With the US/UK publication of RESISTANCE this week, the reviews are starting to come in and two in particular caught my eye. My Bookish Ways followed up an insightful critique of EMERGENCE with an even more astute reading of Dave's character (or lack thereof) in the second installment.
"You already know that Dave isn’t stupid. In fact, he’s far from it, higher education and all. Except… there’s a self-loathing aspect that drives Dave to do stupid things, and once he starts, it’s awful hard for him to quit." (Emphasis added.)
I was really taken by MBW's reading of Dave in that way. If you've finished the whole series/season you'd know just accurate the self-loathing diagnosis is, but youd have to infer it from his behaviour before the revelations in New York.
The second review I really liked was in One Book Two, the work of a couple of women who read in tandem and them toss their reactions to the story back and forth. I've seen this a bit with reviews/recaps of TV shows like Game of Thrones, and of course it was the defining architecture the movie reviews by Siskel & Ebert, and Stratton & Pomeranz - but I haven't come across it in book reviewing before. (Perhaps I should get out less?)
The thing I really appreciated about it was the way the format allows the reviewers to push against each other. It address the main problem I've always had with reviews; they're entirely subjective exercises in pretending to be objective readings of a topic. 1B2's Dave review is that most rare of all things for a writer – useful. I took a lot away from it that I can apply in writing Season 2.
You can read the whole thing here. It's worth the jump just to bookmark the site for future reference.