Eric's Reviews > Emerald Sea

Emerald Sea by John Ringo
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Nov 04, 10

bookshelves: ebooks, fantasy
Read from October 18 to 25, 2010

The sequel to There Will be Dragons was an enormous let down on a variety of fronts.

The most obvious and constant is Herzer's extreme Mary Sue-ness. I have never much liked the Milkmaid of Destiny sub-set of stories, and Herzer has that going on in spades. Never lived underwater? Don't worry, you can still fight better than everyone else. Never ridden a dragon? No problem, you can learn what takes months for anyone else in a couple of weeks - on a rolling ship.

Ringo's heavy dependence upon rape in particular and violence against women in general was also distasteful and indicative of a lack of imagination. The villains in "The Council Wars" have always been Snidely Whiplash-style caricatures, but this book took them to a whole new level.

There were other, more minor problems as well. The book is preachy, and is stocked with extremely unrealistic characters (or groups of characters) to support its positions. In addition, Ringo borrows far too heavily from 1990s-2000s internet culture for a post-literate society thousands of years into the future.

There are good points about the book, to be sure. In amongst the straw-men and cardboard cutouts, there are a few interesting characters. Ringo's conception of the merfolk and delphinos, humans who had taken on new forms before the fall of technology, is particularly interesting. The dragons are similarly worth consideration. Unfortunately, these positive points are unable to counterbalance the overwhelming negatives of this book.
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