Baker, Kage: (08) The Sons of Heaven

Well, I’ve finished Kage Baker’s Company series with The Sons of Heaven. What can I say about it outside of spoiler protection?

  • I really, really hate what happens with Mendoza. Only having read nine prior books kept me reading past chapter 7.
  • Unfortunately a lot of the resolution of the overall plot depends on Mendoza’s thread, and so it’s hard for me to decide whether I find the conclusion satisfactory. Certain elements of it, sure, but overall? Can’t really say.
  • Similarly, there are a lot of players to keep track of by this point, and the book spends a lot of time shifting among them. I think some of them might deserve more time, and a late addition was gratuitous, but again, can’t really say.
  • Though I’m pretty sure that all of the major questions get answered in terms of what happens to everyone and so on.
  • As someone who is (1) an adopted child and (2) 39 weeks pregnant, I find the attitude the novel takes toward children really very peculiar indeed.

Thus, between the pacing issues I’ve been mentioning and the serious problems I had with this book, I can’t recommend the series. But a quick look around the Internet suggests that most people’s reactions were far more positive than mine, so, well, who knows?

A spoiler post follows.


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  1. That’s kind of disappointing to hear. On the other hand, if I follow your advice it’s a bunch of books I can scratch off my “to-read” list, which would be just as well. And Baker has a prequel to The Anvil of the World coming out soon if I want to read her in particular.

  2. It’s tricky, because while for some people the series jumped the shark with book 4, for me it wasn’t until all the way at the end . . . It’s like the Dark Tower series, you can’t predict how people will react to the ending without spoiling it for them, which is unfair, but on the other hand it’s a heck of a time investment.
    At least the books in this series are pretty short and fast reads. I think I’d need to put three of them together to match any one Jordan or Martin volume.

  3. Yeah, it’s short enough that I may break down and read it eventually anyway.
    I started reading Martin and after two volumes decided to wait until the series was finally done, so I could a)decide if it would ultimately be worth my time and b)not have to re-read the early volumes so many times (as many characters and plot threads as he has, there is no way I would remember what was going on from one book to the next if I didn’t re-read).

  4. I also stopped Martin after two books and for the same reasons, though one of the ways Chad & I pass time on long car drives is him telling me the plots (also for Jordan and Erikson).

  5. I’m not sorry to have read the series; the early books *were* very good, and there were some extremely cool ideas floated here and there. I hated the ending, but in an odd sort of way the ending was so divergent from where I would have expected it to go that I can almost pretend it never happened. Kind of like all of those alleged Star Wars movies after “The Empire Strikes Back”…

  6. So… if my reaction to the second-to-last one was “What the HELL happened to Mendoza’s personality?” is it better that I leave this one unread?

  7. Melissa: Yes.

  8. AARGH. Okay, heading off to read your spoiler review.

  9. Aaaaaand now returning from said review with the following highly intellectual comment:

  10. Melissa, if you want explication–since the spoiler review was written for people who’ve read the book–feel free to ask over there.
    But, yeah.

  11. I think I’m one of the book-4-shark-jumping people. Part of it may just be that I’ve always found Mendoza profoundly irritating. But part of it is that there’s a point where I just felt like, okay, can we get to the finale now?

  12. mythago: okay, can we get to the finale now?
    Yeah, I hear you.

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