It's been almost a year since I reviewed Scott Lynch's first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora. That's because it takes me that long to work myself up to reading a 750-page fantasy novel. I liked the first book pretty well, though, and Lynch is the guest at Armadillocon in a couple of weeks, so it was time to get going on this one.
I'm not sure I'm glad I did. Here's the problem. If you read a couple of books in a series, you might want to continue. But Lynch is already way late in delivering the manuscript of the third book. Plus I discovered that he's planning a seven-book series. I doubt that I'll still be around when he's finished.
Okay, that has nothing to do with the current book. What do you think about a novel that begins with a cliff-hanger scene from much later in the story? And then ends after more than 750 pages with another cliff-hanger? I confess that I wasn't too bothered, especially by the latter gimmick. After all, if there are five more books to come, I figure things will work themselves out.
I was bothered more by the fact that this is really two novels. About half of it is a caper novel, but then the caper novel more or less stops for 350 pages and pirate novel takes off. Finally both things (and a lot of others) get resolved in the end. I got tired before I finally reached it. Another thing that bothered me was a character who might as well have been carrying a big sign that said, "I Will Be Killed Before This Book Ends." I was hoping to be surprised by something different, but I wasn't. Oh, well.
There's plenty of action, the world and society where Locke Lamora lives are as detailed as anyone could want, the characters are well drawn, and the dialog is fun. I still found it slow going, though. Maybe book three will win me over again. If I read it.