Red Hood Discussion Post
This is your official discussion post for Red Hood’s Revenge [B&N | Mysterious Galaxy | Amazon]. It probably goes without saying that there will be spoilers in the comments.
I figure this is your discussion space, so while I’m happy to answer questions, I’m also more than happy to stay out of it and let people chat. Hm … to clarify, I’m happy to answer questions about anything except what happens in book four 🙂
July 13, 2010 @ 9:59 am
I’ll copy my thoughts from SFF World, Jim 🙂
“Well, I’m torn. I felt like I read it a little too quickly, and perhaps that affected my view.
Firstly, I’ll tackle a common thing – Talia & Snow. RHR has a much smaller focus on their relationship despite it being a Talia-centric novel. You don’t have the revelations of TSS nor the intimate moments of TMM, and I think that made RHR’s moments a bit… downplayed. This novel introduces a former lover of Talia’s and Snow becomes increasingly jealous towards the end of the book, but a few things make me wonder. Along with the jealousy, there’s the odd little thing Snow does or says that really makes me wonder if she’s starting to like Talia herself. We’ll have to wait until TSQS until we find out, though.
Secondly, Talia! Yep, she’s in fighting form in this one. There’s fewer startling revelations about her in this one, but you still learn a lot about who she was and what her life was like. As I mentioned above, her former lover is a character in the later half of the book, and you do see Talia lighten up a bit, but it does affect her relationship with Snow quite strongly, as I mentioned above.
As for Snow and Danielle, they largely take a back seat role this time. Snow is still suffering from the events of TMM, and it’s severely reduced her ability to cast. I do think, though, that Jim didn’t really convey the severity of her casting in that state was. He would mention it often throughout the book, yet it never seemed to really be much of an issue until right at the end. As for Danielle, her position is hard to really discern. She’s clearly the less powerful of the trio, and as such I feel her use in the story is very limited. If she’s not talking to animals, she’s talking to people. It gets a little samey during the book, but it’s not a horrible thing.
The plot… Yeah, not a huge fan of this book’s plot. It was very up and down, and seemed a bit iffy to me. There was a lot more history and background information to take in, and part of me feels that it got a little overwhelming. You’re not just dealing with new characters, you’re dealing with a completely different social setting, different words and phrases, titles and places. There was a lot to take in, and I think it’ll take another read or two to fully come to terms with it all.
Minor things: I couldn’t help but notice that Jim often referred to the events of TSS as if the reader wasn’t aware of them, and I’m really unsure as if to I like that or I find it a drag.
Overall I felt this was the weakest of the series so far, but even then it’s still a very good book. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and I have to admit I did like that.”
One thing I will say, Jim, is that your ability to write fight scenes has improved! I found the final fight for TSS to be quite confusing, but since then you’ve gotten much better.
July 13, 2010 @ 10:00 am
I should really proof read things properly. Just noticed the “Secondly..” paragraph has “As I mentioned above” twice!
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July 13, 2010 @ 1:34 pm
I loved the book, especially about how Talia’s curse turned out to be a fairy conspiracy! Now she really has a reason to hate them! LOL!
I’m glad that Talia has someone now, though I was kind of confused by Snow’s attitude. Is she actually jealous? In any case, I’m glad she gets to be a little happy, because that part with her own sons attacking her was so painful 🙁 But do they know that she’s their mother, or did Lakhim keep that fact a secret?
I so can’t wait for the next book!
Jim C. Hines
July 13, 2010 @ 3:09 pm
My take on it was that the twins knew Talia was their mother, but only knew her as the villain of the story they’ve been told. After meeting her, one of the twins (and I’d have to look at the book to remember which one) still clings to the idea that Taila’s an evil woman who murdered his father, but the other twin is starting to question things a little.
I struggled with that scene. It didn’t feel realistic that it would be a happy reunion. The kids wouldn’t know her except from the stories, and Talia has no experience in the mother role save a little time with Jakob.
So it’s not an all-around happy ending, but it’s the ending that felt honest to me.
