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World's End (Snow Queen) Mass Market Paperback – November 15, 1984
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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The story inside is not the same huge, sprawling space opera as The Snow Queen and The Summer Queen. If you're a completist like I am, though, you're going to want to get all the missing little holes filled in that weren't covered in The Summer Queen. This one is all in first person from Gundalinu's POV as he loses his mind getting closer to a chaotic lake where time flows differently, and there's a town that comes into and out of reality. The stated goal is to save his thieving, wastrel brothers; the covert goal is to work through the seismic personal revelations he's gone through since he left Tiamat and Moon.
As others have said, there's a "Heart of Darkness" vibe going on in this installment in the The Snow Queen cycle. It expands the universe more. You visit another planet in the Hegemony and see how it's ruled by a huge corporation, with all the red tape that implies. If you like Gundalinu's character from either of the other two books, you will definitely like this one. If you're not a fan of his maybe not so much.
If you're not a fan of this character, you can safely skip this installment BUT it does shed more light on a few plot points in The Summer Queen which are by comparison skimmed over in that book. As many other reviewers have said, this book feels like Vinge excised this from a rough draft of The Summer Queen and expanded it. I liked reading it because it gave me his POV as well as Moon's POV from her book of some of the same events.
Just waiting for the day when the publisher moves it into eBook format (psst, publisher...)
Fist, before I actually review the contents off this novella, I have to ask why it isn't available on kindle? Both Snow Queen (it's predecessor) and Summer queen (it's successor) are offered via digital. I had downloaded both of the other titles, and so then discovered (much to my joy) that this was available! But, alas, only thru Third Party Sellers on Amazon? I wonder if this title never got the publicity of the other two? Or maybe it's a tangential story between them.
Having read, and muchly enjoyed, the Snow Queen, I World's End (The Snow Queen Cycle, #2)
by Joan D. Vinge enjoyed this novella. I suppose you could call it "More Hells for Gundhalinu".
He evacuated away from Tiamt, and into an even more lawless backwater of a planet. And here he truly does go to Hells, and even manages to lose whatever self respect, and sanity, he may have held on to. Make no mistake, this story belongs to him. And his incredible struggles against forces known, and unknown, which make him question the worth of his past, present and future.
But his abject self honesty, and rigid self discipline both must be mettles under a very fiery crucible indeed.
You can read this book in a day, but at the end of that day, you will know that it was the well spent.
I didn't finish this, mostly due to some strong sexual content I found objectionable.
If you're still reading this review, then here's what I found interesting about this volume and makes me hopeful that Part 3 (The Summer Queen) is better.
1. The style is very different. Instead of shifting between a variety of characters like the first book, everything is told through a series of journal entries recorded by BZ Gundhalinu; a character you might remember played a large part in The Snow Queen.
2. The plot is interesting. So, having left the world of Tiamat and the woman he loves; BZ has been reassigned to an outpost simply known as Number 4. However, his older brothers and the proper heirs to his family have gone missing in a region of the planet known as World's End and so he sets out to find them.
3. The atmosphere is intense and believable. During the first half of the book, you get to see BZ deal with the frustrating system of bureaucracy and bribery present on Number 4, something he finds outrageous. After getting past that, he must face companions who treat him poorly and survive the elements in a beaten down transport. Eventually, he reaches his goal; an area known as Fire Lake where he finds a woman who he was asked to locate earlier.
However, this is where the aforementioned objectionable turn of events came up. BZ has pretty much lost touch with reason thanks to all that he's gone through and confuses the new woman, Song; with his old love. You can guess what happens next.
From skimming ahead, I know some of how it turns out; which leads me to believe that the overall story might have some redeeming qualities. But for me, I think that I won't keep it.