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review 2018-05-26 02:50
Just when things were looking up . . .
Spiraling - Marie Brennan

Yesterday, Serial Box tweeted:

Defeat is snatched from the jaws of victory as warders Ojo Kante and Kris Denn search for answers and their superiors grow eager for war.

That's about the best way to sum up this episode without getting into too much detail. As much as last week's episode was a reaction to the events of the episode 4, while setting the table for the next arc -- this episode was a reaction to the final chapter from last week.

 

Which was a doozy and deserved these 47 pages of fallout. I'm not going to say anything about the main story because I'll just ruin things for people who haven't read it yet. I will say that I could not have been more wrong after last week's episode when I guessed what was on the horizon. While I found what Brennan did with the characters most obviously impacted (Kris, Ojo) with this -- Michiko was by far the most interesting character this time out, and had a lot more to do than one would expect.

 

I have no real clue about what's going on with Lavinia and Bellona in this episode -- which is pretty cool, because you know that's going to explode in a week or two. I have a theory or two about Lavinia's actions, but am halfway convinced that I'm wrong and that the writers have something far better in store. I can't help but assume that Bellona's plans will fail -- mostly because that seems in keeping with the character. But if she succeeds, it'll make Lavinia eat a little crow. Either will work for me.

 

I'm looking forward to episode 7 more than I've looked forward to any of the others. For the first couple of weeks, I talked about the promise of this series -- it's being fulfilled now, and I'm glad I stuck with this through my initial ambivalence.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/05/25/born-to-the-blade-1-6-spiraling-by-marie-brennan-just-when-things-were-looking-up
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review 2018-05-12 03:11
I'm still feeling the promise of the series, but want more.
Fault Lines - Marie Brennan

So straight out of the gate, this makes me happy: there's a "previously on" section -- which is great, and something we need to see more of) -- and a Dramatis Personae (with a cast this big, a major plus).

 

The question is, can episode 2 build on the goodwill that the ending of 1 caused?

 

Ehhh...sorta? We get to know the island this takes place on a little better, the culture there -- and some more about the nations represented (and those representing them). There's some revealing interaction with Kris and Michiko, and it's clear that's where our focus should be. but I sorta want more time with Ojo than with them. That's more about Ojo being interesting than the other two annoying me by their actions at the end of the episode. But not much.

 

For a fantasy world, I like the strange governmental structure -- a mix of diplomacy and single combat -- that they've developed for this series. In reality, ugh. But this is fantasy. so sure, why not? But I'm not sure that I'm buying it. There's a seeming lack of advisors for these diplomats, which is hard to swallow (though narratively neater), especially with Michiko and Kris there's a naiveté that screams that these people shouldn't be left to their own devices. They're like college students out on their own. Yeah, they might be capable, but they need some more wisdom. Letting an entire people's futures to be determined by what a young, untried warrior (no matter how talented) who's easily swayed by elders and friendliness is . . . suggestive of problems.

 

I think I like this series, but I'm not sure. Goodwill toward a couple of the authors will carry you for a bit, I'm just not sure how long it'll last without the series doing a better job of entertaining me. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just not totally sold. This many pages in, I should be. I want to be -- but I don't think I am yet. I still assume it's coming.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/05/10/born-to-the-blade-1-2-fault-lines-by-marie-brennan-im-still-feeling-the-promise-of-the-series-but-want-more
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review 2018-04-30 08:05
Fault Lines
Fault Lines - Marie Brennan

I really liked this episode, I wasn't too sure after Arrivals, but with Fault Lines it is decided: I want to read this serial. A lot of political conflicts and interesting characters. The world also got more fleshed out.

Looking forward to the rest!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2018-01-25 20:02
I need a clean slate
The Tropic of Serpents - Marie Brennan
I Saw a Man - Owen Sheers,Thomas Mohr

Two DNFs in a day, this has to be a new record for me.

 

The Tropic of Serpents: I´m still bored by this book and whenever I´m looking at it I don´t feel the urge to pick it up. But maybe I will give it another try later on, because I´ve got the feeling I´m not in the right head-space at the moment to enjoy this story. I DNFd the first book in the series and ended up liking it on my second try, so I might do the same with this novel.

 

I Saw a Man: I skimread the last half of it and now I know how it ended. What a dud this book is. This novel is about 300 pages long and could easily have been cut by 200 pages. There is just so much moping around by guilt-ridden characters I can tolerate in my reading. Thanks BT, for encouraging me to not waste anymore time on this book.

 

So, what am I reading now:

 

Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky  

 

I´m still reading Lonesome Dove and I´m loving it. Can´t wait to dig into the next weeks chapters. And at the moment I have a weird craving for SciFi books, so I´m going to crack up Children of Time tonight. I´m really looking forward to this book and I hope it´s going to be a good one.

 

 

 

   

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text 2018-01-24 20:53
Reading progress update: I've read 107 out of 331 pages.
The Tropic of Serpents - Marie Brennan

I´m not giving up on this book just yet, but let me say this: I´m bored senseless by it.

 

Isabella talks constantly about the politics of a foreign country, throwing around made up names of cities and geographical areas (yes, most of the time I don´t have a clue what is going on). What annoys me the most, though, is Isabellas constant hinting at that this political chit chat has some relevance later on in her memoirs. Boring!

 

This might become my first DNF of the year, depending on the next couple of chapters and depending on whether or not the story starts to get interesting.

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