Eva Folsom's Reviews > Tsunami

Tsunami by L. Timmel Duchamp
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's review
Aug 22, 2009

really liked it
Read in August, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Another angle on the compelling question posed in book 1: "Why do you participate in structures that oppress you?" This is the third in Duchamp's Marq'ssan cycle. Again, I was dragged through, unable to put the book down, without really being able to identify why. Perhaps it's the constantly-shifting power dynamics between the characters. Duchamp never seems to cheat--always playing out dramatic arcs between characters without forcing anything out of character.

I found several big you-know-bobs throughout the text, but oddly, enjoyed them. Generally, they read like little snippets of a lecture by Duchamp on personal power and power stuctures. Perhaps it's just me, but I could listen to such a lecture by her any day. Since the book itself is fairly challenging, the aykb's felt like helpful pointers, rather than condescention or laziness on Duchamp's part.

As Duchamp continues to develop the world into this third book, I'm finding it more believable. I found Elizabeth Weatherall to be a textured and compelling character in this story, more so even than in book 2.

This book explores how a person could go all the way from a firmly Executive mindset (pro-heirarchy, coldly manipulative) to finding genuine morals and acting on them to the detriment of her own self-interest. Along this journey, it shows the character come to recognize all that she gains from her relationship with her boss, and what the real cost is. While I don't have the power or the glamour of this character, I found so much of her struggle resonating with me personally.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Anastasia The Spoilers section - you aren't talking about Elizabeth Weatherall, are you? I can't agree with that at all. Her mindset didn't change at all. Genuine morals? The only half-way moral action she made was due to blackmail (by her lover). She defected because she was backed into a corner politically and personally by Sedgewick,and finding the situation too intolerable to continue. Elizabeth ~always~ acts in her best interests. And looking at the outcome of her defection, she only gained. But her motivation was never moral. And there are incidents throughout the books - all of "Renegade," basement with Hazel in "Blood in the Fruit," at the end of "Stretto" with Alexandra - that show was an immense hypocrit she is, for her all declarations that she doesn't stoop down to torture and isn't like Wedgewood, she is just like them.

Anastasia It's very curious to me how different your impression was from mine. To me, one of the central points of the entire cycle is that Elizabeth doesn't *see* people. She is like a microcosm of the Executive system itself. To her, people are controlled, manipulated, "handled," used for a purpose.

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