Hello, Loyal Readers! When I do a FOLLOWUP post, it means a book held my interest all the way through to the end! Way to go, book!
So I finished Scriptlings a few days ago and I’ve got a lot to say about it.
I’ll go over positives first and improvement areas second. Watch out for some spoilers in the second half.
If you haven’t checked out my First-Impressions review of Scriptlings, you can find it here.
- My immediate impression upon finishing: “I want more.”
I want to see more of these characters and more of this world. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
- I really hope Suciu turns this into a series, as I feel there’s a lot of potential for more good stories in this world.
If Suciu writes another Scriptlings book, I’ll buy it.
The whole, “Magic is behind the scenes of the world as you know it,” thing isn’t new, but Suciu’s spin on it freshens it up with out taxing your willing suspension of disbelief.
- I think my favorite characters were Merkin and Master Loo—Merkin for her tenacity and reluctant conscience and Master Loo for his asocial, inner-monologu-eing proclivities–I can relate on both fronts.
- Also, the comedy. I like it a lot. I think I mentioned in my First-Impression Review that Douglass Adams’s influence is visible from page one and how rare it is that I find a book to be genuinely funny (when one is trying to be so [I find plenty of books funny when they’re NOT trying to be…]).
Now there aren’t AS MANY jokes as Adams or Pratchett manage to sneak in, but I actually think this is a good thing; most of the time, when humor fails in a book, it’s because it is being forced.
Scriptlings may have fewer laughs overall, but they all feel genuine—one genuine laugh is better that three forced laughs, any day.
- Bonus points for making me identify with that horrible Microsoft Paperclip-thing. I hate that thing, yet this novel made me see him in a new light.
Ok, now for some notes on improvement areas. We may get into spoiler territory here, so keep an eye out for the struck-through text…
- This book is big on story, light on plot. It’s just something I noticed–not a big deal–but important cause-and-effect actions are a little far between. This is more a personal preference thing; I’m a HUGE plot guy. I still found the novel enjoyable.
- I had a tough time envisioning the major settings—a tiny bit more description might’ve been helpful.
- This book would not pass the Bechdel test. Merkin is a lone female in a sausage market. This wasn’t an issue for me upon reading, but in looking back I see how her character could have been strengthened by adding a female foil or two.
The only other female involved in the plot is non-verbal, and when she becomes verbal, she changes form to a male.
Might be some subconscious symbolism there…
Anyway, even though she’s the only female she’s central to the plot and the romance, while a concern, is not her main goal. Nice to see that.
- –The Master Dung sub-plot just kind of fizzles out. I would have liked to see some sort of cliffhanger-ish resolution to this, hinting that he might be back.
- The Denouement feels a little implausible to me—
All of a sudden Buggeroff and Merkin love each other? I did not get that impression from the earlier parts of the narrative. If I was Buggeroff I’d think twice before going near her. And if Merkin is as reformed as she claims to be, I’d think there’d be some guilt getting in the way of things. Hell, I’d expect their future interaction to be marked by awkward weirdness after the events of the novel.
Speaking of Merkin’s reformation–that happened pretty quick, too. Not quite as jarring, but the epilogue places a lot of emphasis on her having “changed.” I think it’d work better if it was a bit more subtle.
It’s all a little much to swallow in the last ten pages.
Overall, however Scriptlings was fun and even a little thought provoking. Suciu’s made himself a fan in me, and I hope to see more works in the Scriptlings world!
Check out Scriptlings if you like Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Monty Python, or even Harry Potter.
*A final note about that last one; this book contains what some would call “adult themes” and what others would call “sexy nakedness” and “hardcore fucking.” HP fans who pick up this book should be able handle reading about those things.
And once you’ve read it, come back and leave me a comment!