Emma Sea's Reviews > The Invisible Hands - Part 1: Gambit

The Invisible Hands - Part 1 by Andrew Ashling
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's review
May 14, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 13 to 14, 2012

Great book. Not m/m romance, but traditional political fantasy sprinkled with m/m relationships.

The writing is this book is a vast improvement over Ashling's first two in the series. There is no longer any cringe factor, and instead I just got to submerge myself in the intricate plotting.

Rullio was a huge fave of mine from his supporting role in book 2, and I would have read this just for his burgeoning relationship with Merw, which made me inordinately happy (although, going on past experience I can't put it past Ashling to kill Merw off down the road.) I actually laughed out loud for Merw's first scenes, which is a very rare event.

It was a sign of the Ashling ability to portray complex characters that, while in book one I was all "Yay, Anaxantis! Boo, Tenaxos!", after this book I like Anaxantis and Tenaxos equally, for completely different reasons. Not sure I can take the tension of the next two books: will they duke it out in this trilogy? Or is this all going to be set-up for a final conflict later? Or will the brothers band together? Sheesh, the stress.

P.S. I definitely never want to live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with Ashling as my local warlord: he has the most vivid imagination for torture techniques.
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Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by Ayanna (new) - added it

Ayanna I'm kind of scared to continue this series. I don't like "non-sweet romance" *sobs

Emma Sea Ayanna wrote: "I'm kind of scared to continue this series. I don't like "non-sweet romance" *sobs"

There's some really sweet couples coming up though.

message 3: by Eve (last edited Nov 15, 2012 11:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eve Re the vivid imagination for torture, (view spoiler), just found it also in this book! As a punishment for gayness.. :(

Emma Sea Ooh, I own that! In paper! Have to read it now.

message 5: by Ayanna (new) - added it

Ayanna ...I've read this book called The History of Torture. Does that count?
(My favorite is probably scaphism). Meh, but it was annoying because none of it was really what I was looking for, per se. They were all generally tortures to the death and I was searching for tortures in more of an interrogative capacity.

message 6: by Emma Sea (last edited Nov 15, 2012 03:05PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma Sea Ayanna wrote: "My favorite is probably scaphism"

HOLY CRAP!!!!! Who thinks these things up???!

message 7: by Ayanna (new) - added it

Ayanna :D exactly my reaction. You have to admit that it's rather ingenious, though.

Emma Sea Ayanna wrote: ":D exactly my reaction. You have to admit that it's rather ingenious, though."

Definitely admitted *shiver*

message 9: by Maygirl7 (new) - added it

Maygirl7 After reading your review, I don't know that I want to read the first volumes. Do you think I can jump into the series with this one without it detracting too much from the experience?

Emma Sea ooh, good question. I don't know. I think you need the buildup of the relationship and antagonisms. You could skim them, though

message 11: by Maygirl7 (new) - added it

Maygirl7 The words cringeworthy gave me pause. I just saw on Aisling's website that I can read the first twelve chapters free. I'll see how it goes while reading those chapters and then decide.

Emma Sea Just don't judge too harshly, OK? The writing is just awful a lot of the time early on, but the overall plot is really captivating. You get sucked into the story despite yourself.

message 13: by Maygirl7 (new) - added it

Maygirl7 OK. I'll try to let go of my not so inner critic ;) and see if I get sucked in. The premise sounds really interesting. I definitely like post-apocalyptic.

Emma Sea oh, no, I have misled you. Sorry! This series isn't post-apocalyptic. It's faux-medieval. But I thought Ashling would fit into a Mad Max-type scenario very well.

message 15: by Maygirl7 (new) - added it

Maygirl7 I like faux medieval too. Is it games of throne-ish?

Emma Sea Yes!

message 17: by Maygirl7 (new) - added it

Maygirl7 Great!

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