Hades' Daughter; March Discussion Title

Discussion in 'Book Club' started by dwndrgn, Feb 19, 2007.

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    dwndrgn

    dwndrgn Fierce Vowelless One Staff Member

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    Hades' Daughter, Sara Douglass

    This is posted early as a reminder to folks to try and find a copy for themselves and get to reading for March's discussion.
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    Culhwch

    Culhwch Not actually a dinosaur. Staff Member

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    Yes, do. It's quite large.
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    BookStop

    BookStop If you see a stranger...

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    I've ordered my copy.
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    Aadaenyaa

    Aadaenyaa New Member

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    I received my copy yesterday from Amazon, read the first chapter whilst I was making dinner- I have to say, so far the reviews I read at Amazon have been incorrect. The user reviews basically panned it- I've not found anything wrong with it so far, as a matter of fact, it will be my reading material this afternoon while I sit in the dentist's office lol. I was a bit concerned reading the reviews, while they seem warrantless.
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    I now have my copy. I don't know if I'll start reading it immediately, or wait until sometime next week.
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    dsmith

    dsmith Librarians rule!

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    Just started reading it- I like it so far.
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Really? I'm about a quarter of the way through, and I'm disliking it intensely.

    Whoever suggested that we read this book is getting coal in their Christmas stocking from me next year.
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    Culhwch

    Culhwch Not actually a dinosaur. Staff Member

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    I'm having a tough time getting into it, too. I'm very slack, I'm still in double-digits when it comes to page count. I have read Sara Douglass before - her first series, I can't recall the name, but I wasn't overly fussed with her then - certainly not enough to have picked up this book off my own bat...
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    Brown Rat

    Brown Rat wandering & wondering

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    I'm on page 57, and I'm about to start skimming. So far, I don't like any of the characters (all of them seem nasty and villainous), there's too much exposition, and the book just seems to keep starting over and over again. Bleh . . .
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Yes, I thought so, too. The first part of the book felt like a synopsis or a first draft. Then I got into the meat of the story and realized I hadn't known when I was well off.
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    dsmith

    dsmith Librarians rule!

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    I forced myself to actually read the whole book this time (I did skim through some parts) and I didn't like it- I definately won't read the rest of the series. At first I liked some of the characters, but after reading a while I started to hate them all.
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    Brown Rat

    Brown Rat wandering & wondering

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    I'm on page 74, and that may be it for me. On page 70, I started skimming, and even the skimming isn't helping me avoid distaste. As you say, Teresa, the current narrative isn't any better than the previous exposition.

    It is rare--extremely rare--for me not to finish a book once I have begun reading it. It's been four years since the last time I didn't finish a book, and I've read approximately 350 books during that period.
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    ladyflorange

    ladyflorange New Member

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    I'm going to pick it up from my local library later today hopefully! :D
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    BookStop

    BookStop If you see a stranger...

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    Well, I'm on page 59 but I'm not enjoying the book either. I'll push ahead a while longer, but after reading all the prev posts on it, I am having doubts that I'll ever want to finish.
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Well, to jump start the discussion (maybe), and until someone turns up who actually likes the book, so that we have a chance to debate some good and bad points, I'll mention the one thing I did like.

    The idea of a network of labyrinths, each at the heart of a great city, is very appealing. It really struck a chord. I'm not caring for the way she handles it, but I think it's a really fantastic concept to build a story around.

    Although I'm a bit puzzled: all those she mentions seem to be unicursal. This makes sense in one way, as these are the kind that turn up at ancient sites we believe to have magical or mystical significance. But it's impossible to get lost in a labyrinth with only one path, and if the one at Knossos is supposed to be the same as the others, what use would Theseus (the cad!) have for Ariadne and her thread?

    The Cretan labyrinth is often pictured as unicursal, but it doesn't make sense. Even Daedalus, who created it, was supposed to have a very hard time finding his way out. So, logically, it would have to be a multicursal maze.

    I wonder if Douglass addresses this at any point in the story?
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    Brown Rat

    Brown Rat wandering & wondering

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    I agree. The book is an excellent example of how execution matters. In fact, I'm tempted to say, based on this one example, that execution matters more than the idea behind a book. I'd prefer to read a tired idea executed well than a cool idea executed poorly.

    (I'm tempted to make puns that depend on the more violent meaning of "execute" to rid myself of Douglass's book.)
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    ladyflorange

    ladyflorange New Member

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    I'm about half way and I'm actually really liking it so far, although I'm not really sure why. None of the characters are particularly appealing, but I like the general storyline, and I agree about the network of labyrinths thing. I really like that.
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    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    What is it about the storyline that you find appealing? To me, it seems that the plot depends far too much on characters behaving impulsively and irrationally (and Brutus, in particular, seems to be utterly clueless).

    For me, the last straw was (spoiler follows, highlight to read):

    Where Cornelia was going through such a difficult labor, and everyone around her was telling her not to make such a big deal about it -- if she would just calm down and let the midwives shift the baby, everything would be all right.

    First of all, there would be no guarantee that they could move the baby. (How do they know the baby is in the wrong position, by the way, if she won't let them touch her?) Second of all, never in the history of womankind would midwives be so spectacularly insensitive and unsympathetic -- but particularly in an era when so many, many women died in childbirth. Thirdly, if they stopped telling her to snap out of it when she's in such agony, maybe she would trust them enough to let them try and do what they could.

    It seems to me that instead of behaving like real women would in this scene, they're all trying especially hard to hype up the drama.
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    ladyflorange

    ladyflorange New Member

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    I have to say I liked the idea of the Gods really. The characters were all annoying, although I did find myself warming slighly to Cornelia towards the end, but I think that generally they didn't inspire much emotion. I found it really easy to read though, and I liked the episodes from 1939, as I felt they gave the story more depth than it would otherwise have had.
    I don't know though, overall it definately wasn't the best book I've ever read
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    dsmith

    dsmith Librarians rule!

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    I found the part about the gods, and the labyriths very interesting, which is why I liked the book at first, but the characters got on my nerves so much I was almost hoping certain ones would die. I was intrigued by the short chapters that take place much later, but not enough to want to read any more in the series.

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