I had mentioned in a previous blog posting about how I was trying to go to the library more to utilize the idea of, well not purchasing as many books and not because I don’t want to support good authors. No, it was getting to the point I was seriously running out of room and perhaps a little of; “Books or food?” I have to tell you it was quite the close call in the end boo…. I mean food won out. (That last little part was my Muse giving her two cents, I looked down and I had started typing books.)
I’ve been reading this series of books from the very beginning and with the 1st novel of “Dies the Fire” The idea that the world more or less came to an end and no one really knew why I found intriguing. We didn’t use too many pesticides, we didn’t see issues from green-house gasses, we didn’t even blow each other up with thermonuclear devices. Technology stopped working and people in the SCA and kids playing Dungeons and Dragons were the ones not only surviving but thriving.
I will say even to this day I find the first three books are the best out of the series. To be honest a time or two a book was written not to move the story forward, but to give us huge info dumps in my opinion. That being said there was not a book where there was not a couple of chapters where things picked up enough I said “OK, that is worth the price of admission.”
Mr. Stirling does not have a problem killing off favorite characters, he has done so in all of his books and I will admit while it was hard watching Rudy die in a previous book, I could see from a story perspective why it had become time. Mr. Stirling, the author had been setting up the foreshadowing for the event for some time and he finally did pull the trigger. Some will also be pleased that he moved from having a male protagonist to having a female on in Rudy’s daughter Orlaith, Orry to her friends. She is now the wielder of the Sword of the Lady and we follow her in half of the book, to me she more or less has a vacation where she is banished by her mother for leaving John to go off on his own and have an adventure. If you can call being banished going to a nice castle by train and being waited on hand and foot.
John on the other hand gets attacked by fanatical zombie pirates, a huge sea monster that is being controlled by someone or something, cue scary music, the ship almost breaks a part and then is in an epic battle to stay alive. I can’t say I think any of this is a spoiler because it is pretty much what happens in a lot of these books. The story moved on, but not a lot. New characters being introduced, but no one that I would be sad over if they died. This is the 13th book in the series and it is beginning to show more than a little. Personally, I would not mind a little less description about the cheese, bread and meat they are eating and a little more of moving the plot forward where something happens.
I also realize that we are living in the digital age and we want everything fast and when we want it, lightning fast. I like that there are different characters and he is getting rid of having to only have stereotypes, there are gay men, gay women, bisexual, I mean in the case of sexuality he is making sure that a lot of the different types of relationships that people can have are well represented, nor do I feel that they are put into the story to prove a point or to make a specific group happy or unhappy. The character work and he has done this before. In fact, I believe he has taken one character that had started off as a villain and completely turned her around and made her into someone I would not mind reading more about. Her being gay was merely another facet to her already interesting personality.
I will close with there was a book that was put out a bit ago by the Publisher and Mr. Stirling that was entitled “Changes”. It was an anthology of short stories about people we had never met before, these stories were written by different authors and from different early times of ‘The Change’. Which is what Mr. Stirling calls ‘the event’ that changed everything.
Perhaps some stories about some new characters when things all went down the tubes might be the reboot this series needs. I know I would not mind hearing about how people in other parts of the world have dealt with the same events. What did happen in Virginia, Maine, Florida when this occurred? I mean seriously, how would someone on a Cruise ship? A theme park handles suddenly no power? That might be an interesting read.
Maybe I should write it?