Audie Award Finalist, Paranormal, 2014
Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2014
Audie Award Finalist, Paranormal, 2014
New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author Larry Correia sets this gritty urban fantasy, a sequel to Hard Magic and Spellbound, in an alternate noir 1930s. A tough P.I. battles an interdimensional monster that wants to suck magic power out of the world.
Only a handful of people in the world know that mankind's magic comes from a living creature, and it is a refugee from another universe. The Power showed up here in the 1850s because it was running from something. Now it is 1933, and the Power's hiding place has been discovered by a killer. It is a predator that eats magic and leaves destroyed worlds in its wake. Earth is next.
Former private eye Jake Sullivan knows the score. The problem is, hardly anyone believes him. The world's most capable Active, Faye Vierra, could back him up, but she is hiding from forces that think she is too dangerous to live. So Jake has put together a ragtag crew of airship pirates and Grimnoir knights - and set out on a suicide mission to stop the predator before it is too late.
©2013 Larry Correia (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I read, I write; I listen
Larry Correia’s Grimnoir trilogy has come to a conclusion in “Warbound.” There is so much I love about this series, that takes place is an alternate 1930’s era, that its hard to know where to start. The characters are true to the era, yet they live in a world that has been given magic from a creature that has come to earth in an effort to hide from a predator that wants to suck the magic out of the entire universe. Larry Correia’s use of real life characters from the Thirties such as John Moses Browning and General John, “Black Jack”, Pershing, and references to Nichola Tesla and his inventions, gives his alternative world authenticity.
In “Warbound,” Jake Sullivan, Sally Faye Vierra, and the iron guard Toru, are the main characters in this third installment. I really like the relationship that is formed between Jake and the Iron Guard; and of course, Faye is my favorite character in the series. There are still the other characters we’ve come to know such as, Pirate Bob, Francis, Dan, Heinrich, and Pemberly Hammer - the Bureau of Investigation's human lie detector, but their roles are diminished in this book. One of the new characters, Dr. Well, a sociopath and inmate of Rockville Penitentiary, that Jake recruits to help swart the greatest threat to earth, the Pathfinder, is also a standout character.
The battle action is amazing with magic being thrown from all sides and the technology that Mr. Correia adds, such as powered armor, and of course the flying airships, only add to the excitement.
On a side note; although this is the end of the trilogy, Mr. Correia leaves open the possibility for more Grimnoir adventures;let's hope.
About the narrator; it’s crazy, to me, that Bronson Pinchot, “Balki Bartokomous” from Perfect Strangers (one of my favorite sitcom televisions shows from the mid-80s and early 90s) is the narrator. This guy has range, and gives another great performance.
This book is cheesy big guns blazing entertainment, and I loved it. I am giving it five stars not because it is the best of the best, but because it was fun and action packed and it's an example of an author doing nothing more and nothing less than entertaining his audience without pretense.
Warbound is the third book in the Grimnoir trilogy, so you want to read the first two. It is set in an alt-history in which a magical being came to Earth in the 1850s, and its presence bestowed magical powers on 1% of the population. Most people get a single power, so there are "Brutes" (super-strength), "Heavies" (gravity controllers), "Cogs" (gadgeteer geniuses), "Readers" (telepaths), "Fades" (turn insubstantial), "Torches" (pyrokinesis) and so on.
Basically, despite the "fantasy" element, these are period superhero novels. And the author devotes many words to describing the battles in full-page multi-panel glory. It's hard to do superheroes (an inherently visual genre) justice in written form, but Correia does a pretty good job. At times he reminded me of his fellow Mormon author Brandon Sanderson, who's also known for his intricate "magic systems" and long descriptions of characters figuring out how to use their powers in creative new ways, but Correia's plots are less contemplative (which is not to say simpler) and more about the action.
That said, major suspensions of disbelief are required, but no more than with most epic or urban fantasy.
