Friday, October 28, 2011

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

    Beka Cooper book two
    A Tortall Legend
by Tamora Pierce
2009  Random House                                              
538 pgs                                                                              

My Rating:  2.5 - Meh (revised)

Summary from Amazon:

Beka Cooper, the heroine of Terrier, is no longer a Puppy.

She's a Dog now—a full-fledged member of the Provost's Guard, dedicated to keeping peace in Tortall. But there's unrest throughout land. Counterfeit coins are turning up in shops all over the capital city of Corus, and the nation's economy is on the brink of collapse.

The Dogs discover that the counterfeit money seems to originate in Port Caynn. So Beka heads upriver to investigate, traveling with her mentor, Goodwin; Achoo, a hound whose nose is as sharp as her claws; and the pigeon Slapper, who carries the voices of the dead.

In Port Caynn, Beka delves deep into the gambling world, where she meets a charming banking clerk named Dale Rowan. Beka thinks she may be falling for Rowan, but she won't let anything—or anyone—jeopardize her mission. From the Silversmith's Guild to the Provost's House to the city sewers, it won't be enough for Beka to be her usual Terrier self. She'll have to learn from Achoo how to sniff out the criminals—to be a Bloodhound. . . .

I was 168 pages into reading this book when I realized I was still waiting for it to begin. I found myself sprawled on the floor in a spot of sunshine falling asleep.

I felt as if Pierce were pushing her way through a wall of muck trying to deliver a story even if it hurt her to do it. Some of the sentences were painfully complete, full of details that had nothing to do with the story. Why did I care what the guardswomen wore or what the docks looked like or the boat? There was no reason behind the knowing.

Beka had flattened out as a character for me. She resisted the Rogue Rosto so absolutely that even Goodwin pointed out that she was sticking to her values so much it would bite her. There was no excitement in the job, she was mugged unawares, and moped over her cat. 

Although this book was "painful" to me to read, I have adjusted my Rating to "Meh" for some important reasons. I don't read very many badly written books simply b/c I research other reader's reviews. Usually. Recently I found myself astonished with bad writing AND bad plot AND contradictory characters, etc, etc... and Bloodhound is NOTHING LIKE THAT. No. The characters are well-developed, even if Beka seemed flattened to me. The scenery was amazing & vivid. I just disagreed with Beka and Goodwin and all the various characters and felt the plot was predictable. (I beg to be surprised, I suppose.) It's also possible that Tamora Pierce is Not My Cup of Tea in general, since I feel excessively critical reading her books when I feel like I ought to like them. I haven't decided that as "final", however, since I want to read Mastiff and some of the other series. Eventually.