Tuesday 29 March 2016

Mythmaker by Marianne de Pierres

Mythmaker by Marianne de Pierres is the sequel to Peacemaker, which I reviewed when it was released. It took me a while to get around to reading Mythmaker and then a while to actually finish it. The former is because I don't really like Westerns, so even though I enjoyed the first book, I was hesitant to start the second. The latter is mostly because of life events disrupting my reading.

Virgin’s in a tight spot. A murder rap hangs over her head and isn’t likely to go away unless she agrees to work for an organisation called GJIC (the Global Joint Intelligence Commission).

Being blackmailed is one thing, discovering that her mother is both alive and the President of GJIC is quite another. Then there’s the escalation of Mythos sightings and the bounty on her head.

Oddly, Hamish is the only one she can rely on. Life is complicated.

As I said, I'm not a fan of Westerns, so I wasn't sure how much I would like Mythmaker. As it happens, it felt like less of a Western than the first book, so that worked out for me. On the other hand, it was also less science fictional and more (urban) fantastical than the first book, which worked for the plot and so forth, despite the SF elements being what I enjoyed most in the first book. Your mileage may vary. Also, having read this book over a rather long period of time (like, a few months), I got to have breaks from the elements I liked less, like Sixkiller, the American almost-cowboy.

My overwhelming memories/impression of Mythmaker are of violence. I'm pretty sure it was more violent than the first book and there were some scenes that were pretty intense. Not only was Virgin in something like a war-zone at one point, there was also a lot of up close and personal grisly murders. So heads up, if that's something that might bother you.

Plot-wise, there are a lot of threads in this book and while it's fair to say most of them were addressed, I didn't feel like they were all addressed satisfactorily. And the ending was certainly not what I expected, as far as resolving Virgin's story goes. I am not sure whether a sequel is planned. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that book three isn't on the cards, but well. Much was unresolved. I was kind of looking forward to seeing how things came together, but instead we got [tropes redacted for spoilers].

From the above, you could be forgiving for thinking I didn't like Mythmaker at all. That isn't the case.  I genuinely enjoyed reading it and kept picking it up, especially in the last third or so, without pressuring myself to do so. De Pierres is a good writer and it was the readability that kept me turning the pages. I also liked Virgin, despite her somewhat self-destructive character. I kind of wanted to shout at her to look after herself better. But as I said, I was glad the Sixkiller wasn't too prominent in the latter part of this book. On the other hand, I pretty much would have liked to see more of the other characters like investigative journalist/friend Caro, particularly given the ending.

If you liked Peacemaker and want to read more about the characters, then I definitely recommend reading Mythmaker. However, be prepared for the increased violence. (The shift in genre should not be a surprise if you read the first book, at least.) I wouldn't recommend new readers start from this book, since a lot of worldbuilding is set up in the first book. If a sequel ever eventuates (very uncertain), they I will be picking it up. We'll see.

3.5 / 5 stars

First published: 2015, Angry Robot
Series: Yes. Peacemaker book 2 of 2
Format read: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge

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