This book has been holding up my review queue since I finished it in late March. I was surprised at my reaction to it when I read it, and wasn’t sure what I wanted to say, because I wasn’t sure if I liked the book or not. And, if I didn’t like it, why not? I feel like nothing much has changed in James’s style in the last three years. I think it’s me, and that I just wasn’t in the mood at all to try and parse James’s writing style, and deal with his bullshit emotionally.
I say “his bullshit”, and what I mean by that is the unrelenting pessimism and negativity of this world. I’m not even talking about the violence or the gore. I liked one, exactly ONE, character in all it’s six hundred plus pages. Everyone else sucks. I didn’t even like Sogolon, even though her story was pretty sympathetic, because we are in her head and I was fed up with everything we were seeing in it. The effect of this is just what I was afraid of after finishing Black Leopard, Red Wolf in 2019, that ultimately the message James is trying to get across is that Humanity Sucks, The End. Like, really, I needed to read 1200 pages to figure that one out? All right. This isn’t exactly a concept that merits the high literature treatment.
I will read the last book, but how it turns out will entirely determine my thoughts on reading any more of James’s work in the future.
Who knows, if I revisit this one in the future (I don’t know, I might!) I might feel differently about it. For now, three stars.