January 13th, 2012, 03:58 PM
I dont know, I like all the characters in this. But yeah the imagination is really cool in this.
January 14th, 2012, 11:09 PM
There is no tomorrow
I have to agree and disagree with Erfael. I have just finished the book (actually, I think he and I were at the exact same place on Friday, lol).
The world, races, plot and storylines were all highly engaging to me. There was little magic, and what there was appeared simple and was not explained or really shown in the way of how it was done--magic words said, effect happens. Not that this is a problem against Reddick, none of the main/POV characters are mages. A point for him would be his concept of animals Awakening to a sentient state. Makes you wonder what the animals in your life would say and do if such a thing happened. Also makes for some interesting circumstances between animals and humans (or ixchel).
I did not feel the characters to be anything new. As Erfael said, they are stock characters, relatively one dimensional. However, I did find Pazel and Thasha to be fairly intriguing, though if only for their storylines and the romantic tension. All the other characters, they were so very flat! If Thasha and Pazel had been tomb raiders raiding a tomb just the two of them, it would have been much more exciting.
This brings me to the biggest problem I had with the book, and it may be more of a personal thing. I was thoroughly enjoying the book, loving it really, right up until Chapter 32. Up until then, we had been mostly following along with the children. Pazel, Thasha, and Neeps. At the opening of that chapter we suddenly get adults again, and this time in key roles. After this, the children are just following the adults, those being Chadfallow, Hercol, and Ramachni. Previously, adults in the story were there and, while not sidelined (they held equal place with the children), it was the children who lead themselves. They weren’t followers before Chapter 32. Then they became followers and the story took a deep dive that it did not come out of. Perhaps this is why people say the ending really fell off?
After Chapter 31 the book was completely different. Might as well have been an entirely different book for all I can see. The tonal change of to seeing/reading everything through the lense of the adults and how they view and treat children (all those who have not yet reached their majority) was not only jarring, but it was a complete story killer. While hinted at throughout the entirety of the book prior this point, it was always a momentary thing. It hung over things, but it was not constantly present in the way the floor beneath you is constantly present. Chapter 32 and after? It was in practically every single line.
I also have a question for folks: how old are Pazel, Neeps, and Thasha? I think I remember Reddick mentioning that Thasha was 16, and Pazel is the same, or maybe 15 if I did my math right (I’m horrible at math, btw). Neeps is 13, 14 maybe? I have nothing against Reddick calling them children as, perhaps more in their day than our own, they were seen as such by both society and themselves. I know they’re teenagers but there are many times that things happen that could not have happened if they were nearly full grown adults. I’m talking about things like, “The men lifted the children up to the ledge”. Not sure if that was actually said but there were instances like that which made me think they were 9 years old and not teenagers. Did anyone else feel this uncertainty?
January 15th, 2012, 06:16 AM
This is a book I definitely want to read at some point, there are just SO many books (60ish at last count) in my TBR pile I don't know when I can get to it.
January 25th, 2012, 12:47 PM
East Indian NASCAR dad
Loved Red Wolf. I wouldn't say the characters are wooden or cardboard cutouts. I would say they are familiar, but I do think Reddick has made them unique to his story. I have found that I can't read books where none of the characters are likeable or to whom I can't relate to some degree on a sympathetic/empathetic level. Happily, Red Wolf doesn't suffer from that. I genuinely like Reddick's characters.
As for the story, it meandered in the beginning and was a bit dull. After the boarding of the ship, it found its bearings. It was odd, but the middle section, off the Chathrand, was out of focus. The writing became somewhat dull and the narrative flow, which hinted at great mysteries when the story was on the ship, slowed and became a chore. Uninteresting might be a harsh description, but not far off the truth.
Back to the ship, and the story progressed again with the narrative flow matching the action. The ending was...I don't if rushed is the right word, but it happened fast with lots of sudden information happening all at once. It was a bit of a mash and wasn't a thunderous ending because I don't think Reddick built up the mystery of the backstory deeply enough by that point to make it the kind of rousing finale that could really knock you on your butt.
As for the prose, I found it more than serviceable, other than when the action left the Chathrand. There were some clever turns of phrase, but I'd have to re-read the book to point them out. He really has mined O'Brien because when it comes to storms at sea and the work to keep a ship afloat, he was the right sounds and phrases and descriptions to make it real; all the tedium, hard work, stink, terror, and occasional glimpses of glory. Also, Reddick writes his characters with sympathy but stops short of making them weak and sugary. Even the villains are written well and with depth. They aren't white cat stroking fiends laughing maniacally (ahem Goodkind). That's important because I can't stand when authors write characters written so obviously. Something else that impressed me is Reddick's ability to write passages of dark and somber mood but lighten them with surprisingly deft touches of humor. That takes skill. It would have been easy enough to write a blood-soaked, grim novel based upon the events in Red Wolf, but it's the contrasts between the dark and light that make the dark stick out and, for me at least, invest time and money to want to see those characters I've come to love, do well in their story.
Other than Chris Wooding's fantastic Tales of the Ketty Jay, the Chathrand Voyage (the other books were even better than Red Wolf) was my favorite read of 2011.
Last edited by Radone; January 25th, 2012 at 12:50 PM.
January 25th, 2012, 12:54 PM
I think I'd have to agree with what you said here, Radone. I'm not Mr perfect book reviewer, I guess I dont expound on details like this very good.
January 30th, 2012, 12:22 AM
There is no tomorrow
I almost want to go back on my comment and say that the characters were not stock characters. However, then I think of the characters other than Thasha, Pazel, and the Ixchel. Besides those, I do think the characters are fairly stock. But, with those, I do agree with you Radone. They are familiar but likeable, unique to Reddick's story. I had no trouble connecting to them. The other characters (yes, most were minor characters) I was rolling my eyes at a whole lot and was wondering where their personalities were.
Originally Posted by Radone
I disagree here. The beginning was incredibly interesting to me. But, then, I love the beginnings of stories. The ends as well, generally. The middle is often harder for me.
Originally Posted by Radone
I do agree that the writing became dull when Pazel left the ship. Perhaps this would have been spiced up by switching his POV back and forth with Thasha's. I mean, it would have been really nice to see how she came to the decisions she made and how she executed them. That would have picked things up quite a bit, I feel.
I don't know if you're including the diving part in your comment, but that did pick up the excitement again for me.
I still stand by what I said before on this. And it seems we are in total agreement when it comes to that. However, I would not say rushed. It was, almost, simple in its conclusion.
Originally Posted by Radone
Has anyone else finished the book yet? I am eager to hear what others think. I have read several books by several different authors who all use the same tone of voice in their stories. (Which is the tone I discussed earlier in regards to social behavior.) All of these stories, I am sad to say, fall under the Steampunk sub-genre. I love the concept of Steampunk, but the execution of it which I have seen thus far has not only been far from excellent, but also greatly disappointing. Aside from the lack of steam in this first book of the Chathrand Voyages, it would fall directly into the Steampunk sub-genre for me. I love a lot of aspects of it, but the flaws are just too great to ignore.
February 14th, 2012, 06:24 PM
so far so "good", its a decent read and I am about 2/3s of the way through it... the main complaint I have is that I feel like the book is targeting a 12-14 year old me. Which of course isnt a bad thing, I just wasnt thinking that Red Wolf would be such a YA read... maybe my fault for lack of researching the book? :P
February 14th, 2012, 07:04 PM
When this came out I thought it sounded too YA for, me. But after starting this I fell in love with this story, I'm on River of Shadows right now and totally diggin it. I wonder what Redick's gonna do after this series.
Originally Posted by werewolfv2