Goodreads Review: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard #2)

Book 2 of the Gentleman Bastard is a fun sequel that tries to do a bit too much.

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Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I still enjoy Scott Lynch’s writing style and characters, but this follow-up to The Lies of Locke Lamora is a bit too bloated, resulting in some odd pacing issues.

We don’t get to the pirate stuff (as evidenced on the cover) until much later in the book; until then it’s a casino heist that only circles back around at the very, very end. The casino heist peters out but the entire pirate plot line is absolutely fantastic, with a rich cast of characters and some much deeper emotional stakes.

Red Seas Under Red Skies thus ends up too long and too grandiose for its own good. A few chapters early on even add an additional timeline of events that happened after LoLL but before this one. They’re not bad at all, and I continue to enjoy learning more about this relatable fantasy world, but it makes getting through the first half of the book much more of a slog than it should have been. Thankfully the ending climax ramps up very nicely – I devoured the last 100+ pages in about a day.

Overall a worthy sequel but I wish it had done a bit less and focused entirely on the pirate plot line of the latter half.

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Goodreads Review: Sea of Rust

Sea of RustSea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not quite the post-apocalyptic summer blockbuster I was expecting. While there’s a solid chunk of explosive plasma-fueled action, it also dives deep into AI sentience, mental issues, and the uniquely harrowing civil war the robots find themselves in years after they killed all the humans. Protagonist Brittle has a delightfully sly human tone, making it a quick, fun read, but still poking at deeper, profound concepts of individuality, freedom, and sentience.

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