Chris (The Genre Fiend)'s Reviews > Heroes Die

Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover
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it was amazing

I vacillated between four and five stars for this one - it is unquestionably a damn good read, with a nice spin on the usual fantasy tropes and some mature content that almost predates Game of Thrones and even does it a little better. The characters are well-defined and nicely rounded, the bit players have things to do, virtually anyone with any significance to the plot gets their own POV chunk to explain their motivations, there's a rich and detailed world (or, rather, two of them) that Stover brings to life, and it feels like something familiar in broad strokes and quite unique in the fine details.

What stopped me from instantly hitting the five star ranking rather than debating it was a middle portion before, during and after a prolonged jailbreak, where the pacing was almost like someone trying to cast pebbles across a pond and only getting it right on the last throw. It actually made me pause reading for a few days coz it got too dull and over-explanatory. Even afterwards there's a tendency to fill the time with strange terminology and plans which are both either only mentioned in passing or given far too much expositional definition for where we're at in the story. I know the reader should fill in some blanks themselves rather than rely on the author to present A-to-B coherently all the time, but occasionally we could've done with a little more gap-filling.

That being said, you owe it to yourself to read Heroes Die. It's the first book I read based solely on a reading-list-generated Goodreads recommendation, and it was definitely something I'm glad I experienced. If you can handle the marriage of fantasy and sci-fi (though the book does favour the former predominantly) and get past a few awkward exposition chunks here and there, it's a great read.
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Reading Progress

January 14, 2014 – Shelved
January 14, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 23, 2014 – Started Reading
January 23, 2014 –
page 12
2.2%
January 28, 2014 –
page 49
8.99%
January 29, 2014 –
page 81
14.86%
January 30, 2014 –
page 105
19.27%
February 4, 2014 –
page 114
20.92%
February 10, 2014 –
page 121
22.2%
February 11, 2014 –
page 134
24.59%
February 12, 2014 –
page 140
25.69%
February 13, 2014 –
page 161
29.54%
February 13, 2014 –
page 185
33.94%
February 14, 2014 –
page 190
34.86%
February 15, 2014 –
page 310
56.88%
February 16, 2014 –
page 467
85.69%
February 16, 2014 – Finished Reading

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