While it's a very interesting read for any fan of Twin Peaks, it's hard to review this book as 'a novel'. Presented as a 'found document' with commentWhile it's a very interesting read for any fan of Twin Peaks, it's hard to review this book as 'a novel'. Presented as a 'found document' with commentary, it's less House of Leaves and more "a lot of behind the scenes and lore and worldbuilding and a little recap of what happened of importance in those episodes of Season 2 you always skip in rewatches". It also seems to have very little to do with Twin Peaks at first, but it connects it all back in the end, no fear. What it does of importance is to provide some background, commentary, and a little resolution to some characters who won't be able to reappear in Season 3 due to the premature death of their actors. That alone is worth the price of admission. Mandatory read for all those fans who used to say that the weird and paranormal in Twin Peaks came only from David Lynch. Mark Frost is laughing. Mark Frost is laughing at you so much....more
**spoiler alert** 3.5 stars, rounding up for the rating.
I think that lack of a half star might be more due to my expectations than what the book actua**spoiler alert** 3.5 stars, rounding up for the rating.
I think that lack of a half star might be more due to my expectations than what the book actually is. Given the title, and the cover, and the press, and it being called so often a space opera (as opposed to Hurley's Nyx novels) made me... well, it made me think there'd be a lot more space in it.
True, the story takes technically place in four different worlds plus a handful of space scenes, but both PoV characters are stuck inside of one world each for basically the whole book.
Now, it's not those parts are boring - quite the contrary! As we found out more about the (literal) innards of the worldships, I wanted to know even more in return. What are the giants in amber? Is the legion like a macrocosm organism, with each single person as the equivalent of a cell, each world an organ? Who built it, and why? How's the inner rim different from the outer? Why did the upper levels forget about the lower levels? And so on, and so forth. Still, as Zan's journey progressed through the Katazyrna, I kept also wondering when we'd get to the space. Spoiler: we don't. Or rather, the main characters do but we don't get to see that, because (if I got this right) this is a standalone and not part of a saga.
This leads also to my other minor niggle: we start the book with a mystery and spend the rest of it getting thrown into even more mysteries, hoping at least that by the end of the book we'll get answers about some of them. Primarily: why Zan led the Mokshi out of the rim, why she's trying to lead it out of the legion altogether; and the answer to that is... because. True, the legion is dying, but once you have a world that can go wherever it wants and the power to rebuild other worlds, why not try to repair the legion? Why hurl yourself into the unknown? And why risk everything to do it? Especially if you're living close to the core, where things are still good. We don't really get to know, because we never meet the original Zan - only the last iteration, who has her own reasons and motivations indipendent from the 'original'.
So the past is a blur, the future is uncertain, but the road to get there was loads of gory fun. Plus, of course, lots of lesbians in space....more
**spoiler alert** There's a lot of this book I loved, but in the end it didn't completely gel for me. Some parts of it felt rushed, others seemed to d**spoiler alert** There's a lot of this book I loved, but in the end it didn't completely gel for me. Some parts of it felt rushed, others seemed to drag; at times it looked like it should have been two books instead of one. It's ambition to connect storylines from all the other books in the sequence clashed with the time needed to properly expand all the things introduced in this one.
For example, the whole thing with the goddess under the mountain: it's too long for a detour put in just to give Caleb a small speaking part (which will make little sense for those who haven't read Two Serpents Rise), and it's too short as a sub-plot unto itself. Same with the plot about the small god refugees, or the vampire underworld. I kept hoping we'd get more of that rather that yet another chapter from Worst Dad's point of view.
I also have minor niggles about the lawsuit part of the book, mainly the fact that it doesn't look remotely like one - even less than in the previous books.
In the end I liked it, and I surely want to see more of this world, but I'm not completely satisfied....more
The tagline for this book could very well have been "Men destroy everything, women pick up the pieces: a tragedy".
Last First Snow is different from thThe tagline for this book could very well have been "Men destroy everything, women pick up the pieces: a tragedy".
Last First Snow is different from the other novels of the Craft Sequence: less of a procedural/murder mystery and more of a train wreck in slow motion, where we already know how the pieces are going to fall, but not exactly how they got there.
The book starts a few years after Deathless: The City's Thirst (mentioned in passing) and tells the story of the Skittersill riots we heard about in Two Serpents Rise: Temoc versus the King in Red, old faith versus Craft, people versus corporations. The story expands on that and gives us a personal dimension to the fight, although we spend a lot more time with Temoc and the rioters than with the other sides.
I must admit, when I saw the first lines of the book open with Elayne Kevarian I was totally ready for a story from her point of view. I was quite disappointed when the point of view switched to Temoc, a character I disliked and disagreed with in all of his appearances. And then the pov kind of... remained there. Even when we go back to Elayne, Temoc is there most of the time, in body or in spirit.
However, in a surprising turn of events, Gladstone manages to write Temoc in a way that doesn't make me dislike the character more than I did before I started reading. I can't say that I like him more, and I do seriously hope he's finally out of the picture for good (well, as much as it's possible for a story set in the past), but there is now more depths and understanding to his actions - even if they still make little rational sense. (Not that Kopil is more rational when it comes to the old gods; in fact, it seems that both men's brains stop working where gods or the other are concerned.)
My only other complaint is that, by focusing so much on the key players, and especially on ticking all the plot boxes that were mentioned in TSR, the human rioters remain mostly in the background of a revolt started by them to safeguard their houses and their way of life. They are a crowd we're meant to sympathize with but, apart from a few names, still a crowd with little individuality. There could have been a little more time spent there, to give the events of the last part of the book a more personal impact....more
It's a wild ride, it's challenging, and it's brutal. It's also a middle book, with all the complications of the case: it follows straight from the firIt's a wild ride, it's challenging, and it's brutal. It's also a middle book, with all the complications of the case: it follows straight from the first with little re-introductions and, if you forgot who the thousand characters in play are, it'll take a while to get back in the game; and while it does bring some plot lines to an end, it does not have the 'small closure' feel that Mirror Empire had. Also, this is Hurley we're talking about, so try not to get too attached to characters....more
I remember watching the movie with Jodie Foster when it came out, but I'd never read the book before, so I ordered it in preparation to watch ArrivalI remember watching the movie with Jodie Foster when it came out, but I'd never read the book before, so I ordered it in preparation to watch Arrival (which is kind of Contact but for linguists rather than radio astronomers).
The final rate is a 3.5 but pointing upward. The novel is a bit clunky at times, very important in its message but kinda muddled in its handling of characters apart from Ellie. I got a really sour note towards the end, when it's revealed that (view spoiler)[Ted is not Ellie's biological father. The text keeps saying that Ted's not her real father from that point on, and no, no, sorry, nope. A father is someone who raised you, not just someone who donated some DNA to a fertile egg. Ellie is not really a people's person, but even her should know this. Plus, her actual bio father was against her STEM studies and (along with her mother) never told her the truth until after her mother died, so it's not like the story or her family gave Ellie any reason to like him in the first place (hide spoiler)].
In a way I think the movie depicted the wormhole travel part best, although it evened it out by completely bungling the final message from the book in favour of a more religious approach. I prefer the book best, on that front. If there is proof of a creator, it will not come from blind faith, but from the universe itself, and science....more