Emil Söderman's Reviews > The Heroes

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, male-author

Abercrombie is a tough one for me. I can quite say that I enjoy his books, but I'm not sure I can say they're actually *good*. I think the problem is that Abercrombie is a bit too much like me, in that he likes playing around with tropes and the *craft* of storytelling more than actually telling a story. All his characters are archetypes, not people. They exist to be subverted or to subvert the conventions of whatever genre he digs into. Don't get me wrong, I love that kind of stuff, but he never quite reaches the level where he can both play with the conventions and create living, breathing people at the same time. There's something vaguely lifeless and texture-less about Joe's characters.

The Heroes is a book about a battle, the lead-up and to some degree the aftermath. It's a fairly good depiction, and the kind of fragmentary disjointed image of the fight that emerges is fairly well-drawn. What the fight accomplishes (or rather doesen't accomplish) is rather nicely portrayed as well. One nitpick would be that the resolution at the end felt kind of forced, Abercrombie essentially resorts to a Deus Ex Machina to settle something that didn't seem very far from being settled in the natural course of things.

Overall I like it, playing with conventions is always fun.
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Tamara I thought that definitely holds for his earlier books, (the characterization issue, I mean) but the Heroes managed to have a few genuinely well drawn characters that were placed in archetype shoes but managed to have their own personalities still - particularly Finree and the guy with the silly voice.

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