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notyourmonkey

notyourmonkey

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Pump Six and Other Stories
Paolo Bacigalupi

The Traveler

The Traveler  - John Twelve Hawks Is this a first/early novel? Because it kind of feels like it. Ripping good yarn, with all sorts of interestingish world building and action sequences; atrocious dialogue. Characters exposit more than they speak, and nobody has a distinct voice.

Also, I'm afraid that this books suffers a little from that George Lucasian phenomenon of not realizing that hamfisted Good Versus Evil/"I want to control everything because I deserve it; I'm a pretty, pretty princess!" versus "We are all one with the world and everyone is equal and and peace; kumbayah!" storylines done without the slightest hint of irony just makes people laugh, not feel inspired. Also - overexplaining your characters' mystical experiences automatically makes those experiences ridiculous rather than moving.

Still, once you move past the clunky dialogue, ludicrous villains, and dodgy metaphysics, there's actually a really good book in here. You've got a pretty nifty mystical society tracing back through history, etc etc; you've got a lot of ass kicking; you've got a lot of ass kicking by a girl; you've got a far more racially diverse cast than most scifi novels these days (even if it does feel a little bit like a Matrix rip-off) (also - even if the "central" conflict is the manpain of two white dudes), and you've got enough interesting backstory in secondary characters (that I'm actually more interested in than the primary characters) that I will totally seek out the sequels.

All in all, a solid middle of the road effort.