Judith's Reviews > Red Seas Under Red Skies

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
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's review
Sep 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, adventure
Read in September, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 2

This second installation in the Gentlemen Bastards series is good enough to keep me reading and wanting the next. It's just as witty as the first, and there were several laugh-out-loud moments for me. The banter between Locke and Jean remains as fun as ever.

However, it's a bit slower-paced than Lies of Locke Lamora, and while a bit heavier on angst, it also felt strangely less dark. Although perhaps the latter can be attributed to the fact that the Verrari are not as cut-throat as the Cammori and their criminal world (and the city at large) makes a grander show at being "civilized". I also far preferred the way the atmosphere had been set in the first novel than in this, but I understand that perhaps Scott Lynch spent more effort trying to make the nautical parts of the book feel authentic than in describing the rest.

Speaking of which, the whole time they were learning about the sea (if this were a film, it would be the perfect place for a training montage), was somewhat boring to me. It took me a long time to get past that part, even during the re-read. The scenes involving ships and pirates were action-packed and interesting, which made up for the slow middle. However, I wasn't too pleased with the way the romance aspect had been written, as it felt to me that Jean was teetering on the edge of being out of character at times. I can only hope love doesn't make Locke as ridiculous soppy and sentimental should he be around Sabetha in the future.

I loved the new characters and would really like it if, someday, Locke can once again meet Requin and Selendri, just as I hope he runs into the Salvaras another time. The way everything fell into place in the end was great and while not as inspired as the heists in the first book, the one here was still quite brilliant -- and surprisingly hilarious.
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