Author Topic: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)  (Read 3936 times)

Offline Con

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1418
    • View Profile
Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« on: November 07, 2023, 10:27:21 AM »
Don't read further if you haven't read it yet.

So the map at the beginning is one of central and eastern United States with various Spires dotted around.

Cavendish describes modern society as being in destroyed by what appears to be a Nuclear apocalypse which explains the mutated surface world.

But apparently humanity might have been trying to destroy 'The Enemy. Tyranima. 10 000 years ago according to an archangel the Primearch converses with.

So confirmation that it's in a future version of our world.

In terms of pacing it was build up for the first 70% the final 30% felt a bit compacted.

We also learned a lot more about the other Spires. Atlantean's are ruled by Etherialists and are quite colorful. Pikes are semi-nomadic pirates who live on their ships. Olympia have powerful merchant fleet but little military. The Dolasians they're a confederacy or federation of some sort.

Nothing on Kissam or Jerezzi other than where they are on the map.

Finally got a look at a Mistmaw.

We learned what happened to get Grimm drummed out of the fleet. That part was a little disappointing sort of just explained in a page or two of monologue, but the way it was described I think Jim initially wanted to write it as a novella.

Bayard didn't get that tuxedo cat we were promised? Jim just decided not to?

Offline Snark Knight

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 3916
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2023, 01:26:44 AM »
That map wasn't what I'd pictured.  Weird that Albion is so British-influenced when the positioning looks like it's actually named for being on the site of Albany NY. 

Jereezi = New Jersey
Atlanta = actually Atlanta
Aurora = just about Chicago?
Dalos = Dallas
Pike = Pike's Peak CO?

Not sure about Olympia, Dependence or Kissam

Also weird that Dependence would have been a colony spire of Albion, on the other side of Auroran airspace.  Real questionable move to put a lightly defended outpost on the far side of the enemy capital.

Offline Con

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1418
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2023, 01:31:38 PM »
Hadn't made those connections well done.

Although I thought the same thing about Dependence.

Makes you wonder what happened to whittle down the Spire's to those half dozen powers.

Also what about the rest of the world?

My theory on Olympia being based on Australia is out the window but I do love the Pikes. They seem fun warrior nomads and all.

Offline matrim55

  • Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2023, 06:37:24 PM »
When Ferrus told Folly not to become friendless like her mother.

Her mother is clearly Cavendash???

Also, we have any speculations on who the angels might be?

Offline medaron

  • Lurker
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2023, 01:26:17 AM »
Kissimmee Florida is Kissam

Dependence is Independence, MO

Also, Aurora’s flag is the same flag as Chicago has now. And Aurora, IL is about 60 minutes WSW of Chicago.

I like that Chicago was a headquarters for good in the Dresden files and is now the main source of antagonists here. Nice symmetry.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2023, 01:31:39 AM by medaron »

Offline Snark Knight

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 3916
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2023, 02:53:26 AM »
I like that Chicago was a headquarters for good in the Dresden files and is now the main source of antagonists here. Nice symmetry.

I haven't finished the new book yet, but does anything in it actually rule out the possibility that the Cinder Spires is the far future of the Dresdenverse?  Bob has always said the rules of magic drift over time, and the price practitioners pay that's currently the tech bane used to be different in the past. Maybe it's their sanity in the far future under the rules of the CS era.

Maybe Aurora are the baddies as a result of Marcone's long-term legacy.

Offline Snark Knight

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 3916
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2023, 02:56:07 AM »
Makes you wonder what happened to whittle down the Spire's to those half dozen powers.

I mean, with neighbours like that, it might be a smart move to forego trade, paint your spire grey, and play like you're just part of the fog. Hope the rest forget about you, and shoot down anything that randomly wanders too close.

Offline Lady Inez

  • Lurker
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2023, 09:57:01 PM »
Olympia, Kentucky, probably? It fits the map, but unlike the other locations, it's tiny and unremarkable today.

Offline Snark Knight

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 3916
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2023, 03:50:53 AM »
Olympia, Kentucky, probably? It fits the map, but unlike the other locations, it's tiny and unremarkable today.

I haven't looked up the real-world geology of the areas spires seem to map to, but it's possible they're placed not so much for existing population centers as for what's suitable ground for effectively a two mile artificial mountain.  Even with a lot of interior hollow spaces, that's an enormous weight to put on the underlying ground - it probably needs particular bedrock geology to not lean, or simply flip.

It also seems some of the life support infrastructure runs off of existing etheric currents.  They're probably sited partly based on where there are suitable nexuses to power the spires. If this is indeed the far future of the dresdenverse earth, maybe those started off as leyline nexuses.

Actually, the pale green airship crystals in CS seem to get a very similar description to the Demonreach prison crystals.  Maybe the "Merciful builders" were wizards who eventually understood exactly how Demonreach was made.

Offline TrueMonk

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 205
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2023, 11:44:53 AM »

Also weird that Dependence would have been a colony spire of Albion, on the other side of Auroran airspace.  Real questionable move to put a lightly defended outpost on the far side of the enemy capital.
Unless an important reason is to spy on aurora and give Albion trading vessels a safe port from pirates in an otherwise hostile area?

