Read Along: Full Fathom Five, Week 2

Banner by Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings
Banner by Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

Onward goes the Read Along, and I have so much “…What?!” going on this week it’s unbelievable. Let’s see if I can’t pick a few things apart in this week’s post, however…

This part of the Read Along covers chapters 14 to 32, and is hosted by Lynn at Little Lion Lynnet’s. *SPOILER WARNING KLAXON!!*

So Margot too is hoping that Izza can lead him to the Blue Lady. What do you make of his vision? Especially in relation to the nightmares that Kai is having. Do you think they’re related?

Last week I speculated a bit about how there seems to be something more to the idols than just non-sentient devices of faith. I think Margot’s experience, once the apparent facts of it come out, might be backing that up. Whether or not Seven Alpha is truly dead, as Kai believes, might remain to be seen, but I think our priestess is still in for a surprise or two.

That said, regarding Kai’s nightmares and how they might relate to Margot’s visions… I have no idea. I think it’s most likely that there is some kind of connection, but the drastic difference in the nature of Kai’s nightmares to Margot’s visions have me so confused about what that connection could be. If the Blue Lady is/was Seven Alpha and if there is a connection between the poet and the priest, I cannot figure it out. Yet. But this is pretty much par for the course with Max Gladstone’s books so far, so I’m not quite at the stage of shaking my Kindle in frustration. Yet…

Teo! Did anyone expect to see Teo? What role do you think she’ll play in the rest of the story?

Teo! I did not expect to see her here, but it pleased me! As for her role in this story… See above, regarding “…What?!” I am happy to see her, because I liked her character a lot in Two Serpents Rise, but I have no idea what part she might have to play this time around. I just hope it’s a good one!

Kai is worried that Mara has set her up. Do you think it likely?

I think it’s possible? I mean, I have no clue why she would do it at this stage (another example of “…What?!”) but even if I can’t ferret out the answers easily, I can accept that this wouldn’t be a Max Gladstone book if I could. So I suspect she is up to something, yes, but I’m happy to keep reading and find out why/if I’m right…

It seems everyone is having discussions of faith with one another. That’s not particularly surprising given the tenor of the books, I know, but still. How does what we’ve learned from Cat and Margot in these chapters affect your feelings on the idea of gods, Craft or Idols that Allie asked?

I noted last week that the idols might be closer to “potentially dangerous” than “useful”, and this week’s chapters have reinforced that view for me. If Seven Alpha was making connections on its (her?) own then this would indicate that the priests who created her had less control of her than they thought. And if that’s the case, what else did she get up to? What else might she have been capable of, and what might the idols still functioning do if they ‘develop’ the same way…?

So, I suppose I’m warier than ever of the idols, now – but in an edge-of-my-seat, what’s-going-to-happen-next kind of way. I’m wary, but also pretty damned fascinated!

We’re getting a better idea of what Penitence means for the people of Kavekana. What do you think of their idea of punishment now that you have a better idea of how it works?

Oy, the Penitents. Still creepy. Creepier, in fact. Deeper understanding does not make them cuddlier… I mean, it’s effective? Maybe? We know that the people who go into these things and come out relatively unbroken do seem to go on to live better lives, crime-free. A good example is Claude, who goes so far as to end up with a career in law enforcement. But I don’t believe for a minute that it doesn’t break a lot of people as well, and what of them?

So… yeah. Creepy as all hell, and too extreme for my taste. Though it’s a (small) blessing they don’t use them on kids…

Kai has built up an idea of what’s going on, but what do you think happened? Did Margot really steal soul without realising it or is there something else going on?

I’m not convinced Margot really understood what he was doing when he connected with the Blue Lady. He seems too convinced by his own theories to accept it as a theft and not as a gift of the gods. That said… I dunno, man! I’m just reading here… Heh.

Seriously, I am full of more questions than ever at this point. I got no clues. And I confess: I had a bit of a struggle with my attention span during this section of the book. Not because I’m not invested; I think a lot of it is just the way my brain’s working (or not) right now, but I might have to read back over previous chapters as I go, because I feel like there are going to be things I’ve missed. So far this book seems to be heavy on the mysterious goings-on, and I’m not seeing how several of these characters relate or tie into the overall story, and we’re at the halfway point and I know that’s usually where things start coming together instead of diverging, but… Argh. Me no brain good.

But! I will putter onward, because THIS BOOK. What.

8 thoughts on “Read Along: Full Fathom Five, Week 2

  1. I don’t feel like the people who go through Penitence are okay in the end. Claude can certainly funtion well and lead a normal life, but there are certain things he says to Kai about her request that imply that he’s very much conditioned to be what he is now. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that all the Watch are former Penitents.

  2. I asked myself the Mara question again and again as I was reading and each time I think my answer was different. At this point, I have no idea — but it’s one of the biggest mysteries I’m looking forward to seeing resolved in the next half of the book 🙂

  3. There are so many questions right now, and all I have are wild speculations! On the Penitents, I think Kai mentioned that Claude had a completely different personality before Penitence, so it seems like even people who come out sane are broken down/rebuilt differently. There’s got to be a better way to rehabilitate people.

    1. Yes. It’s as if the Penitent method of punishment doesn’t leave them any say in how much they change, or when. It’s punishment, but it’s also removing free will, and I think that ultimately makes the rehabilitation aspect less valid than it would if they made those choices to change on their own.

  4. I’m really sad that it looks like Teo’s role is going to be more of a cameo that Ms Kevarian or Cat’s roles.

    Also, I noticed the slow build-up towards a resolution too. It’s probably going to start to gel together next week/in the next section when it begins to ramp up for the finale. Two Serpents Rise may have spoiled us a little with its more episodic nature. You had one big event around the half-way point (climax of part 1 in a film adaptation!) whereas Full Fathom Five is more of a continuous story. I don’t think it’s your brain not feeling like it’s working. <3

    I liked what we saw of Margot, though, so I'm glad we're going to get to see more of him! (Maybe he'll make a cameo in Last First Snow! Okay, probably not, but that could be fun if he did.)

    1. Oh, good that it wasn’t just me! You make a good point about the pacing difference, now that I think on it…

      As for Teo, hmm… I hope she’s got more than just a cameo-type role, because if this is the case then any character could have filled this part. I suspect Max Gladstone did bring her back for a reason, we just haven’t seen it yet. Or at least I hope so! 😉

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