Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
This review's been a long time coming. I should have written it MUCH sooner. I have a litany of ridiculous excuses (I refer to them as viable reasons) that delayed writing this review.
So, let's get past that, and get to it.
If you would, please look at my review for Scott Lynch's "The Lies Of Locke Lamora," the first in The Gentleman Bastard Sequence. Not that I'm impressed with my own review; I simply want you to have a bit of background on this truly fantastic series by Lynch. Once done, please come back here, and we'll begin.
In "Red Seas Under Red Skies," Lynch carries the series into a uncharted waters (Pun intended) which begins with Locke and his gentlemen scoping out a gambling house of vast notoriety and presumably vast wealth, and eventually works its ways onto the open seas. I can't provide further info on the plot, or I come perilously close to ruining the surprises to come.
So, what can I tell you?
Once again, Lynch has a tremendously enjoyable second in the series, and it's wicked fun. The author wraps this huge fantasy world around you, drapes your shoulders in its heady embrace, and pulls you in.
As is the first in the series, it's extremely unusual, unexpected, witty, descriptive, both plot and character driven, and doesn't bog down. This is one time I wish I could elaborate, but doing so will give away too much. You want spoilers? Move along. I will NOT ruin the efforts by both the author and the narrator to breath life into this work by giving away any of the plot devices, nor the storyline to which it's attached. The descriptive compelling writing here is a love letter to anyone who longs for good writing in the genre. This is smart fantasy writing that has been penned superbly, tied together lovingly to create an truly stand-apart fantasy series that I plan to listen to again in the near future. Is there magic in this action fantasy writing. Yes, peppered throughout the audiobook, and hints at further and larger magics to come in Lynch's next Lamora adventure, "The Republic Of Thieves." If you've listened to "Lies," then you know exactly to whom I refer. Yes, they're back, and with a sinister ugly vengeance. And an agenda.
What? You DON"t know? Get "Lies," and you WILL.
With such great fantasy writing on the shelves here at Audible, this is truly is an exciting time for fantasy listeners.
So join Locke and the gentleman on the high seas. Put that hard-earned Audible credit to good use, and acquire this audiobook. When a sequel can almost outshine its fantastic predecessor, you're onto a good thing.
Here's to rough sailing!
If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.
This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.
Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.
To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.
It DOES sound lame.
Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.
I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.
The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.
So, what about the writing?
Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?
I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.
Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?
Home run, Jim. Home run.
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