Wednesday, February 10, 2021

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, #1)A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's interesting... it feels kinda hard to rate it. I did enjoy it. I do wonder if I enjoyed it more coz I had a few people kinda warn me of its weaknesses. ;) So I think I'd say this... as far as story goes, it's amazing! Also amazing is the world she created... so cool!!

But one of the main things that kept me from loving it was the frenetic pace of events. As Anthony Rapp's review put it, the number of things that happened to her, potentially traumatizing, were unrealistically handled. ie. 10 crises later and no sleep, and she has no impairment to her thinking or speech or decisions? And it was just plain exhausting to read!! The character didn't even get the glass of water that someone got her after she was unconscious for like 12h! And she could've had a night's sleep in between each event and it not change an ounce of the story! It reminds me of some of the Anita Blake novels, same frenetic pace of crises for no reason.

And the other big thing for me was the writing style. Really convoluted sentences and paragraphs sometimes. It wasn't til I got to the end of a long paragraph that I realized it'd been about her being attacked! Or there's these long sentences where the subject is at the end of like 4 lines, or after 2 descriptive side-notes. So you're reading several lines til you know what those lines are describing or what the sentence is about.

And the ending was so open-ended for the character that I just felt a bit lost and unsatisfied. Although I guess that's to leave room for the sequels? But the story did end perfectly and satisfyingly! :)

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