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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Venus Preserved by Tanith Lee 
4th-Jun-2006 02:51 pm
Hey, Nero = 666! Ah, the things you learn. Only two days away from having finished this book on 06/06/06, too. :P

Lee, Tanith. Venus Preserved. New York: Overlook, 2003.
Summary: Book IV of The Secret Books of Venus quartet. In the future, Venus is a domed, underwater tourist destination, and they're secretly trying to bring back the dead. But when they revive Cloudio del Nero, a fallen angel bent on destruction inhabits the body, and it's up to the revived gladiatrix Jula, the archeologist Flayd, and the half-demon musician Picaro to stop him.
Comments: Hrmm. While scenes of the Roman past and of unholy mass death and destruction in the present were wonderfully vivid, Tanith Lee does not, apparently, do science fiction, modern/future settings, or ebonics nearly as well. Half-hearted attempts to give Picaro and his mother Simoon an African- or African-American-sounding dialect failed miserably and were almost embarrassing to read. I was also unimpressed by how women were the bodies--sexual and/or physical--in this story, while the men were the brains and the mystical might. Still, it was interesting to see the descendants of some of the characters in the first book make appearances (I'm guessing she had the fourth book already in mind when she wrote the first), and I got a kick out of the early encounters between Flayd and Picaro. (Flayd: "I have to talk to you." Picaro: "Is this a sexual proposition?") I think Lee was rather the Johnny-Come-Lately with the apocalypse, and other authors have done their own versions of the Antichrist and Four Horsemen way better. (See Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.) Once again, all of the ways that Lee has managed to Find God(tm) for this series failed to wow me, but the scene of Picaro "swallowing" Cloudio was most cool. ^_^
Notes: hardcover, 1st American edition
Rating: 5/10 - Ends the series with a gigantic explosion/implosion--otherwise known as a whimper. Read only if you've read the other three or like End of the World plotlines.
4th-Jun-2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
Nero = 666

Yeah, and the guy who was tormenting the Christians when that whole 666 story was written.. Crazy John sitting in his cave may well have been writing symbolically about current events ^^
4th-Jun-2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
I love how so many Christians are/were sure that the end was nigh. A death cult, in other words. :P
4th-Jun-2006 07:17 pm (UTC)

We’ve been in the end times for 2,000 years *rolls eyes*
4th-Jun-2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
A few years ago, it was massive computer failure heralding the end of the world. Betcha global warming or running out of oil will be the next doomsday scenario. *shakes head*
4th-Jun-2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
Now in theory, if you are a fanatical Christian, global warming and war and such is all good, because it will speed up Jesus’ return.. Such beliefs could even lead to you do crazy things, like reject emissions treaties and start wars in the Mid East *cough*cough*
4th-Jun-2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
*smirks* Yeah, so apparently our government isn't prepared for another hurricane or terrorist attack--but we ARE ready for the Rapture. :P
4th-Jun-2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
Katrina just wasn’t quite big enough for them ^_~
4th-Jun-2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
*snorts* Call it practice.
4th-Jun-2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
Well when the really big one comes, they won’t do anything, because Jesus will be sweeping them off to Heaven while we go through the end of the world >_<....
4th-Jun-2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
More their folly. ^_~ Jesus will be sweeping up all the poor and miserably oppressed, and THEY'LL be left the deal with the end of the world. :P
4th-Jun-2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
Or, the world will just end, with no one coming to rescue anyone ^_^;;
4th-Jun-2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
Global warming really could be the end, though, at least for us. As if we're going to survive a mass extinction event. Ha.

And then life will go on. Without us. ^^;;;;;
4th-Jun-2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
Well can’t roaches even survive radiation? Truly God’s chosen creatures, the meek who shall inherit the earth ^_~
4th-Jun-2006 07:58 pm (UTC)
I'm betting lots of rats, roaches, pigeons, and other "pests" that are supported by the human way of life wouldn't survive in large numbers, though...
4th-Jun-2006 09:29 pm (UTC)
Ants do good by themselves... Overall, I think it’s only our domestic cats and dogs who would actually be sorry to see us go ^^
4th-Jun-2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
Actually, all domesticated wildlife (animals and plants) would most likely die out or revert back to wild type.
4th-Jun-2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
Personally, the idea of feral Holstein cows amuses me greatly ^__^
4th-Jun-2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
One wonders how well any domestic animal would do without people. Heck, most cows in the US don't even have horns anymore. ^^; God help them if they needed protection from some predator...
4th-Jun-2006 11:05 pm (UTC)
Oh well yeah, I was just having happy images of black and white cows prancing through open fields and eating wildflowers ^__^

Pigs actually make out very well, around here there are feral pigs as the result of farming ages ago. They live in the woods, and have been known to be very mean if you get in their way ^^;;
4th-Jun-2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
Pigs actually make out very well, around here there are feral pigs as the result of farming ages ago.

That's because they're not native and have no natural predators. Remember, in a mass extinction event, everything on the food chain from the bottom up would go--in that case, it's a completely different ballgame. *sighs*
4th-Jun-2006 11:10 pm (UTC)
So like the last one, when some little ancestor of ours managed to outlive the dinosaurs ^^;;
4th-Jun-2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
Or better yet, the Permian extinction, which gave rise to the dinosaurs. ^^;;
4th-Jun-2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
Trilobites! ^__^

Yeah, make me reach for my old college geology book ^^;;;
1st-Jul-2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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