Red Scholar's Wake Q3: Characters, romance and relationships


This novel was driven by the characters, their emotions, and their relationships. Did you think it worked? Were the characters well-drawn and believable? Do you think the ties of family, loyalty, and love were plausible, both in terms of how the characters felt about each other, and how those feelings drove them into action?

As a core part of the book was the romance between Xi Sich and Rice Fish, how did that come across? Did it seem like a love affair between real people?


  • 1
    I don’t think I ever really found the characters believable or interesting. In theory, a being that is really a ship (basically like a ship AI, though in this case the ship actually has a non-functional organic body) ought to be pretty cool. But it’s been done so many times before, and generally better (see Ancillary Justice) that I think it fell a bit flat here.

    The Pirates were really unconvincing. They didn’t really have much reason to exist in setting that I could see, and pirate culture was negligible. So, several pirate clades are vying for control - big deal. Why do these pirates even exist? What’s the bigger political situation that allows them? What are their rules of association? None of this was adequately answered. So if the author didn’t care about the pirates, why should the reader?
  • 0

    I think I've probably tackled most of these points elsewhere. In brief, I didn't know enough about the world to get immersed, but felt that there were far too many unrevealed features. And the romance felt like teenage fixation rather than adult relationship.

  • 1

    Like @Apocryphal , I found the characters thin and the romance perfunctory. Like @RichardAbbott , I thought the romance wasn't a meeting of minds and a growing affection, but an instance of lust at first sight.

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