mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Feathered serpents and such

Finished the Acatl trilogy finally. I think I'm simply not on de Bodard's wavelength because I found it a confusing read from start to end, which either means the author isn't using the tropes I'm used to or is following a narrative line I can't. Here nothing seems to happen for a long time until suddenly there's a solution. This is not how mysteries are supposed to work.

Disaster threatens in each book-- really seriously bad stuff, possibilities of mass deaths in unpleasant fashions-- and Acatl spends his time saying 'We must do something', only 'something' tends to default to interviewing people, getting a bad feeling from what they're saying- or not saying- and then going away before he learns anything solid. Or telling his priests to get information on somebody's background instead of, I dunno, dealing with epidemics and people dying? Or indulging in family-type banter with his sister, 'ohh noes she'll be really mad at us now' fashion, while umm the population of the city is going to be wiped out any minute, had you noticed?

And while I know people at the top tend to be obstructive, the mass uselessness of the high priests here kind of boggles belief. On account of the population of the city is going to be wiped out any minute, had you noticed, guys?

Acatl seems to operate in a fog most of the time, which makes the story he's in seem, well, foggy. At least there's a point where he does do something in the end, but I wish I'd understood why better.

This doesn't seem to have bothered most people on Goodreads, so it may just be me. Or, as I sometimes suspect, it doesn't bother people because they skim rather than read, so the bumpfy unclear stuff passes them by.
Tags: history, reading_14

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