Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1)
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Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  1,236 ratings  ·  340 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...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books
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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...more
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...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Nov 26, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Pratchet fans? Zelazny fans? Basically, anyone who likes complex fantasy.
Recommended to Carol. [All cynic, all the time] 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.

Experiment BL626
CAUTION: Long Review

Three Dead Parts 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...more
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...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
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...more
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...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
Wendy Browne
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
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...more
c.o.lleen ± (... never stop fighting) ±
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...more
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...more
This may surprise my faithful review followers, but this book should have been the sequel, not the first (or only). Why? Read on...

Fifty years ago there were the God Wars (over what is not quite clear) and when the dust settled, all the gods were dead (or reformed, or something) with the exception of Alt Coulumb, still ruled by Kos Everburning (a fire god). Kos' lover, Seril (a moon goddess... I think) was remade into Justice and her Guardians (aka gargoyles) banished. Instead, Justice has Black...more
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...more
THREE PARTS DEAD is sort of a mix between steampunk, religion (though not Western religion) and legal thriller, and it manages to do each well. There are gargoyles, magicians (call them Craftsmen), vampires, and gods, so this hits all the major fantasy buttons trending recently. Sometimes the mix of POVs is a little confusing and the world, while superbly built, is dropped on the reader without a lot of explanation. On one hand, yay, no info-dump! On the other hand, whoa, where's the info? Most...more
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...more
I avoided this book for a while because it looked so very generic urban fantasy-esque from the cover, and I'm tired of kick-butt heroines busting up vampires or werewolves or zombies or what-have-you. (Or having torrid angsty love affairs with them.) But a book review blog insisted on calling it a "high fantasy legal thriller" and specifically called out the deceptiveness of the cover, so I took a chance.

I almost didn't make it past the beginning. Trains, cigarettes, business cards...what kind o...more
I originally bought this pretty much entirely because of the cover. Link. It's gorgeous, and it features an attractive but non-sexualised young black woman front and centre, in a business suit which is not revealing, in a reasonably comfortable pose for a human being to achieve. If you follow Jim C. Hines and John Scalzi's posts at all, you'll know why I find this so astonishing. Well, that and the well-documented "white-washing" of covers, etc.

I'm really glad I did. The price for the ebook was...more
P. Aaron Potter
Video review here:

This, the first of Gladstone's "Craft" series, is a gem. Genre-wise, I had a hell of a time picking which tags to slap on this book: fantasy, certainly, but is it also sci-fi? It has the hard-edged, logical consistency of sci-fi. The dressing is occasionally steampunk, but I hesitate to apply that label, because steampunk is rapidly becoming a very specific sort of aesthetic, and I'm not sure this novel fits into it. This is alternative...more
A young magician is assigned with her mentor to resurrect what's left of an unexpectedly dead god.

I didn't love this like I was promised, but it's pretty cool. The worldbuilding is by far the highlight. I'm actually kind of bitter about that, because I've had this notion of melding magic with contract law in the back of my mind for a few years, and here it is. Done quite well, at least. This brief note by the author explaining his starting points gets at a lot of what I enjoyed about the worldbu...more
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...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
THE GIRL WITH A DRAGON TATTOO meets THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, THREE PARTS DEAD is the perfect mixture of character, mystery, and world building. Gladstone deftly interweaves a dazzling, intricate world with a passionate, magical plot that had my heart afire for Kos Everburning and his long lost love.

THREE PARTS DEAD elevates the word “awesome” back to its godly context with it’s world building, compelling characters, and action that doesn’t let up until the last page. Gladstone creates thre...more
Fangs for the Fantasy
Three Parts Dead is outside of our genre, as it falls squarely into the category of high fantasy, rather than urban fantasy, though it does include mages, vampires and gargoyles. In an alternate earth there are Gods which are worshiped for their ability to provide for human society. Essentially a legal contract is formed with a God in which they agree to provide certain services for worship. The crafts people are in charge in writing these contracts and ensuring that the letter of the law is fol...more
This is a hard book for me to review for many reason.

First, I'm willing to admit I was swayed by the cover. I should have learned my lesson long ago. Pretty covers doesn't equal a great book.

Second, I thought this was urban fantasy and it definitely wasn't. This unfortunately made it hard for me to read because I was not expecting a sci-fi book. Don't get me wrong, I love a good sci-fi but I have to be in a different mind set to read it.

I did feel like this was a second or third book in a series...more
Despite the jacket description, I really had no idea what this book was going to be like going into it.

It's hard to describe! There are necromantic lawyers, sentient gargoyles who are also the servants of a goddess, obsidian policemen whose minds are subsumed to an incarnation of Justice, vampirates!!, and gods who live and respond and enter into legal contracts with their worshippers. The pace was fast, the characters were smart, the imagery was keen. It was one of those books where you feel a...more
the golden witch.
4.5/5 stars.

Definitely one of the most original novels I've read in the last five years, "Three Parts Dead" is part police-procedural, part urban fantasy, part sci-fi, and part murder mystery. Oh, and it's ALL fun. By combining elements one wouldn't likely think would fit together, this is a beautiful, wonderful novel that I can only hope is not a standalone (really, I want more, and now) and hopefully a start to a new series. If you're bored with urban fantasy or plain ol' fantasy, this is so d...more
Nov 03, 2013 Dan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: signal
I got this after reading the following quote from the author:

"Magic in the great secondary-world fantasy novels isn’t just an add-on; it stands in for or replaces some aspect of the world. Magic in Tolkein sort of replaces political and moral authority: Aragorn is king because magic, if Sauron gets the Ring he wins Middle Earth regardless of what happens on the map. In C.S. Lewis (both the Space Trilogy and Narnia) magic stands in for religion. In LeGuin it stands in for a lot of things, chief a...more
Prelim Review: Guys I think I found a new fantasy author to love and gush over.

Where to begin? I loved that this wasn't a story of absolutes--good, evil, right, wrong...practically everything in here is a shade of gray. One person's helpful deed, is another person's horrible sin--but that doesn't mean it was either of those. Gladstone spends a good chunk of the book building up the fact that everybody sees everything differently, but its the person with more power who decides which way is the 'r...more
Melinda Snodgrass
I loved this book. The world building is so thoughtful and creative and the use of law and finance as a magical system was just brilliant. The cast of characters grabbed me immediately, and I want to read more of their adventures. I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning to finish this book and immediately bought the next one in the series.
Three Parts Dead is pretty brilliant. Gladstone creates a wonderfully unique world and brings it to life with his flowing, descriptive prose. Though it might be a little overwhelming at first, once readers get used to it they will find themselves entranced by believable characters and a plot that is just as unique as the world it takes place in. Gladstone fills Three Parts Dead with some wonderful humor which serves to highlight some deeper themes couched in the plot itself and will surely dazzl...more
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Interracial and A...: Buddy Read 2 - Three Parts Dead 19 43 Jun 12, 2013 09:02AM  
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Max's next novel, Two Serpents Rise, comes out on October 29, 2013! After Tor published his first book, Three Parts Dead, in 2012, Max was shortlisted for the John W. Campbell Best New Writer award.

Max has taught in southern Anhui, wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. Max graduated from Yale University, where he studied Chinese.
More about Max Gladstone...
Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence, #2) Choice of the Deathless Drona’s Death Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence, #3) Airplane Hunt, (Writing Prompts: The Paper Airplane, #3)

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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.” 4 likes
“Be careful. As if something’s going to jump us in a library.”
“You might be surprised.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know how people say a book is really gripping?”
“Don’t tell me…” Cat trailed off.
“Libraries can be dangerous.”
More quotes…