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A Scattering of Jades by Alexander C. Irvine

A Scattering of Jades (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Alexander C. Irvine

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189762,490 (3.48)7
Title:A Scattering of Jades
Authors:Alexander C. Irvine
Info:Tor Books (2002), Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Scattering of Jades by Alexander C. Irvine (2002)

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    Mulengro by Charles de Lint (Ape)
    Ape: Lot's of similarities between these two stories.

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I'm a wine drinker who happens to dislike beer. I have a buddy who's wired the other way around, and has me taste things when he's sure the sun rises and sets in whatever glass he's in love with at the time. "ah," I say, "this one smells a bit like crushed cherries, with an interesting smoky suggestion to the flavor." "see, you like this one then!" he'll exclaim. "nope," I'll reply, "beer still tastes pretty much like urine, but I understand why you like it."

this book is pretty much that same situation. I'm well read enough to appreciate it on its technical merits, but I just don't have much love for irvine's debut novel. lovingly, lavishly researched, I longed for an annotated ebook edition just to keep up with the secondary names of avatars of priests of ancient aztec gods. these shifty-named personages work through a richly complicated scheme to bring about...well, some sort of vague new world order setup. we know why the good guy thinks it's a bad plan (ancient aztec gods = human sacrifice and all), but the bad guys are hell-bent on Getting Stuff Done though they have no concrete promises of tangible benefit on the other side. when dealing with creepy dead spirits roaming the earth and god-avatars that can render you instantly into gibbering madness, it might be a good idea to be a bit better prepared.

dense, complex, richly detailed...and collapsing under it's own weight. ( )
  fireweaver | Mar 31, 2013 |
A Scattering of Jades tells a dark, arcane story, so if you don't like that sort of thing, don't bother reading it.

It concerns an ancient plot to bring into power a malevolent Aztec deity, Tlaloc, that in some ways is the antithesis of the being currently in power. One man's daughter is unfortunate enough to be part of the necessary sacrifice.

The problem is, he's not even sure it's his daughter, and the forces aligned with Tlaloc are a downright nasty bunch with no intention of letting him get in the way. The world will be destroyed and remade -- or left as is -- depending on his decisions.

The characterization will make you believe, the magic will make you wonder, the end will make you wish there were a sequel.

Oh, and the Tochtli will freak you out. Seriously.
  Verus | Oct 2, 2009 |
Not sure how much the fault is mine and how much the author's, but I'm giving up on this one at page 126 (right after one character bites the ear off another for no apparent reason). Lots of Aztec words and terms flying around, but somehow I'm not getting pulled in to the narrative. It's not convincing, somehow. The sense of wonder, of magic, is totally missing, for me. Could be that the characters are not developed enough to care about...but it could also be that this genre (whatever genre describes "Tim Powers books") is just not working for me anymore. Back when I used to find the idea of "more than one history of the world" (Crowley) to be appealing, this book might have held my interest. No longer. Take that for what it's worth. ( )
  BobNolin | Mar 14, 2008 |
With the exception of having to stumble over the awkward names at first, I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic horror/mystery. Set partially in Kentucky (my home for a while) it blends South American Indian myth with historic fact to create a nearly believable tale. And it has mummies in it. You can't lose with mummies. ( )
3 vote pshaw | May 23, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexander C. Irvineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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And when a great wise man had spoken well, and taught the people wisdom, they would say on tetepeoac, on chachayaoac; there has been a sowing, there has been a scattering of jades.

-Fray Bernardino de Sahagun,
Historia General de las Casas de Nueva Espana
to Elizabeth, Emma, and Ian
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It was midnight.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0765340984, Mass Market Paperback)

Alexander C. Irvine makes a strong debut with A Scattering of Jades, a novel that can be read with equal validity as fantasy, alternate history, or secret history. In 1835, an attempted human sacrifice goes awry, sparking a fire that consumes much of Manhattan and destroys journalist Archie Prescott's home and family. Stephen Bishop, a slave exploring a Kentucky cave system, discovers a peculiar Aztec mummy that seems, sometimes, to move. A complex conspiracy involving Aaron Burr, P.T. Barnum, Tammany Hall, Irish gangsters, and a traveling medicine man will bring together Archie, Stephen, an accursed girl who may be Archie's daughter, and ferocious Aztec deities in the underworld of Mammoth Cave, in an epic struggle that will determine the fate of the earth. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1835, with much of New York City's downtown destroyed by fire, Archie Prescott runs afoul of one of P.T. Barnum's ex-sideshow workers, who has resurrected a Mesoamerican god that plans to use the blood of Archie's daughter to bring about the end of the world.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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