unhappytriad: (shinydog)
[personal profile] unhappytriad
So I just finished the fourth book in Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, which is set during the Napoleonic War, only in a world that contains sentient dragons. This, needless to say, changes things up a bit.

I shan't get into spoilers in this post. Let me just say that, like Guns of the South (in which mysterious strangers give advanced weaponry to the Confederacy in the early years of the Civil War) the changes wrought by the presence of dragons (not only in England and France, but in Africa, Asia and the New World) are neither simple nor entirely predictable. Novik takes history seriously, and she takes the dragons seriously (not all her human characters do. But then, not all her human characters take women seriously, or people of color, or foreigners, or people of other religions or other classes...).

It's obvious Novik's a fan of Patrick O'Brian. Not just because of the setting--there are some notable stylistic and thematic similarities: a tendency for late plot reversals (both positive and negative); exploration of themes of duty, loyalty and liberty; the consequences of being a compassionate person in a world in which there are a lot of people who need saving and whom you're powerless to save.

In short: I love these books, and am loving each one a bit more than I did the previous installment. Oh dear... only four more to go (plus one coming out next year).

But maybe they'll help me through my Dresden Files withdrawal.

Date: 2014-07-11 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
My son loves her books. I'm not much of a dragon fan, but I do like her style. Also that she comes from fandom.

Did you finish Skin Game? What did you think?

Date: 2014-07-11 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unhappytriad.livejournal.com
I did, and it Jossed the hell out of my WIP; I'm just about recovered enough to keep writing (since it was an AU even before Skin Game came out). In fact, some of the things that happened in Skin Game gave me intriguing ideas for "something kind of like that happens in this AU, but THIS time it works out very differently".

Overall, I liked Skin Game okay, but thought it failed to live up to Changes and Cold Days (that's a pretty high bar to get over). I think he tried a little too hard to write "Dresden does Oceans Eleven" leading to some WTFery (Rot-13 for spoiler: Ernyyl? Zvpunry'f tbvat gb uryc n shpxvat QRANEVNA trg uvf unaqf ba gur UBYL TENVY????).
Edited Date: 2014-07-11 09:42 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-07-11 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
Agreed. Also, Dear Jim, nobody gives a fuck about new characters at this point. You have a cast of thousands, please stick to them. Also also? Nowhere near enough Molly. And WTF no Thomas GDI.

I stand by my guess that Molly is not Micheal's, nor is she 100% human, however.

Date: 2014-07-11 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unhappytriad.livejournal.com
My headcanon is slightly different: that Molly *believes* she's not Michael's, because she knows there was something shady about her mom's past, and believes that neither of her parents is a wizard and therefore she must have gotten it from her bio-dad.

In either case, I'm sure Michael would not give a single fuck whose genes she has. She's his daughter, full stop.

Date: 2014-07-11 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unhappytriad.livejournal.com
Oh, and re Thomas: the last couple of times he was inexplicably not around, it turned out to be for a cool reason. That better be the case this time.

Date: 2014-07-11 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com
Oh 110% agreed. That's who Sir Micheal is.

Relatedly, this book hit ALL my narrative BFF kinks with Harry and Micheal. "Micheal still thought I was a good man." :Kita wept:

Oh yes.

Date: 2014-07-11 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unhappytriad.livejournal.com
"I think I'm lost."


Date: 2014-07-11 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kita0610.livejournal.com



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