Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along, Week One

Following up on the recent Lies of Locke Lamora read-along, this week kicks off a read-along for the second Gentleman Bastards novel, Red Skies Under Red Seas.

Once again, our read-along is hosted by The Little Red Reviewer.   And this week’s questions come from Bryce from My Awful Reviews.

And I also want to give credit to Bente over The Bente Way of Life for the cool read-along graphic you see to the right.  Thanks!

This week’s questions cover through chapter three in the novel.  So, there will be SPOILERS for that section of the book.  If you want to know more about the reading schedule you can find it at Red’s. 

Now, let’s get into the discussion…

Before, I jump into the questions, I wanted to posted some thoughts that weren’t covered by the questions this week.  The first was my initial reaction to the first scene in which we see Jean apparently betray Locke as they’re surrounded by men with crossbows pointed at them.  I have to admit that at first, I rolled my eyes at this because it feels like a lot of shows in the past couple of years have used this technique of–holy cow, how did our heroes get to this point?!? and then we get a flashback showing us.  I know that Lynch used the various time settings in the first novel and that’s why I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt there….plus, I’ll admit I am really, really curious if Jean is actually betraying Locke or if it’s all part of some larger plan.

The other things that struck me is the casino game played here with the losers having to drink a vial of alcohol.  I love the little twist of not only do you have to outwit your opponent in the game, but you have to try and win to stay sober enough to outwit them.  I also love how Locke and Jean are one step ahead and even though they’re sl0wly getting more and more inebriated, they still have a way to make sure they win.  The con of putting the powder of their opponent’s favorite delicacy was a nice touch.   I have to admit those scenes had me riveted.

1. The Sinspire. It looks like our heroes (can they really be called that?) find themselves in search of a way into an unbeatable vault. Do you think they have what it takes to make it happen?

Hearing the word unbeatable used reminds me of a line from an old Doctor Who serial in which the Doctor notes that “impregnable sounds like unsinkable…and we all know what happened to the Titanic  (blub, blub, blub). ”  Yes, it will be a challenge for Locke and company to pull off, but it sounds like the type of challenge he thrives on.  And yes, I think Locke has what it takes to make it happen.  This is a guy who survived being put into a barrel of horse urine in the last installment!

2.  Anyone want to guess how they’re going to make it happen?

None yet.  But given what Lynch put Locke and Jean through in the last installment, I don’t expect it to all go according to plan.

3. It’s a little different this time around, with us just being focused on Locke and Jean. Is anyone else missing the rest of the Bastards as much as I am?

In some ways, I do, but in some ways, I don’t.  I like the flashbacks of Jean shaking Locke out of his depression and felt like after everything Lynch put these two through in the last book, these scenes were necessary.  And while I miss the others who we came to know and love, the last book showed us that being a Bastard isn’t exactly the most secure job in the world.  So, it makes sense that a lot of people wouldn’t be eager to join the crew, given the shorter life expectancy.

4. I love the section where Jean starts to build a new guild of thieves. It really shows just how well trained and tough he is. Do you think the Bastards will end up training others along the way again like Bug?

5. For those of you looking for Sabetha, we still haven’t spotted her yet. Anyone else chomping at the bit to see the love of Locke’s life?

I’m curious to see when and if she’ll finally appear in the novels.  I have a feeling when she does, it will pack quite an emotional punch for Locke.

6. It’s early on, but the Bastards are already caught up in plots that they didn’t expect. How do you think their new “employer” is going to make use of them (The Archon, that is)?

I have a feeling Locke and Jean will be guys who get to take all the risks and will be the fall guys when and if things go south.   And it wouldn’t shock me a bit of Locke is prepared for this and has a way to turn the situation to his advantage.

 

16 Comments

Filed under Read Along, Red Seas Under Red Skies

16 responses to “Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along, Week One

  1. Pingback: Red Seas Under Red Skies Read-Along, part one! « the Little Red Reviewer

  2. Pingback: Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Part I « Darkcargo

  3. realbooks4everstephanie

    “I’m curious to see when and if she’ll finally appear in the novels. I have a feeling when she does, it will pack quite an emotional punch for Locke.”

    I think its about time we get to see her, don’t you?

    http://realbooks4ever.tumblr.com/post/21981178128

  4. Based on how even mentioning Sabetha seems to affect Locke, I’m thinking that their reunion will be both awkward and hilarious. I still think that Nazca would have been good for him though. Ah well.

  5. I liked the flashbacks where Jean kicked Locke out of his guilt/self-pity induced stupor. So many television series might gloss over this but it is essential for it to be handled here and it was handled well. Jean has definitely grown as a character and I suspect that as the novel goes on and the twists and turns get more intricate we’ll get an idea of Locke’s character growth – will he be prepared for what his opponents will put him through? After all he has been through so far, probably and he’ll have his revenge.

  6. Good point about the first scene. It is indeed a bit gimmicky, a bit Dan Brown-ish, but I got hooked and I’m also giving him the benefit of the doubt. I thought back to that scene in during the creepy encounter at the market. Maybe Jean is under the influence of the alchemists?

    • a bit Dan Brown-ish? maybe, if Dan Brown could write! ;)

      I actually saw that on the back of another novel, some blurb saying “it’s like Dan Brown, if Dan Brown could write!”

  7. I hear from a reputable source that Sabetha has a good sized part in Republic of Thieves. My question is, do she and Nazca get along? because they would have to have met, if Sabetha is part of Chains’ gang and takes a vow to serve Barsavi.

    I too think that The Archon is setting the Gentlemen up to take all the hits. He needs some patsies, you know?

  8. Oddly enough I was actually really gripped by that first scene and my jaw even dropped in a quite comical fashion! I’m probably very easily pleased (which is that Dan rown book….???) :)
    I like the way Sabetha has not yet made an appearance – it just makes her so much more interesting in a way. We’re all building her up into something wornderful – I hope she can live up to all our expectations.
    The card game at the start is so brilliant. Trying to keep your wits whilst becoming leggless – not the best way to play – I wonder how their two opponents (sorry – can’t remember their names,doh!) manage to be so unbeatable. We know that the game is impossible to cheat so how do they manage to stay so good?
    Lynn :D

  9. RealBooks4Ever – the book is Age of Odin by James Lovegrove. and yes, that blurb made me laugh so much I bought the book. ;)

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