May 21, 2012

I am still alive! (Red Seas Under Red Skies read-along)

Contrary to common believes I am actually following the read-along... sort of. It's just that right now I'm almost totally buried in exams and reading and such!

In case you haven't heard of the read-along, or just don't know what a read-along actually is, you can find it out by reading this post by our host the Little Red Reviewer. Basically we are a bunch of bloggers from all over the world who are reading and discussing the book Read Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. It's the sequel to The Lies of Locke Lamora and book number two in the Gentlemen Bastards-sequence.

Yes, I am aware of the fact that this read-along started April 23th... A looong time ago! And even though I wanted so badly to participate from the beginning I had to, and still have to, prioritize school, unfortunatly. But I just finished my first of the five exams I'm going to have, so between this one and the next I have some catching up to do here!

I have to mention that I've already read the book once, about two months ago, and I absolutly loved it! Even though I have read quite a lot of books in my life, I have to place this one on the number one spot, just a centimetre over Lies of Locke Lamora.

Since you guys are so far into the read-along, I decided that I'd sum up the three first weeks by answering some of the questions from each section, and then end with this weeks questions at the bottom, so here they are!

Week one:

1. The Sinspire. It looks like our heroes (can they really be called that?) find themselves in search of a way into an unbeatable vault. Do you think they have what it takes to make it happen?
If someone can do it, it has to be Locke and Jean. If it can be done, they'll do it, and if not they'll probably do it anyway just to see what happens if they try. I believe they live for the thrill of doing things other people count as impossible... And that's why we love them!

3. It’s a little different this time around, with us just being focused on Locke and Jean. Is anyone else missing the rest of the Bastards as much as I am?
Well, I have to say I did not miss them as much as I thought I would... But as many of you have pointed out (yes, I actually read your answers every week!), It would have been a whole diferent thing if this book was set in Camorr as well. But Tal Verarr is a whole other story! It's like Lynch raised the bar and took everything to a whole other level, and we have all known for a while that Locke and Jean were and are the cleverest of all the Bastards. It's like they were made to work together, and the dynamic between the two of them is the main thing keeping me from missing the others too much.

4. I love the section where Jean starts to build a new guild of thieves. It really shows just how well trained and tough he is. Do you think the Bastards will end up training others along the way again like Bug?
We have always been told Jean has the muscles and Locke has the brains, but here it suddenly changed. We got to see a whole new side to Jean that I have to say I didn't expect. And I loved it!

Week two:

1. Now that we know a little more about Selendri and Requin, what do you think of them? I worry Locke is suddenly realizing this con might be a bit tougher than he expected.
Everything can not always go perfectly and according to plan! What kind of boring book-ish thing would this be then? That being said, do not underestimate Locke...

5. And who the heck is trying to kill Locke and Jean every few days? they just almost got poisoned (again!)!
I remember suspecting a lot of different people, but I could never figure it out! Not until we got to know, and then I didn't understand anything, and then it all made perfect sense.

6. Do you really think it’s possibly for a city rat like Locke to fake his way onto a Pirate ship?
Haha! It's going to be so funny! The whole thing reminded me quite a bit of the scene from the Mulan-film with the song called "I'll Make A Man Out Of You". Just think about it for a moment and you'll understand exactly how funny the comparison is!

Week three:

1. Locke and Jean’s ability to find themselves at the center of a serious mess seems unparalleled. At this point, do you think that Stragos will get the return he expects on his investment in them?
I never for a second thought he would. I'm cuite like Locke in one thing: We both hate to be forced to do things! I believe they will pretend to play along (just so they won't get killed right away) while their brains are constantly working up alternate planes and possible escape-routes. They are true survivors; Adapt or die.

2. Merrain’s activities after our boys leave Windward Rock are interesting. What do you think her plans are?
Let's just say that we all got the fact that sha's not really a Locke-fan.

