Author Topic: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station  (Read 27007 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
  • 214
  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
It's out boyeeeees



Click the huge face to buy!

 

Offline Nightmare

  • 210
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station

 

Offline StarSlayer

  • 211
  • Men Kaeshi Do
    • Steam
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Look what just came in the Post...



...and its got a nice map


“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Online Mongoose

  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
  • Global Moderator
  • 212
  • This brain for rent.
    • Minecraft
    • Steam
    • Something
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Woooooo :yes:

 

Offline jg18

  • A very happy zod
  • 210
  • can do more than spellcheck
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Ooh, I'll have to get a Kindle copy. I got Book 1 for Kindle a while back but uh didn't quite get to read it :nervous: sadly it's not on Bookshare (accessible digital library for people with print disabilities) so I'll have to read it on my phone's Kindle app with the iOS screen reader (VoiceOver) whose voice is kind of :ick: but it'll do.

One question before I can add Book 1 to the top of my reading queue: How much disturbing content is in the book? I like to listen to books at the gym while on the elliptical but after listening to the end of The Making of the Atomic Bomb which described the minutes/hours after Little Boy exploded over Hiroshima, I couldn't sleep that night, so I made the rule of no listening to highly disturbing material at the gym.

 

Online Mongoose

  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
  • Global Moderator
  • 212
  • This brain for rent.
    • Minecraft
    • Steam
    • Something
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Order the book and a cart-topper to hit free shipping, it shows up 36 hours later. Who needs Prime?

 
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Got the book!

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
  • 214
  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Ooh, I'll have to get a Kindle copy. I got Book 1 for Kindle a while back but uh didn't quite get to read it :nervous: sadly it's not on Bookshare (accessible digital library for people with print disabilities) so I'll have to read it on my phone's Kindle app with the iOS screen reader (VoiceOver) whose voice is kind of :ick: but it'll do.

One question before I can add Book 1 to the top of my reading queue: How much disturbing content is in the book? I like to listen to books at the gym while on the elliptical but after listening to the end of The Making of the Atomic Bomb which described the minutes/hours after Little Boy exploded over Hiroshima, I couldn't sleep that night, so I made the rule of no listening to highly disturbing material at the gym.

There's some fairly disturbing stuff, I'd stay off it before bedtime.

 
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
I can't sleep anyway so I just read it in bed :D

Thus far only a few chapters in, and it's thus far exactly what I expected from it: Baru is an amazing character and it's simply a joy to read whatever she does, says or thinks next. It's also a book that I personally can't just read casually like I'd read, say, a Bernard Cromwell novel simply by virtue of how engaging it is in both beautiful and horrible ways.

  

Offline Veers

  • 29
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
I just unboxed it a few minutes ago, tempted to tell me boss to stick it so I can read tomorrow.
Current Activities/Projects: Ideas and some storyline completed.

ArmA 2&3 Mission Designer and player.


WoD - I like Crystal. <3

 
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Battuta! It might be a much to ask you to go back and finish it for the first book, but you should at least do another author's commentary for the second book, and do the whole book this time! I really really really enjoyed reading it.

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
  • Global Moderator
  • 213
  • Nothing personal, just tech support.
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Finished the book yesterday. I'll try to keep this spoiler-free, but we'll see how that goes.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant opened with a simple, yet devastating statement: This is the truth - You will know because it hurts.
The Monster Baru Cormorant opens with a similarly simple, yet devastating counter: If something hurts, does that make it true?

Right off the bat (hah), let me make a simple statement myself: These rank in the top 3 book openings I know of (right behind "The sky was the color of a television tuned to a dead channel" and "The Moon blew up, with no warning and no apparent reason", bonus points for anyone who knows where those came from). They perfectly encapsulate the books they're attached to; Traitor puts Baru through a lot of torment (most of it seemingly self-inflicted), in Monster, Baru is forced to deal with the fallout of her previous actions, as well as the creeping realization that a lot of her fundamental truths may not be so true.

