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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The troubled second release, 7 Jan. 2008
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This review is from: Red Seas Under Red Skies (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Paperback)
The Lies of Locke Lamora is a fantastic novel. It reads like a Summer movie blockbuster - very very showy with something pretty spectacular in every scene, but no bad thing for that. TLoLL is a pretty relentless ride and one which you feel exhilirated to have taken. Red Seas, sadly, is not quite in the same vein. A more considered pace would never kill this tale, but I believe the book takes its turn for the worse mid-way, when the main protagonists hit the high seas. It seems to me that Scott Lynch is as uncomfortable with pirates as Locke and Jean. It's not quite "AHAR! Avast!" and "shiver me timbers", but it's just not very convincing.

I don't want to be unkind to Lynch as TLoLL is the first fantasy novel I truly enjoyed. He drew some good characters and a superbly paced plot in that book. Here, Red Seas seems like a stretch, and the introduction of the hitherto unacknowledged guiding principles of Locke's religion seem rather shoe-horned in, rather like the existential theories (poorly) shoe-horned into the Matrix sequels. Perhaps later novels will build on those principles further, but I felt that that two jarring dimensions - the pirates and the religion - was one too many to fully forgive.

Red Seas is OK, but it doesn't live up to the huge expectation I had following Lies of Locke Lamora.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Oct 2011 22:44:54 BDT
P. D. Smith says:
Strange - I never thought the religion was a driving force in TLoLL, more of a useful excuse and cover story. The piracy in RSURS was meant to be a bit out of character, it wasn't their own choice.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Oct 2011 09:47:34 BDT
PeeBee says:
On the religion - you and me, both. That was my point.

On the pirates - my point was more about Lynch's writing than the characters' situation. It really didn't convince.

Posted on 14 Jan 2013 10:47:14 GMT
Brian Turner says:
Strange that you were surprised by Lockes religious principles, especially when you said you'd read the first book. locke's background is clearly described there, and the same principles come up, too.

Posted on 14 Apr 2013 11:49:47 BDT
negativtoo says:
first of : you donˋt like fantasy ( your statement ) and then take umbrage to Fantasy's religious believes. "the "right people" etc are distinctly introduced in "lies" so if you missed them there, whose loss is that ?

Second . Locke is, and this shines through with massive clarity in both books, a thief first (e.g trained to be the greatest thief ever, so his mentor claims), a con-man second and a great and thorough liar third ( we don' even know his name at all ) .... hmmmm fourth or whatever he may be a priest. And those principles... that is quite frankly what Locke has lived by throughout both books. The "Death Offerings"... same thing in TLoLL.

And calling the pace of "Red Seas" slow or unhurried..... somehow reeks of a conscious deficency disorder. It is very much told out of sequence, with flashbacks following flashbacks, inside of flashbacks and sudden shifts of the point of view...but slow and dull ? This is quite intentionally, like the wild tale it is supposed to depict told by a group of people, around a table about their common exploits.

very very odd review, but to each his own.

As for "piraty".... I'd recommend reading something like Angus Konstam's books about piracy or the biography of Bartolomew Roberts "if a Pirate I must be"... That might show that Lynch actully has a pretty good grasp of how pirates interacted : on land and at sea
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PeeBee
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