Erastes's Reviews > Tongues of Serpents

Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik
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's review
Jan 31, 2011

did not like it
Read from January 31 to February 04, 2011

Oh my God, what the hell happened? The series has been pretty good so far, and I've enjoyed every single book for its mix of adventure, humour and pathos--but this? What on earth?

Firstly, it just STARTS. Any poor soul who picked up the book without having read any of the previous books would have no clue at all what was going on who anyone was and what the universe was all about. I don't expect a rehash of everything at the beginning of each book, but perhaps a preface would be good?

Also - the version I had had no map--I understand there was a map in some edition.

But the main complaint is that it's BORING. So so boring! There's this endless flight over Australia which is repetitive in the extreme and other than looking for 1. a way through the blue mountains and 2. smugglers and then 3. a stolen egg there's nothing actually going on except flying.

Oh of course other than the dragons bitching. This could be called "Bitching Dragons" because that's about all the conversation there is. When Iskierka was first introduced this was amusing--Temeraire's horror at her appalling behaviour--but now we have a miserable lazy Caesar and a odd runt who is nearly put down from birth.

All the things I liked about the previous books--Roland, the female crew member, the interraction between Laurence and Temeraire, Temeraire's growing republicanism (we can see, can't we that the only place they are going to end up in is America, can't we?) - all this and more was entirely dumped for a long boring road trip. You could precis this book as BITCH BITCH TRAVEL EAT EAT DRINK BITCH TRAVEL BITCH BITCH TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVEL.

The entire "plot" such as it is, could have been encompassed in a couple of chapter in a new book. Really not recommended.
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03/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Ben (new) - rated it 1 star

Ben You did not miss anything by not having a map, with the possible exception of it having a nice dotted line detailing exactly where the route was going to take the characters and thus removing any suspense in their eventual destination (yes, it was not very interesting) totally.

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