You can see the most recently posted comments here, 8 at a time; or, if you prefer, we've got a news feed...
Arthur B on A Rowling In the Nest
at 11:12 on 21-08-2014 - link
I get that the point is for her to come into this as a blank slate who ends up being an integral piece, but it was all too 1950s for me. Her special abilities include finding coffee and getting women to open up to her in girly chats.
Without spoilering, I can say that Silkworm does do some work to turn this around in three important ways:
- Her engagement ends up in crisis and she has to deal with that, so she no longer comes across as sleepwalking into a marriage which clearly isn't going to work for her and in general seems to be actually thinking about her relationship with Matthew a bit more critically. (I actually think Rowling manages to finesse it here so that the engagement ends up not being a fairytale fantasy but also not being an obvious trap, but a realistic relationship that has to be worked on and may or may not be worth working on.)
- There's more references to her past and Something Mysterious which prompted her to drop out of university (though it isn't revealed yet - I suspect it's going to be fodder for a subsequent novel).
- Most importantly, she reveals a side of her skill set which radically goes against the grain of what's been revealed so far. Whilst to an extent we're meant to be shocked and surprised precisely because she, of all people, is able to do the stuff she does, at the same time it does mean she can engage with the dangerous side of detective-ing a bit more directly.
Also, though the working relationship is still a bit paternal, it shifts from boss/secretary to detective/apprentice, so there's scope for them to evolve into business partners as well as romantic partners.
Sonia Mitchell on A Rowling In the Nest
at 23:28 on 20-08-2014 - link
This was on sale in the Kindle store for £1.99 so I've finally read it, and I agree with most of this review. Despite the various flaws it was an entertaining read.
One thing that bugged me that hasn't been mentioned is that the book slips between different points of view quite loosely, and without warning. I think this is a particularly problematic habit in a mystery story - if characters are concealing information or generally being unreliable, the reader needs to be absolutely certain whose POV is being used.
I also felt that the red herring of thewater drops on the landingwas clumsy. Obviously we're supposed to think that it'smelted snow, but the actual explanation makes no sense.Why was Strike expecting something to be there? Who would really be expected to slip on a few drops of water?
And to be a bit of a Captain Killjoy - and this is just my own reaction, not one I'm suggesting others should have - I didn't like the depiction of Robin. I get that the point is for her to come into this as a blank slate who ends up being an integral piece, but it was all too 1950s for me. Her special abilities include finding coffee and getting women to open up to her in girly chats. She's introduced in post-engagement elation, gloating over how her ring sparkles. She's needy for praise and gives Strike the cold shoulder when he forgets to give it. There's nothing wrong with any of that in real life (well, except the neediness, but it's a very human trait), but as a character type she rubbed me up the wrong way.
I think you're probably right about an extended romance plot but I also find that quite problematic given the paternal tones of the working relationship. Again, personal preference only.
- Jamie Johnston on I Could Care Fewer at 12:20 on 17-08-2014 - link On the subject of attempts to verbalize the extent to which one does or does not care, I've just heard someone out in the street shouting, 'I don't give two monkeys'.
- Sonia Mitchell on Matthew Reilly Hits the Exclamation Mark. Bam! at 21:49 on 14-08-2014 - link Hmm, could be something in that. Maybe there's some kind of Axe Cop arrangement.
- Angmar Bucket on Matthew Reilly Hits the Exclamation Mark. Bam! at 01:50 on 14-08-2014 - link Is it possible he's a 12-year-old boy? Has anyone ever seen this "Matthew Reilly"? And if they have seen him and confirm he's a grown man, has anyone considered the possibility he's a stand-in for some young boy somewhere with deep pockets?! And then his bodyguards show up and use their guns to shoot whoever finds out?!
Sonia Mitchell on Matthew Reilly Hits the Exclamation Mark. Bam!
at 22:15 on 13-08-2014 - link
Re Temple, it's been while since I read it but that main issue I remember was what the hell the rapas (big cats) were eating. There is no way human sacrificealone could account for a whole pack of them.
- Angmar Bucket on Matthew Reilly Hits the Exclamation Mark. Bam! at 03:16 on 09-08-2014 - link I know this is my first post with my shiny new user name but all I can say to the above comment's explanation of this research style and the fruit thereof is this: ?!
Ashimbabbar on The Worlds Dick Made
at 11:50 on 08-08-2014 - link
re The World Jones Made: Cussick's disgust with the gender-shifting mutants has always struck me as part of his characterization - a shallow and ineffectual man who embraces Relativism because it's the only thing that gives him a sense of identity: a toy made to order for Jones. Nina is as shallow ad pathetic as he is in her 'rebellion' that leads her to join Jones' fascistic movement…
Jones is clearly expected to dominate the novel and to have no serious human foils, which is logical enough considering his power - and to bring his end by his own errors as by the requirements of tragedy…