I thoroughly enjoyed Lynch's first book, "The Lies of Locke Lamora,"
and when I picked up "Red Seas Under Red Skies," I was looking for
more of the same adventurous spirit that permeated the first book.
However, I still retained a hint of trepidation---some authors do a
brilliant job with their first novel, then spoil the fun with a
Lynch didn't let me down. "Red Seas Under Red Skies" takes the same
rollicking, by-the-seat-of-their-pants, lying-through-their-teeth
adventure from the first novel, sets it in an entirely new and unique
location, and throws in a generous helping of nautical adventure. The
result is a book that reads like equal parts Robin Hood, Ocean's
Eleven, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
There are aspects of the book that were somewhat disappointing; Locke
never seems to be as fully in control of the situation than he was in
the first book, and the fast-paced plot takes turns that are
occasionally too sharp. The ending wasn't quite as satisfying as the
previous book's. That being said, none of these factors ruined my
enjoyment of this novel.
Lynch also avoids the temptation to make the setting of this book
similar to the quasi-Venetian city of Camorr from the first novel - in
fact, he passes this test with flying colors, combining elements of
steam-punk and seafaring to produce a setting that is at once entirely
new and wholly believable. New characters in this novel are well
fleshed out, and I had an easy time sympathizing with both heroes and
villains (though it's quite difficult to tell them apart!) and
immersing myself entirely in Lynch's world.
All in all, a swashbucklingly fun book; a worthy sequel to "The Lies
of Locke Lamora." I look forward to the next book in the series.