krait: Ilisidi riding her mecheita (Foreigner - mecheita)
[personal profile] krait
Aaaaaaaaaand we have finally come to the end of things! This is the discussion post for chapter 14-16, our final section.

I hope everyone has had fun -- I've definitely loved the entire experience, and thank you all very much for being such amazing co-readers! :D Congratulations on making it all the way through.

Thoughts on the last section: has it gone in directions you expected at the beginning? Has your view of Bren, the atevi, or anyone else changed dramatically? Do you have a favourite part, or a least-favourite section? Things you still want to know? Secret yearnings to ride mecheita-back over the mountains (or to never set foot near such a beast)? :D

Reactions to the end section

Date: 2011-06-24 12:34 am (UTC)
pebblerocker: A stern elderly alien woman. (Aiji-dowager)
From: [personal profile] pebblerocker
This section is really hard on Bren. Ouch, he's already had his basement interrogation, hasn't had a rest, is having major flashbacks to it constantly, and now he's getting tortured again! And forgetting, in the pain, which question it is he's not going to answer. I'm impressed that he was able to remember his computer codes and get it locked off to protect his files.

You know, if this was fanfic, the author's motivations would be awfully familiar to me in all these scenes of her pretty-haired main character getting tied up and beaten and rained on and frightened and cold. Surely pro writers don't have such unseemly fascinations, I keep thinking! But with the amount of punishment Bren takes through the series, perhaps some of them do.

Without any relevant training Bren did very well (and/or was very lucky) to evade the search parties. The assassin school should give him a few courses in this sort of thing! Banichi and Jago mainly want him to learn to obey them in situation where their expertise is relevant, and stop running around unpredictably under fire, but from the bedroom intrusion to the Wigairiin fight he's acquitted himself surprisingly well -- and his guards can't always be around him.

Banichi and Jago turning up at the last possible second deserves an epic orchestral score! Hooray, they're saved! I didn't remember exactly what happened in this part so it was edge-of-seat reading for me again.

Everyone seems much happier with Bren on the plane on the way out. They're all more relaxed now that they're out of immediate danger and they've got the paidhi in their hands in one piece, but are they also pleased with him for showing much more understandable and admirable reactions than he has been? Bren giving himself up to save Ilisidi makes perfect sense to atevi, even though he's not feeling exactly what they would; are they all happier with him now he's apparently revealed where his man'chi lies and is behaving rationally?

Oh, a thought hits -- now that he's shown that he'll run to Ilisidi's side in crisis, does it mean that he's a potential opponent to Tabini, no longer Tabini's man as he's always claimed? What ARE the atevi on the plane thinking of him? I don't remember if this is explicitly discussed in the next book or not.

Re: Reactions to the end section

Date: 2011-06-24 04:21 am (UTC)
cheyinka: An ateva riding a mecheita through the snow. (atevi)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
Cherryh's pretty young men tend to get tied up, beaten, rained on, frightened, and chilled, now that I think about it. Maybe Ilisidi is her author-avatar? ;)

And thanks to our host!

Date: 2011-06-24 12:44 am (UTC)
pebblerocker: A stern elderly alien woman. (Aiji-dowager)
From: [personal profile] pebblerocker
I have enjoyed this read-through very much and have come away with new understanding of parts of the book and new viewpoints on the material. Thank you very much for inviting us to take part and organising everything! I wish I had been more onto it and hadn't fallen behind in a few parts; I should also have kept a pencil and paper handy while I was reading, to help me remember what parts I wanted to talk about -- a few times I've ended up sitting at the computer completely blank. Something to remember for next time -- and I would be very glad to join you in reading through the rest of the series. Conspirator and Deceiver turned up by courier yesterday, so I'm all go!

Actually I think I'd really like a mecheiti ride through the wilderness, if no bombs were falling and there wasn't too much rain.

Date: 2011-06-24 04:20 am (UTC)
cheyinka: An ateva riding a mecheita through the snow. (atevi)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
I really don't remember what I expected to see out of the next books - my mind immediately leapt to what happens in #2! :) I do still want to ride a mecheita, but I think I want to ride one that's... docile. :p

"Leaving [the computer] for anyone else was asking too much of Fortune and relying far too much on Chance." So it seems [personal profile] pebblerocker was right that Fortune is specifically good luck, and Chance is chaos. On the other hand, naji is what favored the deserving, according to chapters 7 and 8 - maybe Fortune is more like your starting position and Chance is your, uh, chance to win no matter what that position is?

And then Bren goes to make sure the shot ateva is dead before leaving him - once again, the human desire to "leave no one behind". Bren, these people want you dead, I think the ateva would have been okay with being found by someone who isn't one of the rebels, if he'd been alive! :[

I love the "false password equals mixed up everything" setting - much nicer than "wrong password erases everything", which is, I think, the best we have now.

Date: 2011-07-24 09:16 am (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Foreigner)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
Urgh, so obviously discussion posts twice a week was too much for me, because once you get behind, catching up proves too hard!

I'm giving up on commenting coherently on the rest of the posts, but wanted to stop and say thanks for organizing this - I did read a whole novel front to back, a much too rare occurrence these days, and it was something I wouldn't have chosen on my own, and it was something I wasn't particularly thrilled with, so I was challenged, which is good, too :o)

The biggest reason why the book didn't work for me, if you want to know (when I like something, I'm not always interested in the details of why other people didn't - I like my squee unharshed, *g*), is the tell, don't show. I felt like 90-95% of the book was tell instead of show, and not just tell, but tell and re-telling. Like, something would happen (the precious 5-10% show) or have happened in the past (more tell, *sigh*), and then Bren would think about what happened. What could have happened. What should have happened. And just in case we missed it, what did happen, again! It didn't work for me.

Also, Atevi society and mentality was somewhat clearer at the end of the novel, but for the largest part I really struggled understanding how it worked/they thought, and it was too hard a struggle with too few answers to be very satisfying for me.

But again, I'm happy I read it, so thanks!

Date: 2011-07-26 04:05 pm (UTC)
blnchflr: Captain America Civil War (Default)
From: [personal profile] blnchflr
I'm afraid I'm totally put off ever reading anything by Cherry again - her writing style really doesn't work for me.

Instead I need to remember to track down Nor Crystal Tears at some point!


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