January Fantasy Read - SPOILERS - The Lies of Locke Lamora
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I like the stories of Locke as a kid more than the current story so far.
The language is salty enough to make me careful about who I might recommend the book to, but is not stopping my enjoyment. f bombs are disappearing as the thiefmaker has been left behind.
The flashbacks can be a bit confusing but I am enjoying the technique. It makes the story as twisty as Locke himself is.
Also, the time change between past and present is fine. I'm used to that in other novels. But I find the time changes between present and immediate past is just manipulative to make us think something was happening when it wasn't.
Has anyone noticed how the thief-maker strongly echoes a similar, memorable but also rather controversial Dickens character ? Though I found I enjoyed this one here more, being in a secondary world with no real-world equivalences & unconfortable possibly racist hints.
The other book I'm seriously reading right now is the Dalai Lama's new book on Ethics (ER read). It's a bit of mindbending combination, but it's really driving home the whole shiny on the outside, rotten on the inside theme of Locke, the nobles and the entire society.
sitting in my living room right now, Tom & Jerry on the TV, Kindergartener on the sofa next to me with his feet behind my back, one dog sitting on my lap trying to obscure my view of the computer screen with her head, other toddler on the floor watching the Tv.... we just finished Mac & Cheese for lunch... sigh.
And I am supposed to find time to read????
I'm reading it. I see touches of humor. I'm not--so far--dazzled, but I'm giving it a while longer. I plan on finishing it, regardless of its "dazzle" quality.
I agree that thief-maker is reminiscent of Dickens.
I keep feeling as though I'm in a retelling of something else I've read, but I can't think what it is. Does anyone else have that vague feeling?
I found the over-adjectival thing going on in the Prologue really off-putting, but that seems to have fallen away as the story gets going. (I wonder were the Prologue and the beginning of the book written at different times? There seems to be a bit of a difference in style)
Like others, I think the discontinuous timeline is intended to mirror the complexity of the plot (or maybe to distract you from poor pacing? Time will tell)
millhold - I'm getting quite a bit of deja vue as well. The background reminds me of Cherryh's Merovingen Nights, but I don't think that's it...something about the the hero coming from unknown origins and turning an apprenticeship in an immoral trade into an almost moral one? Creating a family along the way...it may come back to me. One of the problems with reading so much is that it can be a trial to track down allusions to previous reading. The storyline does have a rather old-fashioned feel, don't you think?
Overall, I'm enjoying this, even though I'm not usually fond of the dark fantasy stuff. I hadn't really noticed the bad language, but I am a bit averse to the torture stuff.
Lynch is a good writer when it comes to his pacing, dialogue and story telling - yet I could barely finish this book because of the violence, torture and language. A couple times I got annoyed at the author when the time changes became manipulative. Lastly, I didn't like the main character. He didn't have enough positive qualities to negate the bad. Not recommended except for those who don't mind graphic and depressing stories about criminals with few redeeming qualities.
My own famous last words, from #16 above.
I couldn't do it. Not only was I not enjoying it, but I found it way too easy to put down: in every sense of the phrase. Life's too short to struggle so hard for no return on my investment.
Sorry, everybody, but I'm out on this one.
One of the things I like reading about in fantasy books is the magic system and organization(s) of mages and magical practice, when they're worth any notice. The parts about the bondsmage did a fairly good job IMO at establishing a low-fantasy feel where magic is rather scarce (apparently they all come from a single place and organization, which has them more or less in thrall), but powerful and feared even by the worst scum.
Wouldn't be surprised if Locke came afoul of them in some future book. Wasn't there even some hints that the woman he's in love with who went missing may have become involved with them ?
(I should have realised earlier that book based in a city called Camorr would tend to be almost entirely about vengeance)
Thanks Morphy, for giving me the push to rescue this one from the TBR pile. (I even discovered I have a signed copy, isn't that nice?) :o)
ETA - I think another reason I like it so much is I'm also a fan of very restrained magic systems. The series is supposed to be long (providing Mr Lynch can overcome his depression enough to keep writing them, I hope he can -for the sake of his health, depression is no fun) so I think Sabetha and bondmage society will be revealed as the series goes on.
I so want Sabetha to appear, the continual references to an absent character over a timeline of 10 years or so? was also annoying. The only other thing I don't like is the alien city - how, who, what why? More details would have been very welcome.
I do liek the fast witted characters, I enjoy an enemy who is properly clever. I liked the magic system that kept out of the way, and the sensible restraint that prevents everyone from just magicing a solution to any problem (always a difficulty in fantasy novels).
I will read the sequel even though I remember it being not as brilliant. I so hope the third part comes out soon.
The plot kept me returning and I enjoyed the humor. Like others, I enjoyed the interludes about Locke's boyhood. I wonder if I would have stuck with it if it had been a linear story.
I'm not a big fan of books where characters you are fond of die. I still haven't gotten over Sirius Black's and Dumbledore's deaths!
I'm curious about Sebetha and also what happened to Chains, but I don't have a burning desire to start the next book, especially since others have said it ends on a cliffhanger and the third book is still in progress. Perhaps when the third book comes out, I'll revisit.
I'd call it a slightly above average read--I'd be careful who I recommended it to due to language and torture. So for me, I've rated it 3.5 stars.
The setting was the 'star' of the show in many ways - it was so well fleshed out and so layered and inventive, I had a real sense of Camorr - it came alive, even reveled in its filth and corruption, from its grand society to its grungy back alleys, and the mystery inherent in the old technology gave it an interesting twist.
I had a long, hard time relating to the panoramic dystopia, and to Locke - he was portrayed as so very arrogant and clever - the early half of the story gave me little sense of what was at stake - or what he stood for, because little or nothing mattered beyond his passion for thieving for thieving's sake. The overlaid time lines, developed in pastiche, tended to chop up the continuity further.
This wasn't confusing so much as a constant disengagement.
I started to relate by the half point, and finished the last quarter of the story a bit more quickly. The violence and foul language fitted the utterly cynical tone of the story. It was the constant degraded atmosphere that wore down my enthusiasm - I found it hard to root for anyone, in play after play of cleverness there was not a lot of tension, only denouement in how the gentlemen bastards pulled the wool over their victims' eyes - while the humor was deft, the constant dazzle factor - look at this cool thing, look at that bit of imaginary cleverness - I kept looking for a deeper meaning underneath.
At the finish, I'm left with mixed feelings. The writing was accomplished, the narrative voice had genuine verve and originality, the turns of imagination had an undeniable brilliance. If I was disenchanted with the characters, it's my own response to the 'new grit' trend - a 'dog eat dog' outlook coupled with the ultra nasty revenge plot - and the voice extolling the cynical that I (personally) find exhausting.
I am glad to have read this, it gave me some laugh out loud moments, along with quite a lot of flinch over the ikky bits. I didn't cry or mourn the character deaths because the bent of sick humor prevailed - for a story aimed as an elaborate, gritty joke with a punchline, it succeeded very well.
I really hope you post this as a review on the book's page.