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Publisher's Summary

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, a first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethras, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring him back to life before his city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without him, the metropolis’ steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god who’s having an understandable crisis of faith. When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts - and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces listeners to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

About the author: Max Gladstone went to Yale, where he wrote a short story that became a finalist in the Writers of the Future competition. He lives in Boston.

©2012 Max Gladstone (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Max Gladstone has created a fascinating universe and equally fascinating characters. It’s a world in which magic is craft and religion has some very practical rules, and he shows it through the stories of some very interesting characters. This is his first novel. I can’t wait for his second.” (Jerry Pournelle, New York Times best-selling author)
“This has so many of my favorite things: an intriguing world, fun characters, a puzzle of a story that manages to be both funky fantasy and legal thriller. Three Parts Dead is simultaneously fast paced and thoughtful, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.” (Carrie Vaughn, New York Times best-selling author)
“The story remains suspenseful and fast-paced throughout, and the diverse, female-led cast is a joy to follow through the fascinating and unusual landscape.” (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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  • Story
  • John
  • Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 07-27-14

Great story, but the narrator was off

I really liked this book. The story was significantly above average in quality, but not perfect. I will be reading the following books in this series in the months to come despite the imperfections. I could consistently see humor and good story telling in the story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. My one suggestion to the author would be to add more humor in the future, so we had something funny or a joke every two or three pages instead of every ten or twenty.
My main issue was the narrator. She just didn't click with me. I liked 9/10ths of the voices she used, but disliked the voice she used for Tara. She made one of the main characters sound as if she had a lisp, or something. It was super minor, but it bugged me.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Cool story, awful horrible narration

Unlistenable narrator. Story seems really cool though. Would have to recommend staying away from the audiobook version of this.

Claudia Alick reminds me of a muddle aged librarian reading to children, and in general was robbing any kind of interest or depth from what otherwise seemed an enthralling story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A narrator can make or break a book for me.

I wanted to like the book but this narrator just wasn't for me. I thought she asked a question, and so I replayed that part and it was not a question. I couldn't get into this book at all. I kept rewinding it over and over, it just didn't work for me. I'll just buy the ebook and read it someday.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Katherine
  • St. Johns, FL, United States
  • 02-27-14

Inventive

Three Parts Dead is, as one of my fellow reviewers said, “wonderfully inventive.” I enjoyed the story but felt a little lost in the world sometimes — it’s so inventive that I never felt quite grounded. I did, however, like the characters and the story. I listened to Blackstone Audio’s version which was read by Claudia Alick. It took me a while to warm up to her because at first she has one of those rhythms that sounds like she’s reading to children, but I sped her up a bit and that helped. I also think her reading smoothed out a bit as the story went on. I think we both got more comfortable and compatible a couple of hours into the audio.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Good book, awful narrator

I have to agree with some of the other reviewers: the narrator wrecks this book. She sounds like she is reading to a young child, and she gives the main character a lisp. What a train wreck. I am now reading this book on Kindle and it is very enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazingly Creative Fantasy

I never thought that I'd enjoy a court-room drama, but this is an amazing book. The world that Mr. Gladstone creates is vivid and believable, while still being fascinating and mysterious. I enjoyed the characters thoroughly and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rosa F
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 04-18-15

An average experience all around.

I listened to the book over the course of 3 weeks for my book club. The story was entertaining enough, but it wasn't tantalizing. It's a weird mix of "who done it", mystery, Sherlock, magic-something. It's not one of those tales that keeps you in your car after you park because you simply MUST know what happens next and you are stuck staring into space for a minute or two with your hand on the ignition. Also, you don't get a lot of explanation about the craft; you are dropped into this world without much background and the twists this story takes don't make much sense or give you a sense of "A-HA!" because you weren't aware that The Craft could do that. It has potential though. Lastly, I couldn't tell if this world was supposed to be some sort of parallel to our known world. The language was "of this earth", and so were the drinks (whiskey, gin and tonic?!). It almost gave me a sense of an alternate earth universe or something.
The narrator was ok... Aside from the two main characters, the voices weren't really distinct. But unlike some other reviewers, I didn't think she was terrible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A story that doesn't know where it's going

I'm going to level, I haven't finished this story yet. But sadly I don't care. I don't care about the protagonist, the problems of the world, or it's backstory.

I also dislike the Frankenstein world that is a weird mix of modern and fantasy. Typically I love high and modern fantasy, steam punk or similar. But this felt like an inconsistent mix of someone that wanted to do high fantasy, but thought the audience wouldn't know what older terminology was. I just couldn't picture the world.

Lastly is the narrator. I have never listened to a professional reader who sounded less interested in the book she was reading - and this includes the audio books for Twilight and Fifty shades. Ms Alick sounds as though she's reading an unfamiliar book report to a group of uninterested six graders. I think I could have gotten through, and perhaps enjoyed, the rest of the book if it wasn't for her uninspired reading.

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A Fresh Universe

This is such a fresh story. The universe is like nothing I've read before and the idea of how the deities work is breathtaking. Just when you think there are no truly new ideas, Max Gladstone pops up with something unlike anything else.

It was a breath of fresh air and the descriptions on this one really helped me become a part of the city and the happenings. It felt authentic and extremely well thought out. I will be getting the sequel.

The Narrator did an exceptional job keeping me immersed in the story.

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Delightful

Simply delightful. Excellent, with satire on science, religion, academia, capitalism, and more I probably didn't catch. Great merger of a whodunnit with a law drama (lawyers fly by riding bolts of lightning, you know), mixed with a great fantasy plot and clever magic system that invokes lots of folklore from our world.

I have no idea why people are complaining about the narrator. She does a great job. Not the rhythm and solemnity I am used to from high fantasy, but this book doesn't take itself seriously, so Claudia does a great job of matching that.

Nailed it, Max. Currently downloading the next book with eagerness!