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Burning Bridges (Retrievers, Book 4) Paperback – May 22, 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Retrievers Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Gilman's convoluted but diverting fourth Retrievers fantasy (after 2006's Bring It On), set in a near-future Manhattan, Wren Valere, a professional thief with magical "Talent," and her demon sidekick, P.B., discover the brutalized corpse of an angel. The gutted angel, or winged nonhuman "fatae," turns out to be just one casualty in a heated conflict between Nulls (humans without Talent) and the powerful human Talents, along with the fatae. Not only are bigoted human vigilantes going after supernaturals, but it appears the Silence, a covert organization that used to employee Wren's partner and lover, Sergei Didier, has become corrupted from within. Several Silence Talent operatives have gone missing, and Sergei is drawn back into the group's politics as a new truce falls apart. Though newcomers to the series might find the plot and multiple cabals a little confusing—with the spy stuff a little too derivative of TV's Alias and not enough fey—Wren's can-do magic is highly appealing. (June)
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". . . fast-paced action, wisecracking dialog, and a pair of strong, appealing heroes." -- Library Journal on Curse the Dark

"Gilman delivers an exciting, fast-paced, unpredictable story that never lets up until the very end." -- SF Site

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Luna; First Edition edition (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373802749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373802746
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,167,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the opening, an angel dies. They're not that easy to kill--but somehow the Nulls (humans without magic) have managed to do this. Throughout the book, more and more fatae (demons, angels, etc) are killed. It's different than the past times, though. Fatae have aligned themselves with the Talented humans and together they are willing to fight.

Politics come into play when we realize that the Silence, a balance-keeping force when Wren's lover and partner Sergei used to work for them, has now in some part gone rogue. The Cosa, short for Cosa Nostradamus who represent the mages, is in for a fight with them.

The problem arises that the fight is so near the end of the book, you could almost miss it you're so tired of the constant planning, the relationship strife between protagonist Wren Valare and Sergei, and the sheer pages waiting for something to happen.

In the end, we don't have much of a resolution, which I suppose is Ms. Gilman's and the publisher's attempt to drag readers into buying the next book in the series.

If you are starting this series, do not start here. You will have no idea of who the players and history are.

The problem as I see it with "Bridges" is the setup is far too long and the convoluted relationships are not well enough explained unless you have a solid grounding in the previous works and pay a lot of attention. I preferred these series when they moved faster and we saw more of Wren's work. I realize that politics in the inner circle of mages seems to be a popular trend--but Jim Butcher can pull this type of storyline off without a hitch and Laura Ann Gilman cannot.

I am not sure I will be reading the next Retrievers' novel. I will definitely have to sit down with the book at a store and read enough of it to make sure that it will hold my interest.
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Format: Paperback
This 4th book in the Retrievers series isn't terrible but it isn't very interesting, either. Mostly, it seems to serve as a bridge (no pun intended) between the previous book and the next.

As other reviewers have commented, the main reason for the serviceable read is due to the concentration of the story arc on the politics among the "major" players in the series, namely the Fatae, Lonejacks, Cosa, and Silence, and the increasing tension due to the escalation of attacks by Nulls against anyone who has, or who appears to have, magic. To be fair, this political situation does have a key role to play in the plot as it also drives what's happening; the problem is that rather than making the information succinct, the various unproductive political meetings take up too much of the story. The various factions don't get very far in their dealings, and neither do we, as the reader.

The situation between Wren and Sergei, played up on in the book's synopsis, doesn't really have much twists and turns as was hinted, until the end of the book, just like the intriguing prologue. A hint of a connection to the prologue appears but it's so subtle that it might as well not be there. In any case, by that point, one has either forgotten about the prologue or one has torn one's hair out wondering what role it plays in the story.

In essence, there's a lot of exposition but not much action.
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Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of this series since book one. Normally you'd think it would be the sophmore slump that would be the let down in a series, but unfortunately it was this book. The almost teenage angst between Wren and Sergei was more than a little annoying. But I think my biggest complaint was that nothing seemed to flow properly, it was almost as if some of the chapters were disjointed.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the next in the series will make up for this one.
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Format: Paperback
I liked the first couple Retrievers books, they were light and easy adventures with a fun and quirky protagonist. They were nothing spectacular, but pretty good and entertaining. Since then, Gilman has tried to change the books into something like a paranormal political-thriller. It doesn't work, though. There's nothing thrilling here.

The author seems to be trying to create a darker, more foreboding world--and to make the books more suspenseful. The attempt at dark and foreboding falls flat, though. Instead of being filled with suspense and anticipation, you're just left wondering when things will be done with already.

I still do like the main characters, and the writing itself is done well. But, those points aren't enough to really salvage the bland story. There were several "hooks" left in this book, designed to make you wonder what'll happen in the next book and want to read it. The story left me so unengrossed and disinterested that I don't know if I'll bother to continue reading.

In all, I give it a rather weak "3." If you've read the rest and absolutely loved them, you might feel the need to read this one no matter what. Otherwise, if you're just a casual fan or a new reader, I suggest you stay away.
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Format: Paperback
This new Retrievers novel picks up about 6 months later after the third novel. It is winter and the war between the fatae, Talent, and Council has begun. The fatae and Talent reluctantly agree to form an alliance and work together to defeat the Council and their even greater enemy the Silence. Lonejacks are disappearing and no one knows why, and fatae are still being killed by the "pest control". But with all hell breaking loose Wren's life still manages to sink further into oblivion. Her lovelife has become even more complicated, having sex with your coworker is never a good idea, one Wren almost regrets, but not really. Until she discovers that Sergei has been keeping secrets from her, dangerous secrets. The novel builds up to the climatic ending where the fatae and Talent battle with the humans that are trying to kill them. There are survivors and there are deaths. But this is not the only sign of death in Burning Bridges.

Overall a so-so book. There is too much planning and prepping for the ipcoming battle and when it finally happens there is still a lot that is left unsolved.
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