It’s time for the final post in the read-along of Max Gladstone’s Full Fathom Five! I’m a few days late with this, due to overestimating my ability not to be wiped out by a long plane ride. Anyhow, this read-along has been a lot of fun, and if you want to check out others’ discussions along the way, check them out at the Goodreads group page. Also, I found it cool to see that Max Gladstone actually noticed and commented about our read-along :).
Now, it’s time to get to the questions, which contain spoilers through the end of the book. Stop reading now if you want to avoid them!
1. So Jace was in fact responsible for the rogue Penitent, and for what was happening to the 'idols'... And my guess last week regarding his reasons (that it was bad for business) wasn't far off the mark... What did you make of his confrontation with Kai and his justifications?
That was pretty much what I expected, concerning his guilt and justifications. I wonder if he’s had much success in converting people over the years. He said something about ‘not being good at this anymore’, but I don’t think we really know any of his allies. He comments about one woman who left, and we know what happened to Mara and Kai. I wonder if this cover-up was why the HR guy quit being a priest, though maybe he wasn’t allowed to remember the details of the conversation. I did not believe Kai was going to take him up on his offer, so I was glad she didn’t hesitate.
I did not expect the Penitent punishment, and I did not expect that was what happened to Mara. I, like Kai, believed she’d been killed. After the Penitent reveal, though, it all made sense. Seeing them from the inside, that is an even more horrifying punishment than I imagined. It seemed that Kai and Teo were better at holding themselves separate, likely because they’ve spent their whole lives affirming their identity against people who want them to be someone else.
2. Mako's involvement in the subsequent events was a bit of a surprise. Or was it? Did you expect the old man to be involved at all, much less the way he was?
Well, one of the commenters a few weeks ago suggested that Mako was Makawe, and so I’ve suspected it since then. I’m glad he didn’t swoop in and completely save the day, though. I think he is right to let Kavekana move on to future generations, and not to try to reclaim power over his people. I also liked that comment about the prophecies coming true, though no one noticed. I think the many-faced goddess will fit in well to the mythology of Kavekana.
3. Izza steals a goddess! What are your thoughts on the way her story ends (or begins, as the case may be)?
I’m quite happy that she didn’t end up leaving the island. She clearly felt an obligation to the street kids. The more we saw of her, the more she seemed like a religious leader, as well. I think that she will be a good person to bring Kavekana into the future, and that she will be able to make things better for the kids in a longer-lasting way.
4. We leave the story with Kavekana "waiting for the world to come"... Do you think this particular ending is for the best, or would you have preferred to see the island remain apart, and peaceful?
I definitely don’t think Kavekana needed to stay as it was, with the Penitents and the deicide. It may have been peaceful for foreign tourists and workers on Kavekana’ai, but it certainly wasn’t very peaceful for Izza or the other kids. I don’t know what the future will hold for them exactly, but maybe it will be something better. Getting rid of the Penitents will be a step in the right direction, and I like that they acknowledged healing the damage done will take a long time. I liked the ending.
Now that Last First Snow is out, perhaps there will be a read-along of it coming soon. I’m looking forward to seeing some Elayne Kevarian backstory!