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Anvil of Tears (Reforged, Book 1) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 9, 2009
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Sadly, the story desperately needed someone who could have reigned in the writers.
Early chapters are flooded with "info-dumps" where several pages suddenly start explaining the planet the heroes are visiting, or some aspect of the technology in the universe. This left the story rather disjointed, and the early chapters do not flow very well.
Later the info-dumps diminish, only to be replaced by multiple page flashbacks. The flashbacks are solidly written, tell rather complete tales, and probably would have been much better as their own seperate stories, in building towards this tale. Some of them were definitely necessary to help reveal the personalities, but others again disrupt the flow of the story.
The biggest problem though was the characters themselves. Maeve and Coldhand both possess damaged psyches and events from their past drive their actions throughout the story. This could have worked very well, but both are rather unsympathetic due to the extremely unflattering ways they are described. Maeve as a broken junkie who refuses to allow anyone to become her friend and Coldhand's quiet madness due to the injuries that left him with a cybernetic heart and hand.
And of course, as the first book of a trilogy, only a couple minor plot threads come to any kind of closure or completion. The ending was more of a place that the story ran out of steam than a clear stopping point.
Overall, this is not a very good book. The writers have lots of talent and the story is impressive in its complexity and scope, but an editor was needed to weed out all of the asides that show up as info-dumps and flashbacks, and to tighten up the revelatoins of backstories so that they smoothly fit into the story rather than overwhelming the middle part of the story. Even the appearance of the major antagonists could be improved as the enemy appears out of nowhere about 40% into the book.
The sequel will be interesting, hopefully the authors will be less inclined to throw extra information at the reader but will continue to allow their characters to grow as the story develops.
--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...