- Audiobook Review: Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone | The BiblioSanctum
- Audiobook Review: Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone
- GIVE US THE 140-CHARACTER STORY PITCH FOR TWO SERPENTS RISE.
Ritual human sacrifice, zombies, giant serpents, fallen gods, ghosts, spirits Gladstone's writing has improved on Three Parts Dead. Sentences like "Sickly blue-green luminescence shone from everywhere and nowhere at once, casting no shadows — undigested remnants of light, vomited up by their adversary. I also liked the side characters. I wish the story had been about The King in Red and his adversary, Alaxic. They had more depth than Caleb and Mal put together. This is a case of a book not working for me but that doesn't mean it won't for you. View 1 comment. Sep 18, Carly rated it it was amazing Shelves: high-fantasy.
For me, the worldbuilding, the ideas, the questions, the pure conceptual brilliance not only saved the book but made it memorable. However, while the setup was promising, the first half of the plot was in desperate need of resuscitation. Caleb Altemoc, risk analyst, is called out to a gruesome death by one of the reservoirs he had assessed. Plot-driving actions often depend on flimsy or nonsensical reasoning, and the protagonist is the worst of the bunch. Put it this way: Caleb's only explanation for a series of idiotic actions is a nearly-fatal case of Instalove.
As his friend puts it: "You're infatuated. I want to help her. She burns. She's a verb. What was the point of Mal wearing a tracking necklace? Why did she kill her runner friends, given that the attack on them was really only a side issue to the suicide-bombing goddess? Why did the radical leader kill a bunch of people and then commit suicide? His desire to leave the world for the next generation just makes no sense to me.
Why didn't Temoc bow out of Caleb's thing and just go off and kill one of his followers, saving all the trouble and risk of getting into the pyramid? Caleb's city is a vibrant, clashing, kitchen-sink conglomeration of modern, Mayan, and magic, with pyramids and floating towers jostling for space with coffee houses and poker bars.
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The world is heavily influenced by Aztec and Mayan mythology and culture, but with a modern twist. Like the ancient Aztecs, Quechaltans are passionately engaged in ullamaliztli called "ullamal" in the book , and while the religious backstories of the games are different, in both cases, the game transformed into a spectator pastime that is nearly a religion in its own right.
The Wardens, who act as the city's police, supervise the streets from the backs of Couatl, and there are health and safety regulations for monster invasions. It's a crazy, quixotic mismatch of pragmatic and folkloric, with gods and magic and visibly effective religions, with nightmare telegraphs, zombie cleaning staffs, and god-driven desalination plants, and with most people just getting on with their lives. One of the things I adore about these books is that the gods of Gladstone's world become the analogues of our massive institutions.
Craft, the magic of the world, is fueled by agreements and contracts, and its dependence on soulstuff in turn fuels the economy.
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Two Serpents Rise tackles the aftermath of revolution: "There is one thing you must understand about destroying gods, boy. The real problem with revolutions, as visionaries have discovered over and over, is what to do once the revolution is complete: once the world has started turning, how can one bring it back to rest, to stability? They had spent the time since learning how hard it was to run a world. But while it's tempting to "put a fence around history and hang a plaque and assume it's over," not everyone is willing to forget.
Civil unrest focuses on restoring the eminence of the gods, with the last of the priests--Caleb's father-- at the epicenter of the chaos. The story revolves around the still-reverberating repercussions of the God Wars. The world has lost the blood, the spectacle, the viscerality of the sacrifice, but is it really any less cruel? We do the same today, only we spread the one death out over millions.
We no longer empathize with the victim, lie with him on the slab. We forget, and believe forgetfulness is humane. You've not eliminated sacrifices, you've democratized them--everyone dies a little every day, and the poor and desperate are the worst injured [ As one character puts it, "My problem isn't that we no longer sacrifice, it's that we're no longer conscious of the sacrifices we make.
That's what gods are for. Caleb's definition of sacrifice--that discovering the ugly underside and then accepting it is necessary-- is an insult to the very meaning of the word. To live, you rip your own heart from your chest and hide it in a box somewhere, along with everything you ever learned about justice, compassion, mercy.
Would you bring back the blood, the dying cries, the sucking chest wounds? The constant war? So we're caught between two poles of hypocrisy. We sacrifice our right to think of ourselves as good people, our right to think our life is good, our city is just. And so we and our city both survive.
It's entitlement. It's exploitation. And we all do it all the time. But we do it because it's the easy thing to do. It's the polar opposite of sacrifice, and this becomes a central theme of the book. But faced with the need to dirty your own hands, you shudder. While I don't think picking up the knife actually solves the problem, for much of the book, I found myself on Temoc's side instead of Caleb's. And at the end, Caleb finally understands: "You can't sacrifice other people anymore. You have to sacrifice yourself.
Caleb refuses to make "one sacrifice," but he's willing to let millions of nameless people die while he tries to save that one. Nameless people are dying in the streets, from the chaos, from the Tzimet, from the freaking massive serpents parading downtown. But according to Hero Arithmetic, they don't matter. They don't have names. Their deaths simply don't count, certainly not to the extent of taking a different life to save them all. Their deaths are at Caleb's door because he had the opportunity to save them and did not.
This isn't to say I think sacrificing a random person is a good idea, but what about a willing sacrifice? Sometimes it has to be about the numbers, or it becomes the grossest form of inequality. Caleb's personality is revealed through his interactions with his best friend, with the King in Red, and, in particular, his father. To put it mildly, Caleb has daddy issues, which isn't particularly surprising given that Caleb works for the man who declaims Temoc as a terrorist.
Temoc has his own spin on fathering; he worries about his child's career: "There's no more priesthood, and what are kids to do these days when there are no more reliable careers involving knives, altars, and bleeding victims? I love you. You work for godless sorcerers who I'd happily gut on the altar of that pyramid"--he pointed to Sansilva-- and you are part of a system that will one day destroy our city and our planet, but I still love you. Thanks, Dad. You know what?
Audiobook Review: Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone | The BiblioSanctum
I don't care that the plot was a bit of a mess. The characters, worldbuilding, and questions of Two Serpents Rise are stellar enough to make up the difference. View all 9 comments. Mar 07, Amanda rated it really liked it Shelves: arc , blog. When demons are planted in the city's water supply, Red King Consolidated, the utility that provides water to the city, suspects religious fanatics eager for the return of the gods or good old-fashioned corporate competition.
Caleb Altemoc, a risk manager for the omnipresent Red King Consolidated and son of Temoc, a wanted religious terrorist, is sent to investigate. He soon finds himself falling for a potentially dangerous woman, questioning his loyalties to his employer and to his father, and learning that the deified twin serpents of Dresediel Lex survived the God Wars and slumber as they await an eclipse that will awaken a hunger that can only be sated with blood sacrifice.
Two Serpents Rise returns us to the world--if not the characters and city of Alt Coulumb--presented in Three Parts Dead , and this is a brilliant move on the part of author Max Gladstone. Neatly side-stepping the tendency of many authors to get locked into one character and a formulaic plot structure for a never-ending series, Gladstone continues to create this unnamed world of magic and technology that is at once primitive and futuristic, where humans and gods coexist.
This world provides Gladstone with a broad canvas for his impressive, imaginative world-building, and he is at his best when writing of the terrible majesty of the gods, as fantastically varied as the cultures that spawn them. However, these gods, brought into existence by man's faith, have been destroyed or harnessed after the God Wars, when mankind realized they could kill what they had created or restructure the power of the gods to serve the needs of modern man. The mythologies created by Gladstone capture the primal need for the divine and the rational, "civilized" mind's rejection of religious fanaticism--a dichotomy represented in the character of Caleb.
