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Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Page-Turner, October 16, 2007
This review is from: Red Seas Under Red Skies (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed Scott Lynch's debut novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and had high expectation for this sequel. While it is a fun adventure story set in a well realized world, it does not quite live up to the expectations set by its predecessor.

Back are all the thieves, magi, capers, fights, witty banter, betrayals, double-crossing, and convoluted plots of the first novel. Locke and Jean are back and the story focuses this time on their friendship. They are trying to make their way in the world by pulling off a major heist in Lynch's fantasy version of Las Vegas (or Monte Carlo if you prefer).

The story begins in media res, and uses flashback chapters to fill in all the backstory between the end of Lies and the beginning of Red Seas Under Red Skies. I thought this technique was effective as it gets the action going right away. The characters are all well developed, including the many new faces, and all exhibit growth over the course of the novel. The reading experience is greatly augmented by Lynch's fine sense of humor.

Where this novel falters, for me at least, is with the plot. Lynch once again uses a very convoluted, very complex plot - which I love and fits the style of his novels perfectly. The beginning of the book it very well plotted as all the different players are introduced and their motivations are developed. The plot loses it tightness during a long middle section that features a piratical adventure. I usually love pirates, and the pirates hear are great fun to read about - they just don't add much to the plot that was developed in the first third of the book. The pirate interlude leads to an ending that felt rushed. More plot threads are left dangling here then were in Lies. Important characters are introduced that played absolutely no role in the first two-thirds of the book.

Despite it shortcomings I still recommend this book. If you can deal with the plot issues you'll have a great time with this book. I look forward to future books in the series.
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