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The Incorruptibles Kindle Edition
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|Length: 321 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Here Jacobs drew me in with well crafted characters in an intoxicating setting. He forced me to meet him halfway to understanding the world he was crafting by the archetypal gunslinger through the hero worshiping eyes Shoestring. And while I'm not a huge fan of first person narratives, Shoe's wizened approach to the characters around him blends both a factual accounting of their adventures mixed with a hint of his love for them. By chapter 10 I was finally getting a handle on the world that was springing up around these characters and I was completely hooked.
Jacobs also uses clever story telling to justify the technology utilized by the characters in this world. I was back and forth about whether the characters were your standard ignorants trying to describe the science of the world around them or if their descriptions of the technology were the real deal. By the time Jacob's reveals the truth around the technology he is describing it is completely believable. Had this been described any sooner or as a matter of fact from the beginning of the book I would have been completely turned off.
I can't wait to see what happens next.
"You can’t hear their screams of joy at freedom, the imps, but you can feel them, and every shot tears at the air, beats at your ears and exposed skin — as damaging as lying in the too-hot sun. It’s an invisible pressure. The pressure of damnation."
"Cimbri’s moustache quivered. I couldn’t tell if it was anger or mirth or fleas."
"The damnedest thing is, everyone is born into this world on the edge of a knife. From the time you’re wet and squalling — the slightest tip of the balance and you go sliding away, consumed by remorse, or guilt. Or revenge. Or even love. Only Ia knows how it will turn out, and he’s not telling.
Faith is just believing he cares."
"I’ve been at the head, rear, and middle of a string of horses in my time, and they make a terrible ruckus. But once you get going, all those horses moving together, the wagon creaking, it’s a feeling like no other. All this life, Ia-given life, moving together with a single purpose. Damn shame, sometimes, when all that life comes together to take life."
"‘Fear is a taint that corrupts resolution,’"
Oh boy, did I love this book!!! And not for the reasons I would have thought. It’s basically about two guys escorting a boat and its wealthy family down river and encountering challenge after challenge along the way. It starts out easy, then escalates throughout, and by the end, you feel as if the entire world hangs in the balance. Brilliant!
First off, the world is great, in my opinion. It has a western vibe blended with a dose of steam-punk (neither of which I have read before), sprinkled with some fantasy. The western part wasn’t over done, just a nice hint here and there, and I settled right into the fantasy part. Admittedly, I’m not versed enough in steam-punk to really speak intelligently about how well it was done in this book. For an inexperienced reader, I thought it was utterly brilliant.
This is a first person narrative told by Shoestring the dwarf. It keeps close to him and his partner Fisk. Shoe is not what I would call your normal hero nor is the story really focused solely on him. Fisk seems to play a much bigger role, but Shoe has a way about telling this story that makes you root for both of them. Not only that, but you feel really connected to Shoe, despite the fact that he isn’t the main focus of the story. The family they escort was diverse and fleshed out nicely, the legionnaire had enough screen time to make us feel as if we knew them as well as Shoe and Fisk, and the engineers were artfully drawn. I wasn’t character obsessed by any of them, but I found all the characters — even the ones I hated — fascinating.
For me, where this books shines the most was the use of Hell. I admit, when I first started reading this book, I thought when Shoe mentioned Hell or deamons it was more figuratively speaking. But no, he really meant Hell and demons. It. Was. Great!! Hellfire (their version of guns) was made by trapping a demon. Each bullet had a bad guy trapped in it. I mean, how great is that?!? Here’s when I admit that I’m kinda messed up. Even so, I like it when an author puts a spin on something I’m familiar with. Because I have a hard time with my imagination, it helps when it’s something I know. The way Jacobs utilizes hell and demons was just plain entertaining and creepy and poetically written at times. How Shoe feels about these creatures makes them even more terrible. I couldn’t get enough.
Which brings me to an overall statement: The bad guys in this book were incredibly entertaining, creepy (the stuff of nightmares), and painted beautifully by Jacobs writing. I loved them all. The fight scenes were tense and nail-biting. When I reached about half way, I couldn’t put the book down.
For me, I loved Jacobs’ writing. I thought it flowed wonderfully, and I easily slipped into my reading trance. He was a tad descriptive at times, but it was through Shoe’s eyes and it made them beautiful.
So overall, I absolutely loved this book. I’d recommend it to everyone. It’s got enough in there that any lover of fantasy should be satisfied. Seriously, a great read.
I enjoyed this book immensely. I found the setting intriguing; I enjoyed the characters, particularly the narrator, a Dwarf who goes by the name "Shoe-lace"; and I found the plot engaging.
The setting is one of the oddest I've seen for an "urban fantasy noir." The action is set in the Old West, but it is not an Old West that our world ever saw. Shoe and Fisk are scouts in West Texas in the late 19th century: except it's not "West Texas"; its the "Hardscrabble Territory"; and they are not scouts for the US cavalry, but for the Ruman Empire; and the Apaches are Elves. The characters have six shooters, which are powered by demons and hell fire, not gunpowder; there is a fabulous riverboat that runs on demon power; and Shoe is a real Dwarf from a race of Dwarves.
The Ruman Empire appears to be a survival of the Roman Empire, but mutated in strange ways. The Rumans are in conflict with the Medeiran Empire, with its naval power, and off to the East are the mysterious Autumn Lords.
I liked the writing. I listened to this as an Audible Book, and found the narration from Shoe to be light and engaging. There was one line where Shoe confesses that while he is a humble person but has to admit that he is particularly gifted as fixing "coon" for dinner that sticks in my mind as a felicitous bit of character development.
This story introduces the characters and the world. We also get a good Western with steely eyed gunslingers dealing with hell fire and demons.
Good stuff. I will certainly read the next in the series.