I finally took this out of the library again and finished it. And I I still really, really hate Simon and even all the rest of the Others. Look, commit to being vicious or don't, but this 'we kinda are, kinda aren't' bullshit is bothering me.
And yes, I'm going to compare to Rocket again. When Yondu asks him if he's a professional asshole or what, Rocket's like, yeah, pretty much a pro. He's a d-hole, knows it, and owns it. And so while he is completely an asshole, he's pretty much a consistent asshole, funny, and I love him. Simon's so wishy washy and wishy washy to such a degree, I just wanted someone to slap some consistency into his character.
Which is a shame: the actual storyline moves along at a nice pace, it goes into the truly dark territory that I think is a hallmark of Bishop's work, and I think her storytelling just gets better and better. She does have a tendency to write vicious characters with hearts of gold, but they didn't feel as inconsistent in the Black Jewel world as in this one.
I got into the world and storyline, but the characters were, for the most part, so confusing due to their being written so inconsistently that I had a hard time connecting with any of them or finishing them.
Please, please let the next book be better since I took out the next two...