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  1. #1
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Shadows of the Apt

    While I have seen a thread for Empire in Black and Gold, I decided to start a thread for the entire series. Having recently finished Dragonfly Falling, I wanted to start discussing the series.

    Dragonfly Falling was an increase in intensity, tension and drama from Empire in Black and Gold, but many of the criticisms of the first book hold true for the second. The majority of characters the reader has become familiar with are still alive and kicking, somewhere amidst the Empire's constant and expansive warfront. The various love interests and liasons in the book have something of the teen drama feel to them. One does get the sense that these are rough edges that are being trimmed away as the series continues.

    I would have delved directly into Blood of the Mantis, but did not have it available. I have since ordered books 3 through 6 and will probably begin Blood of the Mantis as soon as the order arrives.
    Last edited by PeterWilliam; June 19th, 2011 at 12:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    I got halfway through Dragonfly Falling, and I just started to not care. I don't know what it is about Tchaikovsky's writing, it just doesn't inspire me. I just find it quite exhausting to read.

    He's got quite a good world set up, though.

  3. #3
    Repudiated Ursus s271's Avatar
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    I stopped on the Blood of the Mantis. I just lost interest - plot line was stretching for too long, with new branches and no resolution in sight. I seems recall I've heard that in the 5th or 6th book there is a resolution of some kind, but it become more chore than enjoyment.

  4. #4
    Jack Bauer Bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s271 View Post
    I stopped on the Blood of the Mantis. I just lost interest - plot line was stretching for too long, with new branches and no resolution in sight. I seems recall I've heard that in the 5th or 6th book there is a resolution of some kind, but it become more chore than enjoyment.
    Book 4 is the one with some measure of resolution, so it might be worth reading that to you.

  5. #5
    Illustrious Gambler saintjon's Avatar
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    I took a break from Dragonfly Falling to adjust to being a new dad and then when I was ready to read something again I went to the White-Luck Warrior by Bakker, I'm trying to get back into the Apt saddle but it doesn't seem to grab at me very hard.

    I gotta say though the setting and action are very fun, the concept is strong too.

  6. #6
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saintjon View Post
    I took a break from Dragonfly Falling to adjust to being a new dad and then when I was ready to read something again I went to the White-Luck Warrior by Bakker, I'm trying to get back into the Apt saddle but it doesn't seem to grab at me very hard.

    I gotta say though the setting and action are very fun, the concept is strong too.
    Agreed. It's just something about the books that isn't right. I can't put my finger on it - Tchaikovsky's writing, whilst slightly bloated, isn't poor. The setting is great, the races rock, the characters are well developed and different from each other. It's a great mix on paper, but something in the execution just doesn't work for me.

  7. #7
    Jack Bauer Bastard's Avatar
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    After I read book 4, I haven't read more in the world even though I have the next two with me. I'm thinking once you catch up PW I might start again. Kind of in the mood to jump back in the series, but not there yet.

  8. #8
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bastard View Post
    After I read book 4, I haven't read more in the world even though I have the next two with me. I'm thinking once you catch up PW I might start again. Kind of in the mood to jump back in the series, but not there yet.
    Yeah, I'm waiting for 3 thru 6 to arrive. I've read Bitterwood and I'm nearly finished with The Dragon's Path. I hope they arrive tomorrow, or I'm going to have to move on into something else. I might start Spellwright, or finish up the Night's Dawn series.

  9. #9
    I am almost through the first book, and I must admit that I am having the hardest time visualizing the characters. I know that they are suppose to look completely human, but I just cant wrap that around my head. Every time someone use a special trait like the mantis claw, spider wall climb, or grow wings, my head just depicts them as a monster race more so than being human. Also creeps me out a bit when they mention of mating between two different race. I just cant keep that constant thought that they are all human.

    Also, I cant provide a suitable image to Che. She is a beetle-kind, so she must be short and stout, so in my head, I keep imaging her as a female dwarf, and that just does not seem right for a main protagonist.

    Though, this is a first time for me having this much difficulty conjuring the characters, I still find no trouble enjoying the book. The different races and their wide range of power really brought something new and exciting. It has been an amazing read so far, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

    PS: can someone tell me if Che will ever amount to be anything? I am finding her to be the most shallow of the group with no outstanding trait beside her suicidal tendencies. Beetle-kind ancestor art also seem to be quite boorish.

