June 28th, 2013


Scout's Progress, by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, and The Hundred Days, by Patrick O'Brian

I've slowed down a lot in reading lately -- I seem to be mostly re-reading my own work instead of other people's.

I read Scout's Progress three weeks ago, in fact, during my staycation. I am not sure how to review it. I was thinking of it as an sf romance, like the previous book in the series, Local Custom. But the denouement is incredibly unsatisfying -- not in the sense of 'surprising' or 'unpleasant for the characters' but more 'missing'. The book did not exactly hit the climax and then stop, but I almost feel like it did. In romance, more than any other genre, I expect a joyful-union scene -- not a wedding, but some scene where the characters, having finally dealt with the obstacles that stood in their way, talk to one another and it's all sweet and tender and they go over how happy they are, etc., and this book just skipped that. I actually poked at the Internet to see if someone had written a fanfic denouement to make up for the one the book lacks. (Didn't find anything.) I'd liked the book pretty well up until the abrupt stop, but the lack of closure really bugs me. I actually found myself thinking a couple of times afterwards, "I should finish reading that book OH WAIT I DID". It was very abrupt. I'll rate it a 6.


I am mad at O'Brian over The Hundred Days. People who've read the series will know why. Apart from being mad,I found this one of the less engaging installments -- I felt distanced from most of the characters in this one. And there's not enough Aubrey. There are some good parts, like the black comedy of the political situation in Algiers (where they go through rulers faster than news of the last ruler's stance can travel). Giving it a 7.