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mostly about "Empress"

It rained Friday (!!!!!) and the weather has cooled significantly down. It was even slightly cool today when I went out, and it was enormously satisfying to walk in the sunshine and enjoy it.


I was at the mall today and went and read some more of Empress. (I'm not really a fan of shopping.) I'm now up to about page 150.

[spoilers I suppose]She runs away! AND SHE CUTS UP HER FACE. Oh no, I hope that's reversible. That said, I'm probably enjoying the slave bits (when Abajai told her about her status) more than I ought to. Anyway, then there was the meandering with Nogolor and Raklion warlords trying to outmaneuver each other, and that was really boring. Normally I am all over political maneuvering. But the parts with Raklion talking to anyone was especially boring, because it'd be basically him getting advice from someone and then him rejecting it, only the conversations took pages and pages. And were really, really repetitive.

Now I understand why there was that scene with the escaped slave--and also why it was so gory.

Also return of the misogyny, which was expected but still unpleasant, what with Raklion going to Nogolor to retrieve his betrothed and arguing with her father about the marriage at the gates. It's pretty much outright stated that he's just after her to get heirs (he's fifty and has apparently tried many times, and each time his wife dies and so does the child), but the whole 'blunt spear' bits were not pleasant. Especially when they kept repeating it! And then said something about sharp spears, which, ow.

Oh, that brings me to the other point. THE COMMA SPLICES. I know, picky, but she uses them multiple times in a paragraph, on every page. I swear I'm not using hyperbole. It's everywhere. Also when Hekat speaks, there's a subtle shift in writing, where she will drop words that make the writing choppy.

I don't recall Miller using comma splices so often in CW: Wild Space or CW Gambit: Stealth, so I think it's for effect, but while I can and do ignore some of it, some just leap out at me and I end up thinking about the comma splices instead of the stuff I'm reading.

But mostly the political stuff bogged me down. I don't care about Raklion, he can go do whatever he pleases, but I want to see more of Hekat! And also see Abajai get his comeuppance. (There's not a chance Hekat's father will get his comeuppance on page, but I would love to see Abajai get his. I just enjoy revenge stories in general.)

Lastly: in the bookstore I noticed the second book was in stock and oh my god it's enormous! It's over a thousand pages and much taller than a paperback, although it has similar margins and print size.

Crosspost: http://silverflight8.dreamwidth.org/134765.html.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 22nd, 2013 08:39 am (UTC)
Oh doesn't this sort of thing RUIN reading? Oh dear oh dear. I WISH they wouldn't 'affect' these 'effects'.

I'm struggling with Fatherland by Robert Harris and he PUTS COMMAS AFTER ALMOST EVERY DAMNED WORD! I'd reading with my Keppie-editing eye now and it is MOST MOST irritating, I can't get into the story and have to keep going back to find out who is who... horrible! Good and strange story tho... but almost unreadable.

Thanks for the warning. and voer a thousand pages of more - or have they been dropped?
Jul. 22nd, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
It really does, arghh. Sometimes like with Victorian literature, I accept that it's just the style of the times (commas after everything, including things where we'd today drop the comma) but those seem to be more 'legitimate' in my brain. The comma splices, however...

What is Fatherland about?

It is a very interesting setting and story! But I don't like the comma splices.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 10:00 am (UTC)
I'm getting used to the commas now... it's becoming - very convoluted and interesting. Of course his characters are showing up well.

The Fatherland is about what it could have been like if the Germans had won the war and conquered ... the whole of Europe, UK - Russia... and even got the States into submission. The only ones to 'escape' apparently were the not-important Chinese. (and the way it's written... it doesn't seem impossible either!)

So Hitler took his grandios ideas out of the madbox and Made The Greater Germany... Nazies, SS and Gestapo - people still sneaking on each other (kids too on their parents) Jews and all other 'person's have been enslaved or sent to camps.; Norty Germans sent to the East to fight the Chechens/Ukrainians and a coupla other unruly bunches.

It is Zeig Heil all over. Join EVERY Group, Company, DO as You ARE TOLD! at all times. etc.

BUT... of course, they are all human beings. HUMAN!! so they cheat and lie and steal and commit adultery and all sorts of very nasty kinkies and ...oh - they are just human underneath the snazzy uniforms.

Someone is found drowned in a lake. Xavier is the divorced 'not-quite-fitting-in' officer in the Kripo. the Civil Criminal police. There's the common Orpo (ordinary Police - coppes to you and me) and the Gestapo... BAD NEWS people.

He starts investigating, then THE BAD BOYS start slapping Notices on - THIS IS OUR BUSINESS...get off and go away Oberbannfuhrer Xavier March.. Of course he doesn't- being a slightly bolshy odd-ball who is treading a very iffy line..

NOW.. I am not going to tell you what happens cos.... it's too damned awful and good and super and Len Deighton, Le Carre..

Some quotes from reviews

A sly and scary page turner (LA Times)
A fantastic thriller The final solution is an utter surprise. (The Mail on Sunday)
Suspenseful and elegant, a thoughtful frightening story.. (Snn Francisco Chronicle)
The Father land is, thankfully - fiction! (Newsweek)

It's a human story wrapped up in (for me certainly,) a remembered horror.

Thank god it IS fiction! but dark and it sticks with you, like a bad thought you wish you hadn't ....

ENJOY IT! but be prepared. And you'll get over the commas cos the story blinds you to them.

Jul. 24th, 2013 03:31 am (UTC)
I don't know if you get used to weird comma usage...I feel you just get numb! Or totally assimilated! (I start writing in the same styles that I read--it's all rubbing off!)

Ohhh, like a what if or fork-in-the-road alternate universe! It sounds interesting, but the interest (and the alt-universe factor) is battling against my dislike for pretty much the totality of 20th century history (especially the world wars--I'm done, done, done.)

I shall keep it on one of my lists just in case! Certainly the what if is intriguing and the human bit is exciting.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 12:48 am (UTC)
I love Hekat! She is such a great character.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)
She is my favourite part of Empress for sure. I'm also enjoying how her perspective is slowly changing as she finds out more.
Jul. 23rd, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
Empress is a great book. (I feel like I should warn you: there's a big timeskip between this book and the next. As a result, Hekat is no longer the main character.)
Jul. 23rd, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
Aww, really? Darn. *shakes fist at sky* Why the timeskips?!
Jul. 23rd, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure, but the structure is clearly 1 + 2 instead of 3. It's like a prequel and a duology instead of a trilogy. And tbh, I'm less pissed about the timeskip than I am about the placeshift.
Jul. 24th, 2013 02:36 am (UTC)
That's so weird! Although...now that I think of it, so is the Old Kingdom trilogy--Sabriel separated by some twenty years from Lirael, and Abhorsen following immediately after.

Aww, sorry to hear about the shifting setting. *shakes other fist*
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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