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Dancing Jax #3

Fighting Pax

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Throughout the world, Dancing Jax reigns supreme. The Ismus and his court are celebrated and adored, and the Ismus is writing the much-awaited sequel to Dancing Jax. But when someone accidentally reads the manuscript, the true, evil purpose of Austerly Fellows is finally revealed. Can the resistance halt the publication of Fighting Pax? Or is humanity doomed and will the Dawn Prince arise at last?

576 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2014

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About the author

Robin Jarvis

48 books222 followers
Robin Jarvis (born May 8, 1963) is a British children's novelist, who writes fantasy novels, often about anthropomorphic rodents and small mammals—especially mice—and Tudor times. A lot of his works are based in London, in and around Deptford and Greenwich where he used to live, or in Whitby.

His first novel—The Dark Portal, featuring the popular Deptford Mice—was the runner up for the Smarties book prize in 1989.

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5 stars
123 (38%)
4 stars
119 (37%)
3 stars
58 (18%)
2 stars
16 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 38 reviews
Profile Image for J.A. Ironside.
Author 57 books309 followers
August 3, 2014
4.5 stars - I'm reticent in handing out 5 because something just didn't sit right for me at the end - can't put my finger on it though.

This is probably Robin Jarvis' most accomplished trilogy to date. Ultimately tales from the wyrd museum come in as favorites but this trilogy had a depth and horror that I've rarely seen elsewhere. Essentially Mr Jarvis casts a bright and non-flattering light on today's 'hollow culture' of instant gratification, accumulation of goods, entitlement, undeserved fame and online media relations. All of this is skillfully woven into a story that swings between a dark fantasy realm and a dystopian now - or for portions of the books , a false utopian now.

There is some of his trade mark gross out horror but the really freaky stuff is what is implied or suggested and left for the reader to make up their own mind about. Suffice to say that while this left me in a state of existential angst, I now no longer worry about what goes on in my head - thanks Mr Jarvis!

The characters are all beautifully delineated - better so than many of his other books - but don't get too attached to anyone. The author will make you care but he racks up a character body count to rival Shakespeare or George R R Martin ! The only thing I will say about his characters is that his ultimate bad guys are just bad - not really one dimensional, but also aware of what they are doing as wicked and happy with that. There's not always enough motive. However when your main goal is to treat with demons and your hobbies include mind control, forming cults and sadism then how sane are you likely to be really?

The story was multi-layered and fortunately had a very strong narrator voice or it would be easy to get hopelessly lost. The trilogy moves in an almost portmanteau fashion - get to know one set of characters and then in the next book another set come to the fore. Ultimately all ends are tied off neatly enough and you do find out what happens to everyone.

The two worlds work well and by and large compliment each other. The only clunky bit for me was when things in moon caster started to disintegrate before they did in out world - it didn't quite balance.

Oddly, I quite liked the Ismus in this book. He really played it large and flamboyant as a hokey TV show host and was horrible and funny at the same time.

One of the most powerful scenes is Lee vs the bad Shepard. Another is En Mui remembering everything. I thought both showed a really pithy and clear insight into the best and worst of human nature.

Was not happy about what happened to Maggie or Gerald. That's all I'll say. And also bold decision on a hideaway at the start Mr Jarvis, very bold!

So final verdict? This is possibly the most terrifying series of YA books I've read - not for the violence, the horror, the trauma of the characters or the demonic rising. It was terrifying because the observations made about our society as a whole, often made casually in passing, are probably true. This does hold up a 'seeming glass' to us all and the reflection is not flattering. But these are absolutely blindingly good books - you do need to read them in order really - and if you're looking for fantasy where you really don't know if everything will be alright in the end, that keep you hopping, then these are for you.

Will need to reread and fully digest - I'm sure I missed things.

Finally yes the ending was satisfying in so far as it went. However it didn't leave you with a note of closure. I suppose the point is to make up your own mind but there's a big question mark at then end. And for anyone who glibly points out that 'good intentions' suggests that all will be well, I'd like to remind them of the adage stating what the road to hell is paved with...
Profile Image for Бранимир Събев.
Author 33 books183 followers
April 23, 2015
И ето, че дойде време за трета, последна част от трилогията на Робин Джарвис "Танцуващият замък"! Една без съмнение хитова поредица. Ако сте забравили за какво става дума, тук може да си припомните какво се случва в първа и втора част. Отново е спазена тенденцията корицата на книгата да е оригиналната такава. В случая го приветствам - кориците и на трите книги са бонбон.

Светът вече тотално е откачил и изперкал по книгата "Танцуващият замък" на Остърли Фелоус. Великият Чародей Измъс и обкръжението му са почитани като богове. Това обаче не е краят, а едва завръзката в пъкления план на Фелоус. Той е написал нова книга, разширение и допълнение към "Танцуващият замък" - а именно "Бойни колоди". Светът на "Бойни колоди" е хем същият, хем не съвсем, но без съмнение почти всеки жител на планетата иска да е вътре и да заживее "истинския" си живот.

За целта Измъс е снабдил всичко живо с електронни четци, на които точно в коледната нощ ще бъде свалена въпросната книга и всички ще могат да я четат едновременно. Всичко това, за да се осъществи пъкленият му план - от една страна гавра, унижение, победа и заробване на хората, от друга най-после да се възцари на трона си неговия господар Принца на Зората, Носителя на Светлина. Сещате се вече кой е въпросният, нали?

Изпитанията пред нашите герои от първите две част не спират - те намаляват все повече, стават все по-малко, избити от какво ли не. Време е за последното им и най-тежко изпитание, където или ще умрат, или ще победят, като шанса за последното е под 1%. И все пак, помощта се появява неочаквано оттам, откъдето най-малко си вярвал че ще изскочи, а колкото и да е перфектен планът на Фелоус, в него все се намират миниатюрни дупчици...

Минуси:

- Тия неща на задната корица, цитирани от разни източници като мнения за книгата: "Уникална смес от Матрицата и Здрач", "Класически Стивън Кинг за тийнейджъри" са пълни дивотии. Цялата трилогия няма нищо общо нито с едното, нито с другото, нито с третото.
- Като разбрах в началото на книгата, че нашите герои от предната част са "спасени" в Северна Корея, попадайки от един концлагер в друг, макар и малко по-лек си рекох: WTF?

