Monday, July 14, 2008

Thoughts on Scardown

Sometimes when you read a book is just as important as the book that you read.

Scardown is an example of this. I enjoyed, but did not love, Elizabeth Bear’s debut novel Hammered. Scardown is the sequel and second book in the Jenny Casey trilogy. I started Scardown in May, made it a good 60 pages, and sent the book back to the library. I struggled through those opening 60 pages. It was work, and I already have a job. I knew I’d come back to Scardown, but I was not sure when.

When I checked the book out from the library this past week and started over at page 60 on Friday, I expected more of the same. I didn’t get it. Instead, I was hooked. I’m not sure if it was because after those 60 pages the novel is lighter on the Razorface character and deals more with Jenny, Gabe, the girls, and the Montreal, or what, but suddenly I was flying through Scardown, swept away by the storytelling, fully engaged with the story Bear was spinning.

It worked.

Now, I question whether it was just that the first 60 pages don’t work, or if it was that whenever I started the book back in May I wasn’t where I needed to be to fully engage with Scardown. I can’t say.

This time around, Scardown worked for me, thrilled me, chilled me, and made me wanting more. Good thing there is another book: Worldwired.

This may be the Summer of Bear. After Scardown I’ll read both Undertow and Ink and Steel. I went to two stores this weekend looking for Ink and Steel and neither had it, so I ordered it from Amazon and should have the book by the end of the week. I’ll read Dust this summer / fall, and will certainly buy Hell and Earth in August. I don’t buy too many books since I have a good library and not too much money, but I want to own the Promethean Age novels and have them on my shelf. I also want to help support Bear with these books so that her publishers will buy more of the planned Promethean Age novels. She’s got a bunch more planned and I’d love to get the chance to read them. I may or may not get to Worldwired by then, or A Companion to Wolves. I assume I’ll get to All the Windwracked Stars by December. No promises on that.


Kristen said...

Thanks for your thoughts on Bear's science fiction trilogy. I recently became addicted to the Promethean Age series and I have been wanting to read some of her other novels, especially those ones.

Joe said...

Stay tuned, I'm halfway through Ink and Steel, possibly have an ARC of All the Windwracked States coming, and I've a few more of her books to read. Lots of Bear this year.

Have you read Shadow Unit?

Kristen said...

No, I haven't read Shadow Unit. Actually that's one I haven't heard of.

I do have Ink & Steel, although I haven't started that one yet. The plan was to read it right after Whiskey and Water and then I found out it was a prequel instead of a sequel and that I had to wait a little bit for the next book so I got into reading other things.

Joe said...

Shadow Unit

The first episode.

You may thank me later. :)