- File Size: 5324 KB
- Print Length: 376 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: January 8, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FKWITB0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,417 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Nobility Among Us Kindle Edition
|Length: 376 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The main plot line centers around a nobleman, guided and assisted by his wife (who came from a humble background but has more to offer than meets the eye), trying to bring justice and economic reforms into the society where tradition has not been challenged in a meaningful way for hundreds of years. Naturally, this doesn't sit well with those in power, and the struggle that follows will go well beyond normal court intrigue and military clashes of typical fantasy offerings.
It is an unusual choice to place a happily married couple, with young children, at the center of such story, and the plot does indeed proceed along a different path than would be expected. The main characters' decisions and actions drive the plot and influence the world around them, but they remain essentially unchanged throughout their many trials. Interesting character arcs are instead reserved for the secondary protagonists, and this is where the quality of writing rises to another level, covering many of my favorite themes, from redemption to mature romantic love to the true definition of duty and honor. Twists and surprises abound, some strongly foreshadowed, some coming seemingly out of nowhere (at least until you think about it some more, and then it makes sense). There a few points towards the end where I was sure the author wrote himself into the corner and there was no way for everything to resolve in a coherent way, but then it did, which was probably the biggest surprise of them all.
Bad aspects first, grading to the mindblowingly good aspects:
-This book takes place in what appears to have been a feudal framework for at least fifteen centuries, but with a basically contemporary, early-21st-century level of technology. (With the entirely reasonable exception of a universal Internet.) I was waiting the whole time for some sort of explanation for this, and it never came. Sure, I'll take the co-existence of magic potions and steam-powered AI without batting an eye, but involve the stuff I'm used to on the day-to-day in a totally speculative universe, and it's somehow a different matter. The title "Nobility Among Us" (which was revealed as the name of the reality show way late in the game) might not help there.
-You CAN tell it's a self-published book, owing to a proliferation of "alrights", comma splices, typos, and similarly cosmetic clunkiness.
-The Christian themes are VERY overt. I'm a Christian and this was very much my cuppa, but when I was an atheist I think I would have felt unjustly ambushed by chapter seven or eight and put the book down for good. As I missed that the "forbidden book" in the blurb was the Bible, I was momentarily taken aback by the unsubtlety even as I am.
-I seem to have missed exactly how William got to be such a crucial plot point toward the end. This would be a serious problem if it really weren't referred to, but as I'm not sure, it's just kind of lingering uncertainly in the middle of the bad side of the review.
-In retrospect, the prologue probably should have lingered some focus on Omega Twelve before cutting to the ball. Also the throwaway characters were a bit cliched, given that they were the ones to open the story.
-One of the romantic subplots (Florence and Edward) added nothing whatsoever to the story.
-----The Line of Quality-----
-The techno-geekery. Not my thing, but I'm pretty sure it's just what has people beating down the doors in the military sci-fi genre.
-The small children sent me into paroxysms of cuteness, which was definitely the intent. I'll particularly highlight the scene where Morten meets them up close.
-The intrigue. That's the intrigue between the baddish guys, specifically. Otherwise, file it under "Marcus Draishire", below.
-The way everything came to a conclusion.
-Morten. Pretty much everything about Morten, but a special shout-out to his survivalist interlude. Really highlights the ancillary skills you pick up from a lifetime killing people.
-Marcus Draishire. It's like if the Bishop of Digne got planted in King's Landing and actually kept his head mostly above water. Kick ass.
-The process of judgment between Wiertham and Fristead. A roller coaster with equal parts white-knuckling and startled, gleeful laughter. Well done.
-The magnificent sense of eucatastrophe. See especially: every Morten scene between his resignation and his sleeping in till nine-thirty, and the well-wishes in Stonewell.
So, yeah. 8/10, would comic if I could.