Sunday, November 11, 2012

Book Review: The Caline Conspiracy by M.H. Mead

The Caline Conspiracy is M.H. Mead’s third foray into the Viker ‘Verse (I have no idea what the collective team of Margaret Yang and Harry Campion call their little world but this is what I call it, so deal). I’m going to start with the bad then go to the good: First (and worst in this humble readers opinion), IT. IS. TOO. DAMN. SHORT. Mead built up the pressure on the plot slowly and then put it on full blast somewhere in the middle and kept it up till the very (unexpected) end. Basically my brain was going full speed doing its SUPER-GENIUS thing right until I hit the book-ending-meep-meep, and suddenly I realized I was over the damn cliff. Now don’t get me wrong the ending made sense and tied up the loose ends nicely (that is hard to do!) but I wanted more. I felt there could’ve been wayyyy more chapters till the final act. Second, speaking of the final act, I was (for some reason) expecting more Machiavellian plots not the end of Macbeth (well partially Macbeth anyways).


Okay my gripes aside to the good stuff!


PLOT. My gawd it was so pretty, so simply constructed and perfect. It was like when your son/daughter/young relation gets a hold of an erector set or Legos and builds a structure the first time. And they do it perfectly. Mead incorporates enough science to give you the idea of what is going on but doesn’t bludgeon you with Neil Degrasse Tyson’s figurative whoompum stick. (Side note: whoompum stick, isn’t that a awesome pair of words? I just like saying it out loud: whoompum stick, you should try it is fun). Second, you can tell that Mead has put real work into the universe her books take place in, that is to say nothing feels…contrived. Either the Mead duo are madcap writing geniuses cranking out loads of manuscripts no one will ever see or they got a setting bible. I’m good for either theory. Third (and finally because I know by now reader you are getting grumpy and possibly need a cookie and a glass of milk*), the characters are very very fleshed out. Very real. I don’t get the cardboard cutout feeling when someone new comes onto the stage. For instance, I got the creep vibe near instantly from Edo, the whiny teenager vibe from Jon, and (as I did when I read Fate’s Mirror) the kick-ass action hero vibe from Aidra. Though I doubt she’d describe herself as such. Overall, it is a great book but I just want more of it. The Caline Conspiracy gets 4½ pennies out of five. It is worth the buy in and while you are at it go ahead and get Good Fences and Fate’s Mirror. Also worth it.


* Warning you should never give a mouse a cookie!!!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds intriguing. I'll have to check it out! And yes, I think whoompum is a damn fine word :D