Friday, 1 April 2011

Red Seas Under Red Skies and a pet peeve.

I'm currently ploughing through Scott Lynch's "Red Seas Under Red Skies" - part of his Gentleman Bastard series of novels.  

On the whole, I'm enjoying it (but not as much as the first novel) with one major exception:

Minor Spoiler Alert!

The two main characters, Locke and Jean, are poisoned early on by one of the villains.  If they don't do his bidding, then no antidote!  Furthermore, as the poison appears to be permanent, the pair will have to return to him every six weeks or so to get regular doses of the antidote, otherwise it's wooden box time.

I HATE this as a plot device.  It's been done before and I've never seen it resolved satisfactorily. Ever.  Possible solutions are:
i) The pair die (unlikely.)
ii) The pair has to cope with this throughout the rest of the storyline (and another five planned novels.)
iii) There is some kind of deus ex machina plot device that turns up; curing the poison and all will be well.
iv) The author will simply let this drift and eventually slip the whole thing under the literary carpet.

Ok, they're not all the possible solutions, but they are the most commonly used.  The Mrs has already read the book and tells me not to worry about it.  I'll keep reading, but for the moment this is really bugging me.  Fingers crossed Lynch is able to surprise me and pull a decent solution out of the bag.

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