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[personal profile] corrielle
I've fallen way behind in posting reviews of the books I've been reading, and so instead of trying to catch up on all the ones I didn't do, I figured I should just start up and not try to play catch-up. 

So, here's what I thought of the book I just finished tonight.

Through Stone and Sea by Barb and J.C. Hendee.

This is the latest entry in The Noble Dead series, which I've been reading on and off since I was an undergraduate.


It took me quite a while for me to finish this book. I wanted to like it, and I wanted to give it a chance, but I feel like there wasn't enough happening to justify an entire book. The first three fourths of the novel are basically Chane and Wynn bumbling around the Dwarven city not finding out much that was new. The revelations of what exactly the Stonewalkers were and why exactly Reine was in the city were painstakingly slow, and in the case of the latter, somewhat telegraphed. Given that we knew there was something lurking in the shadows down there, and Reine was sad, the second Shade put her teeth around that grate in the tunnel, I knew that the missing Prince Frey was down there and that he was Not Ok, maybe half-water creature already. And I was mostly right.

The thing is, I can deal with a novel that moves slowly, I can deal with a slow reveal IF the following conditions are met: 1. the prose has to be above average. 2. the character dynamics have to be shifting in interesting ways. And, I'm sad to say I don't think either of those things are true in this novel. Chane and Wynn... still mean the same things to each other that they did before. And other than the revelation that Shade knows what Chane is, even HER relationships with Chane and Wynn haven't changed much. Basically the whole novel was a big information quest that ends with the riddle that will propel the heroes (I'm guessing) into the next novel. And... that's it.

The early books in this series have... a spark, something witty and fun and amusing about them. No brilliant prose, but Magierre and Leesil change because of what happens to them, and the pace is quick. Lacking these two elements, this book falls flat.

I'll probably read the next just because I want to know what the heck is going on when Magierre and Leesil finally come back into the series, but I'm not expecting much.

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corrielle

August 2014

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