Cathy 's Reviews > Going Under

Going Under by Justina Robson
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's review
Jun 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: urban, twitter-author, great-cover, shifter-not-wolf, read-in-2011, mythology, science-fiction, fantasy, angels-demons, elves-fae, romance
Read from June 23 to 26, 2011

I'd say that the theme if this one is secrets, those everyone is keeping from each other and those they're keeping from themselves. It starts off somewhat lighter, with Lila just worried about telling Zal and Teazle that she's not happy in Demonia and that she wants to get back to Otopia and get to work. But a dangerous situation quickly spirals out of control, and when someone they love gets hurt, anger and regret leads to more secrets and blame. And Zal has secrets about what he's doing with his music. Mal has secrets about what he did to help Lila. Thingamajig has secrets but he can't remember them. Tath is a secret from everyone except Lila and Zal. Lila's boss Sarasilien is a lot older than he seems and more in love with Sorcha than he should be. Lila won't admit how she feels about anything, which is how she got attached to Thingamajig, she's fooling herself about everything from Zal to work to how rapidly her body is changing without anyone having any idea why or how to stop it. The secrets pile up and influence every aspect of the story.

As for the story, it could have been a bit more focused, but it was generally quite good. I like how complex the worlds and people's have become, I just could use a bit of focus in telling a through story. I still don't understand anything about the ghosts and so far the mentions of them and the stuff with that ghost hunter Jones have just confused me. I assume it will be more relevant in future books. There are some other things that felt either confusing or just got dropped, but again, maybe they'll be addresses in future books.

But what's really great, other than Lila herself, is the way that the author has turned what started out in book to to look like a very generic picture of human, elf, demon, and faery worlds and turned it into something that has elements that we recognize from many popular ideas about those groups, but turns them and gives them unexpected depth and interest and interactions. The people aren't the only ones with secrets, not by far! And the secrets the worlds have to give up will change everything.

The end of the book was definitely one of those cliffhangers at the midpoint in a series that just makes you nuts when you don't have the next book immediately handy. Lila ends the book completely stripped down emotionally and almost alone; for various reasons she quickly goes from having a solid group if supportive companions and loved ones to being almost entirely alone in an almost completely foreign place, and of course she's in danger and limping away... Ack! Boy do I hope that book comes into my library early this week! I'm first on the waiting list at least.

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Reading Progress

06/24/2011 page 8
2.0% "Ha, she did marry them both! Though I'm pretty sure T is just business. At least so far... It's not a sexy series. But demon marriages have different rules, don't judge. Lots of politics involved."
06/24/2011 page 69
18.0% "The title is apt so far, emotionally she has a lot to deal with. She keeps popping her head up, but the waves heap pulling her under again."
06/25/2011 page 116
30.0% "Oy, I forgot that the mothkin were Mal's idea, faery humor and loyalty out of control. Let's distract the humans so I can help Lila! I'll declare myself king and send some minor monsters over. Oops. Good twist though."
06/25/2011 page 155
40.0% "Oh my god serious huge ultimate betrayal. I'm shocked, although in hindsight of course I shouldn't be. What bastards."
06/25/2011 page 193
50.0% "And they finally reach Faery, although not the way anyone expected. Separated and in danger."
06/26/2011 page 288
75.0% "Whoo boy, it's not looking good for Lila and her many champions. But where is Teazle? And where are the faery girls and Naxis? Annd why didn't I reserve book 4 when I got books 1-3? Idiot! Now I'll have to wait to find out what happens next."

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