Плюсове:

+ Идеята обаче за Северна Корея беше логична и всъщност се разви чудесно!
+ Книгата е отново суперчетивна, като предните - това 50-100 страници на едно сядане си хвръкват ей така, че и повече.
+ Има яки хорър моменти, особено срещата със Сръчкун Шевокожи и това, което майстори. Направо си е... Бррр!
+ Финалът беше страхотен - подробен, детайлен екшън, без да е претупан набързо, преследване, схватки, купища изчадия и развръзка, която ми дойде съвсем неочаквано.
+ Хепиенд. При положение, че толкова от героите ни (а и не само) измряха и може да се поспори, щастливият край е налице, а аз, както знаете, си падам по това.

С други думи, искрено се надявам да прочетете тази уникално добра трилогия. И внимавайте, че може и тя да ви прочете. Нали знаете? Отваряте страховитата творба на Остърли Фелоус и започвате да четете, след което попадате в мечтания свят на замъка Муункастър:

"Отвъд Сребристото море, обградено от тринайсет зелени хълма, се намира чудното Кралство на Принца на Зората. Ала в Белият замък тронът стои празен. Цяла вечност изгнаник е принцът и вместо него управлява Измъс, неговият Велик чародей. До деня, когато той прославен ще се върне и ще се възцари навеки в пълния си блясък..."
Profile Image for Христо Блажев.
2,170 reviews1,415 followers
April 4, 2015
Милиони роби ще умрат…: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/b...

Разминахме се някъде по пътя с тази трилогия – а отношенията ни започнаха така чудесно, толкова магически – “Танцуващият замък”, която прочетох през май 2012 г., бе изненадваща, мрачна и с някаква поетична злост в основата си. Година по-късно обаче последва тоталното разочарование на “Изроди и лузързи”, която смени не само героите, но и темпото, заключи действието на малка площ с премного герои, които така и не припознах и не ми станаха близки. Това, мисля си, е най-важната работа на един писател и добрите се справят с лекота на броени страници, камо ли в голяма по обем трилогия. И така, “Бойни колоди” имаше тежката задача да изтрие лошото впечатление от втората част и да завърши достойно наченатото от първата – честно казано, не очаквах да се справи ни с едното, ни с другото.

Издателство "Милениум"​
http://knigolandia.info/book-review/b...
Profile Image for Eva.
200 reviews19 followers
October 4, 2015
Der letzte Teil der Trilogie rund um das süchtig machende Buch Dancing Jax hat mich - um ganz ehlich zu sein - wirklich sehr enttäuscht. Vom letzten Band war ich total begeistert. Vielleicht waren meine Erwartungen an den Abschlussband auch zu hoch. Liegen tut es zum Teil bestimmt auch an der Tatsache, dass zwischen dem Lesen des zweiten und dritten Teils viel Zeit vergangen ist. Mein Buchgeschmack hat sich in dieser Zeit auch etwas geändert, vielleicht bin ich auch einfach aus dieser Art Buch herausgewachsen. Woran es auch leigen mag, es gab viele Punkte, die mich gestört haben und nur wenig, was ich wirklich gut fand.
Fangen wir mit dem Negativen an:
Es gibt kaum Rückblicke oder Erklärungen, die den Leser in Erinnerung rufen, was passiert ist oder wer die Charaktere sind. Ich habe wirklich lange gebraucht, um wieder in die Geschichte hereinzufinden.
Bleiben wir bei den Charakteren. Meiner Meinung nach hat der Autor zu sehr versucht, die Jugendlichen cool oder vielleicht auch einfach "authentisch" wirken zu lassen. Doch die "Jugendsprache" wirkte zu übertrieben. Mit am meisten gestört hat mich wohl dass der Autor stereotypische Charaktere erschaffen hat. Die Darstellung der koreanischen Figuren waren nur so mit Vorurteilen behaftet. Mal ehrlich, man kann so nicht jeden Mneschen eines einzigen Landes beschreiben. Genauso gestört haben mich Verallgemeinerungen wie "Diese Charaktere kommen von diesem Land, haben also diese Religion und führen sie so und so aus". Das wurde dann aber nicht einfach so dargestellt, sondern auch noch indirekt verurteilt - Ich finde sowas beleidigend und respektlos. Im Laufe der Handlung habe ich keinen Bezug zu irgendeinem der Charaktere gefunden. Mir war einfach egal, was mit ihnen passiert.
Die meisten Stellung der Handlung waren eher uninteressant und haben kaum bis nichts zur Handlung beigetragen. Dadurch war das Buch so langatmig, dass ich die Lust am Lesen verloren habe. Vorrausahnen konnte zwar nicht alle, aber viele Szenen. Schade fand ich auch, dass es nur wenige Szenen in Mooncaster, der Dancing Jax Welt, gab. Überhaupt war die ganze Geschichte total unlogisch un der Plot hat keinen Sinn ergeben!
Gefallen haben mir die Szenen, die in Mooncaster gespielt haben, sowie die Szenen in Austerly Fellows' Haus. Beide Schauplätze hatten die Atmosphäre der Vorgängerbände, waren spannend und interessant.

FAZIT
Die Charaktere waren mir zu nervig, die Handlung hat sich gezogen und konnte mich nicht fesseln. Ich habe beim Lesen das Interesse verloren. Mich konnte der Abschlussband der Reihe leider nicht begeistern, auch wenn ich wirklich versucht habe, ihn zu mögen.
Profile Image for Meggies.
825 reviews11 followers
January 6, 2015
Martin Baxter, Maggie, Lee, Spencer und all die anderen Überlebenden sitzen gefangen in Nordkorea. Ihre Lage scheint hoffnungslos, denn der Ismus und seine Anhängerschaft feiern ständig neue Siege über die „Abtrünnigen“. Und der Ismus hat ein neues Ass im Ärmel. Er schreibt an einem neuen Buch, dass Dancing Jax um Längen überragen soll. Fighting Pax soll es heißen und endgültig seine Herrschaft über die Welt demonstrieren. Martin und den anderen bleibt nicht viel Zeit, sich doch noch einen Plan auszudenken. Doch dann werden alle getrennt und es beginnt ein Wettlauf gegen die Zeit. Denn an Weihnachten will der Ismus auf Teufel komm raus zeigen, wer der wahre Herrscher ist.

