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Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Wicked Problems (The Craft Wars, #2)Wicked Problems by Max Gladstone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot recommend this series enough.

Indeed, it is not only fantastically written, practically overflowing with great lines and references and wordplay, it is also one of those rare, beautifully blooming world-building exercises that straddle the fence between the oh-so-familiar and the expertly sharp Lovecraftian-mythos-turned-legalistic-actuarial-oligarchy.

Sound too complicated?

Yes -- and no.

Max Gladstone is one of those writers that can suck you in, make everything JUST FINE -- right before he throws you into godzilla vs cthuhlu scale conflict.

So why isn't EVERYONE reading these Craft books?

Honestly... I have NO IDEA. They're WILD, creative, emotional, and exciting.

In this particular novel, we get to have ALL of the great PoVs that came from the original 5 book series in what could only be described as an Avengers-Level narrative.

And here's where *I* love it most: As I read all of these, originally, I was giddy with the idea that it was pulling off a Charlie Stross Laundry Files moment, but instead of secret service, it was legal challenges, industrial espionage, and ELDER GOD corporate wars.

Not only do we get all of that here, but it just keeps raising the stakes.

Now, was I rather surprised to see it go in quite this direction after Dead Country, where it felt so down-to-earth and shaped like a western? Yep! But getting back into the lovecraftian-fueled big cities IS a fantastic literary device, custom tailored to keep us on our toes or skeleton wings or alchemical marriages.

My only desire is to turn EVERYONE on to these wonderful novels, to make sure that they never get lost, that they become as truly big as they OUGHT to be.

Quality is quality, and these have it all.

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