Meet Easie Damasco: rogue, thieving swine, and total charmer.
Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help. Big time.
©2012 David Tallerman (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“A fast-paced, witty and original fantasy, reminiscent of Scott Lynch and Fritz Leiber.” (Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Empire in Black & Gold)
“Fast-paced, quick-witted, engaging; as apt a description of Easie Damasco, reluctant hero, as of the novel itself.” (Juliet E. McKenna, author of the Tales of Einarinn series)
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While I could agree with Adrian Tchaikovsky in that this book is reminiscent of Scott Lynchs The Lies of Locke Lamora that does not mean that this novel is in any way of the same caliber. It is just that ???reminiscent???. It is a book that I am sure some very generous reviewers would describe as a ???fast-paced rollicking-ride???, I for one found it wanting. Oh sure, the main character is a thief and the first half hour of the book is engaging enough with the main character Easie Damasco exchanging witty remarks with his would be executioners. Then as he gets out of that situation and the main plotline starts to evolve it all falls apart. Easie Damasco ceases to be witty or even likeable and the plotline is paper thin, so thin in fact that I when I was halfway through I found myself doubting myself. It could not be going in this direction? Seriously, is this it? I saw numerous opportunities for the main characters or even the main villain to drift of the path of what seemed to be the predestined ending, but alas they were all hell-bent on reaching that distant cliff.
Enough said, I did not dislike this book and for an evening outside driving in the sunshine it is an alright companion. But that is about it I am afraid. If you are looking for an audiobook compelling you to keep still and listen in rapt attention into the wee hours, this is not it.
I'm a voracious audiobibliophile, mainly interested in speculative fiction, with the occasional mimetic fiction or non-fiction title sneaking in.
I definitely get why it???s compared to Lynch???s The Lies of Locke Lamora, as Easie Damasco is a thief with that sarcastic, self-deprecating, self-referential sense of humor; though here the action includes a large battle and contains gloriously ugly giants rather than inhabiting the various districts of an old city. You know you???re off to a good start when in the first chapter the hero is being hanged. (Though I???m not sure why Angry Robot chose to whitewash the ???olive brown??? Easie Damasco in the cover art of book one and the just-released cover art for book two, Crown Thief, due out in October; it???s sadly not an uncommon happening, thought in recent memory at least Night Shade corrected a similar issue after receiving a lot of negative feedback??? C???mon, publishers. You can do better. You aren???t adapting a film here. I hesitate to mention this at all, as I do not want people punishing the author of all people, which a ???well, I???m not gonna buy that there book then??? response does, and Tallerman is the wrong target. But I also don???t want to be silent, so??? there you go.) Back to the book: as the narrative stays in first person throughout, we see a bit more inside Damasco???s head than we did into Locke Lamora???s. However, even though Tallerman is not setting out to recreate a precocious group of Gentleman Bastards, Giant Thief is a step or two down from Lynch???s excellent debut. We get bits and pieces of Damasco???s back story, but never quite enough to build a solid idea of who he is or what he wants ??? even if it is the now typical ???thief just getting by and not really wanting much of anything or planning ahead??? mold. The first half of the book has some quite nicely turned encounters ??? Damasco???s acquisition of the titular giant for example ??? but the second half sees more and more improbable. Even for a book which asks its reader to accept the existence of talking giants, the plot turns on points which verge on the illogical, demanding that the reader unlearn what they have learned about characters and competencies up to that point. However! There???s still something fun about a book which doesn???t take itself too seriously. On the audiobook: The narration overall really fits the tone, though at times it strays just over into too much sarcastic detachment, where the curtain parts just a bit too much and you feel the acting.
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