Lange und sehnsüchtig habe ich auf den dritten Teil der Dancing Jax-Reihe gewartet. Aber so intensiv mich auch die beiden ersten Teile beschäftigt haben, hatte ich bei dem Abschlussband dann doch meine Probleme. Die erste Hälfte hat sich etwas gezogen, es kam keine richtige Spannung auf und es war fast alles total vorhersehbar.

Dies änderte sich jedoch schlagartig und ab diesem Zeitpunkt war es wie bei den ersten beiden Teilen: ich konnte das Buch fast nicht mehr aus der Hand legen. Man bekommt fast keine Luft zum Atmen, ein Ereignis jagt das Nächste und eine Überraschung folgt auf die andere.

Dancing Jax hat mich komplett überzeugen können. So unterschiedlich die drei Bücher auch waren, so genial passen sie am Ende zusammen.

Allein die Idee der Geschichte ist für mich schon etwas Neues, Anderes und die Umsetzung hat in meinem Augen, bis auf den etwas langatmigen Start des dritten Teils, wunderbar funktioniert.

Der Schreibstil des Autors tut dabei sein übriges. Mit wenigen Informationen wird man gleich geködert und kann nicht anders, als sich immer wieder der Geschichte zu widmen.

Einzig das Ende hat mich dann doch etwas verwirrt zurückgelassen. Manche Charaktere werden im letzten Kapitel nochmals erwähnt, inwieweit es ihnen ergangen ist. Andere werden außen vor gelassen. So hätte es mich doch bei einigen brennend interessiert, was mit ihnen letztendlich geschehen ist.

Aber da das Ende ja den Verdacht auf weitere Teile offen lässt, kann man vielleicht hoffen, nochmal etwas von allen zu lesen.

Das Gesamtbild hat mich letztendlich überzeugen können und so ist auch der dritte Band ein rundum stimmiges Bild.

Man darf sich jedoch nicht zu sehr an bestimmte Charaktere hängen, da es sein kann, dass diese das Ende des Buches nicht überleben oder sich anderweitig verändern. Dies macht die Geschichte für mich noch interessanter, da der Autor so nicht einem bestimmten Muster folgt, sondern einfach mal seine Charaktere das machen lässt, was sie wollen. Unter anderem ist dies ein Punkt, der die Reihe für mich zu einer der besten macht, die ich bisher gelesen habe.

Das Buch ist nichts für Zartbesaitete. Manchmal wird es recht blutig, was aber auch einen Teil der Geschichte ausmacht.

Fazit:
Ein würdiger Abschluss der Trilogie, der nur aufgrund der Länge am Anfang Minuspunkte bekommt.
Profile Image for Leah Hosie.
60 reviews
May 17, 2020
A fitting end to an intriguing trilogy that holds a black mirror up to life in the 21st century.

The good: Ambitious as ever, the author finishes the story which has transported us across and between worlds. Balancing horror, humour and some outstanding character work, the pacing of the novel works well and we are delivered a conclusion on each thread of the story. Without delving into spoiler territory, the ending is absolutely delicious and I was thrilled by its inclusion. The road to hell indeed!

The bad: There are aspects of character voicing that were sometimes a bit cringey, but bear in mind that I am a middle-aged woman reading a book aimed at a much younger audience. Perhaps that is how kids talk nowadays?

In summary, read the book! The author’s ability to tap into the gaudy, campy medieval setting of Mooncaster while also shining a light on all that is questionable in our modern day is a feat of writing. His eloquent detailing of the horrors in both gives enough detail while letting the reader figure out the rest to best suit their taste. If I told you what I loved about the ending I’d ruin it for you entirely. Suffice it to say, RJ has always appealed to me with his solemn style and this whole trilogy puts the delectable in dark. Love it.
Profile Image for Mandy.
63 reviews4 followers
July 26, 2016
An amazing end to a fantastic trilogy; Robin Jarvis has really outdone himself here. Readers of his earlier books will be used to the often heart-breaking twists of betrayal and sudden shifts in perspective, but some of the stuff in Fighting Pax is just breathtaking. Excellent epilogue, too; just the right kind of ending to finish it all off neatly without any need to drag the whole thing on into an unnecessary series. Brilliant.
Profile Image for Amina.
52 reviews5 followers
January 31, 2017
This was so.... underwhelming.
I liked the first book and I thought the second one was thrilling so, naturally, I was expecting a LOT from the finale. But it just didn't live up to my expectations. Sometimes it was dragging, sometimes it was outrageous and sometimes it was ridiculous.
I loved parts of it but as a whole I think it's just okay.
Profile Image for Stefanie Hasse hisandherbooks.de.
726 reviews226 followers
October 19, 2014
Zitat:
„Für ein kleines Mädchen, dessen Name übersetzt Schmetterling bedeutete, hatte sie großen Gefallen an allem Grausigen.“
(S.65)

„Ein Schwall eiskalter Luft war vom Korridor hereingeweht. Sie hörten eine Tür zuknallen, gefolgt vom Echo schlurfender Schritte.“
(S.110)

Die Menschen und Zwerge waren kriechende Scheußlichkeiten, mit der Gabe elementarer Sprache versehen, sodass aus ihren Mündern nun gegrunzte Drohungen und abscheuliche Flüche drangen.“
(S.139)

Inhalt:
Dancing Jax hat die Welt im Griff. Es gibt nur noch wenige Abtrünnige. Und selbst in dem abgeschotteten Staat Nordkorea können sie sich nicht in Sicherheit wiegen. Auch in der Zuflucht dürfen sich Lee & Co. nicht frei bewegen.
Das Schicksal, welches ihnen zugedacht wurde, rückt auch hier unaufhaltsam näher. Doch welche Wahl haben die Kinder? Das böse Buch scheint allmächtig. Und der Ismus plant eine raffinierte Strategie. Das zweite Buch „Fighting Pax“ steht kurz vor der Vollendung. Und die Menschheit damit vor ihrem Untergang…

Meinung:
„Dancing Jax“ - man liebt es oder man kann gar nichts mit der Geschichte anfangen. Dazwischen scheint es nur wenig zu geben. Ich selbst gehöre zu der ersten Gruppe. „Auftakt“ und „Zwischenspiel“ habe ich förmlich inhaliert. Es war wie eine Droge für mich, die Wartezeit auf Teil 3, „Finale“, offenbarte diverse Entzugserscheinungen jeder Art bei mir. Nun war es endlich soweit. Der dritte Teil lag vor mir. Ich spürte die extreme Anziehungskraft dieses Buches. Und konnte ihr nicht widerstehen. Ich gestehe: Die Reihe hat mich wahrhaftig infiziert!