As for Snow … I’d say she’s a bit jealous, yes. Perhaps not jealous in that she wants to be in Faziya’s position, but Snow definitely enjoys attention, and even though she was uncomfortable with Talia’s feelings toward her, my take is that there’s also an aspect of it she liked.
Others are of course welcome to draw their own conclusions 😉
Jim C. Hines
July 13, 2010 @ 3:12 pm
It was definitely a different kind of book, in some ways. One review described it as “twisty,” which I think fits — more layers and twists and plotlines going on. Combine that with an unfamiliar setting, and I can definitely understand where it could be a lot to take in.
As for proofing, as long as you’re not messing up lose/loose, we’re good. (That one is a pet peeve of mine. Don’t ask me why…)
July 13, 2010 @ 3:21 pm
I’ve actually got a question more about TMM than RHR, but it does crop up a little. Is it just me, or did you imply that Talia has spent time with the Captain of the Phillipa? I can’t remember her name.
Jim C. Hines
July 13, 2010 @ 3:24 pm
Hephyra. I don’t believe I implied that the two of them had been romantically/sexually involved … though Hephyra certainly suggested it as a possibility. How much she was serious and how much she was just toying with Talia, that’s a question I leave to the reader 🙂
July 13, 2010 @ 3:27 pm
Could have just been my inability to read 😉
Thanks for answering, though! That’s been on my mind since April.
July 13, 2010 @ 5:34 pm
I actually really liked the Talia/Faziya/Snow triangle because I think it brought up some good points. Snow isn’t gay. Talia knows this and it’s made things really hard for her. I think the conversation she has with Danielle in the cave was long coming, we’ve known about her feelings for Snow for the previous two books but she never really *talked* about them. And I get where Snow is coming from too, even when you don’t return the feelings it’s nice to know someone cared about you that way. Plus Talia is her best friend and it seems like she doesn’t really know how to be around her without those feelings in the equation. I hope Faziya will be in the next book. I liked her. overall I say huzzah!
I did wonder though, how did you come up the language/words in Arathea?
Jim C. Hines
July 13, 2010 @ 6:45 pm
The Arathean language came from two sources. One was just looking at the names I had already used, and trying to be consistent with the letters and patterns. The other was looking at the patterns in Arabic words, not necessarily trying to imitate the language so much as to find letters and combinations that weren’t rooted in English, if that makes sense?
Oddly, I had an easier time of it with Arathean than I’m having with the Allesandrian language in book four…
July 13, 2010 @ 9:49 pm
Ah, finally got it in the mail… pity Amazon doesn’t feel like sending preorders out right away when it comes to me… T_T (It’s still a great early-birthday present, though!)
I really loved how this book focused more on Talia; she’s definitely my favourite of the three (although I do love them all!). Not only is she an awesome character, but she’s a main one and interested in girls – something that’s almost impossible to find on it’s own, let alone written well! It’s like a jackpot! I’m not so fond of Faziya, though – maybe I’m just jealous xD I guess I didn’t feel like we got to know her very well at all, and suddenly she’s stealing Talia away, in a way. Hopefully she’ll be fleshed out more in the next book.
As usual, the characters on the whole really got to me on a personal level – I wanted to step right in and slap Lakhim and Mahatal silly… and maybe do more than a bit of yelling at them. I didn’t feel quite as attached to them, though, although they did affect me – I think that was mostly due to a lot of the minor characters not showing up as much as similar ones have in the past books, though 🙂
I absolutely loved how Roudette was fleshed out – I certainly didn’t adore her as a person, but I did love how the character was so clearly thought through, and how it reflected in everything.
One thing I really would’ve loved to learn more about was the children affected by Rumpelstiltskin, and the palace situation in general – it’s home base for the characters, but at the same time I feel like I know less than I should about it – it’d be nice to see more of what goes on there on a regular basis, too. 🙂
I’m really excited for The Snow Queen’s Shadow, now! Although the idea that it might be the last one makes me sad… 🙁
Jim C. Hines
July 14, 2010 @ 2:35 pm
I have mixed feelings about ending the series too. I think I’m ready, but it’s still hard. On the other hand, I had the same feelings when I finished the goblin trilogy, and if I hadn’t stopped writing those, I never would have started writing princess books 😉