The Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
New Craft book!!!
I got lucky with an ARC thanks to Netgalley and I immediately got sucked right into the story since I had just gotten caught up with the previous publication-order book, Four Roads Cross.
Unfortunately for me, as well as everyone else who reads these books, I still have to do timeline juggling in my head because the later Full Fathom Five takes place AFTER Four Roads Cross and it's now even worse because the new book doesn't even have a handy number-sequence in the title. Check them out if you don't believe me. :) HOWEVER. Tara's here and badass and Kai who was MC in the previous chronological novel is ALSO right square in the action, so it's pretty easy to assume that we've come into an interesting juxtaposition: book 6 is actually the latest, chronologically! :) Weird, huh?
All right! Let's put that aside, as amusing as it is to contemplate, and get down to my reaction.
The end is as big as all the rest of the books, and glorious and exciting and magical and mind-blowing, but a very long stretch of the novel reads more like a down-to-earth mystery/hardship novel, with a murder, a theft, and lots of god-debt to have to juggle. Kai's estranged sister is in deep trouble.
I admit it took me a bit to get fully into it, but I placed my faith in Gladstone and got led out of the maze with some very heady reveals that had me gibbering with excitement.
Honestly, I just want someone to go on and on about the city and how it resembles not so much a city of the dead, modernized, but how mirror-modern it is to us. I still can't get over the idea of the means they were using to launch satellites into space... a little hint: this UF is full of mind-gnawing monstrosities from demon universes pulled into iron-clad contracts so big that it requires full law firms and multinational business to make it profitable. Extrapolate from that and you see where all the economy is and what might be involved in space-flight.
Mind-blowing, I say! And then there's this little new artifact they made that superficially resembles something like an old trope of a Sword Of Power, but those tropes are just plain toddler-level simple stories compared to this little beauty that was designed to BUILD A NEW *** from scratch. Just... wow. Wanna know? Read away!
This series is freaking amazing. The level of worldbuilding continues to astound and the characters are truly badass, but not in those old-style simple ways. These women and even some of the men are complicated, flawed, full of contradictions, and yet they eat gods for breakfast. :) ... well, Tara does, anyway. :)
There are really few books quite like these. I can definitely name a good handful, of course, but I can confidently raise these very high among the very best fantasies out there, sweeping most away by the sheer strength of its ideas and its facility. :)
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