The son of a once powerful Eagle Knight priest desperate to cling to the old ways of blood sacrifice, Caleb rejects the brutal and barbaric religion of his father, but is uncomfortable with the manner in which defeated gods have been utilized by concerns like Red King Consolidated to meet the needs of the people. As Caleb seeks the source of the water contamination, he must come to moral terms with Dresediel Lex's problematic history and the cultural divide created in the wake of the God Wars. Caleb's contentious relationship with his father provides the novel with more depth than one might expect of a standard fantasy novel, and I found myself wishing that Gladstone had jettisoned Caleb's strained, awkward, and perplexing romantic relationship with Mal in favor of more interaction between father and son.
The mystery at the core of Two Serpents Rise , when stripped of its magical accouterments, is fairly standard, but serviceable to moving the plot forward. There are few surprises and maybe a few too many red herrings and segues into nonessential plot elements, but these quibbles are fairly minor when stacked against the entertainment to be found in exploring Gladstone's complex, layered world. View 2 comments. Dresediel Lex sprawled below: fifteen thousand miles of roads gleaming with ghostlight and gas lamps. Between boulevards crouched the houses and shops and apartment buildings, bars and banks, theaters and factories and restaurants, where seventeen million people drank and loved and danced and worked and died.
People there live like we do. The over-populated, desert city of Dresediel Lex is also run by corporations; it used to be run by gods, priests, and ceremonial human sacrifices. The legal system is a tangled mess. The water system is like that as well. Their police force is made up of cloaked, ghoul-like figures that ride barely-tamed flying serpentine creatures. But since the story is told from the perspective of a young professional, the sights and scenes and thoughts permeating the prose are rather prosaic and pedestrian, which takes the joy and wonder out of the conglomerate, magical, world-building efforts on display.
Try to forget. The post-revolution atmosphere in this Aztec-inspired city, on the other hand, is well portrayed in the book. I particularly like how everyday life is shown as normal and mundane with the general masses going about their daily business, and no one seems to be aware of the undercurrents of the side that lost the God Wars simmering beneath the surface.
Just because the fight part of the revolution is over doesn't mean the revolution is actually over. Sixty years ago, the King in Red had shattered the sky over Dresediel Lex, and impaled gods on thorns of starlight. The last of his flesh had melted away decades past, leaving smooth bone and a constant grin. He was a good boss. But who could forget what he had been, and what remained? Anything that can go wrong, will—with a set probability given certain assumptions. We tell you how to fix it, and what you should have done to keep it from happening in the first place. At times like these, I become a hindsight professional.
Then he is called to investigate a death at a water reserve, which kicks off the central mystery. We do get to see the city up close and hear about all the things that make it tick though. During the investigation, Caleb runs into an attractive but elusive cliff runner, Mal. His instinct tells him she is somehow tied up in this thing, but his hormones persuade him to look the other way and not to dwell on the details. Then the backup water source located outside the city is also sabotaged.
The King in Red is in the middle of acquiring a new water-related asset, Heartstone, and the deal is settled but still shaky. The titular two serpents do rise at the end of the book before being put back to rest. Everything is tied up in a tangled web. Caleb almost refused on principle, but principle had no place on company time. The moment he chased after Mal, I got it and the book started making sense for me. For Caleb, it was Mal. For me, it was an elusive foreign account that was flirting with a possible merger.
And it was during this chase that I realized I hated the job. Hated the office culture, hated the environment that bred that kind of culture, hated the people I saw every day, hated the people I had to answer to. And I hated helping a Big 5 corp become even bigger. So I left and found a home-grown, grass-root startup that was just starting out. I appreciate the work and creativity that went into making it entertaining though. View all 15 comments.
Nov 30, Athena marked it as abandoned-reads Recommends it for: really determined UF readers. Shelves: at-library , fantasy-sf , native-american , paranormal. This is the second book in Gladstone's Craft Sequence series which I finally gave up on as it was just annoying. He was too busy packing in oddness to pay much attention to either characters or plot. It all feels far This is the second book in Gladstone's Craft Sequence series which I finally gave up on as it was just annoying. It all feels far too forced, as though Gladstone was determined to create a non-Eurocentric culture for his book and by golly he was gonna see it through, even though the resulting culture he created doesn't really stand up to scrutiny a little bit of Aztec over here, a little bit of Maya over there, a little bit of WTF over behind the sofa - sometimes you just need to Put Down the Research Materials, boy!
