19 May 2012

Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Week 4

Hey everybody!  Remember the Gentleman Bastards?  Well, they’re back in Scott Lynch’s 2nd in the GB series, Red Seas Under Red Skies.  The read along has actually been going on for some time now and I’ve been struggling to keep up for 3 weeks but I finally got back on schedule.  Woohoo!  I was so happy when I finally got back into this one.  Listening to Locke and Jean’s shenanigans is by far, one of my favorite times of any given day and really the best way to spend the morning, afternoon commutes and actually every other driving opportunity.  I find the sequel to be much less profane with certainly a good many fewer ridiculous insults.  Nevertheless, it has been amazing and there are so many times that I just can’t contain a stupid grin or total outburst of laughter.  So good.

Week 4’s questions were supplied by nrlymrtl at Dark Cargo.  Go check.

1) I was much relieved when Jean and Locke made up, which started with Locke's gesture of a cup full of honesty with Cpt. Drakasha. Do you think that was hard for Locke? Or was he using this bit of honesty like any other weapon in his arsenal to get what he wants in the end?
Any other time I would say Locke was just manipulating him, but when it comes to Jean it seems to me that Locke has no problem being sincere and telling the truth.   I took it as a straight up apology.  This is why he was willing to tell Drakasha.  I’m not sure that it sounded hard for him, but maybe awkward.  He really does seem to trust Jean and I think he actually believed that Jean was right.  They are such best buddies!

2) The Parlor Passage: We still don’t know Locke’s true name, but whatever was in that mist does. What do you think it is?

Thirteen gods, that was the most disappointing thing ever!  I was literally bouncing in my seat waiting for the reveal and then we didn’t get his real name…  So frustrating!  I do like hearing Jean’s full name though so that was nice.  As to what it was – my first inclination was some kind of Bonds Magi thingy, but historically my guesses about the Gentleman Bastards haven’t been very accurate.

3) There was an interesting section of the book that started about where Locke assisted Drakasha in selling the Red Messenger; he put on the persona of Leocanto Kosta and used the alias Tavras Callas and then Drakasha was still thinking of him as Ravelle..... Did using all those various aliases in such a short amount of time have your mind spinning a little? Do you think Lynch did this on purpose to give the reader a sense of Locke’s mind?

I actually liked when there was that moment of confusion in the book on the part of Drakasha after finding out about Locke’s aliases (some of them).  It worries me.  Locke has been brought way down off his pedestal in this book and it seems like he or someone is just bound to flub this up at the most inopportune time possible.

4) That was a sweet little kiss between Cpt. Zamira and Cpt. Jaffrim at the end of the Captains' Council. Do you think they have some history, or is it just innocent flirting that's been going on for some time?

Listening to the audiobook, this was actually something that I missed.  The history of the Captain’s Council seemed really interesting though and I hope we get to hear more about it because that was one volatile group!

5) Jean and Ezri. Cue dove-cooing and little winged hearts with sparkles. Do you think Jean will stay with the Poison Orchid or that Ezri will leave her ship to pal around with Jean and Locke?

Who doesn’t like a little fan service ;-) That is a seriously hard question to answer!  I am really hoping for some larger alliance to be created with Locke running shit.  LIKE. A. BOSS.

6) What is Utgar up to? What are his motivations?

I hate this man.  I hope he dies.

7) So last week we hashed over that Merrain killed some of Stragos’s guards on Windward Rock. But when Jean and Locke visit him, he doesn’t mention it. What is up with that?

I kinda thought that this was some kind of insurance policy for in case Locke and Jean get out of hand or if in the end Stragos just wants to find a reason to renig.

8) This week's section left us where the book began - Jean pointing a crossbow at Locke's throat. Do you think Jean knows who sent these crossbowers? Is he on their side? Is it a clever ploy to get him and Locke out of this predicament? Did you find it excruciatingly hard to stop here?

I think there was one stopping point in the LoLL read along too when the mastermind of these read alongs may have deliberately chosen a stopping point for the most torturous effect possible.  This might be another instance of that kind of thing happening.

6) What is Utgar up to? What are his motivations?

But really, I just hope he dies.  I mean this book is like a Dane Cook Joke where there are 7 or 8 sub-jokes before you finally get through to the initial joke.  These schemers have made this book so convoluted I don’t know if I’m reading backward or forward.  These two have so many other challenges to get over, do we really need this too?!  This is getting to be too much for me (not really).


  1. I'm with you, I hope Utgar dies!
    I think it's possible that we'll never discover Locke's true name - or maybe not until the very final book!
    That stopping point is a real teaser! Wonder how many have already picked up and read on? I must confess that this time I have been bad and carried on reading :(

    1. I was kinda thinking that maybe we would find out his name in Republic of Thieves. I'm going to try to remain optimistic.

  2. I completely agree with your answer to question 8. :D And I ignored the stopping point in Lies because there was just no way I could stop and not know what happened next.
    I must say, I was much more stronger this time around. I'm starting with the last part tonight. :)

    1. Hahaha! I'm glad you had the will power. I stopped as well, though not by choice. My MP3 Player's battery was almost dead.

      Really though, someone is going to have to answer to the stress of stopping that a spot like that! :)

  3. Maybe Stragos has people spying on Merrain too and knows that she's trying to play him.

    This was definitely a hard point to stop at; I've been in suspense ever since the prologue!

    1. I know, I can't believe he did that to us twice!

  4. Utgar doesn't simply needs to die, he needs to be removed, wiped-out from the records, and left to rot in a cage in Ezri's family estate FOREVER. At least.
    Locke's true name, I don't think we'll know it before... before many, many books to come!

    1. Here Here! To Utgar's rotting bones!

  5. Since you are listening to the audio, you can answer my burning questions about the voices.

    When Locke slips into his different aliases, does the reader change accent/vocal mannerisms? is the dialog read dry? sarcastic? over the top? did Utgar get a particularly nasty voice, since he is such a disgusting person? he srsly needs to die, like yesterday.

  6. Here is what you need to do: never read these books again.

    Michael Page makes these people come alive! Here is the audible page where you can listen to about 5 mins of HEAVEN: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=sr_lftbox_1_1
    It isn't a perfect sample because you don't get to hear a lot of yelling and cursing and name calling which Page delivers PERFECTLY as if this is just the way he talks everyday.

    I'm really glad you mentioned this because I meant to talk about it but forgot in my haste to get caught up. In LoLL, Locke had different voices for his different ages and his different personas during scams (this actually made it a little tough to remember who was talking at first). During fights or shouting he strains his voice. In the beginning of RSURS when Locke is so depressed, Page actually read Locke's character in his adolescent voice, which just seemed perfect.

    The reading is definitely not dry. I guess sometimes it's a little over the top, but it gets done seriously and really, a lot of the shit that goes on is over the top so it works great.

    I hope next time you re-read these books, you'll consider the audio. I have only recently started listening to audiobooks, but these two books have been 1000x better than anything else I've come across.

    And finally, Utgar doesn't have the nastiest voice, but when he does get what he deserves, he really makes him sound loathsome.

    1. Psyche. I messed the link but search for Lies on audible and you can get a peek.


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