The Rising by Ian Tregillis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
You know, I just can't tell whether this novel just happens to have solved any of the issues of the one directly prior to it, whether I preferred it because it was filled with a lot less outright torture, whether this just happened to tickle all my funnybones at exactly the right time, or whether I've just gotten used to the writing style and it just doesn't bother me anymore.
Any way I look at it, though, I loved this second novel. I had no issues with any of the main characters, even if mr. robot suddenly changed his name to Daniel. Wtf? Anyway. It doesn't matter. He's still awesome.
Longchamp turns out to be one hell of a military leader and the blood and guts sections are mercifully spread out and don't overwhelm the flow of the text. That being said, it injected quite a bit of life in the tale.
Berenice, as untrustworthy as she is, made a truly interesting and wonderful addition to this novel. I liked her much better here than in the first, but that may be mostly because she redeemed herself by the end of the first, at least as a cool character. :)
More than anything, the denouement of this novel was truly fantastic. It's one thing to have disparate characters doing their own things for wildly different reasons, but it's essential that the whole package gets giftwrapped and handed to us, the eager readers. What can I say? The payoff was DELICIOUS.
There were a TON of great reversals and high-tension moments throughout the novel. It is a gem of pacing.
But most of all, the end of this novel was what I expected to happen at the end of the first novel, so now, all my faith has been restored. Hell, I wouldn't have minded at all if The Mechanical and The Rising get re-released as a single novel. Or who knows, include the third in as well, once it gets released. And then we'll all sigh a grand sigh of relief. :)
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