Author is awesome, reader is just as awesome. I love these books. Interesting characters and settings, always moving, never dragging and occasionally humorous. The appearances of a few First Law characters was pleasantly nostalgic.
The reader is amazing. Perfect, distinct, recognisable voices and beautifully timed and read.
"My favourite of Abercrombie's standalone books"
From some of the other reviews of this book I was a bit hesitant about choosing it. I'd found The Heroes to be a rather turgid affair where it was hard to feel much connection to any of the characters, so for me Red Country is a fantastic return to form. Some others have felt the plot to be awkward and the re-use of characters from previous stories as contrived, but I really enjoyed the reappearance of two major characters from previous books. It offered satisfying closure where I never expected to find any. As usual all the characters are complex and flawed and grow through their experiences, and even the most minor characters are given interesting traits and backstory before they're (typically) brought to a sharp and pointy end. Generally I find that I much prefer Abercrombie's characters when they're trying to do the right thing, even when it turns out disastrous, rather than the revenge-saga of Best Served Cold, and there is plenty of warm-hearted tender moments in Red Country. My only complaint is that I wish we'd spent more time among the Dragon People, because their culture sounded really very interesting, and I felt it was a shame we didn't hear more from their fascinating leader. All in all, if you've enjoyed all the other books, you certainly won't be disappointed with this one. "Better to do a thing than live with the fear of it".
Steven Pacey's performance makes it easy to have a great number of memorable moments. I obviously rather liked the moment when I realised that my favourite character was going to make an appearance. I don't want to mention any specific moments so as not to give spoilers. Let's just say there were many.
Steven Pacey's narration continues to be irreplaceable. I've heard many good audiobook narrators but Pacey's many accents are just perfect for this genre and I don't think I could imagine anyone else doing Abercrombie's audiobooks.
I feel Abercrombie's books work most effectively when you know the protagonists are about to make terrible choices but you also know that you'd probably have done the same. And then Abercrombie has them reflect on what went wrong, so you get to agonise right along with them. I often find myself wishing there was just one truly good character to root for, but that's not how life is and you won't find any such souls in Abercrombie's world either. I did love the way the characters from previous books had not only aged in appearance but also in character. The older characters really feel older, and you feel their pain and regret right along with them. Not many laugh-out-loud moments in a book like this, but I got a good smile from a few extremely colourful streams of invective that Pacey seemed to really enjoy delivering!
I only wish someone would give Abercrombie's stories the Game of Thrones treatment.
"The searchers meets film noir in a rich fantasy"
Great story and fantastic reader.
The lamb bar fight is one of the great moments in writing.
Steven's accents for the characters are great. Niccomo Costa's voice is one of my favourites.
Didn't get into it straight away but once in, didn't want it to end. Joe Abercrombie never disappoints, I've read the other books based in this world and it was like meeting up with old friends and catching up on their lives. When's the next book out?
"By the dead, I wish there were more"
I loved this whole series. Great narration throughout. Good to see some existing characters again, and there were some great new faces as well. The Wild West setting was an interesting idea, but I felt it didn't fit in with the other books. There were some things I saw coming, I was never able to predict what would happen next in the prior books. So I'm deducting a star for that. Overall though, a fitting end to my favourite series of books.
Sad now, how can anything else compare?
"Welcome back Bloody Nine"
The more of Abercrombie's bloody sagas I read the more enjoyable they become. The use of a mixture new characters with old 'favourites' gives a real sense on continuity and depth to the sagas. This story drags a little in the middle - and of course leaves many loose ends. However a thoroughly good listen, excellently narrated.
Steven Spacey makes another Joe Abercrombie book come to life. The character voices are spot on. Rather than another potentially mono voiced telling of a story the narrator brings humour and pace to the story.
I would recommend all of the Abercrombie tales, though enjoyable as seperate tales in isolation to get the best from them I would start at the begining tales to fully get the characters development
great characterisation of the voices
Funny and full of adventure. A great yarn
This amazing book blew me away, despite not being my usual preferred genre of listening material (crime & thrillers). I have to say, this has got to be one of my all time favourite books EVER!!! I shall be reading ALL of this author's work now!
Hard to say - I loved every aspect of this book .....everything dove-tailed together perfectly - the plotting, the characters, the action and, of course, Steven Pacey's superb narration.
Although I have listened to him several times before, I was delighted to discover he has so many more "voices" at his disposal! Wow!
Definitely! Not possible, though, due to it's brilliant length. (Even so, I didn't want this book to end!! Ever!)
I can't wait to listen to all Joe Abercrombie's books and I will listen to just about ANYTHING Steven Pacey narrates!
Abercrombie delivers another masterpiece, and appears to get better the more he writes.
Story – 5/5
JA has returned to writing with a detailed plot, but keeping to his usual character driven fantasy and sharp whit, making this book similar in style and quality to his first standalone “Best Served Cold”. On a personal level, I preferred The Heroes, but it doesn’t stop this getting 5*.
Who doesn’t like a peaceful old man turning into a blood crazed berserker who will kill both friend and foe? Yes, there are a lot of grey areas and violence in this story. There are a few familiar characters, and then plenty of new ones to enjoy – each as interesting as the last. Plenty of funny moments that will have you laughing out loud, and also some very dark and disturbing ones. This book just seems to do everything right, with not a single boring minute of listening.
Abercrombie is a master of his art and never fails to deliver. Although this is a standalone, I would recommend starting from the beginning of his novels with “The Blade Itself” (this is book no.6). This way you can enjoy the entire world that has been created.
Performance – 5/5
Steven Pacey is one of the best narrators out there. His character acting is flawless, each having a distinctive and believable voice. You will be so absorbed into the story and the characters that you will completely forget that this is a single person reading/acting.
The mood of the story was portrayed superbly throughout as usual. He will deepen his voice to enhance the dark scenes, and lighten for the more comedic moments. He is another true master of his profession, and will make a difficult story or plot easy to follow.
Overall – 5/5
"Wonderful rendition of a classic Abercrombie yarn"
Pacey's narration is a beautiful balance between wonderfully nuanced but distinct characterisation and a drawling almost sarcastic pace that reflects the tone of the book so well you'd have thought it was written for him to perform. There is humour (the way he portrays Cosca is just fantastic), drama and all the emotions in between.
Lamb's first revelation of something deeper, in the bar with the three men from raiding party. Kicks the story into another gear and promises future thrills.
I cried buckets at the end. It's just so moving to come to the end of such an epic story and performance, but still staying true to Abercrombie's jaundiced characters and stories.
It's a long book when you have to listen to it being performed (well), be prepared for a long, twisting and tiring journey that will leave you haggard by the end of it, but thoroughly satisfied and hungry for more. I'm going back to a cold serving of some leftovers by Pacey just for fun.