I enjoyed Graham's Stealing Fire
, but not as much as her earlier Black Ships
. As usual, the ancient world really came to life in her prose, and I loved the action sequences. But I didn't think the mystical sequences held together quite as well. While the ones in Black Ships
, like the descent into the underworld, had a dreamlike, numinous quality that left decisions about their objective reality largely in the mind of the reader, in Stealing Fire
we get Gods speaking in hard, scientific terms like "quantum" and a very straightforward spirit of Alexander who tells the characters what to do. I was also put off by the blandness of the main character. Some of that is because he spends much of the book in an understandable state of depression, but it was still frustrating.