Jul. 9th, 2014

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4/5. I... have curiously little to say about this book, except that I am glad I read it after Cyteen, because Cyteen drew me in with its genetic speculation and gave me a primer on how Cherryh works: the book goes on until she's finished writing it, with one major plot-line maybe resolved and a bunch of minor ones dangling; also, people will act like people and it will generally be grim and people will get grim comeuppances. So I was prepared! And actually I was unprepared for the awesomeness that is Elene Quen and the accompanying awesomeness that is Elene/Damon and Josh Talley. Although I was slightly more prepared for the grim sort of awesomeness that is Signy Mallory.

I don't like it as well as Cyteen; it doesn't have the interesting genetic Big Questions or the heartstopping moments when you realize you've just taken a dagger to the heart (except, okay, that last scene). But I liked it very much. Recommended if you like careful, methodical worldbuilding and history (apparently Cherryh herself said her books should read like that, and it does -- detailed and messy and without clean endings) and don't mind Cherryh's quirks, and very much not recommended if you want your plots wrapped up nicely or are not in the mood for grim...

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