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Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  4,411 ratings  ·  805 reviews
A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, 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’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citi
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Earlier this year, I met Max Gladstone. We were both attending a convention in Boston.

Simply said, I really liked him. He was funny, articulate, and smart. He'd traveled the world and had interesting stories to show for it.

So I picked up his book. Because when I meet an interesting author, I like to see what they've written.

To be completely honest, this isn't the best way to pick up new books. Someone who is funny in person isn't always funny in print. A person might be delightfully verbally a
Sep 14, 2015 Carol. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pratchet fans? Zelazny fans? Basically, anyone who likes complex fantasy.
Recommended to Carol. by: Amanda

It isn’t often that I find a book that hits that fantasy sweet spot. An interesting lead character who rises above gender stereotypes, world-building inventiveness, a storytelling style that keeps me engaged, a clever little mystery, a willingness to poke at authority, and did I mention inventiveness? Three Parts Dead has a few bumps, certainly. But it was one of the better fantasies I’ve read this year, and if you’ve been considering it, I suggest giving it a try. It exceeded my expectations.

The cover says it all! A sexy, strong, fierce woman of color with natural hair and it's a different take on steampunk. What more could a black geek chick possibly ask for?

How do I love this book? \m/ Seriously, this book is just so many types of AWESOME *sings AWESOME at the top of my lungs* The cover rocks and just for the record New York publishing, people BOUGHT IT so stop with the whitewashing, okay?

It's taken me awhile to craft a full review because I was still trying to put into words just
This book has a fantastic and highly imaginative world-building. If you're a fan of "sense of wonder", like I am, this is the book for you.
It reads a bit like Robert Jackson Bennett's "City of Stairs", although Bennett's prose flows a bit more organically. But for a debut novel, this is a very well written and constructed book.
The world is a colorful mix of traditional fantasy ideas with Steampunk elements set against the backdrop of an urban metropolis filled with gargoyles, vampires and skelet
I read and discussed this one with a couple friends, and though all three of us have very different reading personalities, we pretty much all felt the same way about this book: It had potential, but was ultimately just a mess.

There was just too much going on in this book, and not nearly enough story to support it. It felt manic, like the author tried to cram every cool idea he had into it, but didn't explain anything in a way that felt natural or even coherent. Everything was just presented, wo
This is a weird book that some people may not like, but I REALLY liked it, so there. It's not romance-y, it's steampunk/religious/thriller/alt-verse/fantasy. It's gritty and a bit complicated but I enjoyed it a LOT because it was DIFFERENT.

I love the idea of Living/Dead Gods (PC HODGELL'S GOD STALK is one of my faves) and this book really is intriguing in its dealing of the subject, and immense magical power harnessed by humans. I dunno, I just really liked it, the lead woman was ruthless and dr
Mar 08, 2013 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: blog
When your god has died, who ya gonna call? Why, the thaumaturgical firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, of course.

At least that's what the priesthood of Alt Coulumb does when their fire deity, Kos, snuffs it (a rather embarrassing turn of events for a god billed as "Kos the Everburning"). Without his power driving the steam engines of the city, Alt Coulumb will eventually come to a grinding halt, so it is up to Tara Abernathy (the newest recruit of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao) to unravel the cir
A surprise, a pleasant surprise. I was lured in by the urban-fantasy-ness and blown away by the setting, fantastical elements, and world building. As a rule, I have low expectations for all urban fantasies, regardless of hype. So I went into this book expecting it to be average at best, but the depth and scope of Gladstone’s world and the war that ravished the land won me over. Looking forward to continuing this series.

* * * * *

The actual order of these books according to the author: http://www.
I have for a while wanted to read this book so when I found it one Scribd I just had to read it.

Tara has been thrown out from her the Hidden School, fallen to the earth. You don't get to know why, at least not yet. She returns home to her family and resumes her life there until the chance comes to her in the form of Elayne Kevarian who hires her to work for the necromantic firm: Kelethres, Albrecht and Ao and her first job is to bring the God Kos Everburning back to life. Together with Elayne a
Experiment BL626
CAUTION: Long Review

Three Parts Dead defied my expectation. I took a risk on this seemingly boring book and it paid off!

I thought it was Urban Fantasy because of the blurb and cover.... Okay, mostly because of the cover. And technically it wouldn't be inaccurate to say it is because there were vampires and Craftsman (mages), a kick-ass heroine and a chain-smoking hero among many parts of the book.

However, the book was Fantasy. TDP was set in a completely different world where gods and godly Craf
I love this book. I love the characters, world-building, magic, plot, lore, and well, pretty much everything. Be prepared for gushing review.

