October 7, 2007

this town rips the bones from your back

Posted in books tagged , at 3:08 pm by placeinthestars

last night, I finished Red Seas Under Red Skies, the sequel to The Lies of Locke Lamora.

Okay, so while I liked the setting of the first book better – Camorr was really interesting, but Tal Verrar didn’t really ping for me – I liked the capers in this one better. Pirates! Casinos! Awesomesauce! And dear god, the Locke/Jean. I can’t even. The ending!

So Locke and Jean are given some kind of slow-acting poison to blackmail them into working for the Archon of Tal Verrar, and they have to have the antidote every eight weeks, or they’ll die. They end up on a pirate ship, and Jean falls in love with the first mate, who, of course, dies saving the world the ship. So Jean is all wrecked, much as Locke was wrecked at the end of the first book, and Jean wouldn’t let him die. They finally turn the tables on the Archon and get the permanent antidote, but only enough for one of them. So at the very end, they’re going off on their own little yacht, and they’re having a nice dinner, and Jean says, “So, I think you should use the antidote, and let me die.” And Locke is like, “Um, you know I put it in your wine, right?”

Wait, no, that is not good enough to capture the sheer Winchesteresque emoporn of this ending. Let me type up what they actually say (minus a lot of the “and he buried his face in his hands” stuff).

“You’re going to drink it.” Jean set both of his hands on the table, palm down. “All of it.”

“No,” said Locke.

“You don’t have a choice,” said Jean.

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

“We can’t take the chance of splitting it. […] Better that one of us be cured for certain, than for both of us to linger on and…die like that.”

“I’ll take my chances with lingering on,” said Locke.

“I won’t,” said Jean. “Please drink it, Locke.”

“Or what?”

“Or you know what,” said Jean. “You can’t overpower me. the reverse is definitely not true.”

“So you’ll–”

“Awake or unconscious,” said Jean, “it’s yours. I don’t care. Drink the fucking antidote […].”

“I can’t,” said Locke.

“Then you force me to–”

“You don’t understand,” said Locke. “I didn’t say ‘won’t.’ I said ‘can’t’.”


“That’s just water in a vial I picked up in town.” Locke reached once more into his pocket, withdrew an empty glass vial, and slowly set it down beside the fake. “I have to say, knowing me the way you do, I’m surprised you agreed to let me pour your wine.”

[section/POV change]

“You bastard,” Jean roared, leaping to his feet.

“Gentleman Bastard.”

“You miserable fucking son of a bitch! […] How could you? How could you do that to me?”

“I can’t watch you die,” said Locke flatly. “I can’t. You couldn’t ask me to–”

“So you didn’t even give me a choice!”

“You were going to fucking force-feed it to me! […] I knew you’d try something like that. Do you blame me for doing it first?”

“Now I get to watch you die, is that it? Her, and now you? And this is a favor?” […]

“It is a favor,” said Locke. “A favor to me. You save my life all the time because you’re an idiot and you don’t know any better. Let me…let me do it for you, just once. Because you actually deserve it.”

“I don’t understand any of this,” Jean whispered. “You son of a fucking bitch, how can you do this? I want to hug you. And I want to tear your gods-damned head off. Both at once.”

“Ah,” said Locke. “Near as I can tell, that’s the definition of ‘family’ right there.”

“But you’ll die.”

“It was always going to happen. It was always going to happen, and the only reason it didn’t happen before now…is…you, actually.”

“I hate this.”

“I do too. But it’s done. I suppose I have to feel okay about it.”

“What do we do now?”

“Same as we planned. Somewhere, anywhere, laziest possible speed. Up the coast, just roaming. No one after us. No one in the way, no one to rob. We’ve never really done this sort of thing before.” Locke grinned. “Hell, I honestly don’t know if we’ll be any good at it.”

“And what if you–”

“When I do I do,” said Locke. “Forgive me.”

“Yes,” said Jean. “And no. Never.”

“I understand, I think.”

I still feel Locke is kind of opaque, and I think the prologue, given how it actually turns out, is kind of a cheat, but that ending OMG makes up for a lot. I mean, since I know this guy is planning a whole series of books, I am pretty sure Locke is not going to die, but if he never writes another book again, what a freaking fantastic ending! *hearts*

Wow, that took a long time to type. But yeah, I enjoyed it, and would recommend it.



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