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  1. #16
    Registered User Paks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickeeCoco View Post
    I must admit, at first I was put off by the writing. I wasn't really digging the way the narrator jumped around. However, once the story got going, I began to understand why it was written the way it did, and once I understood, I loved it.

    The way Jemisin structured the book was well done. Once I figured out that the ethereal conversation bit was because the main character was dead and talking to the bit of the god's soul that was inside of her, I really got into the book. I wanted to know why she was dead and how she was going to continue.

    I really enjoyed this book. I thought that the way the gods were portrayed was fantastic.

    This was a very quick read for me. Two days of reading and I was done. The ending surprised me a bit. I knew something along those lines was going to happen, but not what actually did.
    I think you summed this up pretty well, I don't really have anything to add! It was a good read and I liked the ending (it reminded me a little of The Tidelords by Jennifer Fallon). I will definitely read the second novel as I am keen to see what happens with Itempas.

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Paks View Post
    I think you summed this up pretty well, I don't really have anything to add! It was a good read and I liked the ending (it reminded me a little of The Tidelords by Jennifer Fallon). I will definitely read the second novel as I am keen to see what happens with Itempas.
    I found the second one even better, largely because of what does happen with Itempas. It is quite interesting, and the whole relationship between humans and gods is expanded even further.

  3. #18
    Registered User Paks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darksbane View Post
    I found the second one even better, largely because of what does happen with Itempas. It is quite interesting, and the whole relationship between humans and gods is expanded even further.
    That's great to know I have it already on my bookshelf but I have so many books to read at the moment, I'm not sure when I'll to it.

  4. #19
    Registered User Nikita42's Avatar
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    Just finished reading this last night.

    I didn't find that the first person perspective bothered me. I actually found it what pulled me through to continue reading. It made sense, it was like someone relating a story and losing train of thought or missing important details that need to be returned to.

    I think the gods were great characters and well fleshed out. Sieh and Nahadoth being some of my favourite characters in the book.

    As for original? I'm not so sure, how many books are out there that have the same plot? The young, naive barbarian with a destiny that will lead them to rule all.

    I think as a first novel, this author did amazing work. I plan to read the next book in the series and even if it's half as good as this first book, it will still be worth reading.

  5. #20
    Reader Moderator NickeeCoco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikita42 View Post

    As for original? I'm not so sure, how many books are out there that have the same plot? The young, naive barbarian with a destiny that will lead them to rule all.

    While I agree that the over all plot wasn't particularly original, but I did think the world she created had some original elements. While she used archetypal gods, I felt their situation was interesting. The manner in which Yeine gained her apotheosis was new, at least, for me it was. I bought the second book today, and will be reading it soon.

  6. #21
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    I finished this today, and when I came here to comment I found out Darksbane summed up my impressions pretty well: entertaining, decently written but not entirely convincing, especially in the passionate embraces parts.

    Yeine was not exactly a convincing character, alteranting between rabbit caught in the headlights apathy and amazon warrior, but her style of confession / stream of consciousness storytelling made me more tolerant toward her.The gods were well inserted into the plot and the book had a quite good finish. The main attraction for me was the variation on the theme of Creation myths.

    I will try the next book in this setting.

  7. #22
    This is the first time I've read a BOTM pick on time and I have to say I also tend to agree with the folks who posted before me. It was surprisingly well written and I tore through it in a couple of days.

  8. #23
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    It was a typical scenario with this book for me - order arrived late, couldn't find the time to read it, had other books to finish first. Then, however, I had one of those lucky, rare occurrences: a spare day. So I sat down with a cup of teas, cracked the cover, and started reading. Lately I've had trouble with books holding my attention, but that wasn't an issue here: I managed to spend most of the day reading through the book.
    The concept was what grabbed me. I don't tend to see too many books with such heavy, high powered magic at the fore. Having said that, I'm not sure we saw as much done with it as could have been. For example, while we see constant warnings about the repercussions of careless wording in requests to the gods, we never see the negative consequences (despite a large number of loosely worded requests). Having gods with bridled power as a core plot device was somewhat novel though.
    With regards to the conversational style, I was very frustrated with myself about how long it took me to work out the reason for it being there. I'm embarrassed to admit it wasn't until well after the dual-soul reveal that I pieced things together

    I find it very curious that there's a sequel - the story felt very self-contained to me, and I'm not sure there's anything I'd be interest in further reading about these characters - I think it's a lot trickier to write conflict with gods unrestricted in their use of power. Anyone enjoy the sequel enough to pitch it to me?

