Sunday, November 16, 2008
I finished reading R. Scott Bakker's first volume in his second Eärwa trilogy, The Judging Eye, about an hour ago. While I don't plan on having a formal review up until around its mid-January 2009 release date, here are a few thoughts that I need to sort through in the next couple of weeks before I sit down to write out a review draft:
1) The writing is more compact than in the PoN trilogy.
2) The evolution of the characters' PoVs away from direct focus on Kellhus's own PoV to him being further and further outside the direct action is a logical progression from the latter half of PoN and something I expected.
3) The reason behind this book's title (and the event surrounding this) is either setting up for some very serious metaphysical discussion in the coming novels, or it might be a decried as being an ill-explained departure from the mechanics established in the previous trilogy.
4) Having three main plot threads for this novel didn't seem to work as well as it should have, as one of them came to dominate too much of the latter third of the novel. Hard to think of how Bakker could have done it any differently right now, however.
5) Speaking of those plot threads, the one that dominates actually would have made an excellent, dark, scary novel on its own, so it's not as though it could have been cut any further.
6) The proverbs for this volume are just as cutting and just as cynical about "human nature" as were the PoN ones.
7) The humor was a little affected at times; this was a dark novel, but a bit more humor could have made the dark scenes all the more effective by highlighting the contrasts more.
8) For those who knock Bakker's portrayal of women: I thought he did a pretty good job portraying one main female character (new to the series) and how she developed her attitudes.
9) It's never simple with any of Kellhus's children. There is much more to be revealed about them. Even the mad have moments of clarity.
10) Damnation is a very scary thing indeed.
11) Much is revealed of Eärwa's past, including some truly sick scenes.
12) If I were to go much further right now, Scott likely would have my head, even if he didn't make me promise to withhold information about this book (all my comments are based strictly on my reading of the ARC Overlook sent me this week).