Gleich zu Beginn wurde ich ohne Vorwarnungen mit Grausamkeiten förmlich überhäuft. Da ich dies jedoch bereits aus den Vorbänden gewohnt war, war ich auf alle diese Möglichkeiten gefasst gewesen. Der Einstieg selbst fiel mir wirklich einfach. Auch nach dieser langen Pause zwischen den Bänden konnte ich die Charaktere gut zuordnen und vorhandene Sympathien oder Antipathien lebten erneut auf.

Robin Jarvis lässt seine Geschichte eine dritte Person in Vergangenheitsform erzählen. Verschiedene Perspektiven brachten mir dabei jederzeit die Gedankengänge der Charaktere näher. Auch auktoriale Ansätze sind hier definitiv vorhanden; diese werden jedoch oftmals nur zaghaft angedeutet.

Der Autor geht mit seinen Charakteren alles andere als zimperlich um. Hier kann ich wirklich nur den Ratschlag geben: Egal, wie sehr ihr euch an eine Person gewöhnt habt und evtl. sogar gewisse Gefühle entwickelt habt: Lasst es! Es ist definitiv nicht vorhersehbar, welche Abschiede man im Verlauf der Geschichte verkraften muss. Bindet euer Herz nicht an bestimmte Personen. Denn ich kann euch garantieren, dass ihr enttäuscht werdet, weil genau dieser Charakter Schlimmes erleiden wird oder sogar stirbt. Robin Jarvis zeigt hier eindeutig wenig Mitgefühl mit dem Leser und bleibt seiner Linie treu. Letztendlich ist es aber auch genau diese Strategie, die „Dancing Jax“ so anziehend wirken lässt.

Mit den Punchinellos hat der Autor wirklich eine Charakterart erschaffen, wie sie sadistischer kaum sein könnte. Gleich von Beginn an erlebte ich die ganze Bandbreite an Grausamkeiten, zu denen die Punchinellos ohne mit der Wimper zu zucken fähig sind. Der nett klingende Name scheint da nur wie eine Karikatur. Vor den Punchinellos muss man gewarnt sein, man darf sie trotz ihres Aussehens nicht unterschätzen. Die Punchinellos sind wahre Ausgeburten der Hölle!

Die von Dancing Jax bisher verschonten Kinder und Jugendlichen wägen sich in scheinbarer Sicherheit. Doch was haben die Nordkoreaner wirklich mit ihnen vor? Auch die Grenzen der sicheren Insel beginnen zu bröckeln. Dancing Jax rückt näher. Unaufhaltsam! Und die Pläne der Nordkoreaner selbst sind sehr undurchsichtig.

Lee, seines Zeichens der Castle-Creeper, von Zweifeln geplagt, hat einen festen Plan. Wenn er erfolgreich ist, bekommt er Charm zurück. Dafür jedoch muss er eine ungeheure Gegenleistung erbringen, die sehr viele Menschen ins Verderben stürzen könnte. Ist er dazu in der Lage?

Martin Baxter, der größte und gefährlichste Feind des Ismus, rechnet sich minimale Chancen für die Menschheit aus. Doch das angespannte Verhältnis zu Lee, dem Castle Creeper, könnte Baxterns Plänen im Weg stehen. Kann das eigentlich gemeinsame Ziel erreicht werden?

Mit gesellschaftspolitischer Kritik geizt Robin Jarvis auch in seinem finalen Teil der Serie nicht. Mehr noch, er zeigt überdeutlich offensichtliche Missstände im gesellschaftlichen Umgang auf und macht auch vor religiösen Verwerfungen keinen Halt. Grenzen kennt er hierbei kaum.

Gekonnt gelang es dem Autor, mich mit einer zum Ende des Buches hin bizarren multimedial gestalteten Variante einer Reality-Show an den Seiten zu halten. Natürlich wie gewohnt ein bisschen übertrieben dargestellt, wurde ich dennoch durch diesen Showdown getrieben, konnte kaum die nächsten Seiten erwarten und fieberte mit den Charakteren. Zumindest mit denen, die letztendlich übrig blieben…

Insgesamt konnte Robin Jarvis mit „Dancing Jax – Finale“ einen gelungenen Abschluss präsentieren, der an das Niveau der Vorbände nahezu anknüpft. Ich fühlte mich durchgehend gut unterhalten und konnte eintauchen in diese abstrakte Welt. Für mich war die Reihe eindeutig ein Highlight meines bisherigen Leselebens.

Urteil:
„Dancing Jax – Finale“ ist blutiger und noch brutaler als seine Vorgänger. Gewagte Aktionen und bizarre Charaktere konnten mich wiederum überzeugen. Dem Ismus und seinen Widerparts gestehe ich deshalb eindeutige 5 Bücher zu.

Alle, die gut durchdachte Vernetzungen mögen, dabei bei blutigen und gewalttriefenden Szenen nicht das Handtuch werfen und Charaktere leiden sehen können, sind hier absolut richtig. Fans von „Dancing Jax – Auftakt“ und „Dancing Jax – Zwischenspiel“ haben sowieso keine Chance, „Dancing Jax – Finale“ zu entkommen!

Die Reihe:
1. Dancing Jax – Auftakt
2. Dancing Jax – Zwischenspiel
3. Dancing Jax – Finale

©hisandherbooks.de
Profile Image for X.
195 reviews
March 17, 2018
Wow. I do not know what to say about this. It had its flaws (I felt cheated that we didn't get to read about Martin's time in South America, some parts dragged, and I never felt emotionally connected to any of the characters), but it was also amazing in its complexity and disturbing in a way that few books are.

