The Phoenix Exultant: The Golden Age, Volume 2 - DAVID LESLIE JOHNSON SARAH BLAKLEY-CARTWRIGHT 2.5 - 3

Wow, I was really disappointed with this one, especially considering how much I had enjoyed its predecessor. In many ways this just did not feel like a true continuation of the first book in the series. One of the major stumbling blocks for me was that I just couldn't believe the way Wright handled the voices he used for the characters in this volume. Considering his mannered and baroque set up in the previous volume I found the dialogue to be way too colloquial (and 20th cent. colloquial at that). Now maybe he was trying to show Phaeton 'stepping down' a level, both
socially due to his exile and intellectually due to his loss of certain artificial brain upgrades, but it really grated on me. Atkins and Daphne were also throwing around way too much colloquial verbiage in my humble opinion.

I also think Wright relied far too much on exposition for character actions and motives...he told us way more than he showed us, as if he felt he had to explain all of the details to us because we'd never figure it out for ourselves.

I understand that these characters are posthumans who are able to modify themselves in various ways, but it seemed like the character of Daphne became a completely differtent person. She goes from victim to hero in one mighty leap that has no explanation...I guess she must have downloaded the Nancy Drew persona since the last volume.

Ultimately, in looking back after I finished it, it seemed that not very much really *happened* in the course of the novel. Phaeton just acts more or less clueless and like a pompous ass and eventually finds the loopholes (and hidden allies) he needs thanks to the plot master (don't look behind the curtain!).

Certainly it wasn't all bad, but the sensawunda and deeper level of thought and execution of the first volume were missing for the most part.