[DWJ] Best and Worst of 2007

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Jan 9 00:00:16 EST 2008

On Wed, 9 Jan 2008 11:07:01 +0900 (WST), Paul Andinach wrote:

>On Mon, 31 Dec 2007, Melissa Proffitt wrote:
>> _Trickster's Choice_, Tamora Pierce
>> That girl should have died.  Sorry, people, but she is possibly the 
>> worst secret agent in the history of history.  And some of the codes 
>> Pierce comes up with are NOT POSSIBLE.  Gaah.
>Now I'm curious about the codes; can you bring yourself to talk about 
>them some more?

I don't know how far I got into the book before deciding my time would be
better spent, I don't know, harvesting navel lint from alpacas in Peru, but
here's one example:

In the first chapter, we're told about a "book code" which is done by using
a pin or something to leave raised marks (like Braille) over certain words
or letters.  The first person encodes the message and then sends the book to
the recipient, who carefully feels for the marks so as not to crush them out
of existence (the author specifically tells us).  The issue of whether or
damage the marks is not addressed.

What makes it worse is that this is a variant on an existing code--the
pinprick code, which works exactly the same way, but with pinholes, and you
don't usually use a book, but a loose sheet of paper.  People really should
not try to be clever if they don't know what they're talking about--and
Pierce, for all her sterling qualities as a writer, does not think like a
spy.  And since I do...let's just say it's not a match.

My husband read both this book and its sequel and enjoyed it well enough. He
did keep saying "You would REALLY hate this" and then sharing some egregious
piece of pseudo-espionage just to watch me throw a foaming fit. Isn't
marriage great?

Melissa Proffitt

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