But, plot. In the aftermath of the failed revolution Baru orchestrated, she was elevated to the rank of Cryptarch of the Falcrest Imperial Republic. Now part of the power behind the throne, she is sent on a mission, together with her two best frenemies, to root out the Cancrioth, the rumoured power behind the throne of the Oriati Mbo (Falcrest's greatest rival amongst the nations of the Ashen Sea).
But since this is the Baruniverse, nothing is ever simple. Baru's machinations during the Aurdwynn uprising come to haunt her: Both figuratively, in the form of a deep depression over having to disavow and kill her lover Tain Hu and about betraying everyone who ever trusted her, and literally, in the form of Tain Hu's cousin Tain Shir.
Tain Shir, it has to be said, is terrifying. She was, once upon a time, a protege of the same master Baru is serving, but fell from grace: Now, she is an instrument of revenge. Her presence in the book is similar to Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men: A force of nature that can't be reasoned with, can't be contained, only evaded (for a time).

During her mission, shenanigans are had, new allies are met, and alliances and power balances shift around. It is, as usual for Batts, an engaging and gripping read, but there's a few caveats I need to add here before finishing with effusive praise:
1. Monster, unlike Traitor, is not a standalone book. Not just in terms of it being a sequel, but also in terms of it ending on a sequel hook (Battuta just wrote too many ~words~ for this one, so this book had to be split up); this is not a dealbreaker for me, obviously, and loyalty to Batts compels me to ask you for forbearance from anyone for whom it might be: If you wait for the sequel to come out to buy both books, it's bad for the vital statistics driving Batts' income.
2. This book is, at times, an oppressive read. Not only does Baru's depression hit her hard, and us with it as we spend time in her head, but her ingenuity and resourcefulness as established in Traitor don't really get much screentime either. She has her moments, to be sure, but ... there could've been more of them for my liking, y'know?

That out of the way, effusive praise time: I love this book. By making it into a road trip, we get to see many more corners of the Baruniverse, much more of its cultures and their fascinating beliefs and practices. By having interludes from other character's POVs, we get a better picture of who Baru is, how she presents herself, and how she's seen by others, and each of the other POV characters is interesting in their own ways. As any good middle entry in a series, it leaves me both satisfied and intensely hungry for more.

TL;DR: Buy this. If only for the absolutely gorgeous cover.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Vidmaster

  • 211
  • Inventor of FS2 bullettime ;-)
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Got it today. I am sure I am going to love it :-) Review will follow.
Devoted member of the Official Karajorma Fan Club (Founded and Led by Mobius).

Does crazy Software Engineering for a living, until he finally musters the courage to start building games for real. Might never happen.

 

Offline Vidmaster

  • 211
  • Inventor of FS2 bullettime ;-)
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Finished it today. Debated if I should edit the first post but then decided against it. :roll eyes: Took way longer than anticipated since I decided to re-read the first novel (for the third time) again and that took longer due to real-life things.

Well, finished Monster about 4 hours ago and I thought I should write my review now, while its fresh but also while I had time to think about what I just finished.
TLDR, I am pretty torn on the book but I read it feverishly and that certainly counts for somethingg :) I am not going to keep it spoiler free but I will use spoiler tags for the actual review.

First, a few essential quotes from my forebearer:
If you wait for the sequel to come out to buy both books, it's bad for the vital statistics driving Batts' income.
Go buy the book now, its certainly worth it the asking price.
This book is, at times, an oppressive read. Not only does Baru's depression hit her hard, and us with it as we spend time in her head, but her ingenuity and resourcefulness as established in Traitor don't really get much screen time either. She has her moments, to be sure, but ... there could've been more of them for my liking, y'know?
By having interludes from other character's POVs, we get a better picture of who Baru is, how she presents herself, and how she's seen by others, and each of the other POV characters is interested in their own ways. As any good middle entry in a series, it leaves me both satisfied and intensely hungry for more.
I agree with both these general statements, and they are a good summary of what to expect if you read the first book.

