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A Desolation Called Peace

by Arcady Martine

Created: 2021-04-09
Wordcount: 0.2k

Arkady Martine's A Desolation Called Peace is a worthy successor to the first book, A Memory Called Empire.

It continues down the same themes of memory, identity, the fissures within us caused by our decisions and our history and our societies, and how people interact given this.

It continues to be better, similarly, in the little moments than in the great. The personal interactions between people are deftly and sharply characterized, but great world-historical movements of troops and things sometimes seem more apt to meet the plot than to interfere with it.

The story benefits from adding many POV characters; Three Seagrass, Eight Antidote, and some new characters are major POVs. It also suffers a little from switching too quickly between them, in my opinion, but it is a small defect. In many ways I enjoyed the new characters more than Mahit -- they're less sad, and it's just true that sometimes less sad characters can be more enjoyable to read.

It has perhaps the only beautiful writing from the perspective of a hive-mind collective which I've encountered, which is a major point in favor of it, additionally. The names continue picture-perfect.

So, strong reccommend along the lines of space opera, drama, philosophical meditations on memory; slight disrecommend along hardness of science and causality.