Most of the plot points were wrapped up fairly neatly, which was pretty amazing considering how many there were, but there are still a few things that I am pondering and I am not sure they were ever intended to be answered. The ending is most disturbing, and much as I would like to think that it is satisfying, I really can't quite convince myself of that.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Joanna.
1,661 reviews35 followers
October 1, 2017
Wie der Titel schon sagt, ist dies der abschliessende Band von Robin Jarvis’ „Dancing Jax“-Trilogie. Wie bei jeder Trilogie empfiehlt es sich, die Vorgänger gelesen zu haben. Da Jarvis aber auf vorhergegangene Ereignisse eingeht, könnte man diesen Teil theoretisch auch einzeln lesen, ob das aber wirklich sinnvoll ist, kann ich nicht sagen.

„Finale“ setzt einige Monate nach „Zwischenspiel“ ein und man erfährt, wie es den Helden aus Band zwei ergangen ist. Die Kinder und Martin Baxter haben in Nordkorea Zuflucht gefunden, das sich als einziges Land noch gegen „Dancing Jax“ bewahren kann.Doch fleissige Leser der Trilogie wissen natürlich, dass jemand wie der Ismus keine halben Sachen macht und bald schon realisieren die Kinder, dass das grosse Finale kurz bevor steht.

Der abschliessende Band hat mich zwar nicht ganz so von den Socken gehauen wie Band zwei, aber unerwarteterweise hat mir das Buch sehr gut gefallen. Obwohl es ein Jugendbuch ist, schreibt Robin Jarvis hier eine wirklich gute Horrorgeschichte, die mich noch immer überzeugt, obwohl ich mich grösstenteils aus dem YA-Genre zurückgezogen habe.

Blutig und brutal geht es auch in „Finale“ wieder zu und her, man muss sich auch hier von vielen lieb gewonnenen Charakteren verabschieden. Die letzten Seiten haben etwas von „Die Tribute von Panem“ an sich, ohne jedoch wie ein Abklatsch zu wirken. Man könnte dieses Finale auch als blutige Version eines typischen Fernsehabends betrachten. Was es auf diese Art und Weise ja auch ist.

Jarvis hat einen spannenden und gut funktionierenden Plot geschaffen, bei dem auch der Leser manchmal an der Nase herumgeführt wird. Die Figuren sind allesamt Unikate und sehr liebevoll gezeichnet. Umso schmerzhafter ist es deshalb, wenn sie dem Ismus zum Opfer fallen.

„Dancing Jax: Finale“ ist ein gelungener Abschlussband einer grossartigen Reihe. Erwachsene Horrorleser können sich ruhig auch an diese Bücher wagen, wenn sie akzeptieren, dass „Dancing Jax“ in erster Linie für Jugendliche geschrieben ist. Was den Gruseleffekt und die blutigen Szenen anbelangt, nimmt es diese Trilogie aber auch mit den Horrortiteln für Erwachsene auf.

Leichter Spoiler: Ich persönlich hätte mir allenfalls ein etwas versöhnlicheres Ende gewünscht. Aber wir kennen das ja von den Horrorfilmen - die enden auch alle so. Vielleicht hat sich Jarvis aber auch ein Hintertürchen für einen vierten Band offen gehalten?
175 reviews3 followers
May 17, 2016
Where to freaking start?
This series has always been brutal to it's characters but this book blew its gore out of the ball park. Hit a home run straight through my heart. I'm not a squeamish one when it comes to books but I have to say this book almost got me there.
It was so nice to revisit all the characters from the previous books. The PTSD was well rounded and spoken for. Not a chapter went by when a character wasn't suffering from some bad memory.
Speaking of characters, this cast (even the other books' cast members) was one of the most diverse groups of characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading. They came from all different backgrounds and provided someone for everyone to root behind. It also forced you to get behind the underdogs - those annoying/boring characters you don't usually peg for - because everyone else fucking died and I found that rather endearing. Very big risk but a well pay off.
I feel this book took a slower pace than the second and resembled more of the first books attributes with switching povs; an expanding multitude of characters; and a slow build up to the shit storm of a climax.
I really enjoyed the description in Fighting Pax too. It was very unique and thorough. The world(s) were so easy to picture in my head. The newly incorporated parts of Mooncaster were a nice touch - gave the whole thing a more fantastical element.
I will admit that last quarter go a little weird... That showdown came out of freaking nowhere. BUT, I still really enjoyed the ending. Open enough to entice another book but closed enough to see exactly what would happen/what's going to happen. Wish we could've seen more of what happened to the other characters but that's okay.
Good job, Robin!
Profile Image for Milena Tasheva.
349 reviews215 followers
March 29, 2015
http://azcheta.com/boini-kolodi-tancu...

В „Бойни колоди“ екшънът е на ниво и книгата определено ще допадне повече на хората, които намериха „Изроди и лузъри“ за твърде бавна. На мен пък тя ми хареса изключително много – атмосферата на пълното и тотално отчаяние на героите беше предадена чудесно, а някои сцени и до днес ме карат да настръхвам от ужас.
Към средата на третия роман, при посещението на Джералд и Спенсър в старото имение на Остърли Фелоус, разбираме кой всъщност е Принца на Зората и всичко случило се досега започва да изглежда ужасно логично. Джарвис успява да създаде динамична смесица между хорър, фентъзи и християнска митология, да спази логиката на всеки един от жанровете и да поднесе достатъчно интересни обрати, така че да държи читателя в напрежение през цялото време.
Страхувам се, че много хора биха изтълкували романа като проповед срещу съвременната култура на потребление на информация, срещу мултиплицирането на идеите във виртуална среда и като канал за насаждане на определени религиозни вярвания. Аз избирам да не го правя. Избирам да мисля, че Джарвис е подходил изключително оригинално, като за целта е взел познати на всички ни реалности и е посочил как могат да се обърнат срещу нас – масовата истерия по различни книги, играчки, психическите и медийни вируси (идеи, или още по-добре – това, което познаваме като меми). В този ред на мисли – още един чудесен превод на Борислав Стефанов, когото наскоро похвалих за „Добрият дом“.
Profile Image for Gemma.
65 reviews1 follower
June 28, 2020
I have loved Robin Jarvis’ books for many years and I certainly gave my favourites. This trilogy is much more grown up than his others.

