Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review: Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

My main 'complaint' after reading Lies of Locke Lamora, the first book in this series, was that due to its neat ending it felt more like a stand-alone novel. My feelings about Red Seas Under Red Skies are much the same - but not because of its ending. Instead, this installment had a more open ending than the first one - it's the rest of the book that didn't seem to fit as part of a series (and especially not as part of this series).

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Red Seas begins a couple of years after the end of Lies, though throughout the book Lynch continues with his customary flashbacks, showing what Locke and Jean were up to between the end of the first book and the beginning of the second. The issue I had with Red Seas is that while certain things from Lies are still 'haunting' our main characters, generally they have set aside what happened to them in favor of continuing their basic thievery.

WARNING: *MINOR* SPOILERS AHEAD!

And from there, things get more convoluted. They may have set aside much of what occurred in the first book, but the Bondsmagi haven't. That in and of itself would have been a good development, except for the fact that it leads Locke and Jean into a life of...piracy?

Listen, I love pirate tales as much as the next person (okay, probably more, since I worked at Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World), but I just don't think that this particular type of plot had any business in this series. Not to mention the fact that it spans hundreds of pages, and in the end doesn't really further Locke and Jean's story lines.

That said, I still love these characters, and I did enjoy most of the book, even if so much of it didn't seem to fit into the series as a whole. Thankfully this time things weren't wrapped up quite so tidily as they were in Lies of Locke Lamora, and I'm already itching to read the next book! 3.5/5 stars.




"'Nearly lost is just another way to say finally won.'"

"'What one man locks another will sooner or later unlock.'"

"'..."Difficult" and "impossible" are cousins often mistaken for one another, with very little in common.'"

"'...am I therefore the flesh and blood you were presuming to fool?'
'It's possible this conversation represents me giving up that hope.'"

"'As for history, we are living in its ruins. And as for biographies, we are living with the consequences of all the decisions ever made in them. I tend not to read them for pleasure. It's not unlike carefully scrutinizing the map when one has already reached the destination.'
'But romances aren't real, and surely never were. Doesn't that take away some of the savor?'
'What an interesting choice of words. "Not real, and never were."'"

"'Only those who initiate treachery are traitors...What I desire is redress for a grievance.'"

"'You talk the way you perform card tricks, Master Kosta. Far too smoothly. I fear you may be even better at hiding things with words than you are with your hands.'"

"'Words are cheap. Cheap and meaningless.'"

"'Distrust everyone...and you can never be betrayed. Opposed, but never betrayed.'"

"'When you go to sea, there's two necessities, for luck. First, you're courting an awful fate if you take a ship to sea without at least one woman officer. It's the law of the Lord of the Grasping Waters. His mandate. He's got a fixation for the daughters of the land; he'll smash any ship that puts to sea without at least one aboard. Plus, it's plain common sense. They're good officers. Decent plain sailors, but finer officers than you or I. Just the way the gods made 'em.
'Second, it's powerful bad luck to put out without cats on board. Not only as they kill the rats, but as they're the proudest creatures anywhere, wet or dry. Iono admires the little fuckers. Got a ship with women and cats aboard, you'll have the finest luck you can hope for.'"

"'...once a Big Lie was let out in the world, it seemed to grow on its own and needed little tending or worry to bend to the situation.'"

"Better to be a mystery, in his book, than to make a cheap refrain of something that had caught her attention."

"'You're not even real yet...You're just a sort of hazy something on the horizon.'"

"'...lies between shipmates tear the ship apart, bit by bit, gnawing at it just as we'd gnawed the royal yard down to nothing.'"

"'Fling arrows at all the strange things you see out here, Ravelle, and all you do is run out of arrows.'"

"'Only gods-damned fools die for lines drawn on maps...But nobody can draw lines around my ship. If they try, all I need to do to slip away is set more sail.'"

"'These things happen. You keep moving. You find things here and there that help you forget.'" Pin It

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