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2.0 out of 5 starsFirst real miss since the reboot
Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2018
While most of the books since Inside Straight have been very good, Knaves over Queens really misses the mark. The writing is substandard, all of which is baffling since they have a near perfect blueprint for this book in the form of the first novel from way back in 1987. Unfortunately they don't follow their own lead. Unsympathetic character, uninteresting powers, unintelligible plots all just added up to make the book an absolute slog to get though. While the series hit a near high point with High Stakes, sine then it seems like quality has taken a nosedive as they churn out book after book in an apparent effort to catch the current wave of superhero popularity (This is the second book in the series released this summer, from a series that has had less than frenetic pacing over the years.) Hopefully this won't begin a trend and we haven't entered into another "dark age" for the series like we had with "The Rox" Triad, but given that even the first two entries in "The American" Triad were a bit shaky, I fear that this new sense of urgency is going to cost us so much in terms of quality that the continuation of the series itself will be at risk.
4.0 out of 5 starsDecent Add to Wild Card Universe
Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2019
I discovered this series about the same time I began reading A Song of Ice and Fire, and found this different world just as inviting. The mixture of past events in a world of aces and jokers was too much to resist.
“Knaves Over Queens,” originally released in 2018, is the story of England and their experiences with the virus that can produce good and bad results in people. I might have been hoping for more with this book and like the virus, I found a mixture of positives and negatives.
First off, the actual writing by the various authors is very good, although some of the characters are a bit hollow. Perhaps it is due to the many previously published books and the idea that aces will do good things and be heroes which caused this dissatisfaction. Little wonder, then, that the quirkier characters were my favorites.
The book is a collection of stories that take place over seven decades, which causes the British storyline to lose some cohesion. While there is some minimal interaction between characters, the only time definite continuation occurs is when a few of the authors contribute more than one story, and they pick up the trail of their characters years later. Some of these characters were not my favorites, especially one series which features a female who identifies as a Celtic goddess.
There are also many imaginative stories, such as Emma Newman’s “How to Turn a Girl to Stone” and “Night Orders by Paul Cornell. There are a few stories with references to famous musicians, and Mr. Cornell’s David Bowie appearance is fun as well as creative (without spoiling, Bowie takes some advice and performs an about-face with his musical direction, a positive step though different from our reality). My favorite story: “The Visitor,” by Mark Lawrence, who creates a most unlikely hero in perhaps what is the most creative story in the book.
Bottom line: While this may not be the best book in the Wild Card universe, it has appeal and contains a few gems. Four stars.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Wild Card Comes to ol' Blighty with a Vengeance
Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2018
Another terrific Wild Cards read in this epic, long-running series (since 1987!). Ever wonder how the Wild Card affected the UK since being released over New York in 1946? Well, this is the subject of this decades-spanning novel that covers the Wild Card years of 1946 up through 2017. Aces, Jokers, Knaves, and everything in between is on the British stage. To fully understand the impact of the virus on our closest alley, you'll need to be up on your recent British history as it unfolded in post-WWII Great Britain. This is just the opening chapter in what will surely be a new, non-American chapter in GRRM's epic superhero saga.
3.0 out of 5 starsInteresting stories hampered by awful formatting
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2019
I’ve always been a fan of the wildcard novels and this one offered an interesting twist, traveling through time in England from the 50s through the 80s. interspersing characters like Winston Churchill and Mick Jagger added to entertainment. What the formatting of this e-book edition was awful. I’m assuming that in the Paper additions, sections are separated by images of hearts, diamonds, spades, or clubs. In the Kindle edition, these are large blurry black-and-white images that are barely recognizable as the suit in question, taking up a full half of the screen on my smart phone.
I have been reading this series since the late 1980's and have seen it produce some breathtaking stories and a few not so. I have never encountered a series this far along that managed to reinvigorate itself so gloriously. This, despite being mostly tales that broke my heart.
You needn't have read the previous books, but you most likely will want to after reading this. If, like myself you're a native, this will rekindle the wonder you found in the first volume.
comparing the Wild Cards series to the over-noir GoT is disappointing in itself. I like GRRM but GoT is just a dark excuse. If that's your thing - then read them. Also, George EDITS these where he WRITES the GoT books. I found KoQ to fit right in with the rest of the WC series and would be looking forwards to another great Britain based book.
The latest in the long line of Wild Cards novels, and the first set entirely in the British Isles. I've been a fan of the series since the beginning, and I've been looking forward to a book like this for a long, long time. The stories cover the span of time from Wild Card Day in 1946 through to the modern day, and do an excellent job of evoking the periods they are set in, while making the subtle (and not so subtle) historical changes caused by the existence of the Wild Card (i.e. Margaret is Queen, rather than her sister!) seem both shocking and completely natural.
The Aces, Jokers, and Knaves described herein - with only one or two exceptions - are all rounded human beings; the villains have redeeming qualities, and the good guys aren't all that good. There are extremes of behaviour, but most of the characters are varying shades of grey...just like real life.
Those of us who lived in the UK through some or all of these times will resonate with the events described - the Troubles in Ireland, the Falklands War, and others - while those who grew up elsewhere, or who were born too late, will receive fascinating glimpses of life in Britain throughout the 20th century...albeit a Britain containing Wild Cards. My heartiest compliments to the writers who capture the feeling of the times so perfectly!
I won't give away any spoilers, but I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you're already a fan of the series, make sure you pick this up. If you've never read a Wild Cards book before, buy this one immediately - and then come back and buy another, and another, and yet another...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 7, 2021
There are a couple of clunkers, but the bulk of the stories in here are good. Glad to see that there another British volume, since it there's a fault, it's that there are lots of introductions, but few character arcs.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 7, 2018
All of it
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Bücher sind besser
5.0 out of 5 starstop!
Reviewed in Germany on August 6, 2019
wie alle neuaufgelegten bücher aus der Wildcard Serie sehr gut, auch wenn mir vorkommt g.r.r. Martin gibt nur noch seinen namen dazu, sind alle Autoren ihren Figuren treu und das verweben der Geschichten spricht mich jedesmal aufs neue an.