I love the premise of a book that, once read, becomes a kind of real life for the readers who involuntarily adopt a character as a persona. The horror elements are typical Jarvis and well done. The end... the broad end is beautiful. The actual last couple of pages are a new kind of terrifying and foreshadowed at several points. Don’t expect anything to be neat.

I really enjoyed that a lot of the main characters are atypical (Charm, who is introduced as a chav, likes are make up and spray tan -could have been a terrible caricature but is so important in so many ways).

Fantastically good all round.
5 reviews
May 7, 2018
Brilliant, well rounded end to an amazing trilogy.
Profile Image for kadma.
44 reviews
July 17, 2019
Word of the Nerd Challenge 2019: A YA novel from the last five years.
Profile Image for Hühnchen.
17 reviews4 followers
August 30, 2019
It took me more than three years to finish this book. I suppose that's all I need to say.
January 1, 2016


The best book I read in 2014 was Robin Jarvis’ Fighting Pax, the conclusion to his surprisingly awesome Dancing Jax trilogy. I’m fuzzy on the finer details since I finished it in August.

Robin Jarvis writes horror novels for kids and young adults. I’ve been following his work for some time, reading his Wyrd Museum trilogy and all about the Deptford Mice. His writing is similar to Alan Garner and Susan Cooper in that most of his books are set in Britain, and involve a young protagonist confronting a supernatural threat. Jarvis illustrates his own work, with each chapter getting its own picture. In his other novels Jarvis has written about a giant cockroach with Hitler’s face, a ginger tabby trying to conquer the world, and a wooden pig.

In-text, Dancing Jax is a children’s book written by a 1920s magician which brainwashes any readers into thinking that they live in his fantasy. Present-day burglars stumble upon a hundred or so copies of the book, sell them at a fete, and things snowball from there until the book forms the basis of a world-dominating cult. Basically, imagine if Aleister Crowley wrote about Uqbar. The fun thing about this premise is that is vaguely satirical while being completely horrifying. I’m not sure if Jarvis meant to parody religion and pop-culture publishing fads like Harry Potter, but it’s hard not to see parallels.

The other satirical element of the book are the sections set within the world of the magician’s children’s book. Jarvis writes the text of the brainwashing book like a parody of Enid Blyton, with sickeningly twee characters and patronizing narration. This makes it particularly satisfying when a character from the real world enters the book and starts beating people up.

The first book, also called Dancing Jax, is about the spread of the Dancing Jax craze and one maths teacher’s vain attempt to stop it. The sequel, Freax and Rejex, involves the few children immune to Dancing Jax being incarcerated within prison camps. In Fighting Pax the protagonists from the previous books team up to take down the cult leader, who at this point is running the world.

What I like about the Dancing Jax series is that Jarvis goes where few other authors would take their fantasy books. Freax and Rejex uncomfortably echoed books I’ve read about the Holocaust, as the children are placed in awful conditions where they are constantly demeaned by monstrous guards. This sort of thing is what really gives the trilogy its chills, and the reader a sense of cathartic satisfaction when the relevant nightmarish antagonist is defeated.

Fighting Pax begins in North Korea, where the Jax-immune protagonists are being sheltered by the regime. The characters escape from North Korea as soon as it’s clear that they’ll soon be handed over to the cult, and the soldier girl who is guarding them joins the protagonists. Fighting Pax contains the most sympathetic depiction of the North Korean government I’ve ever seen in fiction, though anything would be preferable to the monsters of Jarvis’ imagination.

One disturbing event from Fighting Pax occurs when the characters travels to England. This involves going onto the plane, and the planes are packed because everyone wants to get there. People are in the aisles and safety precautions have completely gone out the window. The Jax-affected know about the danger, they just don’t care.

The more you read Fighting Pax the more extreme and explosive the action becomes. Towards the end there is even a shout-out to ‘Die Hard.’ I get the feeling that Jarvis typed out the conclusion of the novel in one giddy night. You get an infectious feeling of excitement and tension from the climax, and that’s a good feeling.

I’m not sure if Jarvis had a moral message in mind when writing this trilogy. There’s undertones of satirising pop-culture and religon, but that could just be the inevitable result of writing about a brainwashing book. The religious satire is undercut by a cameo from Jesus Christ. He pops outta nowhere and attacks a dude with an axe. Also, the magician seems to be sponsored by Satan.

The Dancing Jax trilogy stands head and shoulders above the rest of Jarvis’ bizarre body of work. If i were a big-shot Hollywood exec I’d call up Jarvis and beg him for the screen-rights. Get Peter Jackson to direct, maybe. You should read the Dancing Jax trilogy right now. Fans of Stephen King would especially be comfortable with these books, You owe it yourself, as a literate human being, to at least try the Dancing Jax Trilogy.

In short, absolutely fantastic.
Profile Image for Matthew Hodge.
593 reviews21 followers
November 15, 2018
So, with Fighting Pax Jarvis finishes off his jaw-droppingly complex Dancing Jax trilogy. For those who haven't seen my previous reviews, it's a series for older young adult readers (though, depending on your teenager's sensitivity, you'll need to check what the definition of older is). It tells the tale of an evil children's book that took over the world. In Book 1, Dancing Jax the book takes over an English coastal own. In Book 2, Freax and Rejex the book has taken over most of England, except for a bunch of children who don't get affected by the book (known as "aberrants"). It was a brutal combo of a classic British POW story combined with a dark fantasy.

Book 3, Fighting Pax is off the charts in terms of Jarvis' ambition. It opens in North Korea, of all places, the last place in the world that is still holding out against the evil power of Dancing Jax but before you know it, we're headed straight into the finale, a complex and ferocious showdown with the Ismus (head of the Jaxers here on earth) set on a massive replica castle somewhere in Kent.

The action is fast, furious and violent and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't have the stomach for that sort of thing. This is more Stephen King than J.K. Rowling. Being the third book in a Jarvis trilogy, we usually expect that he'll bump off half his main characters in highly dramatic ways that traumatise the reader, and such was the case, and then some. In many ways, there is a touch of Hunger Games about some of the proceedings, plus the final castle showdown is also reminiscent of the final Harry Potter book, but this is much more intense and potent than either of those.

