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Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  2,553 ratings  ·  556 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
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Tor Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
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
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TheFountainPenDiva
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
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Amanda
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
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Carol.
Nov 26, 2013 Carol. rated it 4 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.

**
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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
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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
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Felicia
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
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Becky
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
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 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
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Ben Aaronovitch
Oct 04, 2014 Ben Aaronovitch is currently reading it
Shelves: sf-f
God I'm really enjoying this.
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
Nathan
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.
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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
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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
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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
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colleen the contrarian  ± (... 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
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Eon
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.


MLE
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
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Joanna
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
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Chris
Mar 15, 2014 Chris rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fantasy, esp. those who want to smack Anita Blake
Recommended to Chris by: FountianPenDiva
I cannot thank the Fountainpendiva enough for her review of this book. It convinced me to buy it when it was on sale for the kindle.
It is like OMG SO AWESOME!
Tara has been ejected from the Unseen Schools of the Craft and eventually finds employment. Her first job – to aid in the resurrection of a god. But then she has to solve a mystery. On the way, she tangles with other magic users, gargoyles, people in suits, and priests.
The book works not only because of the world building, but because th
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Laura
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
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Lightreads
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
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Jennifer
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
Yune
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
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Nikki
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
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Darren
Wow. I finished this at 4am, knowing that only gave me three hours of sleep, but unable to help myself. I should write a real review, but sleep deprivation staved off with caffeine has made me giddy, so I'm not going to. A big, badass, beautiful, fun world and book.
Monica
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
P. Aaron Potter
Video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pFoJ...

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
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Benjanun
When the Hidden Schools threw Tara Abernathy out, she fell a thousand feet through wisps of cloud and woke to find herself alive, broken and bleeding, beside the Crack in the World.


When I first started reading it, I commented that the beginning of this book feels very like the opening of a good short story, tight and compressed and paced just right - introducing without bogging down, intriguing without overwhelming. The sense of humor is wonderful and Max's turns of phrase are as unusual as they
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Urban Fantasy Afi...: Kim's June Member's Choice Read 13 19 Jun 30, 2014 09:24PM  
Interracial and A...: Buddy Read 2 - Three Parts Dead 19 46 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) Full Fathom Five (Craft Sequence #3) A Kiss With Teeth The Angelus Guns Choice of the Deathless

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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.” 6 likes
“For half a century he had stood too close to darkness, and some it crept into his bones.” 6 likes
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