- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 22 hours and 54 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: January 27, 2015
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00RESWPT0
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The City Stained Red Audiobook – Unabridged
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It wouldn't surprise me if Sam enjoyed role playing games like Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons because his sarcastic heroes have all the markings of a great group of characters from such a game. The fantasy world is familiar and yet different enough that you can enjoy the similarities while taking in those changes.
The City Stained Red is a fast moving novel that should fly by quickly despite it's near 600 pages of content and I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
The entire story, minus the epilogue, is told from the perspective of seven characters, the six adventurers as well as a captain of the city guard. The narrative jumps around quite a bit, but the characters are interesting and it's not too hard to piece together the overall story line. But based on this method of storytelling, you end up getting a -lot- of character development. No epic story here -- just character development and more character development. Which isn't that bad, because the characters are interesting, but this 600+ page novel seems like nothing more than an introduction to the main story. If you like that sort of thing, have at it, but it's not really what I want out of a novel.
The novel is well balanced between deep personal struggles, interesting new creatures/species (shape shifters, giant silk weaving spiders, simian humanoids, giant dragonmen, demons bursting out of gullets), humor and gore.
The City Stained Red continues the story started in Syke's first trilogy, the Aeons' Gate. While it is not necessary to start with these, I recommend you do. The depth of character development and their relationships between each other is one of the highlights of the series. I genuinely am interested in the adventurers and want them to succeed in whatever misguided scheme they have chosen (or not) to get into.
If you are looking for a fantasy with an original world of creatures (think Mos Eisley spaceport patrons in a Game of Thrones sort of time period) and unexpected adventure, give Sam Sykes a try. He won't disappoint.
But it didn’t take me long to fall in love with everyone else. The book is fun and fast-paced, with strong prose and wickedly fun dialogue, but where the book really stands out is in it’s characters. I went in expecting a good DnD party, and that is exactly what I got. Sometimes in books with multiple POV characters, I find myself dreading chapters that shift away from my favorite characters. In The City Stained Red, though, I enjoyed every single one of them. Even if I did like Kataria the most - what can I say, she’s a girl after my own heart! Honestly, my biggest complaint about the book is that it was a little hard to get into. The terminology was foreign, and even half-way through the book I was struggling to keep all the races straight. Perhaps I wouldn’t have this problem if I read the original trilogy first, but I adapted. I stuck with it because the story and the characters are just so good.
And then that ending. Guess I’m going to have to pick up Mortal Tally on release day.
My main impression of this book was that it was light reading. I slid through the book with ease, and was a little surprised that it was over so quickly. Looking back, I remember lots of funny moments, and fun times. It just was just really easy to read. I'm disappointed that my favorite character, whose body has never been found, was only mentioned and didn't actually show up, but it encourages me that he will show up eventually.
I don't quite agree with others that it meandered, but it was definitely broken up too much. I'd much prefer the party to stick together so they can all do stuff at once. Jumping around from person to person is just frustrating.