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Wednesday , 04 January 2017 , 08 : 21 PM
This year saw an absolute truckload of grimdark material hit the shelves and now that the year's wrapped up, it's time to once again go to the GdM team for their picks of 2016. Matthew Cropley | Red Tide by Marc Turner Red Tide is a flawlessly executed fantasy novel. The first two books in Marc Turner’s Chronicles of the Exile were fantastic, but Red Tide exceeds them by drawing both discrete plot-lines together in a perfectly structured adventure. It’s my top pick for 2016 because I simply can’t think of a single criticism. Red Tide is a page-turner from the very beginning, filled with moral ambiguities, grit, visceral action, deep characters, wondrous magic, and horrifying monsters. It also succeeded in genuinely surprising me several times, and by the end all I wanted was for the next books in the series to be out already. Kristy Mika | Those Below by Daniel Polansky The best I've read from 2016 is Those Below (The Empty Throne #2) by Daniel Polansky. You know those photographers that go into complete disaster zones, where something absolutely catastrophic is occurring, yet they can take photographs that are stunningly beautiful? "Oh! See how pretty that nuclear bomb looked as it destroyed a civilisation! How spectacular!" is the best way I can describe it! The juxtaposition between Polansky's beautifully written prose, and the utterly ugly destruction perpetrated by the characters within the plot, made it the most disturbing book (duology really...) I've read in a long time. Cheresse Burke | Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Crooked Kingdom, the stunning second half of the Six of Crows duology, is not just my favourite Grimdark read of the year, but possibly one of my favourites of all time. Bardugo gives us six compelling, emotional characters, who sacrifice morality, secrets and goodwill to settle...
Saturday , 12 November 2016 , 06 : 43 PM
Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo Review by Adrian Collins   Spoiler alert: If you haven't read Six of Crows, don't read this review. After enjoying Six of Crows so much, I leapt straight into book two. With what I do here at GdM meaning the series on my to read list are often broken up by ARCs, it's a rarity that I get to do it, but I couldn't help myself on this occasion. I'm so glad I didn't wait. We pick up almost immediately where Six of Crows left off. Inej is in trouble. Kaz is trying to pick up the pieces of his last failed heist and get his crew together to get her back. Jan Van Eck has put a target on Kaz's head and is leveraging Inej's imprisonment to get Kaz to hand over Kuwei Yu Bol and the secret to Jurda Parem so he can control the grisha (mages), the farms that make Jurda, and hit new heights of power in the economic instability he will create in Ketterdam. The story once again jumps between Kaz's crews' points of view, giving us insight into each character's view of the world, hiding and revealing plot points to some and not others, and--importantly, as a point of difference between Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom--delves far deeper into the lives of our protagonists than previously shown. This, I think, is where some readers will be irreversibly hooked, and where others who loved the relentless pace of Six of Crows may find themselves not as engaged in the reading experience. For me, I found myself in the "irreversibly hooked" camp as we found out more and more about why these broken people are who they are.  This slight change of pace peppered throughout provides some breathing time for a longer read than Six...
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