Hawk & Fisher #2 by Simon R. Green.

Hawk & Fisher #2

Read January 2016
Recommended for fans of fast reads
 ★    ★   1/2 

I have no excuse.

But I do have lots of explanations:
1. Almost bedtime and I didn’t want to start something meaningful/suspenseful.
2. Lingering doubt if my review for H&F #1 was excessively curmudgeonly?
3. The edition I borrowed was actually Books 1-3.
4. I really wanted a palate cleanser before diving into my next reads.

End result? H&F, book 2, is better than its predecessor. However, it still fails to work for me.

This time it is a straight-up guarding situation, where Hawk and Fisher and detailed to guard another Reform candidate–really, it is amazing anyone in the city of Haven bothers to fight the corrupt system. Once again, the first chapter is an action-packed conflict that appears to be largely resolved at the end.

Writing improved significantly except for–and I kid you not–almost identical paragraphs from book one describing Hawk and Fisher with maybe two word changes. Check for yourself, pages 4 and 176. Apparently, one is allowed to plagiarize themselves. But I did notice a definite improvement in creating mood and tension. However, Green thoughtfully tries to ratchet down any suspense by creating large info-dumps about politics in Haven, the conflict between the Conservatives and the Reform, and the ways this plays out on the streets. It is often of the awkward aside category, with Hawk pontificating and responses like “Hawk, I had no idea you were so interested in local politics” said, you know, his wife Fisher. But the local customs were amusing, with the tendency to erupt into knife fights, so there’s that.

Villain wasn’t concealed, and there are numerous points of view from him early on. I think they were supposed to show how awful and selfish he was, because they really didn’t increase suspense. There’s a mole who our highly trained Guards are unable to ferret out until they confess. A dead sorcerer is one of the most interesting things about the story, but sadly, the most neglected. And in true Green style, the ultimate confrontation comes when (view spoiler)

So far, the series reminds me of Lackey’s series The Oathbound, which I’d recommend over Hawk & Fisher any day. It’s the same general idea of mystery/conflict resolving in fantasy setting with much better pacing. While equally morally simplistic, writing is above average and characterization is better. Plus, sorceress and swordswoman who become besties.

Hawk & Fisher #1 review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show…

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About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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6 Responses to Hawk & Fisher #2 by Simon R. Green.

  1. neotiamat says:

    You have way more patience with books than I do. I have a hard time getting past the third chapter if a book doesn’t hook me, let alone finishing it and reading the *second* one. I am not sure whether to offer you my congratulations or my condolences.

    Anyway, I’ve read one Green book (one of the Nightside things) and I can’t say it hooked me. This may not have been the book’s fault, mind you. I found it somewhat incoherent, but it was also book seven or so in the series (I do not recall why I got it. It may have been the only one in the library).

    • thebookgator says:

      I’m not sure that kind of patience qualifies as a virtue… I’ll accept condolences. 😉 I don’t know that I’d call Nightside incoherent… well, yes, maybe later books are: they start off with a standard premise and quickly go into bizarro fantasy.

  2. Mimi says:

    Hilarious review, Carol. I never really gave these books or Simon Green much thought, just knew they’re not for me, and your reviews confirm that. I don’t take on serious reads right before bed either, unless it’s a book I’m in the middle of. I prefer fluff pieces like weird news and weird scientific discoveries, although these can backfire when you happen upon a hair-raising piece about deep-sea or deep-space discoveries.

    • thebookgator says:

      Okay, now you’ve piqued my curiosity–what hair-raising deep-sea/space are you thinking of? I could understand accidentally keeping myself awake after reading about spiders, for instance, or emerging viruses. But deep-sea sounds kind of cool–and so, so far away from the midwest. 😉

      • Mimi says:

        lol. Nothing quite hair-raising lately, but I remember the first time I read about the possibility of life on multiple earth-like planets theory before bed. That there are upward of a hundred stars like our sun, that we could see in the Milky Way, and if a planet is about Earth’s distance from a sun-like star, there could be life on that planet. There could be life on hundreds of planets in our solar system, and of course on other solar systems that we can’t see. Mind blown. This “little” bit of news that was about a blurb’s length kept me up for weeks. I had to read about everything related to it, though there wasn’t much at the time.

      • thebookgator says:

        Could have been some great dreams with that…

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