Salute the Dark: Shadows of the Apt 4 Paperback – 1 October 2012
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- Paperback : 480 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1447208625
- ISBN-13 : 978-1447208624
- Product Dimensions : 12.7 x 3.05 x 19.69 cm
- Publisher : Tor UK (1 October 2012)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 162,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Lincolnshire before heading off to Reading to study psychology and zoology. For reasons unclear even to himself he subsequently ended up in law and has worked as a legal executive in both Reading and in Leeds, where he now lives. Married, he is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor. He has trained in stage-fighting and keeps no exotic or dangerous pets of any kind, possibly excepting his son.
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Book 4 has battles on multiple fronts, all skillfully managed and balanced, with very little filler, all against an intriguing backdrop of a deeper plot that could render everything irrelevant. As with GRR Martin, no character is safe, which adds a tension to the reading but those that do exit do so in a fully believable manner: nothing and nobody is wasted.
Oddly, I exited this book feeling as if the series was over, since so many threads are tied off; I am very intrigued now as to where the story goes.
Already into book 5.
Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 SciFi fantasy series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , and 4659 now available on Amazon.
I think it’s a brilliant idea to round the story off and use further novels to greater explore the world Adrian has created.
A great story teller and some great characters make this a joy to read.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, especially the brilliant 'Dragonfly falling' which is a modern fantasy classic. There was also still a lot to enjoy here too
HOWEVER (you knew that was coming right?) The sheer scale of world events portrayed here rather sweep away all the personalities, sub plots and relationships which were all part of the series early charms. In order to have a presence in all the battle arena's all our hero's are sent their seperate ways and sometimes for rather contrived reasons. Also having gradually built the pace and story depth, all the plot elements converge and conclude a bit too quickly, without time to dwell on the passing of heroes and enjoy the comeuppances of villians.
I also cannot quite believe who the author has chosen to kill off! certainly my favourite characters which is ok, this is a war after all, but there is still another book to come and a major draw for me has now gone.
I am not sure where the story will now go, there is a conclusion of sorts here along with the promise of further action, but my fear is now that any further stories will be a bit of an anti climax and I would rather another story on the same world or one set a 100 years on. However my enjoyment of this series has been so much and that I will buy 'Scarab Path' when it comes out but my expectations are now significantly reduced.
A brilliant author but I can't help feel he struggled to keep sheer scale of the world he created under control.
It's nice to see the story finally being on par with the amazing concept and world. This really is a sleeper hit series and if this book is to be the standard for the remaining books we are all in for a treat.
So what do we have with this, the fourth novel in the Shadows sequence? We see Tchaikovsky's opus reaching a crescendo, is what, and it's a bloody fun ride. Emphasis on the bloody.
There's a lot of death in the novel, some of it shocking and unexpected, as much-liked characters present from the start of the series are scythed down. Some of these demises are genuinely upsetting. This winnowing of characters is important, though, because it gives us the feeling that this really is it, this is the big one, and none of our heroes might survive the day. You really don't know who's going to survive - or if anyone is.
As such, it gives the novel a sense of mythic scale and sense of urgency the previous books only hinted at. I read this book in three days flat, and begrudged any time when I was dragged away from it for such boring duties as eating, sleeping and going to work.
The story? Well, you must know the story by now, because if you haven't read the first three books you've no business reading this one - you'll be utterly lost, for starters. So suffice it to say that the multiplicity of plots that have budded and bloomed in previous books continue to expand into full flower... Che is brave and loveable and Stenwold is doughty and anxious, and Tynisa is a fearless warrior-tart, we learn about the culture of the Commonweal in depth for the first time, there are great battles and clever tricks and sudden reversals and a pint-and-a-half of derring-do in every chapter. And Tisamon, as ever, is a giant prat. Though I wouldn't say it to his face.
One thing I particularly admire in Tchaikovsky's writing is his depiction of extended battle scenes. Too often in novels of this kind people start fighting and I zone out, uninterested in Whatsisname's sword-thrust and So-and-so's parry and feint. Tchaikovsky holds the interest by bringing a rare eloquence and narrative brio to his battle scenes, and a sense of authenticity doubtless garnered from his side-interest in live-action roleplaying (Read his website!). This brings a welcome sense of value for money, as I'm actually reading all of it...
Downsides are few - I've pointed out before that there's little descriptive colour to these novels, and that's a problem which remains - if you even consider that a problem. Also, with so many plots and dozens of viewpoint characters, it's inevitable that some of them get comparatively short shrift - in particular Taki, the chirpy fly-kinden aeronaut, my favourite new character from Dragonfly Falling, who for most of the novel is consigned to a bit of a narrative cul-de-sac (Although that could just be my own prejudice, because I fancy her).
I'd also like to learn more about the mythological areas of the story, about the Moth-kinden and their magic and the dreaded Days of Lore. But all that? That's not much. That barely dents the carapace, because this book is magnificent.
Although it marks a climax to what we've been reading so far, there are plenty of seeds laid in the plot of Salute that will grow in later volumes - And I for one can't wait. Stay tuned for Shadows of the Apt, season 2!
Volume 5, The Wind in the Wing-Casings*, is out in August, I believe. (Is it just me or does he seem to be writing these at a rate of three a year?)
*I jest, of course. Its called The Scarab Path.