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Search tags: Max-Gladstone
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review 2018-02-08 22:09
Review: Two Serpents Rise
Two Serpents Rise - Max Gladstone

There's a lengthy article on the pro's and con's of reading the Craft Sequence in chronological vs published order that I should probably care about. I've got an omnibus edition that put them in publication order, though, so that's what I'm doing.

 

A rather underwhelming follow up to the excellent Three Parts Dead. In terms of events, this is a prequel, but it was published second. There are some quite good scenes and excellent sentences, but overall, the plot is just some stuff that . . . happens? This isn't a mystery so much as a series of bad things being triaged without any real attempt to identify the underlying disease. 

 

I don't know. Maybe if the last few books I've read hadn't been so outstanding, this would have been a better read.

 

The main character isn't so much a protagonist as an unwitting minion who can't get a clue short of skywriting, and, once the villian is revealed, even then has some questions before he'll deign to understand. After watching him fail to read people spectacularly and argue inflexibly in the face of contrary evidence, I could never believe he was either good at poker or an effective risk manager. He lacks verisimilitude. 

 

DUDE. HER NAME MEANS BAD. IT'S HER FUCKING NAME.

(spoiler show)

 

But excellent setting. I'll read the next one in the hope it is a better fit for my tastes. 

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review 2017-11-21 20:13
Seriously, you should be reading this series
Full Fathom Five - Max Gladstone

Gladstone's third installment in the Craft sequence takes us to an alternate Hawaii.  At first, it seems that we have two different stories.  But Gladtsone brings them together quite well.  More importantly, Gladstone writes wonderfully strong and varied female characters who don't talk about men to each other.

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review 2017-10-06 04:53
Like a good tv show in print
Bookburners - Jeffrey Veregge,Mur Lafferty,Max Gladstone,Margaret Dunlap,Mark W. Weaver,Brian Francis Slattery

I'm a little wary of multi-author narratives in print, which is a little goofy, considering that this is basically how all television is scripted. I love me some television, but, of course, it must be said that the strength of the singular vision -- the showrunner or creator -- is a huge factor in whether any given show is successful. (Successful to me, anyway; I'm not talking folding green. That's a whole other thing.) But I've been burned with uneven and unsatisfying multi-author novels before, so. I picked this is up because I've been slow-burning my way through Max Gladstone's Craft sequence. Maybe his name is top of the marquee because he's the best known of the writers, but I suspect not. This has his fingermarks on it, narratively speaking -- from the baroque murder mystery plotting to the strange other gods and devils.

 

But even if Gladstone wasn't the showrunner, if you will, whoever it was did an excellent job. I greatly enjoyed Bookburners, even despite my prejudice.. I felt like it overcame the lumpiness of multi-author novels I've read through what must have been good editorial control, which nevertheless allowed the individual writers to show off their specific style. Each section is episodic like television, with a mini-arc that has its own satisfaction. Sometimes the episodes were more mythology heavy, and that's fun too. The possibilities of the premise are no where near exhausted by the end, which is also a plus, given how many television shows / series / trilogies / whatever should be strangled after the first outing. How many Matrix movies are there, for example? Want to talk about season 2 of Heroes? or Lost?

 

Anyway, much fun was had by me.

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text 2017-08-16 19:00
Craft Sequence
Three Parts Dead - Max Gladstone
Shadowshaper - Daniel José Older

Hey all, on Amazon (US) kindle  the Craft Sequence books are on sale for 2.99 each, including the pre-order.  ShadowShaper is also on sale for 1.99

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review 2017-08-16 02:40
Bookburners by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery - My Thoughts
Bookburners - Mur Lafferty,Max Gladstone,Margaret Dunlap,Brian Francis Slattery

This is a serial book - that is, 16 episodes strung together like a season of TV shows, each episode written by one of the 4 authors.  One of the reasons I picked it up was because I had read one of Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence novels and enjoyed it. 

Anyway, it appears that I'm not really a huge fan of the serial experience.  It's not my preferred style of book.  I just find it tends to go on for too long, maybe.  Or maybe it's the pacing that I'm not fond of.  I'm not bright enough to figure out the reasons.  *LOL*

But also, I'm not a fan of urban horror fantasy.  I mean, I like the premise.  I like the characters for the most part but it's the horror part that's not my favourite.  I'll read them and if the the characters are captivating and the plot intriguing, I can usually deal with the actual horror parts - like the intense descriptions of monsters and dungeons and lairs and the like. 

So, after that caveat, Bookburners was a good read for the most part.  The 4 different author styles weren't jarring, as a matter of fact they were all rather similar and I'm not familiar enough with them to know if it was worked towards in this project or just something that they all have in common.  The main character, Sal, I couldn't quite enjoy until about 2/3rds of the way through the book.  I just didn't like her very much.  I was fascinated by the other members of her team though. 

Will I read the next seasons of Bookburners?  Maybe.  If they come up on sale at some point.  I enjoyed this one enough to be curious about where they go next with the story. 

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