Our second choice for A Court of Books and Bullshit 2022 reading list has been looming over us for a long time. We put it off at first only because of life commitments, and then because we picked up other books to get us through the busy season at our separate reading paces.
So, finally, almost two years later, we began reading Devil in the Device by Lora Beth Johnson, the sequel to Goddess in the Machine. The long delay isn’t totally down to us ignoring it but partly because we had to wait for it to be published. The delay proved to be a serious problem:
What the heck happened in book one?
Neither of us could remember half of the characters, and we were back to square one of loathing the ‘future dialect’ after acclimatising to it previously. We barely remembered more than four characters, two of them being the protagonists, and there was so much fantastical techo-babble that we just…couldn’t get beyond a few pages at a time.
We felt confused and disappointed by this reaction. We both recall loving book one. We had gotten past the baby-talk that is used as the language of the future. We remembered exciting twists and cool scenes.
Time for a book club debrief.
Willow suggested, that since all the details have blurred into mush, we are doing Devil in the Device a disservice. Too much of the opening information is alienating, it expects you to remember everyone and everything from Goddess in the Machine, which makes us resentful and reluctant to read more than a few pages at a time, so here’s the plan:
Give up for now and move on with the rest of the reading group list.
We have promised, when we plan the next reading list, to start again and reread book one. Hopefully, since the majority of it has dissolved from our memory, it will feel like a fresh book again anyway!
If you have the advantage of being in an intimate book group like us, don’t be afraid to admit to yourselves that, maybe, it’s your memory being unfair to the book and not that the book is bad. We have given up for now but are committed to trying again!
See you in the near future, Andra and Zhade.