Suited follows the continuing adventures of Tanyana, former elite manipulator of pions, now reduced to cleaning the magical debris left over from their use. Having taken the side of the Keeper (the mostly invisible manager of debris) against the mysterious Puppet Men, Tanyana finds herself the uneasy ally of the rebellion element in the city of Movoc-Under-Keeper as well as fighting an internal battle against her own debris collection suit.
Once again Tanyana is a very conflicted character – constantly questioning herself. At first I was concerned that she was going to spend a lot of time moping about, but as the psychological influence of her suit becomes clearer, the conflict behind the self-reflection becomes more evident and is more satisfying as a result.
In fact, the suit takes on enough personality to be considered a character in its own right in this book. I liked the balance between the power the suit provided Tanyana, and the cost of accessing that power. It made Tanyana more engaging.
The secondary characters are still fairly lightly drawn, but I did feel that some of the characters closest to Tanyana were filled in more solidly in this second book, in particular the character of Lad.
As is often the case with sequels, we learn a lot more about the world and what is going on with the supernatural, traumatised Keeper and the nasty Puppet Men. This is the part of the story that hooked me most – trying to puzzle out the mystery of exactly how this world is constructed. Tantalising hints are sprinkled through the story, including references to “programmers” (unusual in what is on the face of it a secondary world fantasy!). This central mystery, more than anything else, is what will bring me back for the third book in the series (which, as far as I can tell, isn’t released yet).
In Debris I occasionally found that the pace dragged, but didn’t have that sensation with Suited. Some excellent action scenes are interspersed with the more character driven scenes (in fact the scenes where Tanyana cuts loose are quite something to be seen).
All in all I enjoyed Suited immensely. Looking forward to the next volume!
I also reviewed this book on Goodreads. View all my reviews.
This work by Mark Webb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.