  10. #10
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuttz96 View Post
    I am almost through the first book, and I must admit that I am having the hardest time visualizing the characters. I know that they are suppose to look completely human, but I just cant wrap that around my head. Every time someone use a special trait like the mantis claw, spider wall climb, or grow wings, my head just depicts them as a monster race more so than being human. Also creeps me out a bit when they mention of mating between two different race. I just cant keep that constant thought that they are all human.
    Some races are more... uh... monstrous than others, but largely they are all just variations on humans. I see Beetle-kinden as being maybe 5 feet high at most and stockier built, whereas Mantis and Dragonfly I see as maybe between 6 and 7.

    Quote Originally Posted by nuttz96 View Post
    Also, I cant provide a suitable image to Che. She is a beetle-kind, so she must be short and stout, so in my head, I keep imaging her as a female dwarf, and that just does not seem right for a main protagonist.
    She's just one of many protagonists. A female Dwarf would probably be on the right lines, and I like to think of her as perhaps cute but not stunning. Average, I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by nuttz96 View Post
    PS: can someone tell me if Che will ever amount to be anything? I am finding her to be the most shallow of the group with no outstanding trait beside her suicidal tendencies. Beetle-kind ancestor art also seem to be quite boorish.
    In the next book, from what I read, she does sort of stand on her own a little more with some development. I didn't think she was ever shallow, though, but I didn't buy certain development paths for her. I liked her the most out of any character in the book. I don't know if she'll amount to anything, but she's more than just a pretty name.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    In the next book, from what I read, she does sort of stand on her own a little more with some development. I didn't think she was ever shallow, though, but I didn't buy certain development paths for her. I liked her the most out of any character in the book. I don't know if she'll amount to anything, but she's more than just a pretty name.
    Shallow was the wrong word, I was thinking more along the line of "helpless". I was hoping that while she was captured, she would try to bait for information or do something useful, yet she seems to have the tendency of trying to get into more needless trouble. She is also too fickle between courage and cowardice. She cannot stop herself from mouthing everybody off, yet the moment anybody does any retaliation, she just turn as frighten as a rabbit.

  12. #12
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    I found that a little browsing through the Shadows of the Apt website helped me visualize the different kinden better. The concept art there is a little stylized, but it still manages to give an impression of the mix between human and insect elements. On the site there are other goodies, like maps and short stories and background information on the world, tha races, the history. There might be spoilers though, better tread carefully around the topics.

    Che is still very much a teenager in the first book, but she is not a static character and by the fifth book she will be able to carry an entire volume almost solely on her shoulders.

    I found the first book in the series one of the weakest in terms of character development, but later in the series there will be major overturns and changes with each of them.
    The most annoying for me in the beginning was Totho but, without giving away any major spoilers, he will get be unrecognizable later on. A similar fate is reserved for Thalric, another character that I though initially was rather cardboard and predictable.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by algernoninc View Post
    I found that a little browsing through the Shadows of the Apt website helped me visualize the different kinden better. The concept art there is a little stylized, but it still manages to give an impression of the mix between human and insect elements. On the site there are other goodies, like maps and short stories and background information on the world, tha races, the history. There might be spoilers though, better tread carefully around the topics.

    Che is still very much a teenager in the first book, but she is not a static character and by the fifth book she will be able to carry an entire volume almost solely on her shoulders.

    I found the first book in the series one of the weakest in terms of character development, but later in the series there will be major overturns and changes with each of them.
    The most annoying for me in the beginning was Totho but, without giving away any major spoilers, he will get be unrecognizable later on. A similar fate is reserved for Thalric, another character that I though initially was rather cardboard and predictable.
    That's awesome. I just finished the first book and now looking back at it, I think that the author was spreading out too thin trying to lay too much foundation for the future. I am very glad to hear that there will be more emphasis on character developments.

    Thalric is actually one of my favorite character at the moment, so I am not exactly sure if that is a good or bad news.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuttz96 View Post
    Thalric is actually one of my favorite character at the moment, so I am not exactly sure if that is a good or bad news.
    For what it's worth the author also said that Thalric is probably his most favorite character in my interview with him on FBC of several years ago

    Mild spoiler for the series to date about Thalric;

    Spoiler:
    He definitely has an interesting saga ahead

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    For what it's worth the author also said that Thalric is probably his most favorite character in my interview with him on FBC of several years ago

    Mild spoiler for the series to date about Thalric;

    Spoiler:
    He definitely has an interesting saga ahead
    Not very hard to like Thalric when the Wasps have the coolest ancestor art so far. And the fight scene between him and Ulric's assassins was just plain cool.So far, the fights in Shadows of the Apt have been really well described. Can't wait to get into the second book when all the sieging start.

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