Too Like the Lightning

Ada Palmer
Too Like the Lightning Cover

Too Like the Lightning


I don't think that I have any goodwill left for reading the conclusion of this series

The author comes up with some really cool SFFnal ideas in this, but does not bother to do the worldbuilding to make those ideas believable (and I'm an incredibly generous reader when it comes to willing suspension of disbelief). I guess that's why it's called "literary SF".

For example, all the main clades each have a "special" person who periodically releases their list of the most influential people in the society. And these lists have credibility... why, exactly? The story never shows why anyone would -- or should -- consider them meaningful, or how they actually affect the society, or why the people who draw up those lists should have any special credibility. There are other issues as well, such as the way the Hives are organized does not seem to me to be organically a stable structure. The fact that I honestly did not care about any of the characters other than Bridger (in fact, I mostly just found them all to be tedious) does not help.

I found the book a muddled slog, and kept falling asleep trying to read it (which never happens to me when reading a SFF book). But I forced myself to stick with it because I had read other people raving about it. Then I got to the end, and it basically says, "Okay, we're stopping here, and you'll have to read the second book when it comes out in a year, if you want to know the rest of the story."

So no. I don't think that I have any goodwill left for reading the conclusion of this series.