Monday, May 12, 2008

[Lisa’s Take] Temeraire Book 4 – Empire of Ivory (Naomi Novik)

There’s a big dragon plague killing off all of England’s dragons. Temeraire goes to Africa to look for a cure. We also address the matter of slavery a bit, as well as loyalty and honor. Yay we have a plot!

I don’t mean to be too blithe about the premise of the 4th book in this series, because it was really an enjoyable read – it was just also awfully easy to codify down into a few short words. I don’t think that makes it less of a good book, but maybe a little simplistic.

There really isn’t a whole lot to say other than reiterating that it was a fun book... I feel a little bit like the series has gone down hill since the first installment, but maybe I have my hopes set too high. I think part of the problem is that Temeraire has been less of a major character with each continuing book... he seems to be getting flatter, rather than more developed, and he often takes the back seat to the plot.

Granted I could just be knit picking because Ms. Novik pissed me off at the end of the book – there’s very, very, very little that I dislike more than a jarring cliffhanger. I can handle being left in suspense, but turning the last page of the book and being totally baffled that it doesn’t continue leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Come to think of it, that’s how she started book 4 as well – just jumped right in to what was happening when the last book closed. Hnn.

That came off as harsh, but it should be taken in light of all the other extensive praise I’ve lavished upon her earlier books. I’ll definitely be picking up book 5... it just won’t necessarily be something that requires immediate reading. It can hang out and wait to break up the harder, more grown up fantasy.

No comments: