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Joe Slucher

Covington, KY, United States
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-20-17

Excellent heist book

A motley group bands together to carry out a high risk heist. Definitely reminded me of Lies of Lock Lamora but less anxiety inducing and a larger cast. I really grew to like the entire cast of characters and learning their back stories. There are twists but they weren't jarring or shocking which I think is actually a credit to the writing as it usually just seems sensible.

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-13-16

Older style of writing

This book was recommended to me by trusted friends but I suspect nostalgia has a lot to do with the appeal. When the book was published in the 80's it may have been quite novel but today, having read books likely inspired by Belgariad, it feels cliche. The story focuses on a very special little farm boy who goes off into the world to do big things. This intro seems to match so many others books of the period (which I also dislike).

I listened to half of the book before finally stopping. The protagonist still had no agency, no information and barely any sort of curiosity about what the hell was going on with his life. The writing seems to cast everyone as an archetype and all of the races were described as behaving a certain way and then proceeded to do so. This race is dumb but noble,etc. Something about that just rubbed me the wrong way.

The writing style wasn't very affable to me. I had no attachment to any of the characters and felt like I was often told things rather than shown them. The first 25% feels like a lot of jumping around to random things to give some idea of the characters while also filling time before jumping into the actual adventure. I felt myself thinking, "okay what's the point of the bit about the girl running off after a boy fell from a tree?" and so on and so on.

If you love the prologue then you may like the story. The prologue is like listening to an author read their world-building notes on the setting. It just feels very disconnected and leaves you with no attachment to anything that was described within it.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-20-16

Fun start to a series

Overall I enjoyed the story but I seem to hold an opposite opinion to many reviewers. I actually thought the cats had the most personality and were some of the best characters. They had strong personalities and they seemed neither underpowered or overpowered. The book really has me interested in the setting. Particularly the surface although with the air ships I'm not sure how much we'll get to see of the surface in future books.

The author did a great job of making the ship combat scenes interesting and exciting but that may not be for everyone. It's not the sort of thing I usually enjoy in books.

You already know the captain before reading the book. He seemed a bit generic to me. I listened to the first 4 or so hours with my wife present and I was cringing at how incompetent the author made the two lead female characters. Everyone else is skilled so they often seem insultingly bad or just tools for exposition. Near the end one of the female characters shows a proficiency in a kill and it just made her suddenly much more likeable. My wife thought perhaps the reader's performance was making me dislike the female characters but I'm not sure about that. Hopefully this books sets things up for those two characters working hard to become amazing in a couple skills.

There is something like magic in the book and it's limits and uses are left completely undefined. This left me with a feeling of dread that the book was going to end with some unforeseen magic being used out of the blue to control the direction of the story. Luckily that doesn't swoop in to ruin the ending but it also seems odd how little magic had to do with the ending.

If a friend was asking whether to read or listen to this, I would probably recommend waiting until the second book is released to see how it is received first before jumping into the series.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-04-16

Great Series Finale

This is the best book in the series. I know I started reading this because of the samurai steampunk fusion thing and this final book really brings everything together in a big spectacle and connects a lot of the dots. There are parts of the previous books that I thought were perhaps mainly for adding flavor to the setting that end up being important in this last book. Overall it is just a really satisfying ending and it left me thinking of what a fun setting Jay had created.

My only complaints are that there are some characters that behave in a way that seems irrational and just meant to create a hurdle for the protagonists. This is somewhat rectified when at least one of these characters comes around to acknowledge they were being irrational.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-13

Hard to get through.

The narrator does his best Shatner impression for the first several chapters and it was absolutely maddening. Sadly, after the first few chapter the book becomes pretty stale. There's awkwardness/turmoil that arises between characters because of their race differences and that same turmoil is just repeated over and over.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-13

Waste of time

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Police officers.

What do you think your next listen will be?

A science fiction or fantasy book.

Any additional comments?

This book is more like a journal than any sort of narrative storytelling. Spoiler alert..................there isn't an end to the book. It just stops. It's as if the author didn't have the patience to wait and see the outcome before publishing. This was a complete waste of time to listen to.

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