In the conclusion of the trilogy, war with the Japanese Imperium is imminent, but only the knights of the Grimnoir know that Chairman Tokugawa has been replaced by an impostor. His "son," Iron Guard Toru Tokugawa, knows of the deception and the corruption of the Imperium's magical training schools, Iron Guard, and Shadow Guard, and so has reluctantly joined the Grimnoir.
Since this is a rising Japan in the 1930s, guilty of pretty much the same atrocities Japan was committing in Asia at that time in the real world, this causes a lot of tension with the Grimnoir, who have been sworn enemies of the Imperium. Toru manifests all the usual tropes about fictional samurai: hard-headed, death before dishonor, all non-Japanese are weak and lazy, grudging respect for Westerners who are brave warriors even if they are ignorant barbarians, blah blah blah.
A summary of the plot would be kind of pointless: if the premise does not interest you, it's not gonna interest you, but Correia does do a very good job of working within the parameters he has established and then treating it seriously. Powers work a certain way and everything follows from certain first principles, and when some of the big twists are revealed, more pieces fall into place, including some that have been developed since the first book.
Is this is gonzo gun porn and superhero slugfests? Yes! And awfully darn fun. But awfully damn intelligent for a historical superhero novel as well. And there is a conclusion to bring this trilogy to a definitive close, while still leaving open the possibility (I would guess, based on Correia's prolificness, inevitability) of a new series coming down the pike.
This is not the best written or deepest or most original series. It's just fun and entertaining. Did I mention fun? Okay, so I am a superhero nerd. But in all seriousness, for what it is, the plotting, pacing, characterization, and worldbuilding were all far above the somewhat low bar I have for this kind of book. Hence, 5 stars. Would read more Grimnoir, definitely.
And an additional 5 star rating must be given for Bronson Pinchot. I HATED Balki and "Perfect Strangers"! But he is one of the best audiobook narrators ever! Seriously, he nails every single accent, does men and women both flawlessly, and probably puts more life into Correia's characters than exists on the page.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
A wonderful range of characters you can actually engage with. Brilliantly written action scenes which make sense and only occasionally push too far into "give me a break" territory. Smart, even sophisticated, historical tie-ins which add tremendously to the surprise factor as we enjoy Correia's take on "familiar" figures from the past. A reader who is practically without peer in bringing an extensive gallery of colorful characters to audible life. A brilliantly light touch even when dealing with death, destruction and despair. All the strengths of the first two books of the trilogy make "Warbound" another delight to listen to.
And perhaps best of all is the fact that this, for the moment at least, is the end. A very good end. Knowing when to stop is not easy when you have a boffo series going. (We can all name a few authors who have missed the right exit.) I have no doubt the author has a few tricks left up his sleeve, but by the end of this book, the brilliantly realized concept was already beginning to seem a tiny bit short of breath. Just the tiniest bit, you understand, but I look forward to a completely new idea from LC for the immediate future. Maybe in a few years, the Grimnoir Archives? I'd be hungry again and part with my credits happily.
Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL
can't say without major spoilers.
yes, he's amazing! i was tickled by his performance of lady origami. by far, he is the most talented narrator i've heard to date! i love his narration of jake sullivan! perfect, just perfect!.
happy and relieved that the story lived up to my expectations.
preface...like many, i discovered the grimnoir chronicles while waiting for the next release of monster hunters, and i must say, "what an awesome discovery!" the grimnoir chronicles have become one of my favorite series. dare i even say better than monster hunters? ok. yes, i dare! lol so like many of you i was eagerly (and despairingly) awaiting the release of warbound on audible. yes, i could've downloaded it on kindle, but i wanted/needed bronson pinchot's superb narration to envelop me in larry correia's world. i have to admit, i was nervous, even giddy, when i started listening b/c i didn't want to be let down. sorry but monster hunter vendetta was kind of a let down. ok. where was i? sorry, the adhd is kinda bad today. lol hard magic was an incredible discovery, spellbound was a worthy sequel, and warbound is a satisfying conclusion.
ok...on with the review...
