landingtree: (Default)
landingtree ([personal profile] landingtree) wrote2017-05-03 12:12 pm

Terra Ignota

While reading through the biography of T.H. White, which is full of bits of his correspondence, I was staying with some of the people I most regularly correspond with. When Dreamwidth sent me an email about the Livejournal diaspora, it attracted my letter-writing mind, and I thought, "Mm, I could actually use this website I have been reading snatches from for years."

Also, I had just written my first book review in a long time, for a student magazine, and I came to Dreamwidth for its book reviews -- so here is that one.

On Terra Ignota

I am so interested to see what voice the next book is written in! I believe it shan't be Mycroft's, but shall it be first person? Mycroft's voice is so singular that it would be nice to have a complete change, see how Ada Palmer's voice is different from his as it describes that future... But I shouldn't be making prescriptions, because what I really want is to know what the plan is -- I am quite sure there is a plan. By now I trust the series to be what it is meant to be, whether or not I like that.

Book two resolves many of my doubts about book one. Early on we were seeing so many exceptions to gender-neutrality that I struggled to believe it was the cultural norm, but by the end of book two those strongly gendered characters (Danae, Dominic) emerge as originating in the same place; early on I was dubious about Mycroft's steady waltz through world leaders, but neither is that a coincidence.

(Stopped a while to think about Mycroft's pronoun. What should it be, in our world? The word 'should' may break down across the divide, but (for that among so many reasons) I need to reread Too Like the Lightning).

I love the artfulness of character presentation. I kept on being told exactly what to expect, and not believing it. Mycroft described himself as terribly guilty, told me I would come to hate him, but (in the piling of detail upon unfamiliar cultural detail) left me fairly confident that his crime would strike me as quixotic and minor, that it would be the terrible violation of a law my culture does not have. In the speech of revelation, my shock in recognising monstrosity fit Carlyle's.

But Sniper is my favourite instance. The name looms up through the first several chapters with ominous weight, and then bursts into confetti: a celebrity gatecrashing a party. And for the rest of the book Sniper goes about being an emblem of the harmless, right until he turns out to be part of a conspiracy of assassins...

cmcmck: (Default)

[personal profile] cmcmck 2017-05-03 12:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I hadn't thought of what was happening to LJ as a diaspora but now that you mention it............