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This was a pleasant surprise for a fantasy book as it is at once thoughtful for the world building as it is for the characters and relationships.
The RThis was a pleasant surprise for a fantasy book as it is at once thoughtful for the world building as it is for the characters and relationships.
The Royce-Hadrian partnership of course is very fun to read, and it's compelling to find out more about how their friendship and loyalty was built over the 12 years they've worked together. There are glimpses of things that they know about each other that are hinted at and will likely get "Revealed" as we go, but I do love complex character relationships...which is why I'm actually reading Chronicles parallel to Revelations, so I'm sorta cheating on that end, but I've always liked "flashbacks" to the past and origin stories inserted between present events in books (been spoilt by manga and their angsty flashbacks I guess). I did dither a bit at first where to start, but ended up starting with Chronicles first since I wanted to get attached to the characters right away...then I gave in and started Revelations because Chronicles was way too cheerful (relatively, and a pleasant surprise) and I needed my angsty-past flashbacks to balance things out.
Of course, the back cover kind of "spoils" the fact that Royce and Hadrian get set up, but I was totally enjoying myself waiting for Royce's "I told you so" the first few chapters. The banter and dialogue is well-written for sure, and a good deal of serious business mixed with dry humour. The overall storyline is fairly interesting, and it is not a "clean" hero-defeats-evil kind of story. A few of the characters surprised me with their actions and motivations (in a good way, not the "why would he even do that" kind of way) which kept the story just this side of suspenseful without being overly dramatic. In fact a lot of plot points were handled very practically instead of dramatically, and there was a decent amount of humanizing the limitations of the characters' abilities.
Some bits of exposition are of course necessarily long but there are character bits thrown in there to keep it interesting. I wasn't too fond of Myron since he basically was a walking encyclopedia/history book/translation tool (smartphone of the riyria universe?) and was way too round-eyed. My complaints are minor though and I'm already starting book 2 so I can hopefully find out more about Elves and Dwarves....more
amazingly well paced sci-fi with a fascinating spin on using first person narrative. while nothing was overly dramatic, it's very easy to become invesamazingly well paced sci-fi with a fascinating spin on using first person narrative. while nothing was overly dramatic, it's very easy to become invested in Breq and her story, especially in the way she loves, hates, and cares for other characters as first an ancillary and then an "individual". the political systems, gender concepts, and especially the ancillaries are explored in a way that doesn't drag you out of the storyline - subtle hints and well timed memories. Breq's struggles with understanding her own motivations and bonds with her various captains are the highlights of this book. she really surprises with her kindness and pain and reminds us that AI are not robots, but also not human either. the use of "nongendered" pronouns in the book was also a cool way of distilling characters down to their actions and motivations rather than gendered expectations. I'm looking forward to the next book and hope to see a more ensemble dynamic unfold!...more
This is a reread for me, and as such with rereads of mystery novels, it's harder to be surprised. That said, I did deeply enjoy the majority of the stories as I recognized the little clues dropped here and there along the way. I am also continuously surprised at the range of voices Mr. Telfer is able to emulate, it is almost like listening to a full-cast show!...more
I'm glad that Mr. Doyle has understood that audiences did not much enjoy the 5 chapters of criminal exposition (from the first book) as much when Holmes is not there to deduce the hell out of stuff. This second novel of the Sherlock Holmes series delves further into the personal lives of both Holmes and Watson, yet maintains the quality of plot and pacing that the first book had offered....more
This introduction of the uniquely gifted detective Sherlock Holmes, seen through the eyes of the humble ex-army doctor John Watson, appeals as both a historical mystery, as well as a deeply entertaining portrait of the eccentric sleuth. It was fun to follow along with the easily sympathized Watson as he struggles to figure out both what Holmes has already been able to deduce from the mystery, as well as the great mystery of Holmes himself. Even though I was not particularly interested in the 5 chapters of the criminal's backstory, John Telfer did an amazing job voicing both an excitable and gentlemanly Watson, as well as a soft-spoken and thoughtful Holmes. So, if you are planning to listen to this series in audio, I highly recommend Mr. Telfer as your narrator of choice....more