A novel set in the addictive and compelling fantasy world of Three Parts Dead
Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc - casual gambler and professional risk manager - to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.
But Caleb has more to worry about than the demonvinfestation, Mal, or job security when he discovers that his father - the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists - has broken into his home and is wanted in connection with the attacks on the water supply.
From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire, and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring...and hungry.
©2013 Max Gladstone (P)2013 Blackstond Audio, Inc.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
I am surprised at the relatively small number of people who appear to have read/reviewed this Audible book - Max Gladstone is, for my money, one of the most inventive writers of fantasy working today, and this book is excellent. It draws on both the urban fantasy (Noirish twists! A bit of romance!) and the epic fantasy (Undead wizards! World-threatening events!) genres while adding more than a bit of the New Weird mentality of Melville and Vandeermer. Set in a richly imagined world that somewhat parallels our own, but where gods were real, and eventually overthrown by once-human wizards, the books takes its setting seriously while never losing focus on creating living, breathing characters and exciting action scenes.
Even without the fantasy elements, this books well as a tale of nationalist unrest, religious fanaticism, corporate intrigue, and, yes, parkour - but the magic matters too. While the action is interesting and the relationships between characters feel real, Gladstone has created a very unique magic system, and seems to have a knack for describing magical wonders and horrors in ways that feel both fresh and literary. As an added element of originality, though the previous novel was set in a very Western setting, this one takes place in an Aztec-like city, filled with pyramids and with a history of human sacrifice. It is rare to see a setting inspired by Mesoamerican myths, and this was very well done.
I read the first book in the series before listening to this one, but I think Two Serpents Rise could stand on its own as well. Excellently read, and very different from anything else out there, I strongly recommend it to fantasy fans who might be tired of either epic swords-and-sorcery or urban vampires and wizards.
It's an excellent spin on the urban fantasy genre, but at times both performance and writing took me out of my immersion. I highly recommend to fans of weird fantasy, and the world building is fantastic, but it does not live up to Gladstone's previous work's promise. Here's hoping he goes all in on the next one and produces an even more amazing piece.
Not better, necessarily...but certainly enhanced. I thought the pacing was right where it needed to be for this kind of story. The narrator's rhythms worked. It was a good mix of colorful characters, and the story itself had a few nice twists.
I thought the world that Max built was quite innovative. Reminded me of some great old world detective stuff, but with the characters having new tasks appropriate to this different, independent era.
I really liked The King in Red...Kopel. His performance of that character really helped me envision a walking skeleton badass.
No. Wasn't that kind of mushy story. Sorry to disappoint.
I'd recommend it. An exciting, innovative ride.
It's a fresh new take on fantasy in present day. The tensions of the story as it unfolds, in conjunction with the actor's delivery, use the element of suspense with precision. The final result feels extra noir-like and I think that was a good touch.
I agree with many other book reviews on Amazon that the worldbuilding is top notch. Gladstone uses the city as more than simply a backdrop and he sends Caleb on an interesting journey through its innards.
Entertaining from beginning to end with solid writing and performance. What's neat to hear in the audiobook version is that they've found an actor who gets the hard-boiled narrator aspect that you often find in those classic gritty 40s black and white noir flicks. (Double Indemnity anyone?) I was particularly intrigued by how well the voice and delivery style matched up with the needs of the literary style.
In sum, if you're into urban fantasy or noir genres check it out and you'll be pleased.
Also, note that I have not read the first book in the series yet. Like others have stated in their reviews, reading the first book is not necessary to enjoy this one.
Enjoy the adventure
Not one of my favorites. I agree with other reviewers that this is a very unique book and that the author’s creativity is off the scale. But this book badly needs a co-writer and a different narrator. Pee-yew.
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