If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be unputdownable. I read over 80% of the book in one sitting.
I only recently received a copy of tIf I had to describe this book in one word, it would be unputdownable. I read over 80% of the book in one sitting.
I only recently received a copy of the first book, Kiss of Death, and I read that book in just a few sittings. At first it seemed a bit disjointed, but that's to be expected when there are so many threads to a story. Characters are introduced at random and you only see a little bit of their point of view before you jump to the next character. Some people might find this off-putting, but I found it fascinating because I didn't know who was who, and how they related to each other, and who was good and who was bad. And at first, you kind of like all of them. So as the story progresses and you start to see who's on whose side, and you decide who you're rooting for, you realize that these characters that you like are sort of the bad guys... and you don't quite know how to feel about it.
Part of the fun for me, when starting a book/series that ends up being so much more complex than what was expected, is learning about what's going on a little bit at a time from different character's points of view. At the start of this second installment in the series, you're up to speed and you know what's going on, so you don't get that disjointed feeling.
I won't go over the synopsis because you can read that above. Instead, I'll try to explain what I liked so much about this story. Sometimes you find a story that's very character driven, and you fall in love with one or more of the characters and you want to see what happens to them in their quest or journey or whatever. Sometimes you fall in love with other aspects of the story such as the setting or the magic... perhaps it's a prophecy that is coming to fruition, or the plots and schemes of the characters that you most enjoy.
This series has all of that. It's got great characters that you love, though they may annoy you with the things they do or say, because who is perfect, right? It's got people that you find slightly terrifying yet endearing, or bad ass, or downright hilarious. And it's got this great depth to the story as deLaney weaves multiple threads together into a great story in a relatively short time. There are various kinds of supernatural creatures, some who may be familiar from other urban fantasy type stories, and some that may be new. Some species have slightly different characteristics and different dynamics in relation to each other and to those of the other species, and there are a few different rules and laws than what you might be used to from other urban fantasy. But none of it is tiresome, none of it seems done to death, if that makes any sense.
Having read a lot of urban fantasy with various kinds of supernatural creatures, I took it in stride that there were was a more supernatural aspect than what I had actually expected when picking up this series. But it was all very enjoyable, and it was very easy to accept some of the changes in different species in the series. For my part, I thought those changes were great, I loved the differences and I thought that they gave this story its own flavor.
One thing that kept me reading the majority of this book in one sitting was that I had! to! know! what was going to happen next... to each of the characters, to the various factions who were working together or struggling against one another, and even to the characters whose loyalties were questionable and whose motives were cloudy and confusing. I've gotta say that I'm impressed at the way it all came together. There were some surprises with certain characters in the way their paths crossed, or merged with, or veered away from that of the main protagonist.
I know that what I'm saying may seem rather vague as I don't talk a lot about the events of the story, I don't talk about pacing or tone, I don't talk about specifics of the story or critique the outcome,... this is because I tend to review a book with the express purpose of relaying how it made me *feel*.
This book made me feel excited.
It made me want to go back and start reading the whole thing all over again.
My father recommended this book to me a year or two before his death. I don't now recall if it was just the one book or the entire series that he wantMy father recommended this book to me a year or two before his death. I don't now recall if it was just the one book or the entire series that he wanted me to read. I can't imagine him reading just this book and then stopping, though. Especially since this first installment of the series leaves the story hanging. It was quite unsatisfying.
Overall, I enjoyed the book very much. Alvin is a lovable character and his story fascinates me. The alternate version of the American frontier also fascinates me and I like how the little bit of truth sprinkled in with the fiction made things all the more interesting.
A couple of the characters really annoyed the living shit out of me though. If you read the book and you know me at all, you know exactly who I mean. If you haven't read the book and/or don't know me, let's just say that there is certain holier than thou preacher who is extremely young and extremely arrogant. Also, he thinks that the Devil (or something very close to him in this world) is a freaking angel and further, that this angel* would have him do some very unchristian like things.
Pretty much every one of his points of view drove me bonkers.
Regarding the audio book, it was relatively easy to follow, though having multiple readers was a bit jarring at times. Also, the very last bit alternated between a male and female reader as the characters conversed and it was just strange.
I would like to continue the series, though I don't know if I will do it on audio. I might see if I can find the ebooks cheap and toss them on my Nook tablet. I'll see...
*yes, I fully realize that the Devil is a fallen angel......more
This second installment of Brandon Sanderson's Reckoners Series shows a more mature, if still unpredictable main character in 19 year old David CharleThis second installment of Brandon Sanderson's Reckoners Series shows a more mature, if still unpredictable main character in 19 year old David Charleston.
Now an established member of the Prof's Reckoners team after avenging his father's death by successfully taking down Newcago's tyrant, the Epic know as Steelheart, David has taken Megan's place on the team and serves as point. He helps find Epic's weaknesses and then lures them in for the take down. When the team realizes that the Epic that rules Babylon Restored, once known as Manhattan, is sending Epics to Newcago to fight the Reckoners, Prof takes David and Tia to address the challenge.
The new setting was enjoyable as was meeting a new team of Reckoners. David makes new friends and... runs into an old one. *dun dun DUNNN* We get to see some new toys, which is fun, and there is a lot of wonderful snark to keep the chuckles coming as the story progressed....more
Yes, there are many similarities to Stephen King's 'The Stand', published some 9 years before Swan Song. Apocalyptic event wipes out most of mankind,Yes, there are many similarities to Stephen King's 'The Stand', published some 9 years before Swan Song. Apocalyptic event wipes out most of mankind, good versus evil... but that's about it.
Swan Song features a nuclear apocalypse so you have the added hardships of nuclear winter and radiation sickness for the survivors. Also, it was an instantaneous apocalypse rather than the drawn out one that King's super flu caused.
This story was also markedly more brutal than was The Stand, in my opinion. Not that it took away from the story, at least not for me... but I'll admit that I had several moments of thinking, "What MORE will these poor people have to endure?!" *shakes fist at sky*
All in all, I enjoyed the story very much and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys apocalyptic fiction. FUrther, I was pleased at the slight supernatural aspect that I wasn't expecting.
As a side not on the audio book, the reader Tom Stechschulte was fantastic....more
I was hooked on this story immediately, though with work and life and writing, it took me longer to finish than I would have liked. Because of that, iI was hooked on this story immediately, though with work and life and writing, it took me longer to finish than I would have liked. Because of that, it felt a bit disjointed, as audio books do when you have to pause too often. That wasn't an issue with the story, though, just with the way I chose to consume it. Though I did enjoy Nick Podehl as the reader... he does Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles as well.
Also, the ending of this book made me glad that I had the next book in the series ready to play, let me tell you! Cliff-hanger much, Chuck?