segunda-feira, 24 de setembro de 2012

Stormdancer, Jay Kristoff

This book is for the Steampunk Reading Challenge, hosted by Dark Faerie Tales.

My thoughts: I must confess, reading this book was almost torture during the first two days. I was quite frustrated at how slowly things (and my reading) were progressing – 60-80 pages in two long days, which is ridiculously slow for me. If I were one of those people that read 50-100 pages of a book to assess whether they are going to like it, I might have given up.

I think this failure at capturing my attention has two causes. First, the book starts with a prologue-ish chapter, as it contains an exciting event, but then the story goes back 2 weeks to tell us how it all began. It’s not smart to start a book with a thrilling event and then spend some chapters doing some worldbuilding, in my opinion. Which leads me to cause number 2 – the author is a bit too descriptive, and it takes a while to get used to. (Or when things got interesting, I didn’t mind as much.)

Fortunately for all parties involved, I am very stubborn and kept reading – and ended up enjoying myself much more. The worldbuilding is pretty interesting and well-thought, depicting a decadent, dystopian, steampunk-ish, Japanese-in-feudal-times, setting. The author anchors this world in a real place and time (Japan in feudal times, which is quite interesting in itself, though I admit I'm not well-versed) and creates a world that depends on a fuel-like substance, chi, which is fabricated from the blood lotus, a native plant.

The thing is, the dependence on chi and the blood lotus has nocive results on this society – nature is polluted by the manufacture of the chi, some people are addicted to the lotus’ fumes, other people are dying of the black smoke produced bu machinery, and the social structure is just crumbling. I think there's a bit of well-built social, economical and even political commentary, and that was interesting to read.

The main character, Yukiko, is a typical teenager, since she has extreme stances towards many things which I felt was realistic, yet it made it harder for me to get to know her. I wish I could understand better what makes her tick. As for the other characters... some made me curious, but not enough to point them out. The author should definitely work on building stronger characters. Buruu, however, was awesome. The way he thought and spoke, and how that changed after spending time with Yukiko was fascinating. I want more of him!

There are a few more assorted things I could point out. The plot turned out very enjoyable and I kept eagerly turning the pages to find out what was going on. The romance amused me, because it was interesting to watch Yukiko's crush come back and bite her in the ass, pardon my French, since that's all it was, a crush, not epic love (thank God for the small blessings), and she got screwed over it. Also, I felt bad for Kin, who had a one-sided thing for Yukiko.

What can I conclude from here? Well, this book was a lot of trouble when I began it, but I ended up really liking it, which only proves how easily I can change my mind. I won't be impatiently waiting for the next one, but I will surely pick it up whenever it comes out.

Sem comentários:

Publicar um comentário