Too many throw-away references to things offstage, such as giant lizards hauling freight loads because he's determined to avoid the wheel, and too much trivial staged weirdness - it all dams up the flow of the story. Gladstone is a good enough writer to not need all this convoluted stuff littering his landscape. His editors bear some of the blame: they needed more ruthlessness with their red pencils and less naive fascination with the 'exotic' Native American roots of the cultural setting. I blame the East Coast bias of most editing; Two Serpents really needed an editor from the Southwest who would've been less easily taken in by the terrible coolness of it all.
I will go on to the third book in the series at some point, but that's based on the power of Gladstone's first book and in spite of this one. View all 6 comments. Oct 20, The Captain rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy. Ahoy there me mateys! So earlier in the year, wendy the biliosanctum set me on a series of adventures that led to me reading the first book in The Craft Sequence, three parts dead. I absolutely loved it. So when I saw the second book, I picked it up without even reading the blurb.
So I was completely not prepared for what I found. Ye see, the first book centers around a first year associate named Tara whose firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao is hired to go to a cit Ahoy there me mateys! Ye see, the first book centers around a first year associate named Tara whose firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao is hired to go to a city called Alt Coulumb to discover who killed the God, Kos, and bring him back to life if they can.
It was full of action and super clever. Surprisingly, the second book had nothing to do with the first, even if it is set in the same world. I love companion novels, so there was no problem with that. The book follows a middling risk assessment manager named Caleb Altemoc in the city of Dresediel Lex. His firm, Red King Consolidated, manages the water of the city, among other things. When the water is tainted, Caleb is sent to help clean up the mess and while there meets a cliff-runner named Mal. All hell starts to break loose in both his professional and personal lives.
Can Caleb discover who is behind the water crisis and help fix it before the city consumes itself? I really wanted to like this book but it ended up being only an okay read. Unlike Tara in the first book, Caleb is kinda lame. He is smart, dedicated, and a good friend. But sadly he seems to lack the fire and grit of Tara. The first book had a lot more well-drawn characters overall.
That I figured out early on. However, I was never in any danger of not finishing this book because I needed to know how the author was going to resolve the problems. The ending was certainly fun and thoughtful. Wish me luck. Nov 16, daisy rated it liked it. Tentative three stars. Rating may be lowered later idk. Also this review is a mess, I'm gonna come back and fix it up later, so just ignore how messy it is lmao This was I really enjoyed Three Parts Dead because it was refreshing and different, filled with characters I grew to love and had an intriguing plot that drew me in.
This novel had the world-building elements that I adored from the first novel, but the main character and his love interest, Tentative three stars. This novel had the world-building elements that I adored from the first novel, but the main character and his love interest, the plot?
He finds her at the scene of a crime, one that cost the life of a man and put many others at risk, and from that moment onwards the novel is him running after her and trying to justify every poor decision made in an attempt to catch her. In all honesty, Mal felt like a manic pixie dream girl.
I found it difficult to care about her even slightly, and though I wanted to like Caleb - he is the main protagonist, afterall - I found myself rolling my eyes at him with every shitty choice he made. The plot itself could have been incredibly interesting, but it was so bogged down by the forced relationship that it ended up being a pain to get through. Also it was fairly obvious that view spoiler [Mal was involved somehow, I don't know how Caleb failed to notice that. Too busy trying to date her, I guess, jfc. I adore Teo and her girlfriend Sam, Kopil is a fascinating character probably the most interesting of the entire cast and I'm eager to learn more about him.
I do still adore the world and I'm eager to see more of it and get back to Tara, my fave, so I'll definitely be reading on, but Yeah, this one was a wee bit disappointing. Executive Summary: This book is more of the so-so Urban Fantasy that has turned me off of the subgenre. It's not bad, but there are a lot of better books out there. Full Review I generally don't like much Urban Fantasy, but there are some exceptions. I'm a sucker for book deals though, and I'd heard good things about this one so I picked up the entire series on the cheap. I was happy to find that I rather enjoyed Three Parts Dead and was eager to jump into this one.
