The Monster Baru Cormorant
A breathtaking geopolitical fantasy as fraught as Game of Thrones, The Monster Baru Cormorant is the long-anticipated sequel to Seth Dickinson gut-wrenching debut, The Traitor Baru Cormorant.
Baru Cormormant's world was shattered by the Empire of Masks. To exact her revenge, she has clawed her way up razor-edged rungs of betrayal, sacrifice, and compromise, becoming the ve...more
The promiscuous book-lover that I am, I fall in love with new series quickly and you can find my passionate and awed reviews that sing this love without abandon. However, once the initial infatuation fades away, it takes a lot to keep my love going, lest I move on to some new book-love of my life. If you remember my review for Traitor Baru, you know that I was truly smitten. Sadly, it was a one-book stand. Nothing that could deve ...more
That sense of horror and disgust and shock and the feeling that everything was NOT going to be all right ever again?
That's how I feel now, having read Monster Baru Cormorant.
Sure, sure, I kinda felt that way at the end of Traitor Baru Cormorant, too, but this is the real deal. The Game is set up and all the pieces are on the board. No side trusts her and yet, no one KNOWS, and yet she still manages to keep everyone doubting. Is Baru with them? Against? Is sh ...more
The Monster Baru Cormorant was one of my most anticipated sequels and *happy sigh* it was fucking brilliant.
The sequel picks up exactly where the first boo ...more
Some stories just don’t need sequels. Imagine watching Humphrey Bogart bid his heartbreakingly romantic farewell to Ingrid Bergman on the tarmac at the end of Casablanca, only to follow him to a bar afterwards to hear him whine pathetically for hours on end about second-guessing his sacrifice and beating himself up over making the worst mistake of his life. Well, that would rob all the magic out of a classic ending, wouldn ...more
If you read Traitor and Monster back-to-back (which I did), you’ll find the shift ...more
Plot: Monster starts right where Traitor ends, and we get another glimpse of That Scene with more insight. From there on, Baru begins to learn her new powers as a cryptarch ...more
The Monster (the sequel to The Traitor) was another sprawling geopolitical fantasy full of twists and scheming. It wasn't as mind-shatteringly brilliant for me as the first book but it was still very intriguing and well worth reading.
This book started exactly where the previous one ended. We met the main character Baru again ...more
The start of Seth Dickinson’s sequel to The Traitor Baru Cormorant backtracks a little, relating moments just prior to Tain Hu’s execution, as Baru fastens her chains and whispers in her ear before leading her down to the bluff where the waves will crush her against stone. That the two lovers share an intimate moment in plain view of witnesses without breaking their cover serves as both a reminder of the shocking events that transpired at the end of T ...more
Baru has become a open book, telling the world and his wife all her secret desires and plans, all while remaining a “deep cover” agent. And her voice has changed. Trust me, try reading the last 20 pages of ‘Traitor’ before this and I promise you you will find it jarring.
If you enjoyed all of the politics, scheming and betrayals of b ...more
Baru Cormorant has succeeded in her bid for power. She is now ...more
I struggled with remembering who was who from book one, though I loved the music of all the names. That said, I still enjoyed this fairly long explorati ...more
For me, this has been one of the most anticipated releases of 2018. I couldn’t wait to return to the world and see where the story takes Baru next, I pre-ordered in case I wouldn’t get the ARC, and when I did, I was almost wary of reading it, anticipating the emotional punch. The enthusiasm from bloggers who got it earlier was contagious. Sadly, while it was good, it ...more
Or maybe I just read it in an uninspiring environment.
When you have nothing to do at your sterile, completely silent, slightly oppressive work place... Maybe picking up Baru Cormorant isn't the BEST idea you could have. But still.
I expected to be transported. Awed. Horrified. Reluctantly impressed.
Instead I was just bogged down by political manoeuvres that were so dense and so baselessly convoluted that I couldn't be brought to care about them. (view spoiler)[ Suddenly imm ...more
I don’t know if it was the hype and the long wait for a follow-up or it was all of the, i ...more
So, I binge-read this as soon as it came out. (As in, yesterday.)
My original rating still stands, though a more level ratinwig would probably be closer to a 4.5/5. There's just a little something that this book is missing that makes it as good as The Traitor Baru Cormorant, its predecessor. I think what Traitor had was a bit more naïveté and thrilling joy of the idea of turning the Masquerade inside out. Though Traitor tackled serious themes and ended on a very somber ...more
There are few things to keep in mind when diving into Monster.
One: this isn't a book that you can power through in one or two sittings. It's a dense, slow-paced story stuffed to the brim with intricate character work and social sciences.
Two: this is an entirely different beast to the first book. Traitor Baru Cormorant was very much an ...more
"Surely she could justify any sacrifice. To stop now would be to betray those lives she’d already spent … and the more lives she spent, the more reason she had to sacrifice even more …”
I remember being really captivated by The Traitor Baru Cormorant back in 2015. I haven’t re-read it since. This second book, The Monster Baru Cormorant, makes me wonder if I wouldn't care for the first book as much if I re-read it, or if this volume simply constitutes a sophomoric slump.
Baru is broken for un ...more
"She felt despair. How could she be anything except what he had designed? But other hands had touched her. And closer to her heart.”
I almost feel like I need to go back and lower my rating for the first book a tiny bit just to reflect how much better I liked this one, because HOO BOY, I wasn’t expecting this to be the case, but I enjoyed this one so much better.
That’s not to say it’s necessarily a better book and from a cursory look at the reviews it seems like most readers actually ...more
Loved the interludes, the exploration of different POVs, the new cultures, the narrative experimentation with Baru's division of left and right self, and of course Dickinson's gorgeous writing and stunningly complex world building. Dickinson has truly blown this out of the water!
He's a lapsed student of social neuroscience, where he studied the role of racial bias in police shootings, and the writer of much of the lore and fictional flavor for Bungie Studios' smash hit Destiny. In his spare time he works on the collaborati ...more