Entertaining story, but not very well-written. The ending was far too rushed and ended with a cliffhanger. Overall, if you liked Zoo, you'll probablyEntertaining story, but not very well-written. The ending was far too rushed and ended with a cliffhanger. Overall, if you liked Zoo, you'll probably like Zoo 2, it's more of the same....more
Quickly shifting PoVs interspersed with epistolary background information on trolls (which in the world of this novel are real animals) made this noveQuickly shifting PoVs interspersed with epistolary background information on trolls (which in the world of this novel are real animals) made this novel an odd read for me. Some parts are extremely well-written, others … not. I think the epistolary pieces could easily be skipped and nothing lost for the reader.
Overall, the story is engaging and interesting. Not the best story I’ve ever read, but very far from the worst.
I thought the author’s portrayal of trolls as agile with feline characteristics was unique.
The Filipino mail-order bride didn’t seem to add anything to the story other than melancholy.
The denouement was foreshadowed, so what should have been a shocking end was merely confirmation of the reader’s suspicions. Which isn’t to say it was predictable, but rather it simply wasn’t surprising.
The obvious themes of man vs nature and man’s struggle with his primal instincts were a little obvious. I would have appreciated a bit more subtlety.
Note: Most of the male characters in this novel are gay and engage in sex....more
Maia is the fourth son of the Elven emperor, Varenechibel IV. After the airship carrying his father and three older brothers crashes, Maia is thrust oMaia is the fourth son of the Elven emperor, Varenechibel IV. After the airship carrying his father and three older brothers crashes, Maia is thrust onto the throne, a role for which he has no training. In fact, after the death of his mother, a Goblin princess, Maia has lived in isolation with his cruel and abusive cousin. Here we have a main character who is profoundly lonely, socially awkward, has no experience of the world into which he’s plunged, and who has internalized his abuser’s insults.
This is very much a character-driven story. Very little actually happens, so those looking for huge battles or “gritty reality” of the grimdark sub-genre should walk away. Yet, despite the lack of action, this is an utterly engrossing story. Maia doesn’t need to save the world or vanquish The Impossible Evil™, he has his hands full with courtiers trying to depose him, assassins trying to kill him, and the investigation into the crash of his father’s airship, all while trying to figure out how to survive life at the Elven court.
Maia is one of the best fantasy characters I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” in a very long time. Utterly lovable, and despite being unsure of himself and how he’s going to handle the difficulties he faces, he doesn’t simply go for the easiest decision and he stands by his convictions. He wants to be better than those who’ve hurt him, and refuses to be cruel or capricious. I hesitate to call this a “coming of age” story, yet it is definitely a journey into self-assurance for Maia and how he can balance his need for companionship with the necessary aloofness of his position.
Addison’s world building is top-notch. The language is a bit dense, both the English and the invented Ethuverazhin, but it feels organic and no single archaic English word is overused (I’m looking at you, George R. R. Martin, and all your leals, niellos, neeps, nightsoils, serjeants, japes, and nuncles).
I would heartily advise anyone who’s going to read this book to flip to the end first and read the section titled “Extracts from a Handbook for Travelers in the Elflands”, and to remember there is a “Listing of Persons, Places, and Gods” in the back. Normally I eschew this portion of novels, but in this case I wish I’d read it before starting the novel proper. The various forms of address for individuals can be confusing.
All in all, a great story that will leave you with the warm fuzzies after....more
Repetitive, boring, repetitive, no character development, repetitive, so purple it makes purple look white, repetitive, and far too repetitive.
If I haRepetitive, boring, repetitive, no character development, repetitive, so purple it makes purple look white, repetitive, and far too repetitive.
If I had to read the words, "the fields we know" one more time, I swear I was going to break my tablet. The phrase only appears 108 times in 203 pages. (I'm talking about real pages here, not accounting for the cover, table of contents, introduction, etc. The actual prose of the book, 203 pages).
This may be the precursor to much of modern fantasy, but that doesn't mean it's good....more
I'm honestly not quite sure how to rate this. On the one hand it was entertaining and a decent story. On the other, it was so poorly written I thoughtI'm honestly not quite sure how to rate this. On the one hand it was entertaining and a decent story. On the other, it was so poorly written I thought I was reading the work of a third grader.
It bounces around between first and third person narratives while simultaneously bouncing between present and past tense. (I personally loathe both first person and present tense). All the characters are written the same, which is sad considering some of the characters given "voice" are animals.
I am looking forward to the miniseries on CBS, however. As long as the writers only use the story in the book as basis for their TV adaptation....more