Rape is not a punchline. (I'm not touching what this says about feminine sexuality, people with sexual kinks, and the very nature of rape.) That scene...moreRape is not a punchline. (I'm not touching what this says about feminine sexuality, people with sexual kinks, and the very nature of rape.) That scene killed the already wounded story dead and dropped it straight to an F-. (less)
This book is slow to start. While I can see how I might be creeped out if I was living the characters' situation, "Ooooo, there are no ATMs! OooOOoo!"...moreThis book is slow to start. While I can see how I might be creeped out if I was living the characters' situation, "Ooooo, there are no ATMs! OooOOoo!" isn't a very scary bogeyman. After the real bogeyman came on the scene, though, I couldn't put it down.(less)
If I could give this book six stars, I would. The best in the series to date, and they've been hard to top. Kate's heart gets dragged through the dirt...moreIf I could give this book six stars, I would. The best in the series to date, and they've been hard to top. Kate's heart gets dragged through the dirt and stomped on, but she doesn't give up and keeps on working to solve Atlanta's magical woes. With a charismatic and sociopathic villain leaving diseases and corpses everywhere, Kate's resources are sapped down to the bone.(less)
In The Lies of Locke Lamora, the Gentlemen Bastards pulled off one of the most successful cons of their career and escaped by the skin of their teeth....moreIn The Lies of Locke Lamora, the Gentlemen Bastards pulled off one of the most successful cons of their career and escaped by the skin of their teeth. Now, two years later, they're back in the game and the stakes are higher than ever. In the most famous and exclusive casino in the land, it is instant death to cheat in the slightest way. The Gentlemen have been doing it every day for the last two years. But this is only a prelude to get them closer to the their true goal, in the casino owner's vault. Just as they start to put their plan into motion, an old enemy resurfaces. Then they come to the attention of the city's military dictator. Then things get really interesting.
Mr. Lynch's style is to skip around between timelines. But as I've observed before, this serves to speed up the plot rather than slow it down. The chapter may begin with a seeming non-sequitor about a building, city or custom, but as the explanation continues realization begins to dawn until finally you realize how these connect and how much bigger this makes the stakes. In this book, he skips mainly between the main plot when the con is placed in action and the time period when the main characters are setting up. He also shows certain events from the point of view of villains and side characters (and sometimes it's hard to tell between them).
The plot is so fast-paced, and I'm so eager and enthralled by the story, that I forget how funny the book is. I only thought about it when my sister asked to borrow "that book you keep giggling over". The characters are sarcastic and laugh in the face of danger - which means they do a lot of laughing. For example, after counting up the number of people interested in them Locke says, "Know something? I'd lay even odds that between the people following us and the people hunting us, we've become this city's principle means of employment. Tal Verrar's entire economy is now based on fucking with us."
Locke's and Jean's friendship is put to the test here. Locke seems to be either a manic-depressive or an adrenaline addict or both. When he's riding high on a con job, nothing can go wrong with the world, but when his plot hits a setback he becomes abusive to himself and everyone around him. Normally Jean can bring him out of these moods, but after suffering through his own trials his patience with his friend is growing thin.
Red Seas Under Red Skies has the two main characters return, but with a new cast of enemies, allies, dupes and everyone in between. I especially love the character of little Cosetta, what few glimpses we catch of her. But from the aging dictator with a final legacy to build, to the pirate queen and her beloved children, to the casino owner's scarred lieutenant, each character has a unique and fascinating story to tell.