Perhaps the spire arch also wanted to have a tempting Albion target for aurora to attack that they could afford loosing, but which would press the Parliament to agree to war?

Offline g33k

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2257
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2023, 09:54:35 PM »
... If this is indeed the far future of the dresdenverse earth, maybe those started off as leyline nexuses.

Actually, the pale green airship crystals in CS seem to get a very similar description to the Demonreach prison crystals.  Maybe the "Merciful builders" were wizards who eventually understood exactly how Demonreach was made.

I'm pretty sure the fantheory(theories) linking Alera and/or Dresden and/or CS has been explicitly denied by Jim. 

I'd put any similarities in description down to circumstantial accidents, or to Jim's oft-averred being a "lazy author."

Offline magnuskn

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 230
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2023, 09:27:02 AM »
Since a lot of the cultures of the spires are clearly coded to old time Europe, I wouldn't worry too much about where exactly the spires are located in the current US. Albion pretty clearly is victorian England, Aurora corresponds to conquistador Spain, the Pikers seem to be an analogue to the Caribbean pirates (I constantly had the main theme of Pirates of the Caribbean playing in my head whenever there were scenes with Ravenna). Not sure what exactly I'd attribute Atlantea (Atlantis?) and Olympia (Classic Greeks?) to, but the coding of the first three seemed pretty clear.

As for the story, it was very good. I was about to only say it was 85% as good as The Aeronauts Windlass, due to an important plot thread from the first book not manifesting itself, but then it did in the last quarter and that brought it up to being 95% as good as the first novel. I am very cross that Gwen didn't get her own viewpoint, though. She was the lead character in the first book until she got bonked on the head. Relegating her to a side character, so that a another character very much like her can take over her place in the narrative, didn't sit right with me. I hope (and think, given where she is at the end) that she'll be a main viewpoint character again in the third book.

As for the new viewpoint character, Abigail, I understand why she took over from Gwen, given that Gwen just isn't quite there yet in terms of position of power and proficiency, but due to Abigail having a pretty similar personality structure than her, just with more experience, it just felt to me that she was more of an interloper than a true protagonist. I appreciated the focus on Bayard, though, who is a badass. I also really liked Captain Ravenna (she must be the best Piker I've ever seen ^^) and I hope she stays around as a more prominent character. Bridget's side story felt a bit like filler, although it rounded out the worldbuilding. Really too bad that she couldn't interact more with the others, especially Folly, with whom she had made a good connection in the first book. The cats kinda felt unimportant and just there to give color commentary, which is a shame. Rowl had an important, active, role to play in book one and now he was reduced to trading barbs with a sassy kitten. I also had hoped to see Mirl again, but what can you do.

I do wonder what the population numbers of warriorborn are to normal humans. Given their physical superiority, they can't be very numerous, otherwise they'd have taken over power everywhere.

Also very interesting to see that at least one Archangel is still alive. Given Cavendish rant about what the real background of the world is, one wonders if they truly are as beneficient as portrayed here or rather more sinister. Of course her viewpoint is colored by being controlled by the Tyranima and being mad. And, damn, some chilling scenes with her, I gotta say. Especially where she giggled about eating people via the Mistmaw. I was honestly surprised at the effort to humanize her at the end of the novel. We'll have to see where that goes (my first impression is "redemption arc with self-sacrifice at the end to atone for the many monstrous things she's done").

We'll have to see what happens in book three, which already was said to take place on the surface a lot (small wonder with how things ended) by Jim in a recent Q&A. I hope it takes a lot less time to write than this one did, though.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2023, 09:51:56 AM by magnuskn »

Offline ironwolf16

  • Participant
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2023, 12:54:08 AM »
so my thoughts after book 2.... is it a dimensional  invasion like stephen kings the mist?  a lot of the monsters we see remind me of that book.

Offline Second Aristh

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 3819
  • Numeromancer
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2023, 03:30:29 PM »
So if Codex Alera is the zerg invasion, does that mean that Cinder Spires is the Protoss invasion (or at least far into the aftermath)?   ;D

Folly's description of the things (crystals?) growing in Ferrus was interesting.  I'm betting that Cavendish has them too, but she's not in rough enough shape to die from it just yet. 

I enjoyed the Abigail portions, personally.  Gwen will get her chance to butt heads with Cavendish on the surface in the next book for us to get back to her. 

It would have been nice to have a reference to Vincent in Aeronaut's Windlass (or maybe there is one that I didn't notice).  Also, Spire Atlanta was very prominent in this book to be an unknown in the first one.
We shall not fail or falter, we shall not weaken or tire...Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.--Winston Churchill

Offline Snark Knight

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 3916
    • View Profile
Re: Olympian Affair (Spoilers All)
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2023, 12:53:36 AM »
I'm pretty sure the fantheory(theories) linking Alera and/or Dresden and/or CS has been explicitly denied by Jim. 

Ish. He said something like a denial but it could have been read as a sarcastic "oh, I'd neeever have a common thread running between my series".