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Freelance Heroics (Firesign) (Volume 2) Paperback – July 26, 2016
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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About the Author
Stephen W. Gee is a fantasy author, anime blogger, craft beer lover, and exceedingly tall man. He writes sword & sorcery adventures with a urban/high fantasy twist. He's published two Firesign novels so far. He's only getting started.
Stephen hails from the great land of Texas, where everything is bigger, including the authors. He maintains a personal website at stephenwgee.com, and prattles on about anime at randomc.net, under the pen name Stilts.
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Top customer reviews
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I read the first book and was surprised. I'd hit a few duds on Amazon, but that first Wage Slave Rebellion book... Total diamond in the rough. It was light without being shallow. The characters were relatable, and enjoyable. Wonderful and dependable Rae. The rascal Mazik who so easily could have been an annoying ass, but managed to just be a loveable scamp. Strong but empathic Gavi.
So, I followed on Amazon and waited for a new book to come. Eventually, it did. At first I was a bit put off by this being kind of a collection of novellas joined at the hip, but it worked well. The characters are still as loveable as ever, the world is as bright and fun. Especially with the last story, we get to see our heroes stumble and grow a bit. The joined novellas approach worked for the story of where these characters are now, and I can't wait to see where we go from here.
If you're looking for something that isn't the gritry urban fantasy, or dramatic high fantasy that you've been reading... If you're looking for something a bit light hearted, that finds the joy in its world and its characters... If you're looking to take a chance on an author that doesn't have an existing back catalog... I don't think you could do any better than this series of two that's just getting up and running.
The largest strength of the book was the author provided some limits and clarity to the magic system that didn't exist in the first book. I can tell this was done on purpose, and I approve. Second, the author expanded world building and magic/class exposition a lot and I really enjoyed that aspect of it.
Some of the short stories were more fun than others. I get why the author went this route. The three MCs actually picked up a lot of character growth and even a few permanent changes from their adventures. I think it will serve as a great setup for the next book, but there were long stretches where I was actually bored and that's not a good sign in fantasy pulp fiction like this.
I personally couldn't care less about Raedren's love life. Gavi and Mazik on the other hand are much more compelling. That could be a personal choice of mine, but I personally think that the author just writes Mazik and Gavi POV better.
Either way, this is a must-read for fans of the series even if I thought as a whole the book was weak. It would probably be a really bad first book for someone to be introduced to the series with.
Without giving away spoilers, the end of the book, or rather, the end of the last adventure was satisfying with what the friends were able to gain, and I will definitely be buying the next installment.
The book is a set of 4 short stories detailing the continuing adventures of our 3 magic using former wage slaves now trying to join an adventurer's guild. All 3 get chances to shine with their abilities giving them some dramatic if improbable victories. It is entertaining to see how they handle some of the problems they run into.
Sadly, I get a feeling that Stephen had no idea how to solve the problem of having only magic using characters. In this book magic becomes more of a form of powered armor that protects someone with mystic shields while they fight, and just about everyone seems to have some magic. It was one of the worst examples of "power escalation" I have encountered and outright prevents me from giving this tale 4 stars. I ended up completely unable to suspend my disbelief as I read about sword attacks prevented from hitting due to magical shields that did not have to be consciously cast.
I can't exactly recommend this book. Its fun, but the problems with the magic system really impaired my enjoyment.
An action-packed, adventurous, humorous and fun ride with the characters. This book doesn't let you sleep in the night. You find convincing yourself that this is the last page I'm reading and yet, you read more and more.
The Magic System was explained quite phenomenally. Interesting and audacious characters made it funny and enjoyable. One can relate with them easily. I was surprised to see how imaginative a person can be.
The ending leaves you satisfied and smiling and you are certain that you're going to buy next books in the series. A good follow-up to the first novel.