Who recommends: JW, Preeti, Shelley, Linda, Julie, Edith, Kathleen, Shelly, Danielle
I also finished WRAPT IN CRYSTAL by Sharon Shinn. I did enjoy it, but perhaps because of the warning of a "bittersweet" romance in one of the write-ups I'd seen I wasn't able to get deeply interested in the romance (which turns out better than I would have anticipated anyway!). The main character interested me a lot, but I couldn't really see the attraction to the love interest as it develops. I was interested in the two faces of the Goddess, and the difference between the two religious sects and ways of worship. I was much more attracted to the laughing goddess than to the somber one, and to her followers who believe in joy in worship. -- JW
Put me down as loving WRAPT IN CRYSTAL. I just finished it and really enjoyed it a lot. I found the love story really touching. The mystery - well I found myself waiting for half of the book for the investigator to make the obvious connection, but it is a minor complaint. This is my first Shinn book, but I have been collecting her trilogy and am now very eager to start it.--Shelley
I enjoyed Cowen, and his relationship with Jovieve and Laura, very much. Surprisingly, I didn't think either the romance or the mystery was as compelling as Cowen's interactions with the all the people around him.--Preeti
I actually read a book this week! Add me to the list of people who recommend Shinn's WRAPT IN CRYSTAL. Not as good as Archangel, though. Even though I enjoyed it, I felt distanced from the characters -- didn't connect with them on an emotional level. And I didn't understand why the hero fell in love with the heroine (won't say more so as not to spoil it). But the story held my interest and I like Shinn's writing style VERY much.
F/SF is the most difficult type of book to read, IMO, because one has to adjust to a new world, weird names, unfamiliar geography, complicated politics, peculiar religions. This books stood out because I had very little adjusting to do -- I slipped so easily and smoothly into her world. I really think it's high art to make adaptation to a new universe so easy.
Someone somewhere (not here, I think) thought the ending was anti-feminist -- i.e. where she says "Where you lead, I will follow" (or words to that effect). His life, his job, required travel. Her "job, worshiping Ava, could have been done anywhere (I'm being deliberately vague about her job so I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it). So I have no problem with the fact that he took precedence. In my family, whoever feels the strongest about anything (job, where we live, etc.) "wins". And it's not about "winning, it's about consideration for the other person, which is the foundation of a loving relationship.
The strongest bits of the book (interestingly enough, since I'm areligious) were the discussions about religion. She did an excellent job articulating so many of my reservations about religion while presenting so many convincing arguments for believing. I notice she does this in quite a few of her books and wonder about her religious background.--Edith
I found this very intriging also. I think it is because it delves into some fundemental areas - like how individuals make ethical decisions and how they see their world. Although I am neither Christian nor Jewish I found this to be one of the fascinating aspects of Laurie King's A MONSTROUS REGIMENT OF WOMEN and find I like well done considerations of the nature of belief in other books as well. SF/F I think can explore these issues in a unique way - in putting us in an entirely different culture the author has the chance to avoid the social conditioning and assumptions that sometimes accompany religious debate.--Shelley
I finished reading WRAPT IN CRYSTAL. I really liked the characters and setting in this one. Shinn has a great talent for world creating. I'm not sure I agreed with the ending though. It seemed kind of pat. I think it was possible for the 2 characters to get together at the end, but not without more time (and novel) to get there. At that point in their lives it didn't feel right to me. Anyone else feel the same/different? But I do recommend it.--Shelly (03 Jan 00)
I finally got around to reading WRAPT IN CRYSTAL. I'd call it good solid entertainment, very strong on the characters and world-building. I like my sf with a little philosophizing, so I enjoyed all the discussion of religion as well. Nitpicks: The "big revelation" was far too easy to figure out from the very first chapter, and I agree with whoever it was that said the resolution of the love story was too quick and easy. Definitely a _dea ex machina_ ending.--Danielle (03 Feb 00)