karen's Reviews > Emissaries from the Dead

Emissaries from the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro
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Mar 01, 2010

liked it
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space sloth!!

i think an appreciation of science-fiction literature is, like a second language, a skill best acquired in youth, when the thirsty adaptable mind is able to come to terms with unfamiliar worlds, languages, names, descriptions of political sects and painstakingly detailed family trees and planetary formations with a casual shrugged grace.

i myself am old.

and this book is by no means the best or most complicated example of that type of science fiction, but my brain still had a great deal of difficulty conceiving of upside-down town and gravity and AI hoverscreens etc. i am truly unable to "get" science fiction. one time, i tried to read a book by robert sawyer and my head nearly exploded. pwoosh!

there are many things about this book that i did like: (and forgive me for not learning from my mistakes and venturing into the relevant) the main character was well-crafted, and i felt drawn to her in a way that i thought i would have been drawn to dear lisbeth salander but was not - she is emotionally removed but still badass and clever and not averse to a little dirty fighting, plus hates being touched, and also killed a man at the age of eight. bonus. the resolution was as satisfying as any courtroom drama, all pieces tied up, with enough layers to not feel cheated by some necessarily expected turns.

also - giant sloth-creatures. and dragons.
i don't know what more you nerds want.

me, i need to read something set on planet earth.
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Comments (showing 1-34 of 34) (34 new)

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message 1: by Greg (new)

Greg You should write more about these giant sloth creatures. Are they allies with the dragons? Do they move slowly? Descend from their cosmic heights every few days to defecate in the exact same spot even though it puts them at risk of being eaten in order to poo on the ground? Do they have that creepy smile sloths have? So many sloth questions I have for this book.

karen oh, okay. yes, the sloth-creatures are verrry slow. they are genetically engineered sentient monsters who basically just hang around, but they are responsible for the best "oh, shit" realization in the whole thing - it is worth reading the book for that one moment.their creepy smiles are in fact remarked upon, and their eyes also come into play in a horrifying way.

i hoped there would be more of them in the book, but i think they were underused - they were the whole reason i chose this book from my options.

more sloths, please.
in all books.

message 3: by Greg (new)

Greg Even though I could just reach over and probably grab this book from where I'm standing, I will put these questions to you. Is there going to be a sequel to this book, maybe the sloths were only introduced here but will be used more later? I would still like to know about the sloths' relationship with the dragons. It seems odd that dragons would be in a sci-fi novel, it looks like this book takes place on a ship, maybe I am mistaken though. Does it take place on a ship? I don't know why I can agree with sentient sloths on a ship but not dragons, I guess anything can happen in space.

karen no. completely untrue. i looked today, and the sequel takes place on another planet sans sloths. bullshit.

the dragons are completely there for window dressing, the sloths and the dragons don't interact at all.

it's not that weird to have dragons in a sci-fi, if they were created by free-floating artificial intelligent beings who have created an upside-down cylindrical planet so one very damaged woman can come in and solve a couple of murders.

that's not weird, right?


sorry, fonso.

message 6: by Greg (new)

Greg Sloths are pretty creepy looking. In this book they seem to be a let down like the Unicorns in the Nazi book.

karen i don't know where that picture was taken. it's all grecian drapery.

message 8: by Greg (new)


message 9: by Greg (new)

Greg I just noticed the space sloth, he's really great.

karen i just found him. in this recession, one must do all one can to scrounge for votes.

message 11: by Greg (new)

Greg Sloths deserve votes, they might not be as cute as baby hedgehogs but they have their own type of charm.

karen this one is.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Hey, lady, where's my mail/books already? Didn't you say you'd have 'em in the mail last Saturday? I'm only half serious about pestering you. I'm mostly just curious, not so much impatient.

karen i mailed them on tuesday - don't be mad - some things got in the way and i had to have my wisdom tooth out on monday so it was tuesday before i got to the post office. don't be sore at me! i mailed them media cuz i'm cheap, but they should be there soon! but i needed the nora roberts for school, so it's just dfw. for now.

message 15: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Mar 05, 2010 11:44PM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I'm not sore at all, really. Just playin' around. A sincerest thanks for the books, darlin' pants!

karen (i guess alfonso doesn't mind when i post animal pictures)

message 17: by Greg (new)

Greg Dangerous sloth:

karen but he looks so happy!

message 19: by Greg (new)

Greg How often does a sloth get to do something like that to a person? Of course he is happy!!

karen that;s true, most humans would be able to move out of the way of a sloth attack. this one is obviously weak. darwin says - get outta here!

karen my picture got eaten and i am having the shittiest of all possible evenings, so don't yell at me for floating, david. i had to put my space sloth back up. he is the only thing making me happy right now.

message 22: by Jen (new)

Jen Winifred Finlay wrote a collection called Cap o' rushes and other folk tales,

I am sorry you are having a shitty night. I guess finding out that this fairy tale collection is not the one you remember might not be good news either. But I'm looking out for you.

Also, in my haste to find an old blue hardcover like your description, I may have ordered something and sent it to you. On accident, of course! Pass it along if it doesn't make you happy, okay?

karen oh!! my dad actually found the collection! i think! i think he is getting it for me for christmas! when i see him. this is what happens when you float. but grrr jen! i do not deserve presents. i may have done something to make goodreaders everywhere hate me. tomorrow i will find out if it can be salvaged.

karen also - i love you.

message 25: by Jen (new)

Jen ARGHHHH! Your dad beat me to it!

Way to go, dad.

Really. Way to go! You are obviously a very good dad.

karen well, we still don't have confirmation it is the correct book...

message 27: by Sandy (new)

Sandy I want you to read Philip K. Dick's "The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch" and tell me how your head feels after that....

karen man, you and your dick-pushing...

hmm - a poorly thought-out sentence.

message 29: by Greg (new)

Greg I didn't know that the space sloth was missing, but it makes me very happy that he is back!

karen thank god, right? it's the only good thing in my life right now.

message 31: by Jen (new)

Jen Do you have no cheese?

karen i think do...at home...but i kinda lost my appetite

message 33: by Eduardo (new)

Eduardo Torres Forget the sloth! What you say about the ability to appreciate Science Fiction literature is so profound. I think it saddens me that you may very well be right. It saddens me because I'm realizing that so many people I know will never "get" Sci Fi books, even if they read them after I recommend them. Such saddness...

karen yeah, you can't force people's tastes to align with your own. it's a sad thing but it makes it even better when you find someone who is naturally in lockstep with ya

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