March 25, 2012

"The Lies of Locke Lamora" read-along part 3

"I don't have to fight you and I don't have to run." He grinned wildly. "I just have to keep you here... until Jean gets back." 
"You just keep hitting. I can take it all day. You just keep... hitting me... until... Jean gets back!"

It's week three of the Lies of Locke Lamora read-along ... and I've already read far too much! Ok, I've not finished the book compleatily, just read a couple of pages (or more like 50) more than we were supposed to. Pleas don't be angry! It's just so much fun :) Anyway, this weeks questions was provided by My Awful Reviews, so let's just get started!

1. This section is where we finally get to sneak a peek at the magic in The Gentleman Bastards books. From what we read, what are your initial impressions of the magic Lynch is using? Is there any way that Locke and Company would be able to get around the Bondsmage's powers?

I like the idea that magic exists in their world, but they can't use it unless they're a part of the almighty, highly selective and even more secretive group of Bondsmage. From what we've seen so far the sort of things they can do is not as much making-a-feather-fly-by-the-flick-of-a-wand sort of thing as much as controlling-your-mind-by-simply-staring-at-you! For those of you who have read Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, you understand just how difficult and amazing the Falconer's abilities are. He's sort of super-creepy and fascinating at the same time... This time I honestly don't think Locke quite knows what (and who) he's up against...

2. Not a question, but an area for rampant speculation: If you want to take a stab at who you think the Grey King might be, feel free to do it here. 

An insanely wealthy someone who doesn't particularly like Capa Barsavi.

2.5 (since 2 wasn't really a question) Anyone see the Nazca thing coming? Anyone? Do you think there are more crazy turns like this in store for the book? Would you like to speculate about them here? (yes, yes you would)

I actually did not remember that from the first time I read the book! My brain is similar to the one of a goldfish, that's common knowledge, but I've been able to recall most of the storyline until now. So the answer must be: No, I did not see that coming. And yes, I definitely think there will be more turns like this! That's the fantastic thing about Lynch: It's utterly impossible to guess how his brain works, so I never quite know what to expect. Whenever I think I've got it figured out and have the story under control, he does something completely unexpected that makes me sit there with a big "What?" written all over my face! I hate it, and it drives me crazy, but that's what I love so much!

3. When Locke says "Nice bird, arsehole," I lose it. EVERY TIME. And not just because I have the UK version of the book and the word arsehole is funnier than asshole. Have there been any other places in the books so far where you found yourself laughing out loud, or giggling like a crazy person on the subway?

MANY! I think I mentioned it before, but I had to stop reading at the bus because of the possibility of sudden outbursts of laughter. It's even more funny this time around, because now I know what's going to happen next and laugh at almost anything. The scene where young Jean punches young Locke is fantastic. My sister actually demanded to know why I was grinning like a fool for an entire chapter! And of course all the scenes with Locke and the Falconer is a work of magic. Literary.
("I cannot tell you," said the sorcerer, "what a weight it is upon my conscience to learn that we might loose your gracious acceptance.")
And Bug is the very clown of the story, which is proven by comments like:
"Look at me," he said with his mouth half full, "I'm worth more with every bite!"
And the "Liar." "Liar!" "BASTARD!" sequences are just the very definition of the Gentlemen Bastards. (Me and my sister has been quoting this all day, cracking up in laughter like lunatics, and were of course totally misunderstood by everyone else!)
And the list could go on and on...
("You've got that motherly concern in your eyes, Jean. I must look like hammered shit.""Actually you look like you were executed last week...")
The list of small jewels like these is endless, and I think that's the reason this book is not as dark and engrossing as the plot should indicate.

4. By the end of this reading section, have your opinions changed about how clever the Bastards are? Do you still feel like they're "cleverer than all the rest?" Or have they been decidedly outplayed by the Grey King and his Bondsmage?

Locke is clever. There's no doubt about it. He's just not had to deal with people like the Grey King before, and definitly not with a sorcerer. According to me, the King is cheating by letting a Bondsmage handle all the hard work for him. I believe Locke to be the cleverest of the two of them, but he has not yet realized the depths of his wits... It's always come natural to him. It says he was born to steal and con and trick people. He hasn't had to work for it in the way Jean had. But now he suddenly finds himself in a situation where he has to do better than his usual brilliance. He's got to step it up or risk getting stept on...

5. I imagine that you've probably read ahead, since this was a huge cliffhanger of an ending for the "present" storyline, but I'll ask this anyway: Where do you see the story going from here, now that the Grey King is thought to be dead?

Like I confessed, I've read ahead all right! But in my defense, I already knew what was going to happen anyway. But what I can say is: according to good storytelling, things always have to get worse before they can get better...

6. What do you think of the characters Scott Lynch has given us so far? Are they believable? Real? Fleshed out? If not, what are they lacking?

In short: I love them! In my opinion they, especially the Gentlemen Bastards, are so realistic and believable I almost consider them my friends whom I can not visit since they live in the non-excising city of Camorr. I admire the amount of detail Lynch has put into creating every single character. Accent, hair-color, clothes, style, behavior, humor and personality... It's all there. My favorites are Locke and Jean. The way the two of them are so individual and yet so dependent on one another is fascinating, and their friendship is just, i dont know... real? I think the biggest compliment I could give Lynch is that it feels like his characters are making their own choices. That they are the ones deciding how it's all going to end.

7. Now that you've seen how clever Chains is about his "apprenticeships," why do you think he's doing all of this? Does he have an endgame in sight? Is there a goal he wants them to achieve, or is it something more emotional like revenge?

Hm... in fear of saying too much I'm not going to guess to much here. I'm just going to say that I think he formed the Gentlemen Bastards to train them to be the perfect thieves he always wanted to be. By learning them how to avoid the mistakes he'd done... He wants to create the perfect thief...

Look forward to next weeks reading! It will be action-packed!