Blasted through it in two days. Enjoyed the hell out of it, just like everything I've read of Lynch's. Not as good as TLOLL but very few books are. I put it about on par with RSURS, which I enjoyed, though they're very different sorts of books.
Re. Locke's Identity: Probably true, but probably not that meaningful in the grand scheme of things, at least in the details. If Locke can't really remember anything about his past identity, apart from the name he thought was his, then it's not really as though much is different from Locke just being normal. I expect the most meaningful element of that reveal will be that Locke's "red name" is truly lost, likely an important asset against the Bondsmagi, and thus, most critically (it appears), the Falconer.
Re. the redhead from Patience's painting, my suspicion isn't that there's anything truly that weird about the reveal, just that Locke's fixation on redheads, and thus, his latching onto the first redhead he met, is some sort of artifact from his previous consciousness. That is the sort of thing that would likely drive Sabetha away, at least temporarily.
All told I loved it. Loved Lynch's characters, love that he seems constitutionally incapable of writing a non-wiseass (that might sound like a critique, but it's really really not), really liked the Locke/Sabetha relationship, and really liked the flashback storyline in particular (far more cohesive with the previous books' Interludes / Reminiscences). The details behind the election rigging weren't really that interesting (probably the weakest point of the book, just a factor of "rigging an election" being a fundamentally less interesting topic than the one-sentence descriptions of the first two books). But of course the election was just window dressing for the Locke/Sabetha interaction, which to me was a hell of a lot more interesting and believable than the conflict between Locke and Jean that permeated Book 2.
Another thing that seemed to be slipped from relevance was any sort of real dealing with Jean's loss of Ezri past the first act. This probably bugged me more than anything. I know that Jean's different from Locke particularly in how he deals with grief (RSURS proved that since the loss of Calo, Galdo, and Bug was as much Jean's as Locke's), but I felt like Lynch set up that Jean was going to be off his game in Karthain, and then never really followed through.
Anyway, so it looks like the new-and-improved Falconer is going to be the Big Bad, though I wouldn't put it past Lynch to make that a high-level misdirection. Still very interested to see where he takes us. Off to Emberlain!
It's so bizarre that Republicans don't understand that it's not a "compromise" to start from a completely unreasonable and totally extreme place ("hey guys, if you don't mind, we'd like you to utterly kill this bill that is already the law and has already been validated by the supreme court") and transition to a point that is still completely unreasonable but admittedly slightly less extreme ("I suppose we'd be okay if you just didn't fund it").
I mean, we don't accept this sort of "compromise" anywhere else in life. The Cincinatti Reds recently lost a one-game playoff with the Pittsburgh Pirates to advance to the National League Divisional Series to play against the St. Louis Cardinals. What the Republicans are suggesting is quite literally as if the Reds were to say to the Pirates, "How about we say that we won this game and we get to play the Cardinals instead of you?" To which the Pirates respond, "Um, how about, no?" And to which the "compromise" is "Oh, okay, well, how about we admit that you guys won the game but we get to go play the Cardinals anyway?"
Pretty absurd numbers for the final half-season so far. After never once breaking 3M viewers on initial air for the first 4.5 seasons, the final half-season has yet to drop below 4.4, and The Granite State put up a 6.6M spot.
It is a fantastically awesome level of circular logic we're witnessing here. Because our drug prices are high, it's assumed that we don't care about drug prices (because someone would do something about it), and so the opposition of people who are trying to do something about it is justified, because if it really needed doing, it would have already been done!
I mean, by that logic, one could fashion oneself into a position of arbitrary opposition to any change whatsoever.
*I pause to look up the definition of "Conservative."*