i don't want to spoil your listening experience, but i must say larry correia does a great job wrapping up the story, and the minor stories within the story. faye's journey to discover what it means to be spellbound is haunting. what she truly is totally surprised me, but by the end it makes perfect sense. jake and toru have a complicated relationship, and i really enjoyed seeing how it played out.
i was also happy that larry correia brought "plot devices" from previous books into this one. for instance, i really liked buckminster fuller. he had a very small part in spellbound, but he had a huge influence on the plot. i really enjoyed listening to bronson pichot's portrayal of him as a zany, quick talking genius. so, i was glad he was back in warbound. there are many more plot devices, but i'm not telling! lol trust me, you'll really enjoy discovering how past events come into play in this story.
once again, larry correia introduces new characters, and again they are as equally fascinating as the previous characters he's introduced us to. one of the definite strengths of this series are the characters larry correia creates. each is unique, and as a cast, they fit together like puzzle pieces.
the battle scenes are heart-pounding. they are choreographed with the right amount of description to keep the action exciting.
i'm sad that the series is over, but i'm happy with the way it ended. thank-you larry correia! it was definitely a great ride!
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
Yes. it is a fun , action packed book with a great backstory. The narrartor is top notch. I met the author at a book signing last week and told him he made me utter words I thought would never come out of my mouth, which are "Bronson Pinchot is badass!"
The final climactic battle between the entity and Fay. I also, really liked when Sullivan figures out how to foil the pathfinder's plan. Ingenious and funny to boot.
I listened to him in the other book and he is incredible in all of them. I personally have never cared for any of his film and television work but he is truly the master of the audiobook format. His voices are great, he can handle multiple distinct characters and captures the noir feel of the series perfectly. I read the E-arc prior to release and the audiobook is much better than simply reading the story.
Yes, but time did not permit.
Great story, great acting, what more do you want. I'd also say check out the author's Monster Hunter Internatilonal series if you like this one.
Absolutely will, well written and well performed.
If you don't like Jake Sullivan, I don't like you.
He accomplished something I've only ever heard done once before: he made the characters more than what they might have been if I had just read the books. This is a feat I have only otherwise experienced with James Marsters' delivery of the Dresden Files readings. Mr. Pinchot's Jake Sullivan and Sally Fae Viera were marvelous. I couldn't have appreciated his work more. There were very few times he hit the wrong note with a character's tone or presentation.
This is Mr. Correia's best series. I really appreciated his world building. He had a great story arc that he stuck to and didn't overdo. I mean, honestly, I could read Jake Sullivan books for ages, however, I think this story arc is brilliant. I can't see how these wouldn't be great movies.
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
You have to give Larry Correia credit for writing a thrilling story that would sound utterly ridiculous if he wasn't as talented at plotting and writing. All the elements of a summer blockbuster are there: a team of heroes assembled to face a superior foe, wise mentors, narrow escapes, heroic deaths, massive fights through collapsing buildings, clever plans, and of course, lots of guns. And, because it is part of the Grimnoir Chronicles, you can add ninjas, wizards, sky pirates, aliens, and a vaguely evil FDR. Looking back at those lists could make you worry that Warbound is actually some cliched fanfiction, but it is anything but. Instead, Correia manages to create a thrilling adventure where his terrific control of the seemingly crazy plot keeps you constantly guessing and on the edge of your seat - and all this despite the fact that every few pages has a new potential deus ex machina.
Surprisingly for a gun-filled adventure, it is the likeable characters, remarkably well-rounded over the course of three books, that keeps the book centered. And it is the insanely amazing reading that makes the characters work. Seriously, out of 200+ books I have listened to, this is in the top 2-3 of the best read. Pinchot's ability to make the naive (but extremely powerful) Faye and the gruff Jake Sullivan both work is stunning.
So, in short, if you have already read two books, you obviously should listen to this. If you haven't this is a great trilogy to start, though it occasionally drags slightly (especially in the second book), the third volume is almost entirely terrific. A great example of how an audiobook can be as compelling as any action movie.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
Such an amazing book, such an amazing series.. Everything in it was fantastic, the plot, the twists and the whole thing was just amazing... more than that.