Tara Abernathy is a necromancer/lawyer that has been hired by the firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao to resurrect Kos Everburning, the dead god of Alt Coulumb. There's so much to love about Tara. She's intelligent, resourceful, talented, and self-reliant. Bonus: she's a female protagonist of color. Her boss is Craftswoman Elayne Kevarian (another women in
Alex Ristea
This is the best novel I've read so far in 2014.

I dare you to read the first thirty pages and not be instantly hooked. It's hard to believe that this is a debut novel—I haven't been this impressed by a new author since The Lies of Locke Lamora.

Three Parts Dead pushes all the right buttons in a fairly short novel: an incredibly rich world, believable and complex motivations for all the characters, beautiful prose, protagonists who protag (instead of just reacting to the plot), and a plot which tw
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Three Parts Dead is a fantasy novel that teases at the senses and perceptions of the reader. Gladstone takes some fantasy concepts and weaves them into a creation that has its own flavor and feel. It's not urban fantasy in the common sense. It's not epic fantasy, either. It's a novel that forges its own path.

Gladstone takes the sticky territory of faith and belief in a deity and asks the reader to trust him and to follow where he's going. For those readers who are believers in God and who consi
5 Stars

Three Parts Dead starts off my 2015 reading with a bang. Gladstone has created a wonderful world that works as a Dark Urban Fantasy(UF). I can't seem to get enough of this genre these days. Stupid teen angst novels flooded the market for so long that I steered away from anything UF, and now I have found so many amazing reads that it is my go to.

This is my first Gladstone novel and I will surely move on to more. Three Parts Dead works by featuring a fantastic female lead in Tara. She is i
Mike (the Paladin)
This comes close to getting a 5 star rating..but there are a couple of down checks.

First, I just finished it and I really don't have a big memory of it. I look at the book and I have to think a few seconds and then it's, "oh right that book".

Second, and I've said this about other books, there's really a bit too much book here for the story it tells. There are times the story seemed to me (this is of course my opinion) became a little labored and stretched. the big final climatic (view spoiler)
Ben Aaronovitch
Oct 04, 2014 Ben Aaronovitch is currently reading it
Shelves: sf-f
God I'm really enjoying this.
Rachel Hartman
Witty and fun. Lots of head-hopping. Sometimes head-hopping makes me dizzy, or I bounce off the surface like a stone skipped across a lake, but Gladstone has a gift for clarity which I think helps.

I am intrigued, as ever, by ideas about belief. In this case, belief is a kind of energy exchange -- you give the gods power by believing, and sometimes they give back (although the strong, viable ones take in more than they give out, rather like insurance companies). Belief is also quite clearly para
Tabitha (Pabkins)
A-MA-ZING! - Three Parts Dead introduces readers to a fresh and new fantasy world that I could almost picture as our own. It has a quality that feels almost as if it takes place in more than one time. You have steam power, ships, and newsboys that sing the news rather than hawk papers, but then on the next page you will read about advancements in technology that aren't due to technology but to craft - which is a form of magic.

Craftsmen and women wield power that they gather from starlight and ea
A necromancer is engaged by clerics to resurrect a fallen god.

Several fascinating protagonists and an interesting setting grabbed my attention: Chain-smoking novice technician Abelard is a priest of Kos the Everburning who witnesses the fading-away of his god. Tara Abernathy, a castout necromancer of the Hidden Schools, is yet inexperienced but engaged by powerful Elayne who is a kind of lawyer working out contracts for a Craft firm. Their job is to resurrect Kos. There are sidekick characters l
Three Parts Dead is a unique tale that combines religion, magic and law in a world so very different from our own. It begins with the murder of a judge, the death of a god and Tara Abernathy, a skilled young Craftswoman, unceremoniously graduated from the Hidden Schools and ejected from their skybound walls. With no other choice left to her, Tara returns to her quiet farming village, but in an effort to help the villagers after a brutal attack, reveals her Craft and incurs their wrath. What did ...more
Ben Babcock
Every so often I read a book that I wish I had written. Right there, in those pages, is a universe that I don’t just enjoy but that I’m actively envious of. Three Parts Dead is not quite one of these books, but it comes close. It’s the kind of book I could see a me from a parallel universe not too far away could have written. It satisfies my current hunger for fantasy that is urban fantasy but not relentlessly focused on the paranormal or supernatural aspects of our contemporary society. It cate ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This book will make many readers happy, particularly those who enjoy plot-driven, worldbuilding-heavy fantasy. Three Parts Dead has an alternate-world, urban steampunk setting, and features a murder mystery surrounding a dead god, seemingly limitless magic, some paranormal elements (including vampires, but no romance) and a megalomaniacal villain. If this sounds like your dreams come true, don’t let me discourage you from reading this book. But those, like me, who enjoy character-driven fiction ...more
Fantasy Review Barn

