Posts Tagged Joe Abercrombie

Best new-reads in 2010

These are the best books I read for the first time in 2010. The genres are Fantasy and Science Fiction, because that’s what I usually read. I strongly recommend all of these books.  I’ll happily read these multiple times – either for sheer enjoyment, or to find further depths in the writing, or both.

These first few are in the top one-percent of books that I have EVER read.

  • The City & The City – so richly detailed, it’s fascinating.  I read it in 2010, posted the review later 😛
  • The Speed of Dark – an amazing book with an autistic protagonist. It makes you think, but it is not depressing
  • Voyages by Starlighta collection of short stories which are that much more amazing when put together. What a variety of voices!
Four point five stars: these are merely excellent.
  • Not Wanted on the Voyage – literature, and Canadian. Reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  • Remnant Population – fun and very, very good.  Always nice to hit that combination.
  • Before they are Hanged – Think of this as The Belgariad re-interpreted by Hannibal Lechter. Warning: this is book 2: the first book in this trilogy, The Blade Itself, was only 4 stars so it’s not on this list.  But you definitely should read the first book first – it will get you used to the point-of-view whiplash.
  • The Last Argument of Kings – Closing book of the First Law trilogy. This dark fantasy takes an ironic delight in turning the genre conventions upside down.
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Best Served Cold – Joe Abercrombie

A companion / sequel to the Last Argument of Kings, Best Served Cold brings back some of the minor characters and introduces a new main character.

One thing that I particularly liked was the amount of distance from the main characters of the previous book.

At first I worried a little that the standard brush-strokes were going to be too reminiscent of the trilogy.  We have new instances of our injured/crippled character and our gruff-yet-well-meaning Norseman.  But, Abercrombie develops these two into absorbing characters in their own rights.

Keeping an eye open for the next book.

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The Last Argument of Kings – Joe Abercrombie

This is the third-of-three books in the excellent series.  After the thrilling dash-across-continent, our entire gang reconvenes in one of the capitol cities to duke it out.  Characters grow, stereotypes are skewered, and no one lives quite exactly happily ever after.

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Before they are Hanged – Joe Abercrombie

Book two of Abercrombie’s The First Law – resumes with the first book’s momentum and gathers speed from there.  Enjoyable character development, good plot twists and movement.

We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged… heh – that is a much better quote than ‘the blade itself’

Furious – excellent nickname.  The torturer is getting even better as a character, and I also enjoyed the Mage, Apprentice, Captain, Vengeful Ex-slave, and Vikings’ expedition.  Clearly ‘Ninefingers’ is the most memorable nickname from the book, because I can’t dredge up other names.

When is a rock just a rock?

I am looking forward to the next book, Last Argument of Kings.

This goes on my list of ‘to be recommended to others’… though not to the pre-teen crowd, sadly. This book does have some s-e-x… which didn’t happen in book 1 The Blade Itself

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