Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
|Naomi Novik released her first book, Temeraire (UK) or His Majesty's Dragon (US) just a few short months ago, to much fanfare and accolades. (Including many from myself) Thus far there are three novels in the Temeraire series, and all have been or will be published this year. After reading the first, I was extremely excited to see what she would do with William Laurence and Temeraire next. After reading Throne of Jade I can only wonder if the book was not rushed to market. The title should have been Sophomore Jinx.|
Throne of Jade is a bloody catastrophe of a novel. The plot was absurd, the ending a yawnfest, and the main character, Temeraire himself, playing a small bit part in the action. In His Majesty's Dragon, Novik seamlessly blended a passable Patrick O'Brian with Anne McCaffrey at her best, yet in Throne of Jade, the best of McCaffrey was nowhere to be seen -- dragons were talked about but rarely had any screen time.
Oh, and the passable O'Brian has turned into a travesty of a depiction of naval life.
I wanted to love this novel. I snatched it from the book store shelf with glee; I broke down and bought a softcover -- anathema to a collector -- and was punished mightily for my sin against bibliophilism.
Novik had me with Temeraire. She lost me with it's sequel.
Do not buy paperbacks.