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Murder of Crows (The Icarus Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Length: 276 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin Kauffmann was one of those kids that would make up stories every day, creating worlds and adventures for action figures, old Transformers and even lucky stuffed animals. Then the real world came knocking and he forgot he loved to tell stories. After grabbing a degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, he remembered just what he lost.

The Icarus Trilogy, a sci-fi tale about futuristic gladiatorial warfare, was Kauffmann's first professional project, but he has since gone on to tell stories in many different genres.  His Forsaken Comedy, a dark fantasy trilogy about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse attempting to save humanity, has been praised for its reimagination of popular mythology, even considering the sensitive nature of the topic.  His latest, Ouroboros, was released this last winter, and has already been receiving high praise for its representation of hallucinogen use and self-destructive behaviors.

While getting ready to release his next book, The 616 Diaries, Kauffmann is steadily releasing absurd fairy tales for his Misadventures of Rumplestiltskin III, which are available through social media.

Product Details

  • File Size: 991 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ZKGQX8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,699 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kevin Kauffmann was one of those kids that would make up stories every day, creating worlds and adventures for action figures, old Transformers and even lucky stuffed animals. Then the real world came knocking and he forgot he loved to tell stories. After grabbing a degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, he remembered just what he lost.

The Icarus Trilogy, a sci-fi tale about futuristic gladiatorial warfare, was Kauffmann's first professional project, but he has since gone on to tell stories in many different genres. His Forsaken Comedy, a dark fantasy trilogy about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse attempting to save humanity, has been praised for its reimagination of popular mythology, even considering the sensitive nature of the topic. His latest, Ouroboros, was released this last winter, and has already been receiving high praise for its representation of hallucinogen use and self-destructive behaviors.

While getting ready to release his next book, The 616 Diaries, Kauffmann is steadily releasing absurd fairy tales for his Misadventures of Rumplestiltskin III, which are available through social media.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book because the author is a friend of a friend of a friend. The story is good and had me hooked to find out what poor Jenkins was going to experience next. I only gave 4 stars because the author tends to wander a little bit and it was hard sometimes to follow which character's point of view I was reading at any given point. One quirk that started to stand out and detract from the book were grammatical errors (conscious instead of conscience, for instance) and the author seemed to be stuck on the word 'towards'. It was used 158 times in a relatively short book, and started to stand out. I know, I know; I am a grammar Nazi. Don't flame me, I intend this as constructive criticism only. I do wish to read the rest of the trilogy, and only want to see the writing get even better over time. I think this author has bestseller potential and want to see him reach it.

P.S.- I can totally see this as a television series. Producers love scenarios where the characters can be killed over and over again ;)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is based upon the revised edition which was released just recently.

The plot is basically a good one, but it needs to be crisper, more clearly delineated. The characters are well-drawn and probably the biggest strength of the book is that characters' actions derive naturally and in logical fashion from who they are. Though I must admit at least one over-the-top actor is mostly just a caricature and hard to integrate as a player. One character introduced in the last few pages should have been referenced by name earlier in the novel, so that the actions in which he are implicated seem an integral part of the overall plot.

The setting is excellent. You can almost smell the cordite, kick aside the shell fragments, duck inside the blasted remains of a building alongside the fighters.

The biggest criticism I have of the book is the language. It is stilted: subject, verb, object. Subject, verb, object. They came here. He went there. They blew up this other thing. (You get the idea.) The author needs to make more use of apposite phrases, dependent clauses, metaphors, and so forth. He doesn't need to know the grammar terms, but he needs to make more use of the richness of English language in description and action. "Fancy" words need to be used correctly in context.

One specific complaint: the author uses the word "young" followed most often by "Crow" 221 times. And it's confusing. One fighter is young in years but more experienced; the other is older, but a newcomer to the games. The whole system of referring to the main actors is both confusing and boring and repetitive.

The stuff used to fight wars is "ordnance" not "ordinance".

I believe this author has major talent and I look forward to future novels from him. This review was written in the spirit of helping him improve and polish his work.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've always been a big sci-fi fan, but what I appreciate about this book as much as anything else is that it is creative and complex. Kauffmann doesn't seem as preoccupied with catering to the fickleness of surface readers, instead exhibiting the conviction to explore a more intricately woven preface that evolves eloquently into Murder of Crows and the rest of the trilogy. Doesn't try too hard to stretch itself into the pages of more than one book, rather explores itself with the reader at a mature and invigorating pace. Just finished the first book, plan on reading the rest of the trilogy for sure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't usually read a lot of sci-fi but I loved that this delves more into the characters and their psyches. I might call it "sci-fi light" as it has the advanced technology and space travel to qualify but deals much more with the human condition. Can't wait to read the next two books!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book, very well written with an engaging story line and character development throughout. An interesting take on the commercialization of violence in a not so distant future and the ramifications of a violent culture. This book commands your attention and concentration, but rewards it with an engrossing character and story. Great read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Murder of Crows" is the first book of 'The Icarus Trilogy' a Sci-fi space adventure by author Kevin Kauffmann. This Kindle e-book was a 380 Kb download (approx 228 printed pages) and sold for $2.99 at the time of writing this review. I obtained all three books while they were on sale (free).

Spoilers

This is the story of Ryan Jenkins, a young man who as signed a contract to be a soldier in the TV reality show, 'War World' which is set on an asteroid in space. The advertisement he saw extolled the glory, fame and the financial rewards... a better option he felt than the prison term he was facing for crimes back on Earth.
Little did he know he was trading one type of prison for another... how TV ratings were the only thing that mattered and the lives of the participants were an altogether secondary consideration (if even considered at all).

End Spoilers

Some thoughts on "Murder of Crows"...

A mix of Pros, Cons and Comments:

1.) another book in the 'Hunger Games" mold.

2.) a story that starts fairly traditionally with lots of action, battles etc. but the focus SLOWLY evolves over the course of the book to that of character development as our hero discovers things about himself, his fellow team-mates and the inner workings of the game. Not that there's anything wrong with some intriguing character building, but SLOWLY is the operative word here.
I just had this feeling that things could have progressed at a little faster pace... plus maybe a little to much repetitiveness of some similar situations.

3.) a bleak tale... a minimum of light or happy times... it started off dark and there was just never any sense of reprieve.
Read more ›
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