Joe Abercrombie is an excellent writer, and I own his other audiobooks, and love them ALL, so when I saw this audiobook arrive, it was a "must buy" for me. However, it's a bit different from his previous works.
Don't get me wrong - It's very good. It's...well... a...umm... western?
Yep. That's right, pardner. A western movie snuggled up in a fantasy setting. Think I'm off on this? Here's the quote from the back of the hardcover copy:
"They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following.
Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old stepfather Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own, and out in the lawless Far Country, the past never stays buried.
Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust…"
Wow...and a bit of a spaghetti western, at that.
Again, it's great, but you'll be TOTALLY reminded of True Grit. (Mattie Ross, Rooster Cogburn, Ned Pepper, Lawyer J. Noble Daggett, etc...) You sort of know the path it will take, and in this order: Tragedy, pain, passion, resolve, tribulation, confrontation, and justice.
But don't get cocky.
This doesn't make it bad, just a tiny bit predictable; But not completely. J.A. throws enough twists and reversals in this to make you sit back, scratch your head, and pay attention. He provides great characters with "character," not shallow furniture for his literary stage. As usual, I found myself liking certain characters, disliking others, not for their position in the novel, but because of how the author fleshed them out - And that's a GOOD thing.
This is an audiobook worthy of your listening time, and although it's somewhat of a sidestep from his wonderful series, it's enjoyable, and a fitting reason to use your hard-earned Audible credit. It was for me.
yes, great narrator, great author, interesting story
anything he writes is very enjoyable. Although his books can easily be read standing alone,
start from the 1st in the series to get the full treatment. Remember if there is one thing they say, it is to start at the beginning of the series.
the voice of nicomo cosca is great :)
I like stories that are not the standard local boy becomes ruler of the world. This story reminded me of Deadwood Showtime (I think) Series. Gritty dirty and interesting. I prefer low magic stories with deep plots. The plot here was a bit predictable but still an excellent story.
Overall very good i will be looking for Joe Abercrombie's next book.
The reader is absolutely great and really makes the characters believable.
Many new dynamics (e.g. the rebels) are introduced in this book and I'm hoping that he is setting up for further books in this universe.
A great Read!
A triple play...
My favorite author
My favorite narrator
My favorite character returns!
Joe, start writing faster!
Dark, hard, and completely absorbing.
Humor and blood mixed into a colorful tapestry throughout.
I've really enjoyed all of the books in this series. His narration is perfect for these books.
It's the kind of story you'd like to go on and on.
I would recommend this to anyone that appreciates Abercrombie's world or gritty fantasy novels. You fall into this book and are transported with the characters. You can see the action and feel the emotion.
As a bonus to those that have read the other novels, you'll run into some old friends.... or enemies.
Steven Pacey adds the gritty edge to the characters that lets you know that you're back in Abercrombie's world again. And you're happy to be there.
If these were paper books, I wouldn't have been able to put them down, as it is, this whole series are very engaging.
Joe Abercrombie is the Guy Ritchie of fantasy fiction. His books are fast paced and fun with emphasis on wit and action rather than the depth of human experience that you might find in more challenging work. His stories move well, due to a confident and easy prose, with occasional rough gems as well as polished turds. While Abercrombie seems to try to push conventions with how dark and gritty his protagonists are, I find the gratuitous violence and sex to be instantly forgettable. There is nothing haunting or unsettling in Abercrombie's fantasy, not because there isn't terrible things happening, but because it doesn't feel real.
Like Ritchie's movies, I wouldn't recommend a steady diet of Abercrombie any more than I would a steady diet of Bojangles biscuits, but that doesn't mean the occasional one doesn't go down awful good.
I have not read a western in many,many years. Though this story technically is not a western, there are no six shooters, it is very much a western world and story. Even if you are not a fan of the genre please don't let this fact put you off. Joe Abercrombie is so good a story teller and writer that it simply doesn't matter what genre he tells his yarns in, you simply know that it will be a rip roaring ride and well worth your time and money. This story is no exception.
His characters are so wonderfully hard edged, fantastic and yet quite real in all the ways that count. The dialog between the characters is snappy, intelligent, thought provoking and humorous!
I have loved All of Abercrombie's works to date and this story, though quite different in its being a frontier, western/ fantasy story, is no exception. Just loved it. I give the story five stars.
What did I think of the narrator? Steven Pacey was so incredibly good at bringing these characters to life. I can not imagine another Voice for these guys. With his voice of major general Nikoli Koska taking the highest of honors. Abercrombie's dialog and Pacey's voice had me laughing out loud many, many times, and had my full attention with his wonderfully profane/ profound view of the world.
Five star performance by Mr. Pacey!
Overall, 5 star book. Well worth your time!
I should say that this book is gritty, lots of profanity, death and mayhem. Definitely a rated R story. Take this into consideration when listening to it. I have 3 kids and therefore listened to it on my headphones and when they were not present. If you don't have kids, let it rip out loud because it is really a fun story!