In mulling over why it works so well, I think it starts with the fact that Jarvis doesn't skimp on characters. We don't always get reams of background on the characters (and it's made even more difficult by the fact that it's three years since I read the first book, so I'm struggling to remember some of the earlier characters who make a re-appearance). But their dialogue, their mannerisms, their accents (Jarvis very deliberately sets his stories and characters in particular English locations) bring them alive in fantastic ways.

My qualms with the story probably come, as a Christian, with his attempt to tie in elements of Christian mythology (plus other religions as well) in the apocalyptic (in every sense of the word) finale. I probably can't go into too much of this without spoiling the story, but the Bad Shepherd subplot comes to the fore in a very important way and some Christians might find it disturbing. But - given that my concerns with the first and second book were that there didn't seem to be any sort of higher good power in the stories at all, Jarvis has well and truly covered that off this time around.

But, that aside, what has made this whole trilogy so fascinating to read, apart from the gripping storytelling, is simply that I'm seeing Jarvis in a philosophical mode that I haven't seen in his earlier books. The whole series is a meditation on what we believe in, what happens when mass beliefs take hold. Would we rather live in a society where most people are "good" to one another because of the beliefs they hold, but with zero tolerance for those who don't believe?

With religion (or even political ideas, as the North Korean scenes show so well) often being used as a way of controlling people, how do we think for ourselves? Where does faith fit in? When you look around at the evil in the world, do you see something higher behind it? Or do you see nothing at all? (And isn't that question even more relevant in the two years since this book was written!)

Jarvis doesn't set out to answer these questions. He is, first and foremost, a storyteller, and his goal is to get you to live through an intense experience with his characters. And in that sense alone, he is already at the top of his game. This story, with its disparate elements of chopping between two worlds, mixing reality and fantasy, magic and violence, in the hands of anyone else - like, say, Hollywood screenwriters, who get brilliantly savaged in a quirky epilogue - could have been a total mess. But the whole thing works and rises off the page.

But this time around, he also wants to raise questions - perhaps as he thinks through things, he wants you to think them through as well. Certainly, I now feel like going back to Book 1 and starting again.
Profile Image for Борислав Стефанов.
Author 24 books10 followers
March 29, 2015
След завръзката в „Танцуващият замък“ и мъките в лагера в „Изроди и лузъри“, героите се събират в последното останало убежище – Северна Корея. Някои търсят начин да обърнат хода на борбата, да използват малкото си ресурси за стратегически и решителен удар срещу Измъс. За други битката отдавна е приключила, няма накъде да бягат и само отлагат неизбежното. Кой е прав?

„Бойни колоди“ е пропита с мрак, отчаяние и смърт. Измъс вече е подчинил целия свят и ужасът е навсякъде. В чудовищата, които нощем плъзват по улиците. В кошмарните създания, които летят в мрака. В тълпата, която се е превърнала в безумно стадо около своя кумир и с плашещо хладнокръвие е приела ролята на глутница. В усмивката на антихриста по екраните.

Магията на Остърли Фелоус вече не се таи в страниците на книгите, а струи в синкавото сияние на електрониката. Произведена в Китай. Но дали наистина преобразява хората или само отключва нещо в тях? Може би маската на приказен герой скрива лицето и разкрива сърцето. Може би във всекиго витае звяр, който само чака случай да се покаже. Като безлик силует в тълпата, успокоен от мнозинството, към което принадлежи. Оправдан от абсолютната истина, открита в наглед безобидна книга, вплетена в словата на пленителния идол, удобна и красива, обещаваща свобода. Измъс е дал това, а и още, на седем милиарда души. Но това не му е достатъчно. Новата книга ще бъде още по-коварна и по-страшна, а светът вече тръпне в очакване на светите слова в нея.

Има ли надежда? Мартин продължава да се бори като ръководител на групата аберанти. Решен е да победи Измъс и да спаси цялото човечество. Той, Джералд и корейските генерали търсят начин да използват способността на Лий да преминава между световете. От своя страна момчето е убедено, че всичко е изгубено и те до един ще умрат. Според него останалите крият поражението си зад претенции за съпротива.

Но сякаш най-интересната роля е отредена на останалите деца. Макар в началото да изглеждат просто като товар, който възрастните трябва да опазят, те се превръщат в нещо много повече. Те вече са деца само на години. След всичко, което са преживели и изстрадали, виждат света с други очи. Не са отчаяни от безизходицата си, но и не влагат напразни надежди. Това не е наивност, а зрелост, която показват в мислите, думите и действията си. Посрещат съдбата си по-трезво от мнозина възрастни, смазани от повсеместния ужас. Имат силата да се защитят, може би дори да се преборят за още малко време в настъпващия апокалипсис.

Децата са достойни да наследят земята. А пълчищата, изгубили всяка искрица разум, могат да я унищожат. Кой ли ще победи? Изобщо може ли да има победител? На страниците на „Бойни колоди“, нейде сред приключения и опасности, победи и падения, обич и загуба, може би се крие и отговор на тези въпроси.
Profile Image for Деница Райкова.
Author 67 books209 followers
Read
February 12, 2015
"Танцуващшят замък 3: Бойни колоди" от Робин Джарвис
27.12.14 18:10