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Eventine View Post
    It was a typical scenario with this book for me - order arrived late, couldn't find the time to read it, had other books to finish first. Then, however, I had one of those lucky, rare occurrences: a spare day. So I sat down with a cup of teas, cracked the cover, and started reading. Lately I've had trouble with books holding my attention, but that wasn't an issue here: I managed to spend most of the day reading through the book.
    The concept was what grabbed me. I don't tend to see too many books with such heavy, high powered magic at the fore. Having said that, I'm not sure we saw as much done with it as could have been. For example, while we see constant warnings about the repercussions of careless wording in requests to the gods, we never see the negative consequences (despite a large number of loosely worded requests). Having gods with bridled power as a core plot device was somewhat novel though.
    With regards to the conversational style, I was very frustrated with myself about how long it took me to work out the reason for it being there. I'm embarrassed to admit it wasn't until well after the dual-soul reveal that I pieced things together

    I find it very curious that there's a sequel - the story felt very self-contained to me, and I'm not sure there's anything I'd be interest in further reading about these characters - I think it's a lot trickier to write conflict with gods unrestricted in their use of power. Anyone enjoy the sequel enough to pitch it to me?
    I loved the sequel, I found it to be better than the first, though it seems most find it to be the opposite.

    Its connected with the first book in that you get to see the fallout of what occurred at the end. You have a new protagonist named Oree who is blind but has the ability to see the "trace" of magic (I don't really have a better way of explaining it). I found the interactions between the godlings/ gods and humans to be more pronounced and in general found the characterization a little stronger. I don't really know how much else to say without spoiling things. But it ended up being one of my top reads for last year.

  10. #25
    Registered User Carlyle Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikita42 View Post
    Just finished reading this last night.

    I didn't find that the first person perspective bothered me. I actually found it what pulled me through to continue reading. It made sense, it was like someone relating a story and losing train of thought or missing important details that need to be returned to.

    I think the gods were great characters and well fleshed out. Sieh and Nahadoth being some of my favourite characters in the book.

    As for original? I'm not so sure, how many books are out there that have the same plot? The young, naive barbarian with a destiny that will lead them to rule all.

    I think as a first novel, this author did amazing work. I plan to read the next book in the series and even if it's half as good as this first book, it will still be worth reading.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nikita42 View Post
    As for original? I'm not so sure, how many books are out there that have the same plot? The young, naive barbarian with a destiny that will lead them to rule all.

    I think as a first novel, this author did amazing work. I plan to read the next book in the series and even if it's half as good as this first book, it will still be worth reading.
    I think the originality bit of was that, for me at least, she wasn't really na´ve or a barbarian. To me, if she were na´ve, she would have expected people to help her and the king to be a good guy and all that stuff, but she doesn't. She tires to enlist aid but she doesn't go about foolishly thinking people will help her because it's the "right" thing to do. Also, she was from the highest strata of her kingdom, which was "civilized". She was only considered a barbarian the same way Royalty form any culture always considers even royals from any culture but theirs to be barbarians. So, I took it as a bit of sideways social commentary.

    Spoiler:
    Also, typically the old King turns out to have a secretly "good" plan and be a good guy after all, which didn't happen.


    It's sort of like in the Prince of Nothing trilogy, a unique slant on a common plot:

    Spoiler:
    The special young man from the boonies who is trained and tutored to greatest by the old wizard. How many times have we seen that? Star Wars, anyone?



    I also found the sequel even better and highly recommend it.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlyle Clark View Post
    I also found the sequel even better and highly recommend it.
    In what way was it better?

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Eventine View Post
    In what way was it better?
    Not directed at me, but I'll give my reasons....

    Better pacing. More even characterization, especially in comparing Oree to Yeine. An easier narrative voice, but still interesting. I was also more interested in the dynamic between godlings and humans in the first book than I was in the politics, which is more pronounced in the second. Less of the not so well done intimate scenes. I was also interested to see how Itempas handled his fate in the first book, which is shown in the second. And some other small things.

    I didn't find it a lot better, but if you enjoyed the first I suspect you'd enjoy the second.

  13. #28
    Registered User Carlyle Clark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eventine View Post
    In what way was it better?
    First, I found it to be better overall in the way you'd hope an author's second novel would be. Smoother transitions. Clearer motives for non-POV characters. Tighter writing. And she handled a far more complex story through first person POV--which is tough to do--than the first one.

    Additionally, I believe if you read the second novel without having read the first it would be an entirely different read. You probably wouldn't guess right off who Shiny is for instance. Which I found an interesting technique.

    But more importantly, Jemisin presented what would have been the obvious and traditional fantasy solution, basically exactly what I was expecting, but much earlier and then I would have expected, and it DIDN'T work. So, that opened up actual suspense as to how the issues were going to be resolved. And there was another fairly obvious fantasy technique that I thought would be pulled out as the trump card, and it wasn't. So it was fun for me not knowing pretty much how the author was going to resolve the issues.

    In that respect it reminded me of the early Thomas Covenant books where spoiler alert for the 1st six Covenant books
    Spoiler:
    you keep expecting Covenant to finally blaze up with the power of the white-gold and smite his enemies ferociously, but he never does. Okay he did once. But you know what I mean. Anyway, he achieved his goal in a way I didn't expect.

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