The action in Warbound was packed, specially the 2nd half of the book, the deaths, the sacrifices, and the surprises where everywhere, really good.
Let me talk, a bit about the narrator, Bronson Pinchot is one of THE BEST narrators I know, the voices he makes, and emotions that comes out .. so real you can feel what the characters are feeling, one someone scream, he scream.. Such a great narrator, and he does bring the characters to life..
I din't know if there will be a next book or not... things are not that clear about that, but i think there will be many to come, we want to know what will happen to these characters in the future.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
Warbound is the third volume of Larry Correia’s GRIMNOIR CHRONICLES, an alternate history which takes place during the early 19th century. This review will contain spoilers for previous volumes. You’ll definitely want to read those before picking up Warbound.
The stakes are higher than ever in Warbound. When Jake Sullivan was let out of jail to help his country, he never dreamed he’d be fighting an evil being from another dimension that plans to suck the power out of magic-wielding humans so it can use their power for its own. Roosevelt’s administration is unwittingly (perhaps) helping this “Pathfinder” by demanding that all Actives get registered and wear a special badge. They’re even building special towns for Actives to live in and are starting to round them all up. Jake realizes that this will only help Pathfinder when he’s ready to harvest all the power.
Francis, an airship tycoon who’s also an Active, is frustrated as he tries to enlighten congress. His girlfriend Faye, whose Spellbound powers are growing, is worried that the power will taint her. Feeling more alone than ever, and knowing that the Council is trying to assassinate her, she goes on a quest to zombie-infested Berlin to get some answers. Meanwhile, Toru, the disgraced Japanese Iron Guard who was exiled to America, feels certain that the Chairman of his beloved Imperium is now the Pathfinder’s pawn. If so, the Chairman has fooled all of Toru’s brothers in the Iron Guard and Toru wants them to know the truth. He’s looking for redemption and hopes to win back his honor. He’s also starting to question his country’s moral philosophies.
Toru, Jake and their international group of magical friends (we met most of these fascinating folks in Hard Magic and Spellbound) have to make some unsavory alliances if they want to defeat the Chairman and Pathfinder. They meet some helpful Chinese mobsters in occupied China, but the scariest ally is a psychopathic psychologist who Jake retrieves from solitary confinement in a maximum security prison. It will take all of these people’s combined efforts and skills to win this war for humanity. Along the way, they’ll fight Samurai and ninjas, find a mechanical armored body suit, cause a riot, explore underground tunnels, blow up dirigibles, control animals, meet Rasputin, create origami art, and learn about the metaphysics of the magic. As usual there is some humor, some romance, some clever alternate history (I love the bastardized quotes at the beginning of each chapter), and several well-choreographed brutal fight scenes. There is also major loss and one of my favorite characters dies. If there are any future volumes in the GRIMNOIR CHRONICLES, I’ll miss that character.
After enjoying seven of his novels, I’m no longer surprised that Larry Correia always entertains me. His outspoken libertarian political views don’t bother me (I lean that way, too), but he’s a rabid gun nut, and that’s an issue that I don’t feel quite so libertarian about. There’s some gun porn in Warbound but it’s minimal and tasteful. Jake Sullivan occasionally lets us know that he’s politically conservative:
“FDR can go to hell. I’m a man. Not a type, not a number, and sure as hell not something that can be summed up as a logo to wear on my sleeve. A man. And I ain’t registering nothing.”
Larry Correia’s political views inspire Jake Sullivan’s characterization, but Jake’s libertarianism fits well in a story set during the time of the New Deal and it never interferes with the exciting plot. (It’s far less intrusive than Heinlein’s pulpitting.)
