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Steven Pacey reading Joe Abercrombie may just be my favorite audible flavor. Something about that combination is just so compelling. Joe is of course a premiere - if not the preeminent- fantasy author, so much credit must be given him, but Pacey brings life to the material in a way that is hard to fathom. Michael Page is quite talented, but to me, Pacey is Abercrombie. And this collection of short stories is like cool cucumber water to a man fresh from the wastes. It's only a cup, but it's worth the price at twice the cost. For those nervous about the short story aspect of the endeavor, as I was, I suggest you keep your expectations low and dive in. There's more here than one would expect from a collection of short stories, which I generally disfavor.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Having enjoyed all 6 existing books in Abercrombie's First Law series I find myself always craving for more. That is why I picked up Sharp Ends despite the fact that I tend to not like collections of short stories. Add on that Steven Pacey narrated this audiobook and there was no way I could resist it. The Abercrombie/Pacey combo is one of the best that I have ever listened to and the two of them just bring out the best in each other. Pacey's narration of these characters is just superb and I highly recommend that you give the entire series a listen even if you have already read it. To my delight many of my favorite characters from the prior books do make an appearance in these short stories including, but not limited to, Glokta, Logen, Dogman, Bethod, Whirrun, and Nicomo Cosca. However, in the end, the short story format left me wanting more and feeling unsatisfied as favorite characters appeared and were gone before I knew it.
Most of the stories with the characters mentioned above are short and are over way too quickly. That would be fine if some of them didn't feel incomplete at the same time. Spending time with Glokta before he was captured was quite entertaining but when the events are interrupted by an attack the story abruptly ends. I kept expecting a return to flush out what happens next but it never happened. Get used to it. There is one particular story thread that goes on for quite a while but it is the exception and not the rule in this collection. Most of the stories end quickly and a few times you are left hanging without a real resolution. So if you want to spend a little time with some old friends then go ahead and give this one a chance, but you should go in knowing that it will be over way before you want it to be.
Two interesting side notes. One, Joe Abercrombie reads a portion of one of the stories and while he isn't Steven Pacey he does a decent job as a narrator, and two, there is a mini interview at the end in which Abercrombie and Pacey answer a few questions about their respective creative processes. I did find the interview to be enjoyable and entertaining and I do hope that these two collaborate on additional full length stories in the future. However, this is all we get for now so I end this with an appropriate quote from the First Law series - "A man lost in the desert must take such water as he is offered."
9 of 10 people found this review helpful