Novel by BigSoccer Member: "A Scattering of Jades" [R-lite]

Discussion in 'Movies, TV and Music' started by BlueMeanie, Jul 26, 2002.

  1. BlueMeanie

    BlueMeanie New Member

    Apr 1, 2002
    We were briefly discussing this in the Books thread before all the old threads got wiped. I felt because the writer is a BigSoccer poster (irvine), however, that this novel warrants special mention.

    <i>A Scattering of Jades</i>, by Alexander C. Irvine (2002, Tor), is a fantastic sci-fi adventure that masterfully blends native American mythology with history around a well-paced plot execution. In reviews, I have read comparisons to Tim Powers and Neil Gaiman, and have seen compliments like "amazing first effort." While I think all of those are true, my first thought after finishing reading it was "Screw that. Great novel, period, by somebody I hope cranks out a lot more in his own style."

    Irvine does a killer job with the character development, making protagonist Archie Prescott a sympathetic wretch for much of the story. The adventure and transformation of his character are quite interesting. Other characters, like the conflicted tour guide Stephen Bishop and the evil journeyman Riley Steen, are equally well-portrayed. P.T. Barnum has a small role, and Aaron Burr is referred to enough to qualify as a supporting character. The "bad guy", the reanimated <i>chacmool</i>, is an elusive but terrifying presence in his own right.

    One of the things that sticks with me most about this adventure is Archie's river trip, which, while short, IMHO ranks right up there with odyssies like <i>Huckleberry Finn</i> and <i>Apocalypse Now</i>. I don't want to give anything away about what actually occurs, but it was my favorite part of the book. Interesting nod to to those and other great works that have used a river journey as a lead-in to the climax/resolution.

    Equally interesting is Irvine's attention to detail regarding historical depictions of New York City in the 1830s and 1840s, and Burr's involvement with the Tammany folks. While I don't know much about native American or Aztec mythology, Irvine's references and heavy usage of specific terminology make me think he's not making up much of that stuff, either.

    As aforementioned, good stuff, so hats off to you, Irvine. Hopefully, you're working on something new! IMHO, well worth the money...those into historical adventure, sci-fi, horror, and even comics will probably really get into this.

  2. Jacen McCullough

    Nov 23, 1998
    I haven't read it just yet, so I won't comment on the analysis, but it just seemed right to bump it back to the 1st page. :)

  3. irvine

    irvine Member

    Nov 24, 1998
    S. Portland, ME
    Cool sig, Jacen. ;)

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