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Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence Book 1) by [Gladstone, Max]
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Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 172 customer reviews

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Length: 334 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 1715 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Publication Date: October 2, 2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085UEQDO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,419 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Geonn W. Cannon on October 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Worldbuilding is an art form. It's quite a feat to pick a reader up and place them in a story set in Seattle or New York City and have them feel comfortable even if they've never been there. It's quite another for an author to tell their story in a world that only exists inside their head.

Max Gladstone makes it look easy. It's a world where Gods (plural) interact with their followers and have a more hands-on approach to the cities they're sworn to protect. On the mortal side, there are Craftsmen and Craftswomen who draw power from the stars to work their magic. These two powers come together in the steam-powered port city of Alt Coulumb, whose God Kos the Everburning has just died. Craftswomen, the devoted clergy facing a future without their God, a chain-smoking cleric, black-suited officers of Justice with a hive mind, incidental vampires, gargoyles! All of these disparate pieces come together in a story that goes where very few (if any) steampunk novels have gone before: the courtroom.

Why has there never been a steampunk legal thriller? This novel proves it can be done, and done very well. Is it because publishers think it would be boring? The court sequences in this novel, and hit all the old tropes (I half expected the opposing council to declare he was just a "simple country lawyer" at one point) with tongue firmly in cheek. And thanks to the setting, instead of boring legalese we get to see cases argued with magic in a display that wouldn't be out of place on the Vegas Strip. We've all seen steampunk pirates, policemen, cowboys, et al. It's time the steampunk lawyer got a shot at the big time.

I don't want to say this book is easy, because that would be an insult to the care and work that went into crafting such an amazing world.
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Format: Hardcover
With strong, unique characters, superior and highly imaginative world building, and an expertly structured plot that gradually builds in intensity until reaching a genuinely stunning climax, THREE PARTS DEAD is an absolutely brilliant debut that works on every level. In short, it's a secondary world urban fantasy murder mystery/legal thriller set in a steampunkish city, Alt Coulumb, that runs on the fire, heat, and steam of a literal, great and powerful god, Kos Everlasting, whose sudden death threatens Alt Coulumb's long-term survival and balance of power and sets the plot in motion. Enter Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, an infamous firm of necromancers, a partner of whom, Elayne Kevarian, charges their newest probationary hire, our strong, female, refreshingly non-Caucasian protagonist, Tara Abernathy, with solving the case of why Kos died, before they use their sorcerous skills to resurrect him.

What is so ingenious about THREE PARTS DEAD is how beautifully and economically it succeeds in all of its various sub-genres. It's far better than the majority of supernatural female detective novels out there. Tara isn't a sassy, sexy, confident gal in heels. Instead, she is a fiercely intelligent but green young woman still coming into her own. Having only recently been expelled from a sorcerous academy in the clouds known as the Hidden Schools, she has had a lot of training in the magical arts and is very good at them (in fact, her expulsion ironically had to do with just how good at it she is), but she has also never been out in the real world as a professional, so much of this is still very new to her, and this first case-unlike any I've seen in an urban fantasy mystery before-has a profound impact on her that could forever shape the course of her life.
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Format: Hardcover
The first thing I have to say about this book is wow.

From the 1st page to the last I was absolutely riveted. Even now having finished the book, the first thing I did after reading the last page was look up the authors website and see when the next book he's writing is coming out. If that's not a sign of a good book, I don't know what is.

Three Parts Dead has a fantastic combination of characters. All the characters are compromised, all them are filled with histories filled with shadows, and yet you find yourself rooting for these broken characters. I know you're supposed to love the protagonist, but in this case I really did. Tara is strong, smart, and full of piss and vinegar. Her history is almost as interesting as the back-story to the world here (which I personally could have read an entire series on and loved (not just a book but an entire series.))

That brings me to the second thing I absolutely loved about Three Parts Dead, the rich history of the God Wars and the system of magic that encompassed the book. As I mentioned before I could read an entire series about the God Wars, what was mentioned about this worlds history sound fascinating and thrilling. Gods battling against craftsmen and women (basically human magicians), and the transformation that occurs to these craftsmen over time, changing them from their human bodies, to something of the stars, all in all this whole history and back-story was fascinating. As for the system of magic, as a law student I loved the fact that Gladstone created an entire system of magic based on and for lawyers. Magic is based on contracts and agreements, with the craftiest and sliest being those with the most power.
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