Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Red Seas under Red Skies -- Scott Lynch

It's been almost a year since I reviewed Scott Lynch's first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora. That's because it takes me that long to work myself up to reading a 750-page fantasy novel. I liked the first book pretty well, though, and Lynch is the guest at Armadillocon in a couple of weeks, so it was time to get going on this one.

I'm not sure I'm glad I did. Here's the problem. If you read a couple of books in a series, you might want to continue. But Lynch is already way late in delivering the manuscript of the third book. Plus I discovered that he's planning a seven-book series. I doubt that I'll still be around when he's finished.

Okay, that has nothing to do with the current book. What do you think about a novel that begins with a cliff-hanger scene from much later in the story? And then ends after more than 750 pages with another cliff-hanger? I confess that I wasn't too bothered, especially by the latter gimmick. After all, if there are five more books to come, I figure things will work themselves out.

I was bothered more by the fact that this is really two novels. About half of it is a caper novel, but then the caper novel more or less stops for 350 pages and pirate novel takes off. Finally both things (and a lot of others) get resolved in the end. I got tired before I finally reached it. Another thing that bothered me was a character who might as well have been carrying a big sign that said, "I Will Be Killed Before This Book Ends." I was hoping to be surprised by something different, but I wasn't. Oh, well.

There's plenty of action, the world and society where Locke Lamora lives are as detailed as anyone could want, the characters are well drawn, and the dialog is fun. I still found it slow going, though. Maybe book three will win me over again. If I read it.


  1. Scott Cupp8:19 AM

    Oddly enough, I just finished this book last night and had many of the same problems, particularly with the character to be killed later in the book. But it was fun. I was getting near the end and wondering how it would all wrap up and while it seems a little forced, it did tie all the ends to a degree. I will still be looking for the next one when it comes out. Originally scheduled to be published in the UK in June, it is now set for March 2010 (I think). We shall see.

  2. Reading back over the post, I think I might have been a little too hard on the book. I did finish it, and it was mostly fun. But by the time Book 3 is published, I might not remember a thing about this one.

  3. When I read and reviewed Book 1, The Lies of Locke Lamora, it didn't live up to my expectations or the blurbs. I found it slow going and I was listening to it on audio. I decided to wait for Red Seas to hit audio before I read it.

    Speaking of not liking a book, I received an ARC and I didn't like it very much. I realized that it might just be me so I tried to review it evenly at NewMysteryReader. Still, what do you do when you're sent an ARC and you don't like it?

  4. You review it honestly, Scott (there are too many Scotts in this thread...clearly a thread drawn from a tartan cloth...). Reviewing it "evenly" sounds about right, if indeed you didn't traduce yourself in any way.

  5. I got crappy ARCs all the time when I was reviewing more. I reviewed them honestly or I ignored them, depending on relevance and importance. Had no effect on receipt of ARCs, and was fair.

  6. Scott Cupp11:14 AM

    Scott - I have to agree with Todd. when I was getting ARC's I felt it was my right to review what I liked and ignore those I did not like. I did a few negative reviews early on but found that I did not like to do that, people put too much work into the product. Let someone else butcher it if they wanted to. I felt a non-review did not aid sales so mine failing to review might be more an economic effect than not. Besides I got more than I could reasonably read in my review period. Now, if I paid money for the book, that was a different story. This was my reaction to having paid for a piece of junk. Still did not do msny negative reviews.

  7. Scott Cupp11:15 AM

    Also, Scott - will you be with Scott and me at ArmadilloCon along with Scott Bobo and Scott Zrubeck and others I may not know about?

  8. Anonymous11:30 AM

    I try never to invest in a "trilogy" until the final book is out or I know that the final draft of the final book has been delivered to the publisher. This is the reason why I pegged Hyperion across the room. Life is to short to wait on an unfinished epic...
    Wish I could be at Armadillocon.
    Bryan Barrett

  9. We'll be sure to talk about you, Bryan.

  10. Ok, someone mentions my name and I have to drop by.

    See ya'll tomorrow or Friday.

    I'll be absolutely bug-nuts this year. We don't get to set the Art Show up until Friday! Ack!