NeilNjae

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NeilNjae
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  • @dr_mitch said: My current theory is that the grave robbing suggests the eating of the flesh is at least somewhat literal, though the amount of actual, um, meat, might be very much diluted. Yes, I got the impression that it was the flesh …
  • If found the exposition of motives was a useful recap. And after all that time searching for Vodalus and pledging to follow him, Severian's first independent act is to tell us that he won't fulfil Vodalus's command. I wonder why? I was also amuse…
  • Another observation about the worldbuilding. When Severian is lost in his memories, he mentions recalling being "leather-winged steed," but the rest of the paragraph makes little sense. I'm not sure if the destrier he rode to the cave actually had w…
  • Yes, not a huge surprise about Agia being behind the note. A couple of things of note. One is that for someone with basically no combat training, Severian is very handy in a fight. He does a good job of fighting off the man-apes in the cave, take…
  • I'm afraid I'll skip that one. I'd heard lots of good things about it, tried to get into it, but got rather bored. The first third is nothing more than a bunch of nice people being nice to each other, and it seems the rest of the book is much the sa…
  • I'm with @RichardAbbott : I like that Severian is taking the initiative and setting out to achieve things. Yes, they're stupid decisions, but at least he's acting rather than reacting. I'm looking forward to finding out who owns the destrier he s…
  • We also discovered that Severian lost Dorcas, Talos, and the rest during the crush at the wall. This makes his lack of concern for them callous. He may not have much affection for Talos and co, but he did seem rather protective towards Dorcas. I'…
  • Happy to give this a go! (I'm working my way through Tim Powers's Declare at the moment).
    in June Comment by NeilNjae June 3
  • A couple of things I noticed. One is Severian's change in status since leaving Nessus. In the city, he was just another faceless member of the crowd; in Saltus, he's a man of significance. The other is the magnitude and duration of the war aga…
  • A couple of unexplained things popped out at me in this section. First, just how is Talos able to keep people so entertained by a few distinctly amateur actors, including two who don't have the foggiest idea what they're meant to be doing? And secon…
  • Of course, in five billion years there will have been a lot of continental drift, with the creation and destruction of many supercontinents. There's also a prediction that the core will solidify in about three billion years, which will both halt tec…
  • Not heard of it, but sounds interesting.
  • @Apocryphal said: I actually did notice the Agia slipped the claw into his pocket in the temple, but what completely eluded me was that the claw had the power of Resurrection, which I know because you guys pointed it out LOL. Yes, I'd hav…
  • @dr_mitch said: It's a question of whether the morals of the story are with Aldo or Hiero. @Apocryphal said: So, to me, Aldo was really something of a dark horse in this story. He knows more than he lets on, has motives that are not n…
  • @dr_mitch said: 13: Last Act in Palmyra (Lindsey Davis) Another book in a series... there seems to be a pattern to my reading this year. And this series involves the activities of a hardboiled private investigator in the Roman Empire in th…
  • @dr_mitch said: Cartoon villains! Though I did like the fact that they were the technological faction, without the book being a big bash on science and technology. It wasn't? The cartoon villains were technophiles and created monsters as …
  • @RichardAbbott said: @NeilNjae said: And to add: the mental powers, and the way they were described, triggered memories of the Lensman books which I read too long ago. It could also be something to do with the breathless prose descr…
  • @dr_mitch said: But if it makes sense, at no stage could I take it seriously. It was a cartoon romp, and that was the fun. That makes perfect sense. It was utter tosh, but well-written and entertaining tosh. It was a good fun read.
  • @RichardAbbott said: I suppose one might speculate that the pre-Death scientific exploration included attempts to deliberately mutate creatures, so that the possibility was already active. But I don't think Lanier gives any such suggestion. …
  • I'm not that bothered by the sequel, especially as the reviews for it aren't as good as this one. If this is following the Campbellian monomyth, the next stage in Hiero's journey is the rebirth and apotheosis. That could easily be where Hiero com…
  • I don't think it follows the Campbellian structure. There's no call to adventure followed by a refusal (at the beginning), no deep realisation and rebirth (in the middle), and no return with some boon (at the end). You could argue it's the second qu…
  • In D&D terms, Hiero starts as a reasonably competent Ranger, complete with animal companion. During the book, he double-classes into Psionic or something and quickly picks up levels in that. I could easily see this book being a Ryuutama game,…
  • Yep, they're just pantomime villains out to cackle and be evil. It would have been a more interesting book if they'd come across as somewhat sympathetic, proposing a genuine alliance with Hiero and the abbeys. It could then have drawn out the contra…
  • I agree with @Apocryphal with the place names and the like. I wonder why the book is set five thousand years after the Death. Why would the story not have worked if it was set a few hundred years after the Death? That would, to my mind, better ex…
  • Hiero's beliefs, and his origin in the Metz abbeys, all show a strong christian background. He comes across as a relibious man, but in the tradition of a crusader rather than a monk. The use of mental powers is just an accepted part of reality, c…
  • The Metz, Eleveners, and Unclean were all based heavily on tropes. I think that was the right approach for this book, as it was literally based on Hiero's journey through the wilderness. None of the societies were what I would call rich or nuanced, …
  • It was a vivid world: I could clearly visualise most of the places Hiero visited. Was it compelling? It was certainly a good read, gripping in places. I thought the earlier parts of the book were better than the last bits: the encounter with the Hou…
  • What's Agia's plan? I agree that she's setting him up for some purpose, with the avern duel being the final step in the plan. But if, as seems likely, it's a way for her to get the Claw, it seems very convoluted. Did she really need such a dupe? Did…
  • The UK cover I have is almost as bad (mostly-naked Luchare, all four on a raft). Seeing as one of the first things she does is to make some more clothes for herself, I do wonder about the art direction choices. Still, the past was a different countr…
  • I didn't get my act together soon enough, but I'm now reading my way through it! I may not be finished in time for the start of the discussions.