As seen on Stumptown Books
Much of the charm of His Majesty's Dragon
was completely lost in this second installment. In that book, it was a gradual build up to the awesome end action scene against Napoleon's armies. In this novel, we get to ride a boat and talk about food and clothing for about 300 pages before anything interesting even happens.
Some of my favorite parts of the first book were the completely endearing and sweet conversations between Temeraire and Laurence. For example, “I should rather have you than a heap of gold, even if it were very comfortable to sleep on." BEST DRAGON EVER! I wanted more of the exact same interactions, but unfortunately, most of the book it seems Temeraire and Laurence aren't even speaking. Whenever they do speak, it feels like they are always on the verge of cross words. Most of their conversations revolve around 19th century politics, bringing up slavery and bigotry, and Temeraire is even forced to ask if he owns himself - or is he the king's property. Some of it was interesting, but by the end of the ship voyage I was tired even of these miniscule conversations Temeraire and Laurence had, as it was invariably going to be brow beating us with politics.
They spend 8 months on a boat, traveling to China. And boy, do we really get to FEEL those 8 months. The entire ship storyline took an insanely long time, and it was just straight up boring. I wanted some action in China damnit. We eventually arrive in China, sure, but only about the last 100 pages of this 400 page novel is devoted to that. Talk about feeling rushed. We are bombarded with new characters who we never really get to know, and then a deus ex machina ending is thrown at us out of the blue. And then...it was just over.
I was completely disappointed by this novel. I will be continuing the series but I hope it returns to its roots.