Half a King Review

Nerds_feather

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Hey All,

I know there are a lot of Joe Abercrombie fans here, so I thought I'd post a review of Half a King written by my co-nerd Jemmy. Suffice to say, he really likes the book. Here's a snippet:

If anything, with Half a King, Abercrombie exceeded my expectations. Everything that I like about his writing remains unchanged. Half a King is laced with lighthearted cynicism, punctuated with laugh-out-loud hilarity, and features some of the brutality that fans have come to know and love. But what he changed is even more important. Abercrombie dumped his traditional, grit-laced formula to tell a coming of age story set against a dark background.
 

alchemist

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Amazon emailed me today to say it's on the way. Looking forward to it.
 

Tigermagee

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Should hopefully get the Kindle version tomorrow. Really looking forward to this and Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan which is out the same day.

Just have to choose which to read first.
 

alchemist

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150 pages in and thoroughly enjoying this. I haven't read through a book this quickly in ages (although there may not be many words to a page). So far, it's also very YA-suitable, with only the occasional cuss-word (and the tame ones at that), nothing you'd call sexual, and no over-the-top violence. My ten-year-old is reading it at the same time and says "It's cool."
 

Bugg

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Just finished reading Half a King and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it, too. I don't completely agree with Jemmy's review, in that Joe's previous three books have all been among my favourite reads of recent times, but my initial worries about this one were unfounded. Once the first major twist came along I was hooked :)
 

Nerds_feather

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Just finished reading Half a King and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it, too. I don't completely agree with Jemmy's review, in that Joe's previous three books have all been among my favourite reads of recent times, but my initial worries about this one were unfounded. Once the first major twist came along I was hooked :)
I know from conversations with him that he really likes First Law, Red Country, etc., but feels that the books had gotten a bit too formulaic and repetitive. I still haven't read First Law, so I can't speak to that, though I did like Best Served Cold a lot.
 

Sle'eze

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Gotta admitt, while brutality is loved and all that, there is something to having a balance on the light side. After a while, his world felt kind of alien to me.
 

Grunkins

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I was disappointed by it. It wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't what I expect out of a writer of his caliber. Every aspect of it was simplified compared to his other work. It didn't raise my regard for YA.
 

Jo Zebedee

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blah - flags. So many flags.
I was disappointed by it. It wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't what I expect out of a writer of his caliber. Every aspect of it was simplified compared to his other work. It didn't raise my regard for YA.
Yes, this. It felt like a dumbed down adult book, especially around exploration of emotions, which, I think, fails to make it memorable. The best YA books I've read have big emotional impact and, for me, this didn't. It was fabulously fast-paced, the writing was mouth-wateringly-I'm-so-jealous clean with some lovely descriptions but overall it left me flat and wanting more. It's not a book I'll carry in my heart and will never forget, and I'd hoped it might be.
 

ratsy

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Plot and theme-wise it didn't feel like much of a YA, and I usually like his characters more. Even the 'bad' ones usually had more impact and I didn't find myself cheering these guys on as much as his other books. It was still an enjoyable read though. He sure has some odd prose sometimes. There were a few sentences that had me scratching my head and turning the book upside down.
 

Taisha

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Yes, this. It felt like a dumbed down adult book, especially around exploration of emotions, which, I think, fails to make it memorable. The best YA books I've read have big emotional impact and, for me, this didn't. It was fabulously fast-paced, the writing was mouth-wateringly-I'm-so-jealous clean with some lovely descriptions but overall it left me flat and wanting more. It's not a book I'll carry in my heart and will never forget, and I'd hoped it might be.
I pretty much agree. While it is a page - turner, fast paced and full of action, it is also trimmed of philosophical musing, emotion and ambiguity. I fear that for the price of capturing (probbably) shorter attention span and craving for action of young adults, a lot has been trimmed, text is more basic and event-focused, I miss the "adult" stuff... Archetips are more crude and simple (the hero, the father, the protector...).
As for his books getting formulaic and repetitive, I don't think so, Red country is really a creative continuation and closure of a long story... However, there are some repetitive elements in his books, for example phisical handicap of the protagonist, character of protagonist women (tough, pissed-of, hurt, beautiful...). His best character IMO was Sand Van Glockta...
 
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