the fantasy reader's toolkit necessary to parse and resolve the story line? Maybe I'm just not as forgiving or accepting of throw-away explanations when there is magic involved. Sometimes it's a little too deux-ex-machina for me, and I find it frustrating. The system of magic in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms wasn't fully clear - it took a long time with tiny hints to understand what was going on. What's key is that not everyone can wield the magic. Anyhow, it's highly probable that my disconnect is my own failing as a relatively inexperienced fantasy reader.
Whatever the reason, it just wasn't my thing. But it might well be your thing! Like I said, I'd heartily recommend it to fans who like strong female characters, epic fantasy, and new mythologies....more