The Swan Riders

the-swan-ridersAuthor: Erin Bow
Series: Prisoners of Peace #2
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Verdict: Bury

This, of course, is the problem with caring about more than one person.  You can be forced to choose.

I just… I don’t even know where to begin with this review.  Full disclosure, I skimmed read full paragraphs along the way.  The entire plot was slow with little to no action of interest.  And I am still trying to wrap my head around what the plot even was.  The book jacket blurb says:

‘Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across postapocalyptic Saskatchewan.  But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed.  Including Elian, the boy she saved.’

That sounds somewhat interesting.  In reality, though, this is just a sliver of what happens in the story.  Most of it revolves around Talis/Michael/Rachel/whatever the heck you want to call it.

The fundamental problem I faced with this novel is that all the main characters now are either AI, partially AI, or serving the AI.  i.e. where the heck are all the humans?  I’m sorry if I don’t care much about an AI’s brain splitting itself open.  Especially when we never even met the human host whose body it occupies (and he was pretty much the bad guy in the first story).  It is darn near impossible to sympathize with any of these characters.  Even Greta who was human in the first novel.  Now she’s AI.  Bow tries to get me to relate to a robot.  Couldn’t do it.  And Elian reintroduction was so disjointed it would have almost been better if he hadn’t come back.

Perhaps current incidents in my personal life are bleeding over into my reading experience and tainting my interpretation, but this was a sequel where I just didn’t see the point of the story.  For a postapocalyptic world, we spent a lot of time just having seizures.


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