Unfortunately I never really g Executive Summary: This book is more of the so-so Urban Fantasy that has turned me off of the subgenre. Unfortunately I never really got into this book until right near the end. I thought Caleb was a far less interesting protagonist. It could be that it's because he's not a craft user.
Then again I did like the world building his character brought to the magic system. It'd probably be boring if everyone was a craft user. I'd probably say the additions to the magic system were the main highlight of this book for me. The supporting characters were much better than Caleb. In particular found Caleb's father a great addition.
The relationship between him and his son helped carry much of the middle part of the book. The other supporting character I liked was Mal.
Audiobook Review: Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone
I was a lot more interested in learning about her than Caleb. Overall I found this book a bit on the slow side until the final part. It wasn't nearly as good as the first book in the series. I hear good things about Full Fathom Five , and I already own it, so I'm sure I'll end up reading it up before too long.
GIVE US THE 140-CHARACTER STORY PITCH FOR TWO SERPENTS RISE.
Apr 09, Izzy rated it it was ok Shelves: 2-stars , boring , read-in , urban-fantasy-and-steampunk. Max Gladstone went to Yale, where he wrote a short story that became a finalist in the Writers of the Future competition. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Skip to main content. Event date:. Tuesday, November 19, - pm. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future, her family, and her world before they are lost to her for good. The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction - but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.
Not entirely. Not yet. Award-winning author Fonda Lee explodes onto the adult fantasy scene with Jade City , an epic saga reminiscent of The Godfather with magic and kung fu, set in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis. Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for - and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion. Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon's bustling capital city.
Listen along as Tanis Parenteau's impeccable narration, capturing the rhythms of Navajo speech, fully envelopes you into the Sixth World. Trail of Lightning follows our heroine as she walks the land alongside gods, heroes of legend, and monsters alike. When a gruesome murder is discovered at the Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches theoretical magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister - without losing herself. For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven.
He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven's Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven's watch, the city flourishes. But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts.
As the White King springs his great trap, and the Chromeria itself is threatened by treason and siege, Kip Guile and his companions will scramble to return for one impossible final stand. In the darkest hour, will the Lightbringer come? Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light.
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Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief - no matter what actually happens during combat. Foreverywhere tells the tale of a young unicorn perhaps the last on Earth?! Will this group of misfits be able to rise above? Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc - casual gambler and professional risk manager - to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex.
At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him. But Caleb has more to worry about than the demonvinfestation, Mal, or job security when he discovers that his father - the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists - has broken into his home and is wanted in connection with the attacks on the water supply. From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns.
They sleep on water, they dance in fire, and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring A much weaker installment than the first audiobook.
4840.ru/components/handy/wamad-telefoon-hacken-via.php The narration was slightly better than Three Parts Dead which doesn't take much , but still awkward enough to continuously pull you out of immersion. The story for this one is weaker than the initial offering, which is too bad, since the premise was so good. I loved the "first" Craft Sequence book, but this was even better.
Gladstone has created a really fascinating world where the relationship between magic and faith is extremely important This book uses that conflict to explore themes of duty and terrorism, presenting layered characters who are each trying to do what they think is right and best for the city that they love.
Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. This book is set in the same world as Three Parts Dead but in a different city with completely different characters. Caleb Altemoc is our hero in this tale. While he investigates the source, and a possible way to do the cleansing, he runs into Mal, a cliff runner who has some answers and a hidden agenda.
This book was just a tad more fun than Three Parts Dead. Much of the city Dresediel Lex is based on ancient Mesoamerican cultures and I really reveled in that. The setting was so rich, from the food to the architecture to the slang. From this backdrop, we get the myths about the Two Serpents and what that means to various groups controlling the city.
The current political group rose to power some decades ago, but supporters of the old ways, including human sacrifice, still abound. He use to be a high priest among the ruling class and performed many human sacrifices.