After reading Max Gladstone’s Three Parts Dead, I had been looking forward to its sequel for a while. I had made a New Year’s resolution to read 100 books in 2015 and I decided, why not start the sequel to one of my favorite books and have that be the first book of my New Year? Surely it would be a good start to my future readings!
Boy, was I wrong.
Two Serpents Rise was… okay. I liked it. But I was expecting more.
The main problem was the structure of the story. I took the climax to be the major event, a battle actually, that happened in the middle of the book. With quite a few pages left, I was wondering why it felt as if I was reading a falling action. And then the end of the book finally came, and along with it, a second climax. But at this point it wasn’t as exciting as the first one had been.
I am starting to be able to tell the difference between when writing is exciting for the writer and when it is work, and while there are many cool things that happen in this book that wouldn’t happen in others (talking skeletons and living water, for example), it feels that an effort had to be made to get the story out. Gladstone’s overuse of rhetorical literary devices, especially when he was trying to surprise the reader, hurt rather than helped the story.
The book had a lot of visual action. I think it would be better as a screenplay.