Now, on to spoilers stuff:

Spoiler:
I went into this book knowing to expect something completely different. I thought: No more Aurdwynn and dukes, no more politics in that brilliant arena of his. Instead, new and larger challenges, a larger game, a mysterious force in the east towards the mother of storms or maybe even a look into Falcrest. And I got something completely different and I think it took me 50% of the book to get on board with what was going on. If you have not already guessed it, I am starting the review with the negative points, to get over them as quickly as I can. Let's talk plot details: Baru is now lifted into the elusive circle behind the throne, the minds behind all of it. Armed with supposedly incredible power, held only in check by her peers of the same station (or not quite, considering the ending of the first book), she is basically sent on a "fact-finding" or scouting mission with little to no actual intel that could very well be a fool's errand. I imagined Cryptarch's to be powerful manipulators, playing the games of politics, conquering islands posing as traders, intimidating and controlling Falcrest's seemingly perfect industrial and military machinery. Instead, they are sent on super-risky missions with vague objectives :nono:. I really took me a while to just accept that turn of events. Still, not completely over it to be fully honest, maybe its my fault reading it back-to-back. As stated, maybe we are talking about a misconception on my part here but I imagined the high-personal-risk mission type was sort of the big test. Monster even seems to support me in that notion somewhat, considering that extended sections of flashbacks contains sections of such missions that Baru's peers had to undertake to earn their station. In short, the whole going out on a ship adventure main plot was a though pill to swallow for me.

The other big negative thing was probably unavoidable. Since Monster is opening the world and expanding to new POV characters, it eliminates the razor-sharp focus of Traitor somewhat. Fully expecting that, it was certainly less of an issue for me and E's statement quoted above nicely summarizes the positives about it. I particularly liked the attempt of vastly different writing styles. With this expansion also comes a certain tendency to undermine motives of the first book, for instance Falcrest's perfectly functioning colonialist machinery. What was once a homogeneous, impersonal and utterly invincible navy now comes with mutineers and internal power struggles. A cabal of genius manipulators behind the throne are just people, some of which do not seem that gifted. As stated, this was inevitable and expected, and we are getting a lot of positives for it, but it was certainly something I loved in Traitor.

I could have done without that one Ormsment POV chapter, which did not add anything and did not feel special in any way. I get that Batista might have felt it was necessary as an attempt to better establish her motivations for what she is doing but since her whole motivation is a rather simple revenge thing (apparently, at least), I am sure that a different way could have been found. Maybe as another Lindon chapter, receiving more reports? Anyway, I always disliked one-shot POV's unless its some sort of prologue where the character is abducted, killed or whatever...

The good stuff: :)

The prose is, again, Battuta-brilliant. It will obviously be different from Traitor and that was already evident in that book's last chapter. Liked it a lot and it got me hooked, as usual. The words are, again, chosen carefully and adeptly and form a well-flowing text that draws the reader in.

The world building is excellent again, it almost never feels forced, interesting little and utterly unimportant details are mixed with larger, general ones and a sense of place and wonder is quickly instilled in the lands of the Ashen Sea. The sense of people and philosophy is nicely realized and I like how different most of it remains from the standard fantasy stuff. Aurdwynn and its dukes were medieval-like, a known quantity. Monster embraces the weird that was hinted at before and does so in a believable fashion, mixing at times seemingly contradictory things (like religiously caring for others while having an instituted form of mocking them as a way of spreading news) together into a really interesting cocktail. I loved it, with all its ambiguities and issues-that-are-no-issues and weird ideas. It is hard to describe to be honest and that is a very good thing. More POVs, as well as the ship traveling thing, obviously allows for a vast scope regarding these aspects.

I loved the Cancer-Cabal idea, the immortata. A disgustingly brilliant idea and in the book's acknowledgments, Batista makes it quite clear that my choice of adverb here might be in itself an issue. If it turned out to be nonsense, a desperate explanation of Falcrest's secret cabal incapable of understanding how something could endure without strong control, I would have been satisfied as well. But apparently, it is not ;7 so let's see where that goes.

