Pierce, Tamora: (116) Bloodhound

My backlog here is kind of alarming, so I apologize for what’re likely to be some pretty sketchy catch-up posts.

Let’s start with Tamora Pierce’s Bloodhound, sequel to Terrier. Like that book, this is the diary of Beka Cooper, now a full Guardswoman. It takes place mostly outside of Corus, Tortall’s capital city, because she’s sent to help track down a counterfeiting ring.

I didn’t like this as well as the last one for a couple of reasons. It felt a little long and a little defensive about the importance and excitement of chasing counterfeiters. And for no reason that I can pinpoint, I find Beka’s diary entries about romance and sex acutely embarrassing: I don’t object to Pierce’s handling of these topics generally, it’s something about Beka’s narration. Which also reminds me that every time Beka mentioned that she was out really late and wrote this before sleeping or whatever, it wrecked my suspension of disbelief. She’s writing in a compressed cipher, sure, but it’s a 500+ page hardcover, and so I have a really hard time accepting that she’s actually handwriting out these entries in her copious free time.

My ancient notes to myself read “okay but never felt awesome,” and I’m going to stick by that impression now.


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  1. I’m not a fan of first person narrative in general, and here it seems fairly tortured and makes the character seem rather dense. I think Pierce’s forte (like many fantasy writers) is heroic characters, and Beka is competent and patriotic, but not especially heroic. But Pierce has rebounded before from series that I didn’t particularly like.

  2. Karen, I quite like first-person narrations, but when writers give me a mechanism I want that mechanism to be really sound.
    Interesting about the heroic characters being Pierce’s strong point; that may account for the Trickster duology, in part.

  3. I had much the same issues with the romance and sex portions of the book, and think part of my problem was with the cant she used to refer to parts of the body, etc. which didn’t come across to me as street slang, but as children’s euphemisms.
    I was also listening to the audiobook version; I’m not sure how the text version would differ in impact for me.

  4. Huh, that’s interesting. The cant generally never really clicked for me, but I hadn’t connected it to the problems I was having with the sexual content.

  5. Interesting! I just finished reading BLOODHOUND (though I haven’t reviewed it yet, also having a huge backlog) and I was wishing for more romance, less counterfeiting. I do agree that the colemongering plot was perhaps a little overblown.

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