Monday, August 04, 2008

The Cipher

So I finished The Cipher by Diana Pharaoh Francis early Sunday morning and wasn't too happy. In case you don't already know, I'm one of those people that generally picks a book up because of it's cover. Which means, I really do judge a book by it's cover. Which means I have good and bad luck in the books I choose.

Which means I didn't terribly enjoy this book, unlike Jim Hines. In fact, I'd say this was actually two books instead of one. The first book is a good read about a customs clerk, Lucy Trenton, who gets caught up in a bit of political intrigue, blackmail, oppressive mothers, and magic. Great. I loved it. The scenes and relationships between the characters were great and the plot was almost too convoluted to follow, but foggy enough to keep you hooked.

Then the two main characters get dumped overboard into the magically evil water. Um, they can create their own clothes now? And food? With magic? And they didn't die like everyone else? Yeah, that's about where I got lost. I didn't much like that part. Even towards the end when things began to get a little better and made more sense, some of the scenes seemed to have lost their appeal.

Bottom line for me, I'll keep an eye out for her other works (including the rest of this series), but I won't be paying full price for them.
On a side note, the covers are pretty freaking awesome.


Jim C. Hines said...

The magic water part threw me too. I needed more foreshadowing, or at least some sort of lifeline to help me figure out what was going on at that point. As you say, it starts to make sense later, but that part did spill me out of the book for a while.

That said, I did enjoy the book a lot overall. And I definitely agree with you re: the cover.

Neil Richard said...

Yeah, I haven't quite given up on the author or the series (kind of hard to base your opinion one just one book) but the magic water just wasn't magic.

And her other covers are awesome too. Way awesome.