Title: Three Parts Dead
Author: Max Gladstone
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: Hardcover; 336
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy the UF genre, and are okay with starting off a little lost.
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A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.
Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.
Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.
When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.
Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.
When I first set eyes on the synopsis of Three Parts Dead I was really excited. A whole new world built on the idea that the Craft (magic) rules the world? Definitely cool. Add in crazy gods, a murder mystery, and an awesome sounding main character, and you have a book that sounded right up my alley. Suffice it to say that I had high hopes when I dove into this book headfirst.
Sadly, Max Gladstone's book baffled me from the beginning. Three Parts Dead reads much more like a sequel in a series, than it does like the opening book. I was instantly thrown into Tara's world. Barely introduced to her before she set off on a series of events that completely confused me. Before I even had time to adjust to the world that was being built, the book was already off and running. It was all very disconcerting.
The unfortunate part is that there really is a great story line under all the confusion. Tara is indeed a pretty fabulous main character, and following her is a lot of fun. She's witty, strong, and willing to do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of things. The city of Alt Coulumb sounds vast and gorgeous. Plus it is inhabited by some rather unusual characters. Long story short, there is a lot that is good here. Sadly, the lack of allowing the reader to take it all in makes for a tough read.
I'd like a map, and possibly an area that explains characters and places. In fact, I'd honestly classify this book as more of a regular Fantasy than UF since it has such a strong influence of a brand new world. At the end, I was ready for more but it definitely took me a bit to get there. I'm hoping that Gladstone's next book in the series will shed more light on everything that takes place in Three Parts Dead.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.