Red seas under red skies

The sequel to the [terrific] Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch has this somehow lame title, Red Seas Under Red Skies… I liked very much the first volume, despite it being a heist, and I was looking forward to the sequel. While it is not a complete disaster, it suffers from the comparison with the first book. (Some reviews disagree. This one with impressively detailed arguments!) The setting is both similar (two thieves busy stealing the most wealthy man in a city and building enemies in the process) and dissimilar (no unity of location as the main characters become pirates under constraint and make a sea trip to a pirate Hispaniola-like island). As in the Lies of Locke Lamora, the central characters are well-drawn and engaging if not always coherent (the dialogues are often completely off-key wrt dramatic situations). Life on a pirate ship is simply too civilised to be credible. More generally, the whole story is just too far from plausible and one could equip a whole pirate ship with the number of rigs required to suspend disbelief! One reason is the unnecessary intricacy of the story which involves at least three plots, each with several subplots. When everything unravels in the final pages, with double-acting agents being revealed and tricksters being tricked, it happens just too suddenly to be completely enjoyable. Nonetheless, a rather pleasant light read. From what I read on the author’s blog, there does not seem to be a chance for further volumes soon, although five more were planned in the Gentlemen Bastards series, since he suffers from severe depression… ’tis too bad, really, as he has the skill to construct (too) elaborate stories and to depict deep enough characters…

One Response to “Red seas under red skies”

  1. To be honest, the first time I read Red Seas I didn’t know what to make of it. I was fresh off the first book (I loves me a heist story!!), and at first Red Seas seemed fun, but unfocused.

    I think I read it too fast that first time. Of course, I can’t help but compare it to the brilliant Lies of Locke Lamora, yet everytime I reread Red Seas, I liked it more. On my most recent read, I figured out what was going on, and it was like a light going on in my head.

    Hopes are that the 3rd book will show up sometime in 2012. we shall see.

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