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I have always been a huge fan of grimdark fantasy novels and I had heard Luke Scull's debut was an excellent new entry into the genre. For the first three quarters of the novel I was mildly disappointed because the novel seemed very generic to me. There was a band of heroes trying to overthrow an all powerful mage, and I know we have all heard this story before. However, the final quarter of this novel changed my opinion completely and made the whole wait worth it. SCull took all of the usual fantasy hero tropes and flipped them upside down and tore them apart. I met shock after shock in the last few hours of this book, and I couldn't have been happier. Another note about this novel is Scull writes very well detailed fight scenes with plenty of gore, whitch is very typical of a grimdark novel. There is a fair amount of bad language, but not too much, and little to no sex. The one serious downside to this listening experience is the fact that the narrator is very average and does not do a very good job differentiating characters. Overall, this was a very good debut by a talented author and I look forward to the next book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What would have made The Grim Company better?
Interesting characters. Dialogue that's not just info dump. All the dialogue goes like this:
Character 1: We have to cross the sea.
Character 2: But nobody has crossed the sea in hundreds of years! As we all know the not-elves (wink-wink) did something and some other things happened so we're all very scared of doing that! I don't even know why I'm bringing it up!
Has The Grim Company turned you off from other books in this genre?
No, it's just dull. The characters are all dull and one-dimensional. None of the characters will do anything that surprises or shocks you, you know, the way real people do. Let me reiterate that almost all of the dialogue is either terrible, or full of tedious background.
There's Fake Logen Ninefingers, who's the best character just by virtue of not being as awful as all the others. He's still boring, but at least he's not a terrible person. He just has no personality.
There's Fake Sand dan Glokta. He's a jerk to everybody but only because he hurts inside! Also he has some magic. He'll remind you, the reader, every second paragraph that he's in a wheelchair.
Then there's the dumb kid whose POV takes up too much of the book. He's in his 20s, but he acts, thinks, and talks like he's 13. And he's a relentless, insufferable narcissist. But we, and the other characters in the book, are supposed to be surprised that the female character (she's got a dark past, you guys) isn't interested in him, even though he's one of the most annoying characters in all of fiction. And he has no redeeming qualities at all. It takes him multiple minutes to decide to stop a guy from beating a woman to death; note this happens after his supposed moral awakening.
What didn’t you like about Gerard Doyle’s performance?
He's fine, I guess.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Mostly boredom. It wasn't quite bad enough to make me turn it off. It's just not good in any way, shape, or form. Scull is trying to be Joe Abercrombie, but he's just not, and so all the ways he rips off Joe Abercrombie just make you wish you were listening to The First Law Trilogy, or Best Served Cold, or the weather reports in Nova Scotia, or a stock ticker.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful