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REAPERS - Book One: Staves 1-7 (Volume 1) Paperback – June 12, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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About the Author
Chris and Jason Thornton are professional storytellers who seek to entertain audiences via thematically charged films, TV shows, books and comics across various genres while specializing in darker, provocative, character-driven narratives.
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The Thorntons' are master wordsmiths, and I truly can't recommend this enough. Whether you're a George R.R. Martin zealot or a Tom Clancy fan, REAPERS will leave you wanting more. In the words of the writers, "once its hooks are in you will never shake it off."
Read this. Read it now.
And what a novel. The Thorntons have given us a dark and hard-edged fantasy story worthy of comparisons to George R.R. Martin. A lot of their finely honed screenwriting craft carries over: vividly rendered visuals, economy of storytelling, colorful dialogue and specificity of characterization. But unlike many screenwriters turned novelists, the Thorntons handle the unique demands of a novel with aplomb: detailed world-building, a muscular and evocative prose style, and a good balance between episodic arcs and ongoing serialization. Imagine a war film like FULL METAL JACKET or BLACK HAWK DOWN playing out in the world of SOLOMON KANE or MAD MAX and you're getting there. It has a touch of spaghetti western, a touch of historical epic, and a generous helping of horror.
The Reapers themselves are basically a Robert E. Howard version of Navy SEALs. In the opening "stave", a Reaper raid on a camp of pain-worshipping Hobgoblins goes drastically wrong. Fleeing across the open wastelands, the Reapers unwittingly lead the Hobgoblins back to their home base. Meanwhile, a Reaper boot camp is finding rare mettle in a new recruit named Blacwin. The story proceeds at a quick clip, packed with incident and clever plot twists. Along the way you'll find more than a few indelible scenes and images, including a town full of re-animated corpses with stitched-on pig heads, and a rune-controlled monster who rips a man in half in defense of a little girl.
Oh sure, you think. This guy is clearly friends with these unsavory Thorntons and is just shamelessly promoting them. But I assure you I would not take the time out of my busy day to write this if I did not honestly endorse it. I know lots of writers, but with REAPERS it feels like I'm witnessing the start of something big, and getting in on the ground floor. My star rating reflects the rating I would give this book even without knowing the authors, which in my estimation makes it better than George R.R. Martin's last two trips to Westeros. Any fan of adult oriented fantasy should give this a shot. There's no better way to tell the Thorntons to get working on the sequel.
Oh... and HURRY UP!
The story is great, the characters are well thought out and relatable. There is plenty of good vs. evil, but there is no black and white good vs. evil. It's more of a light gray and dark gray good vs. evil. You aren't afraid to kill or maim favorite characters, so any turn of the page could go either way.
I do feel it could use an additional edit. Once or twice there is a stream of consciousness that could be broken with some punctuation (usually in a paragraph from a hobs' point of view) , and I know I saw a typo that resulted in a different word and would never be caught by spellcheck.
Honestly, overall I think it was fantastic. I've recommended it to all of my friends who read this genre. Well done, I look forward to Stave 8!