‘You’re a mean one, Mr. (Name retracted to prevent spoilers)

You really are a heel’

Ok, I am all in on this one; Three Parts Dead deserves all the praise it has been getting. Suspenseful, gritty, and working in completely unexpected directions; I am not sure what I thought this book was about but I am very pleasantly surprised with the unexpected direction it went. The very thought of necromancy does nothing for me, but with the possibility of resurrecting a god my ears perk up.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, and I would like to thank the publisher, author, and Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read, and review it.

It was hard for me to shelve this book. It has aspects of Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, and even a little Science Fiction. An interesting blend, of magic, technology, gods, goddesses, power, reason, and faith. There is no info dumping. What you know about how power works is revealed throughout the story. I have to say I prefer that to havin
Beth Cato
I received this ARC from Tor via Goodreads.

I have read many advance release copies of books in recent months. A numbers have been stinkers. I confess, I was jaded to get this one, wondering if it would be yet another disappointing.

Oooooh no.

This book blew me away. Not only is it one of the best books I have read this year, I found myself becoming increasingly more distraught as it neared the end. I kept forcing myself to stick my bookmark in so I could pause and savor the pages instead of rushin
Anzu The Great Destroyer
I really loved the concept of Three Parts Dead. I mean you get lots of great elements like magic, gargoyles, vampires, a bit of steampunk, dead gods and a nice mystery. This seems like a good recipe for an awesome book.

As you can see, I dropped the book around 50%. I tried my best to finish it but it simply could not catch my attention. I had several issues with it. First of all, the start was very confusing. Shitload of information dump. Not cool. Then there’s Max Gladstone’s writing style, wh
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
This book is sort of a UF, of the whodunit variety, but set in an alternate world instead of our own. It has an interesting premise - investigating the death of a god - and some good ideas, but it gets bogged down with, well, just too much stuff and not great writing.

For the parts I liked:

I liked the philosophy behind how gods are made, the sort of circular system with faith feeding the god, and the god, getting stronger, then making bargains and rewarding the faithful, so both are sort of depen
4.5. I think it could have played out better with about 50 pages more, considering the intricacy of the plot. As it is, the last 2 chapters were a bit cumbersome, but other than that? Damn near perfect. I wish more male authors would take a page from Gladstone's book and figure out that your word processor of choice won't implode if you try to populate your novel with compelling female characters (and maybe even, gasp, a PoC heroine!), each with their own plausible agency.

Secondly! I got such a
Eon (Windrunner)
This book yo-yo'd between 5 and 3 stars for me. It had so much potential.

The review I want to write has me struggling to to put together a coherent summary of everything that worked and didnt work for me. So let me try a list

See Becky's review - exactly my thoughts.

I love everything about his book. It is so unique: the world building, the plot, and even the writing itself are all not what you would find in a typical fantasy novel. Gladstone creates a world that is dark and beautiful at the same time, and also extremely practical. Instead of those who use magic going on quests or standing behind a throne, Tara uses the Craft in her daily job as a lawyer. I also love that her job is to resurrect a god. The whole concept of divinity in this book is fascinatin ...more
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Max Gladstone is the author of the Craft Sequence: THREE PARTS DEAD, TWO SERPENTS RISE, FULL FATHOM FIVE, and most recently, LAST FIRST SNOW. He's been twice nominated for the John W Campbell Best New Writer award, and nominated for the XYZZY and Lambda Awards.

Max has taught in southern Anhui, wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. Max graduated from Yale Univer
More about Max Gladstone...

Other Books in the Series

Craft Sequence (5 books)
  • Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence #2)
  • Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence #3)
  • Last First Snow (Craft Sequence #4)
  • Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence #5)

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“The God Wars had not been a pleasant time for Craftsmen and Craftswomen around the world. One day, you’re a simple thaumaturge, idly meddling in matters man was not meant to comprehend. The next, a collection of beings as old as humanity, with legions of followers, declare war on your “kind”, and neighbours who once thought you a harmless eccentric with a fondness for mystic sigils and foul unguents see you as an affront to Creation.” 8 likes
“For half a century he had stood too close to darkness, and some it crept into his bones.” 7 likes
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