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Anvil of Tears (Reforged, Book 1) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 9, 2009
About the Author
Erica and Aron are not a pair of squirrels chained to a typewriter. They met as pre-med majors over a dissected cat and plastic silverware. Then they went on to do something else entirely: writing fantasy and sci-fi novels. Dinner usually consists of pasta and stories.
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--May contain spoilers--
What I loved about this story:
I loved the flashbacks on the characters, main and side characters. It made the characters come to life. I loved the dark turmoil that followed both Maeve and Coldhand. Both painted as horrible people but really just two wounded souls trying to find a reason (or end) to the hell that is their life. I did find some of the characters a little rough around the edges but I suppose there is only so much you can put in one book. I liked how the story gave you little glimpses into the side characters histories. How they met up with each other. How they were tied together. It flushed out the story beautifully.
I loved how you had science worlds and magic worlds. I liked the opposite end of the spectrum setting. I loved how they were at odds with each other. It was such a wonderful truth to how life really is. You fear what you don't understand. What you fear you kill or despise. It jerked at my heart strings to read about the Arcadian's treatment. I really felt the story was a reflection of how many minorities/refugees are often treated in human history. I loved the side notes on describing the planets and technology. I felt it helped me understand the worlds the characters lived in fuller. I loved the way each subspecies was described and given unique characteristics.
What I loved the most was how the Authors wrote the tale to lead you down one path making you view the characters one way, only to have the path suddenly make a U-turn taking the story down a whole new path. The actions of the character or flashbacks constantly giving you deeper insight into the characters actions and past. It did that over and over, surprising me again and again. I loved the layer on layer of details as they fell into place creating and amazing puzzle of twists and turns that left you going... "I did not see that coming at all".
I loved that it wasn't just a heroine against bad bounty hunter story; instead it evolved into a larger tale. I felt the story ended well. I was sad it ended. Was it a happy ending? You will have to judge for yourself. In many ways it was. In many ways it wasn't. It really depends on which of the characters you were supporting the most.
Were there errors in the story?
Well yes there were, but I was so wrapped up in the tale I barely noticed them.
I have not, in such a long time, found a story that made me wonder what was going to happen between reading sessions. I would ponder as I moved about my daily tasks on the motivating factor behind the characters. What made them be the way they are? Who broke them? What are they going to do next? Where was the story going? I was almost obsessed with this tale to see how it would end. I couldn't wait till the next time could sit down and read more. I only wish there were more books like this.
So that being said, it's not your traditional Sci-fi tale. It's a beautiful eclectic mix of Sci-fi and fantasy and totally worth your time to read it.
I am off to buy book two...
She's also been on the run for the past year from a notorious bounty hunter named Coldhand--and this Coldhand guy is determined to bring Maeve in. But when a desperate pregnant girl interrupts their latest skirmish to beg them for help even Maeve and Coldhand decide they can't turn her away.
This story had a lot of potential but I agree with some of the other reviewers that it's slow going and ultimately ruined by the flat characters and too much info-dumping and ill-timed flash backing.
What sucks is Maeve and Coldhand could've been such great characters! Unfortunately, I think the authors relied too much on flashbacks to develop them because all you get are their pasts without much insight to their current actions and reactions. Like I get that Maeve is damaged but why would someone like her (who is so completely self-absorbed and suffers suicidal depression) or Coldhand for that matter (who acts like a sociopath), suddenly care about helping a pregnant woman? And why would Maeve's crew just drop everything and decide it was their mission to rescue and care for said pregnant woman? And while we're at it, why is Maeve even "working" (as a first mate no less!) on this ship? She contributes absolutely nothing to the group.
From time to time, someone would speak up and point these things out (like hey guys, why are we going through so much trouble to make all this random pregnant woman's dreams come true? And hey why is Maeve First Mate?) but there's never any convincing excuse for why any of these characters acted the way they did. It all results in a thin excuse for a plot and barely any excuse at all for Maeve's sudden character development.
Anyways, despite all this, I was still dying for Maeve and Coldhand to get over themselves already so they could hook up but by the end of the book I was left thinking that even if they do (and i'm sure they will; they're made for each other) will i even care? They'll probably just suddenly decide to fall into each other's arms with barely any explanation or elaboration.
I also didn't care much for the supporting characters in this story which is unfortunate, as the authors spend a lot of time trying to develop them and their world through their flashbacks, too. Often these flashbacks would be launched into with barely any transition (seriously, sometimes it felt like it happened mid-sentence) and info dumps abounded. It's particularly disorienting on audio despite the fact that an obnoxious chime was used to signal the flashbacks every time they occurred.