June 22, 2014

Long-(over)due Mini-reviews

Title: Watership Down
Author: Richard Adams
First published: 1972
Add it: Goodreads, The Book Depository
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I've heard so many great things about this book, that I was more than a bit disappointed with it. It just didn't grip me. Adams can write adventure all right, but I didn't get why it had to be rabbits? They behave exactly like people anyway, so what's the point? For me it didn't work, as I couldn't care much for just a pack of rabbits, however well-elaborated their characters might be. I know, I'm a monster :) But I've hated tear-inducing books about "poor animals" since my childhood :) The rabbit language was also not very well-developed or necessary. What I did like was the rabbit mythology. The parts when they tell stories were my favorite!

The biggest problem of the book is the lack of any female characters. The whole plot is about "getting some does", but even when they appear, they don't play any role at all and are very passive. OK, OK, maybe it's supposed to be so with the rabbits, but they behave like humans, so it still irritates me. Also, all the philosophy is just... meh!

In my book: Maybe more suitable for children than adults. Or for much less cynical than me adult animal lovers :)

Title: The Warden
Author: Anthony Trollope
First published: 1855
Add it: GoodreadsThe Book Depository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I read it for Chronicles of Barsetshire Readalong, and it was due in March, but I couldn't finish it until May, although it's a fairly thin book. What can I say? It was just so dull! I didn't care a twopence about moral dilemmas of a countryside priest and all the ecclesiastical politics around it. Trollope is really witty in some small scenes, for example his commentary on family life made me giggle a couple of times, but the plot is just so long-drawn and anti-climactic, that most of the time I used the book to fall asleep fast.

In my book: A classic soporific.

Title: The Republic of Thieves
Author: Scott Lynch
First published: 2013
Add it: GoodreadsThe Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆

I picked this book out of despair - no story could hold my attention this horrible May, and I thought if this one couldn't, I was doomed. Well, Lynch haven't disappointed me: I was involved in the book, as much as it was possible at the time. However, I do think it had some problems. First, both plots (there's a flashback, as usual) are far from being original. Election and theater, really? They DO work, because both are amazing sources of plot devices, but I kinda thought Lynch was above it... Also, I didn't get the whole thing about the bondsmagi, including the last cataclysm and Locke's "secret". WTF????

I was most excited to finally see Sabetha, but I was a bit disappointed here too. No, she IS every inch as cool as I've imagined her, but her and Locke's relationship is so fucked up it becomes tiresome. Also, I'm glad there are always enough of great female characters in the series, but her "female in a male world" problems are a bit exaggerated here, I think.

In my book: Still great, but a bit less amazing and a bit darker than the previous books.


  1. I always thought Watership Down is going to be one of those books that can go either this or that way and even though I always wanted to read it, I never found myself purchasing and actually reading it. Too bad about the 3rd Scott Lynch one, I think it's pretty unanimous opinion though that it's not *as* good as the first ones. I'll probably pick it up at some point as well. Scott Lynch is going to be at Finncon in about two weeks' time and we are planning to go so maybe I can get the first two books signed :)

    1. You must take pictures at the Finncon!! :) Well, Lynch is still one of the best out there, I'm still of this opinion, even after the third book, but I have a feeling that he had a depression or a writing crisis when he wrote it. I hope the fourth would be better, though! :)

    2. Thank you, ipsofactodotme! I'm so flattered! However, I've already done something similar recently, so I may put off participating in this one for a while :)


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