Read: 11 June, 2018
One of my complaints about The Black Tides of Heaven is that the story was something of a whirlwind – we were whisked through the lives of Akeha and Mokoya, catching only glimpses along the way. This has been fixed in Red Threads, the entire plot of which takes place in only a handful of days. And while the goal of Black Tides was somewhat nebulous, Red Threads establishes its plot from the very first scene. It made for much tighter story.
I loved the exploration of gender in Black Tides, in which each character is gender neutral until they choose their gender for themselves. With that already established, we get a look at how imposed identity can clash with self-identity, as Rider is misgendered by another character.
Red Threads spent a lot more time delving into the magic system (the ‘Slack’) and how it works. It was nice to get a bit more detail, and I especially liked that different cultures might have completely different understandings of the same magic.
My main complaint is the same as it was for Black Tides – so much of the story could be explored in much more depth. I want to know more about Rider, I want to know more about their past, I want to know more about what Mokoya is thinking… Things happen, and it’s clear that Yang has a much bigger story imagined in their head, but those details just don’t seem to be making it down onto the page. So while I’ve enjoyed every bit of this series that I’ve read, I’m frustrated that the world isn’t coming to life for me the way it clearly is for the author.