Monday, July 11, 2016

[book review] Sharp Ends

This is the first Abercrombie book I have read, I wanted to see if I liked his writing before diving into a 500+ plus page novel. Take this review as a person who is not a gushing fan. I am glad I picked this up at the library, it did not disappoint.

I am fan of what is considered 'Men's Adventure' books, gritty, bloody, and violent stories told from the pulp days. That said, I feel this is a fantasy version of many of those books. If you have read any of Max Allen Collins "Quarry" series, that seems like a solid pairing to this. In any case, I highly recommend this book.

I know there are bits of these stories that deal with characters from the trilogy and clearly some of it is missed upon by me. For example, everyone and their mother loves Glockta Glokta but honestly the first story did little for me. It was good, but I have no connection to this character, whatever was awesome about seeing him in glory days went directly over my head.

A handful of the stories are interesting but just snapshots of life in the nasty, horrible place, much dealing with what seems to be an ever-present war that wages throughout this world. Good, but not great, and nothing to write home about. I am assuming some of these are stories to flesh out characters found in the other novels set in this world, so that could have made their impact more profound.

Now, about a third of the stories have two characters weaving through them. Shev and Javre, and they are simply fantastic. That's them over on the left. One of the stories is available online for free here: http://www.tor.com/2016/01/12/twos-company-joe-abercrombie/ However, I almost recommend getting the book and reading it as this is not the first story with Shev and Javre in the book and you might miss out on some of the fun getting to know them as their story progresses through the book.

I loved every single one of the stories and enjoyed their silly banter as they struggle to survive this hellish place and we pick up bits and pieces from their past and the events between each of the stories (some are set more than a decade apart). I actually reread the Two’s Company story because it was that good. I would like an entire novel with these two characters please. Remind me somewhat of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser but women and my are they hilarious. Probably one of the best character pairings I have read in a long while.

Good stuff, and it did it's job, I immediately went and picked up The Blade Itself, the first book in his trilogy. I guess that means I liked it.

6 comments:

  1. ". . . everyone and their mother loves Glockta . . ." A bold statement, considering that I read your post and have never heard of this character. Google didn't off any help, either. Sorry!

    But, I suppose, I'll have to give the book a try. LOL

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    1. That is likely because I spelled it wrong. LOL his name is actually Inquisitor Glokta. I'll have to fix that.

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  2. Reading this story about Glokta before reading The Blade Itself will probably make you like Glokta more.

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    1. Agreed, I am about 60 pages into the first novel and so far he is a complete ahole.

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  3. I read some link that gave a look at Javre (?) and her friend. Soft porn. Adult westerns were never my thing, so I'm rather cautious about this series.

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    1. The only sex I read about was described as some grunting behind a boulder if I remember right. Now, language...yeah, if foul language or violence makes you weak, by all means stay away. Everyone curses like sailors (probably enough to make most sailors blush) and people die right and left without a thought or care.

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