3. Does anyone know why having cats aboard the ship is so important?
Well... I think its just a detail Lynch made up just so that he could make Locke forget all about it and get into even bigger troubles than he's already head-first into! And it's such a sweet little thing for big sailors to be arguing and fighting about <3

6. Jean is developing more and more as a character as we get further in to the book. Ezri makes the comment to him that “Out here, the past is a currency, Jerome. Sometimes it’s the only one we have.” I think several interesting possibilities are coming into play regarding Jean and Ezri. What about you?
Like I've probably said a thousand times before, I love Jean. He's just so sweet and down-to-earth and simply a nice guy. He deserves to be happy, so why not with her? I mean, if it was ever going to be someone, it would indeed be a girl like Ezri. Locke is amazing, but he has to let Jean decide over his own life and not hold him down...


1) I was much relieved when Jean and Locke made up, which started with Locke’s gesture of a cup full of honesty with Cpt. Drakasha. Do you think that was hard for Locke? Or was he using this bit of honesty like any other weapon in his arsenal to get what he wants in the end?
Absolutely everything Locke does is done for a reason. Wether its conscious or unconscious from his side... I was just glad the thing with Jean worked out. They are close to perfect together as well as they fulfill each other, so it was about time Locke apologized so that they could continue to get in impossible and deadly situationes together!

2) The Parlor Passage: We still don’t know Locke’s true name, but whatever was in that mist does. What do you think it is?
Honestly, at this point i'd rather not know. It's a part of his identity, his image. We are not supposed to know his true name. Because if we get to know it, and if it's horrible and not at all like I imagined it, it will kind of ruin a part of the picture of Locke in my mind... If he's going to have a name, it had to be perfect! And that's close to impossible.

3) There was an interesting section of the book that started about where Locke assisted Drakasha in selling the Red Messenger; he put on the persona of Leocanto Kosta and used the alias Tavras Callas and then Drakasha was still thinking of him as Ravelle….. Did using all those various aliases in such a short amount of time have your mind spinning a little? Do you think Lynch did this on purpose to give the reader a sense of Locke’s mind?
"The speed with which they'd assumed these roles led Zamira to infer they'd used theme elsewere."
I love the Sherlock Holmes-films. The ones with Robert Downey Jr. They clearly shows us what goes on inside the head of the mastermind himself! That's what I feel happened here. Normally we (the readers) only have to remember one of Locke and Jean's aliases, but here we truly get a sence of just how complicated their trade is looking from the inside out! The other thing I love about this scene is the fact that Drakasha finally gets to see just how talented Locke is in his true element: Scams and deception-games. He's an artist! I mean Orrin Ravelle, Jerome Valora, Locke Lamora, Leocanta Kosta, Jean Tannen, Jerome De Ferra and who knows how many more! No wonder Drakasha got a little confused...

5) Jean and Ezri. Cue dove-cooing and little winged hearts with sparkles. Do you think Jean will stay with the Poison Orchid or that Ezri will leave her ship to pal around with Jean and Locke?
Aw! I just love them! Like I said, they both deserve some happiness and love. But no matter how, one of them is going to have to give up their entire life as it is today, and I'm not really sure of who I want it to be. I mean, you have all seen just how good sea-legs Jean's got, but I really don't want him to leave Locke. And honestly, Locke is just not made for a life at sea...

7) So last week we hashed over that Merrain killed some of Stragos’s guards on Windward Rock. But when Jean and Locke visit him, he doesn’t mention it. What is up with that?
He just wants the results, no matter how they get there. But trust me, he's just the kind of guy that saves information like this for later use to his own benefit...

8) This week’s section left us where the book began – Jean pointing a crossbow at Locke’s throat. Do you think Jean knows who sent these crossbowers? Is he on their side? Is it a clever ploy to get him and Locke out of this predicament? Did you find it excruciatingly hard to stop here?
In danger of spilling a lot of spoilers I'm not saying anything... All I have to say is that, for a minute, I could not breathe. Can't wait to discuss this next week though!