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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (whorl) First Impressions of IGJ (SPOILERS)
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 11:17:32 

These are just a few scattered impressions gleaned from a quick first
reading.  Although you don't want to read this message if you want to
come to IGJ absolutely fresh, I've tried to avoid giving away any real
secrets, in case someone reads it by accident.  Besides, why would you
want to learn IGJ's mysteries from me, rather than Wolfe?  Bear in mind
also that I've only read the book once; as usual with Wolfe, I'll
probably have to read it a second time to figure out what's really going
on (if then).

1.  The book is quite different than I had expected from reading OBW and
knowing the titles of the other two books.  It's not the story of the
Green leg of Horn's quest for Silk in the same way that OBW was the
story of the Blue leg of Horn's quest, although we do learn about Horn's
time on Green.

2.  On the other hand, the book is probably what you'd expect from the
middle book of a trilogy--i. e. leaving most of the questions left by
the first book unresolved, although answering some, while adding a few
new ones.  It's also like the middle book of a trilogy in that it seems
to meander somewhat, though of course what seems meandering now may
prove supremely relevant once we've read Return to the Whorl.

3.  While IGJ was absorbing as a story, I found it much less emotionally
involving than OBW.  Horn's strong passions in the first book--his love
of Seawrack, hatred of Sinew, love-hate for Krait, and longing for
Nettle--are all muted in IGJ, and nothing really takes their places.

4.  I found it harder to follow the story here than in OBW.  This is
partly because the plot is more complicated, partly because there is no
strong narrative thread like Horn's quest for Pajarocu in OBW, and
partly for another reason which I'm afraid it might give too much away
to reveal.

5.  The question of the relationship between humans and inhumi dominates
IGJ, even more so than OBW.  It is the main theme of IGJ.

6.  The most enigmatic hint which has been dropped about IGJ on this
list is true, and the way it is true makes the similar hint about RETURN
plausible.  (I'm being cagy for the benefit of those who missed these
hints and prefer it that way.)


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