Cold Magic has a fascinating alternative/side history to earth. Instead of Rome falling, it continued on for another 1000 years. The result is a very different Europe and world. Of course, and there's magic, which was a very interesting system that helped tell the story.
All the main characters are characters of color, which was very refreshing to read. Kate Elliot had done extensive history to make a believable world, but also to bring to light the kind of history we would not normally see. She does a wonderful job of world building that is extensive and brilliant.
The cover is white-washed sooooo badly. Most of the characters in this book are mixed/black due to the alternative history presented. Kate Elliot does a fantastic job of looking into other cultures and pointing out that history is written by the victors, so don't judge this book by its cover. I promise its better than that!
I know it's science fiction and that it's about dead species, but this is a popular science book that was severely detracted from by the reader who spoke as if she was just learning to read English and in a dead monotone that made me want to claw my own skin off.
At least this book doesn't spout anti-femmist views and display a poor role model for girls, but that's the best that can be said for it. The characterisation is so flimsy it was hard to tell. The world building was based on a flawed logic, that would not have stood up over time. The antagonist was paper thin, without nuance and therefore boring to go up against. The protagonist was unbelievable, and just "too cool" to really feel connected to. The main love interest was painfully obvious. The details of this book were all over the place, and basic logic was lacking, which made it unenjoyable and hard to follow with any emotion.
Basically, the book was poorly crafted.
The narrator did an all right job with the material though.
This series is one of the best series I've read since the Hunger Games (though not at all alike in exception to the fact that both were hard to put down and were very captivating). Alan Cumming does an excellent job at bringing the voices out of the characters, managing to do accents quite well and keeping the story moving in an engaging manner.
Goliath has a strong female and male lead, likable and wonderful side characters, and a very interesting plot line. Alternate history at its best, with significant changes to the world in a way that makes it interesting and certainly thought provoking.
Its spy-thriller-action-with-kickass-ladies-and-men. For people who know the Tortall series, I had it described to me as "Its like Jon and Alanna only they get together... and Alanna is George."
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