Red Seas Under Red Skies

Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch So, I struggled with this book. I feel like I read the first one so quickly and this one just didn't flow as well for me. It seemed like [a:Scott Lynch|73149|Scott Lynch|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1332432746p2/73149.jpg] didn't really know what story he was trying to tell.
It starts with this really fun idea of stealing from a casino. While interesting, it wasn't enough to build the entire story around because they had already been at the scheme for two years. (Two whole years!) By the time we pick up the book, it's already nearing completion. What, then, is the author to do?
Now the story becomes confused, complicated, and slightly unreal. Scott Lynch throws in this archon (ruler) who wants Jean and Locke to run out and join some pirates. They need to start a pirate war, basically.
Huh?
That is where it started falling apart. Because now, there are two completely different type of schemes being ran. Trying to keep up with both is a little difficult. Not to mention a little difficult to believe.
Locke and Jean both admit they know next to nothing about pirating (or sailing, for that matter) and have no way to convince these pirates to do anything. It just doesn't make sense. It's a bit of a stretch of the imagination to expect anyone to act this way, much less a "ruler."
Oh, yeah, and everyone wants to kill them. Random assassins thrown in, too.
The dance that Scott Lynch did, to tie these two story lines together just barely worked. Just barely, but work it did. I bought it.
I did, however, realize that, no matter how much I love Locke and Jean, they really, really need a larger cast. It wasn't until they took to the high seas that I really started enjoying the book. Locke needs to surround himself with a large cast that he can charm and play off of. That's where he is at his best. Not to mention, it gave a chance to flesh out Jean as someone other than just the loyal side-kick. (Love interest, anyone?) Even then, though, the story kind of stalled. The action wasn't really relevant to either story line. The ending felt a little too rushed and left too many questions.
Overall, though, for all my complaints, I did enjoy this book. It is not as amazing as the first one, not as memorable, but not bad.
Fingers crossed for an amazing third book and high hopes for finally meeting Sabetha!

P.S. Still want to know Locke's real name.