The Farrier-process, although I am still not entirely sure what it is, sounds like a cool thing as well. Another angle of attack, another wall of questions on what has been engineered :nervous: for Baru. Liked how Aminata, Shir and others are basically part of it. The motive of Nietzsche's And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you, of Baru as a perfect tool of the Empire, is maintained in an unexpected and clever way. Obviously, repeating the steps of Traitor would be both boring and impossible and since Baru is a Monster now, that motive can be supported by "internal" means now. I liked it, both in the way Battuta played with the font and the eventual revelation.

Tain Hu's presence in the book remains strong, which was rather unexpected for me. I thought that most if it made sense and did not felt forced, both in Baru's supporters and Baru's internal struggles. Good job on balancing that. Found the end to be perfectly acceptable. While not ending anything related to Baru's personal arc, the whole book feels like a journey, an intermediate step, a setup anyway. And since that setup is now complete, it was fine to end it there :D.

The weird stuff:

I did not really get the Iraj-character to be fully honest but I suspect that is part of the plan. Does he actually like his lover? Probably, but I am not sure. More central, what are his hopes (we certainly know his fears) for the future, what does he truly wish for?

Tain Shir came out of the blue and, as the book makes it obvious to the reader, she does not. ;) Another thing that took me off guard, that is for sure. She has this other-wordly attitude and that is the point, another monster made by Farrier. I am sensing some interesting revelations for book 3 there.

The shift in Baru's expression of sexuality was a hard one. One of the things I loved in Traitor was how suppressed even the writing was on that subject, perfectly mirroring the character. All of that is gone, however Baru is obviously at a different point now. It is a known fact now to most of the people around her, and she feels somewhat safe. She had sex, she liked it. And, of course, she is utterly broken as a person, constantly drunk and on the verge of complete loss of control. In the end, this was never something that bothered me enough to be on the negative list, however I did want to mention it.

I had never read something like Traitor before, a book that I found so utterly perfect, a book that felt like it was written for me and had all the elements I liked in my stories and absolutely nothing else. Monster was not written for me. But so were many other great books I really like. Eagerly awaiting the next one  :nod:.

Well done.
Devoted member of the Official Karajorma Fan Club (Founded and Led by Mobius).

Does crazy Software Engineering for a living, until he finally musters the courage to start building games for real. Might never happen.

 

Offline Rhymes

  • Galactic Mediator
  • 29
  • Fatum Iustum Stultorum
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
Haven't had time for books in a while. Just as I got some time I saw the book in the airport bookstore. Starting it now--super hyped.
If you don't have Knossos, you need it.

“There was a button," Holden said. "I pushed it."
"Jesus Christ. That really is how you go through life, isn't it?”

 
Re: Baru Cormorant Infiltration Station
I finished reading it! I think I need to read it again. I would have liked a glossary, actually, like a scribbled notebook similar to the lovely map. That's probably just me though, I couldn't read the book as often and as concentrated as I'd liked.

Spoiler:
When Baru started chanting the little rhyme I dreaded something horrible was going to happen, well done that.
I had a few questions, and a lot of them are going to resolved in the next book, but there's a few things I was unclear on:
The Mbo society allows people to choose their own gender at a young age. Is there any leniency if they, after more sexual development has happened, decide that they mabye should be something else? Or does this never happen to begin with?
Cutting Tau-Indi from Trim: I get that the Cancrioth would rather remove themselves from Trim since, well, that would be even more destruction they'd leave in their wake if they didn't. But why cut Tau Indi from trim? Doesn't this do damage as Tau Indi is, above all else, a fundementally good person and Trim is lesser for his absence? What binds Tau Indi to the Cancrioth now, as they started off with doing something that to him is entirely horrible? Is cutting someone from Trim pernament?

I also particularely liked how the final chapters of the book made me question some of the fundementals I thought the baruverse was based on. Still couldn't sleep for hours after reading the ending too! Kept thinking about everything.

In short

It good.