The Captain’s Log – two serpents rise (Max Gladstone)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So earlier in the year, wendy @ the biliosanctum set me on a series of adventures that led to me reading the first book in The Craft Sequence, three parts dead.  I absolutely loved it.  So when I saw the second book, I picked it up without even reading the blurb.  I didn’t want to spoil any fun.

So I was completely not prepared for what I found.  Ye see, the first book centers around a first year associate named Tara whose firm Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao is hired to go to a city called Alt Coulumb to discover who killed the God, Kos, and bring him back to life if they can.  It was full of action and super clever.

Surprisingly, the second book had nothing to do with the first, even if it is set in the same world.  I love companion novels, so there was no problem with that.  The book follows a middling risk assessment manager named Caleb Altemoc in the city of Dresediel Lex.  His firm, Red King Consolidated, manages the water of the city, among other things.  When the water is tainted, Caleb is sent to help clean up the mess and while there meets a cliff-runner named Mal.  All hell starts to break loose in both his professional and personal lives.  Can Caleb discover who is behind the water crisis and help fix it before the city consumes itself?

I really wanted to like this book but it ended up being only an okay read.  Unlike Tara in the first book, Caleb is kinda lame.  He is smart, dedicated, and a good friend.  But sadly he seems to lack the fire and grit of Tara.  His relationship/lust of and with Mal was the focus of the character relationships and I sadly found it uninspiring and rather insipid.  I wanted way more of the fascinating side characters like Caleb’s dad or his best friend or his boss.  The first book had a lot more well-drawn characters overall.

Also there wasn’t a lot of mystery or suspense in this one in terms of who-dun-it.  That I figured out early on.  However, I was never in any danger of not finishing this book because I needed to know how the author was going to resolve the problems.  The ending was certainly fun and thoughtful.  So while I didn’t love this installment, I certainly still love the both the world and the author’s writing style.  I will be reading the third book at some point and, no, I won’t be reading the blurb for that one either.  Wish me luck.  Arrrr!!!

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:

Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc—casual gambler and professional risk manager—to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father—the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists—has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire…and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Max Gladstone – Author

To buy the book go to:

two serpents rise – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

three parts dead – book one (Captain’s Log – Urban Fantasy)


9 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – two serpents rise (Max Gladstone)

      1. As I have gotten older, I find meself not want to read a single author back to back. I like to take a break to read something else and come back to a series. The danger is that sometimes I don’t come back to the series though I try to. Of course I say that during a week where I am challenging meself to read a whole series in 5 days back to back. But it’s a special situation 🙂
        x The Captain

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes – I feel exactly the same. And often find myself falling into the same hole – that of not returning to a series even though I thoroughly enjoyed the books. And there are always exceptions to rules:)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I definitely will wish you luck with the final book! When it comes to series, I rarely read the blurbs after the first book. Why? because why would I want spoilers?! I don’t trust blurbs at all. They give far too much away.

    I hope the final book is something you’re really looking for. I find that far too many series fall flat in book two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are at least five books in the series. I don’t read blurbs fer later books either. And if I had read the blurb for a book one, by the time I get around to readin’ it, I likely have forgetten the details anyway. I like it like that 🙂
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

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