Warbound has been nominated for a Hugo award. I’m not interested in commenting on this year’s Hugo kerfuffle except to say that I agree with John Scalzi when he says let’s put politics aside, read all the books, and judge them based on quality. And to those who refuse to read this Hugo-nominated book, all I can say is that you’re missing out on a lot of fun. This story may not have the intellectual heft that I’d prefer from an award-winning book, but it’s wildly popular and it’s certainly not dumb. It’s clever, well-written, and immensely entertaining.
Now, let me talk about my favorite part of Warbound: the audiobook! This series has one of the best (maybe the very best) audio performances I’ve ever heard, and I’ve listened to close to 1,000 audiobooks. Actor Bronson Pinchot, the narrator, is an audio genius. Genius, I tell you! This story has a large diverse cast of characters that differs in sex, age, race, region, culture, education level, and every other way you can think of. Pinchot handles them all with ease, giving each character their own voice, rhythm and tone. I have never heard this done so well. Even if the story wasn’t entertaining in itself, Pinchot’s narration of Warbound could keep anyone riveted, which is why it’s been nominated for a prestigious Audie award. Have a listen!
A note about my rating of Warbound: I struggled with how to rate Warbound. If I was rating the audiobook, it’d get 5 stars. But, realizing that most of our audience doesn’t listen to audiobooks, I tend to rate based on if I’d read it in print. In this case, though, it’s really hard for me to separate the audio out of it because it was such a huge part of my enjoyment of the book. I may be being a bit stingy to only give Warbound 4 stars because I got more than 4 stars worth of enjoyment out of it.
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
Correia keeps the pace pretty fast through this third installment of the Grimnoir Chronicles. This book reads like an action movie. You may find a bit more self-reflection than just any shoot-em-up, but action is what this series is built around and if that is what you seek, you won't be disappointed.
The author has done some very interesting things with the structure of magic and has developed it well over the course of the series. This draws the reader in as you can see the magic as the problem and the solution and you ride along with the characters as they use cleverness and grit to figure it out.
The setting is fantastic. I have the feeling that Correia spent a ton of time trying to get it right. With magic affecting people since before the Civil War, the course of history is changed, slightly. It is then fast-forwarded a number of years and different things have shaken out. Teddy Roosevelt is a famous and important figure in U.S. history, but for completely different reasons. There are lots of these little changes which fold in extremely well with the story. That part of this book has the potential to go under-appreciated, but is really interesting.
Initially, I thought that the characters were your standard action flick fare, but upon reflection, they do indeed run a bit deeper. I give full credit to Bronson Pinchot for adding a lot of depth with his portrayal. Once again, the book is read outstandingly well. I will look for Pinchot in the future.
"Does not skip a beat"
In the third book of the series Larry really keeps up the pace of the story and characterisation that makes this a class leader of the genre.
"Superhuman story and narration"
Warbound was a very enjoyable piece of pulp fiction. This is not the kind of book that is going to win literary awards, but it is the kind of book that will keep you "spellbound" from cover to cover. I really need to call out that the narration in this book in particular (and the whole series in general) was superlative.
Bronson Pinchot brought personality to every character and enhanced the action of pivotal scenes through inflection, volume and pacing. I have well over 100 audio books in my collection, and this was my favorite narration by a male narrator. Tokugawa!!!!
Spelling bad never felt so good.
I loved the mix of hardboiled tough guy style with the sci-fi and magic mix which characterizes the 3 books in this series.
The stories seem well thought out with good plot progress and an over-arching theme for the trilogy.
The book was read well with good voices and individual characters. The only "miss" I would say is Jane in the 3rd book seems to have taken on Whisper's voice rather than her own from earlier books. That it stood out to me shows how good everything else was.
"a nice conclusion to a ripping yarn"
Top twenty, and i listen to a lot.
Heinrich ( not sure of the spelling)
A silky smooth voice which can inject a great deal of character into the major players.
I Thoroughly enjoyed this conclusion to the trilogy. It felt a little abrupt but that was likely me not wanting it to end. I read a lot of reviews of the authors other books which suggested he pushes a political agenda through them. In this books case i really didn't see it. If you take it seriously this book may not suit but i wanted solid entertainment and it delivered.
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