Jen's Reviews > Red Seas Under Red Skies

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
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's review
Jul 23, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

How does someone even get to be that much of a puzzle master that they can write such a masterful work of fiction with so many twists, turns, tiny details, and then solve all the problems and wrap everything up into such a new bow? The brains on the author must be quite the attractive organ!

The book begins, remarkably, where the previous book in the series left off. There was none of the in-between-books-the-problems-go-away that other series have. The problems that were hounding Locke and Jean at the end of the previous novel and right there waiting for them when this novel begins, and so you take to the novel like an old friend whose familiar routines are comforting even as they are bound to be somewhat altered.

And altered they were. In the previous novel, Locke and Jean existed in a world they understood: a world in which they were masters. In this novel, Locke and Jean are suddenly thrust into a world they know nothing about. They are the students and we follow along as they receive lessons that have very little to do with advancing the plot. On the other hand, as a fan of The Princess Bride and the Pirates of the Caribbean series, I quite liked the little swashbuckling interludes, even if they didn't, as I said before, advance the plot.

I enjoyed how Jean was the focus of this novel, where he was allowed to have his own love life - a nice change from Locke's constant pining for a lady that exited stage left before the novel began - and his own character development. Locke, on the other hand, merely comes into sharper relief. No new aspects of his character are revealed, but his self indulgence, self pity, narcissism, and steadfast loyalty to Jean are all reinforced in a big way. So, too, his reliance on his charm.

All in all, I was a bit disappointed (hence the 4 stars out of 5) because the plot wraps up due to luck and charm more than intelligence. From the previous novel, I suppose I should have known better, but I still hoped that Locke, who is referred to as rather brainy, might use that sexy gray organ to get him out of his jams rather than relying on the favors of the nameless Thirteenth.

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