Friday, June 08, 2012

Review: Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard:

The Particulars: Historical Fantasy, Angry Robot, available as e-book and in print.
The Source: Purchased at Robot Trading
The Grade: C+
The Blurb:

IT IS THE YEAR ONE-KNIFE IN TENOCHTITLAN - THE CAPITAL OF THE AZTECS. The end of the world is kept at bay only by the magic of human sacrifice. A Priestess disappears from an empty roomdrenched in blood. 
Acatl, High Priest of the Dead must find her, or break the boundaries between the worlds of th living and the dead. But how do you find someone, living or dead, in a worldwhere blood sacrifices are an everyday occurrence and the very gods stalk the streets?

The Review:

I purchased this one when Angry Robot had its 50% off sale, mainly since the fact that it was set in Mexico during the Aztec Empire intrigued me.

I am glad that I purchased it. The setting felt vividly alive. From the heat, to the temples in the Sacred District. The existence of Calemacs ( probably spells it wrong) intrigued me, since I had no idea they existed. It was interesting to find out more about the temples.

The plot was well paced. It was interesting to follow Acatl search for clues, and how he hit dead ends sometimes. I also liked the fact that the plot was propelled forward by things he found out, and realised their importance. In some novels it feels like they discover things purely by look. Not here, here they discovered everything through determination.

The characters were an intriguing mix. From Acatl, who struggled with his past and his position as High priest, to his brother, the proud Jaguar Knight. Then there is Huei, his brother's wife.
What I liked with this book was how the characters and the plot affected each other, in both good and bad ways.

So what I didn't like. It took over 50 pages before the book hooked me . In fact, I read 50 pages, and put it down. It could easily have turned into a DNF for me. That said, I am glad I decided to pick it up again.

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