Автор:Denny
Първи впечатления от една дългоочаквана книга



Ей това чета. Вече трети ден.
И не знам какво да мисля. Много я чаках тази книга, много й се каних, успях да прочета вече над 300 страници. И още не знам как да я възприемам. С първите две беше лесно - книга, която завладява умовете и живота на всички, които я прочетат /в първата част/ и описанието на последвалите събития /във втората./ Първата - на границата между приказката и ужаса, стряскаща, но не чак толкова. Втората... признавам, че имаше сцени, които ми дойдоха в повече. Който е чел, ще се сети кои са.
С третата обаче... наистина съм объркана. Не знам какво е това. Не е "чисто" фентъзи, не е хорър, не е и приказка. И ако в първите две книги /най-вече втората/ борбата е най-вече на "аберантите" срещу влиянието на книгата, тук, в третата, поне за мен, границите между нещата вече се размиват. На моменти ми е трудно да разбера кои са "добрите" и кои "лошите", кой на чия страна е. Сякаш няма еднозначни образи - изтъквам го като плюс на книгата.
Замислих се обаче и за друго. Лесно е да приемем историята за Танцуващия замък като приказка, макар и страшна, а на моменти откровено отблъскваща. Само че... май сме на път да заживеем в тази приказка. Погледнете рекламите, които ни заливат. И се опитват да ни внушат, че сме дебели, грозни, скучни, дори отблъскващи... ако не правим това, с което те се опитват да ни съблазнят. А хората около вас? Не може да не сте попадали на някой, който с всичка сила се опитва да ви убеди, че не трябва да бъдете такива, каквито сте в момента. Че трябва да сте по-... нещо си там, че сега не сте достатъчно привлекателни, интересни и т. н. И вие постепенно се оставяте да ви убедят, че не сте Х. или У., или който сте там... а, например, Кралицата на Купите. И на свой ред почвате да убеждавате другите колко са заблудени и как истинският свят е всъщност един скучен сив сън.
За мен "Танцуващият замък" е алегория. За стремежа към онзи, празния, кухия блясък, зад който всъщност няма нищо, но пък е толкова примамлив. И за това, как онези, които отказват да се поддадат на "блясъка", са обявявани едва ли не за "опасни". За щастие, нещата още не са стигнали толкова далече като в книгата. И дано поне в това отношение тя си остане само измислена история...
Profile Image for V.S. Nelson.
Author 2 books46 followers
July 24, 2017
3.5 - I took a while to decide the rating for this one and decided to be a pedant and use half a star.

So I have come to the end of probably the most disturbing trilogy of children's books ever written. What do I think? We I can certainly say that I enjoyed it. Jarvis is a very experienced and highly accomplished writer and that shows in these books. They were fun to read, and despite their girth, relatively quick reads.
What I loved most about this book was the DPRK angle and the unlikely heroine (ish) Eum-mi. I've never read a children's book set in DPRK and enjoyed how Jarvis had fleshed out the country and its people - I presume he's never been there.
As I've come to expect with Jarvis's story, character I initially disliked then grew to love were killed off without ceremony as the story progressed, leaving a rather interesting mix at the end. I thought Fighting Pax did a very good job of uniting the Characters for Dancing Jax and Freax and Rejex to create a new ensemble that worked very well.
Would I recommended this series? Yes! But it's certainly not for those without a mind that has already been slightly disturbed by some harrowing event.
Is it perfect? No. I don't like the Ismus. That was something that became more apparent as the story progressed. Ismus/Austerly Fellows, whoever he is, I thought he was a pants "bad guys" and I struggled to understand his motives for literally everything he did. He was one of these "bad guys because he's bad characters" I'm not a fan of those.
Also, the ending wasn't for me. When I read something this long I expect to feel more emotional at the end, usually a real sense of loss that the world of the book is over. I didn't feel that with Fighting Pax. There was a lot to like in the run-up to the ending, but the ending itself felt a little meh.
26 reviews
July 22, 2014
I have loved this series so very much, even pre-ordering this last book a year before release. I feel a little disappointed in the execution of this story however. This final book seemed a little rushed in places though we had some brilliant scenes *spoiler* like a certain person becoming possessed in Austerly Fellows old house.

I personally think that the author was trying to stick to his 'trilogy only' rule and that if he had spread this story over a couple more books he would have been able to attend to so many of the loose ends that I feel were left in this story. However, I did love this book - the evil schemes and feeling of never being entirely sure who to trust or which beloved character will get 'got' next were pretty fantastic. I admit the story had me bawling my eyes out at some parts! I would have loved a longer epilogue though - I really want to know what became of everyone. And what happened to those who had already been killed but whose 'souls', for lack of a better word, were still present in Mooncaster like Marcus? The grand battle at the end seemed to be over in seconds and the ending makes me ask, 'was it all worth it?'

Dancing Jax is a book that will tear out your heart at moments but inside it's pages you will find the most amazing, believable characters. Truly wonderful work that I will recommend to anyone!
Profile Image for Книжни Криле.
2,797 reviews149 followers
September 16, 2016
Първата книга от трилогията „Танцуващият замък” на Робин Джарвис ме грабна. Страхотна идея и интересни герои, окултни текстове, буквално завземащи съзнанието на читателите... Втората ме смачка. Разпространяващото се като чума влияние на злите сили, прескачащо границите на държавите, заплашващо буквално целия свят... Малкото „имунизирани” срещу хипнотизиращото влиян��е на „Танцуващия замък” се озовават в концлагери, където преживяват нечовешки ужас.... А третата книга? Какво ли ще направи тя с мен? Ето това се чудя! Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле":

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Profile Image for Sigrid_02.
192 reviews32 followers
December 29, 2016
Finally done. It got a little better towards the end, but all in all, the story could not really keep me captivated, maybe because it was centered in parts around a love story that took place in the second installment. Said love story also didn't persuade me, hence I was not really convinced by it in this last part. In general, this series should not be given to young or easily shocked readers as it gets quite bloody in the end. I'm happy I'm done with this one. Am not sure if I will give other works by the author a try, though parts of this story (the historical background, for example) were well-developed and very readable. The story was just too long for me and I lost my connection to the characters in the second part of the series.
Profile Image for Eleanor Toland.
177 reviews26 followers
December 14, 2014
Fighting Pax was an epic, horrifying end to Robin Jarvis's trilogy. After two books' worth of nightmarish build up, the third volume delivers a devastating pay-off with murderous unicorns, a heroic North Korean soldier girl, an evil alternate Jesus, the witty-yet-treacherous ghost of a flapper and a very twenty-first century take on the Antichrist, all against the background of a world in the grips of a fiery apocalypse. Speaking as someone who tends to find the third volumes of trilogies a disappointment, Fighting Pax was the perfect conclusion to a horror/fantasy series.
Profile Image for Alex Boon.
208 reviews
January 26, 2022
Great book, a fitting end to a trilogy I found enjoyable enough to read one after another. I wasn't fond of the ending though, I think that could have been executed better. But as apocalyptic kind of stories go, this one was particularly nasty. I just had the feeling that the end game was a bit of a cop out.
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