Necromancy, Living Gods, and Intrigue: Max Gladstone’s Three Parts Dead

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. And I give absolutely no fucks.

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December 8, 2014

Book Cover

Ha! No sooner do I decide to expand my focus here that I read a book that is SO GREAT that I have to write about it. OF COURSE.

That book would be Max Gladstone’s Three Parts Dead (disclosure: I’m friendly with both Max and his editor at Tor) which had been languishing on my Kindle for most of this year. I don’t even know what impulse made me open it up this weekend, but I’m glad I did–from the very first page, it’s a hell of a read.

I don’t want to go into a detailed plot summary–to do so, I think, would destroy the delight of discovery, but I will say that for a debut novel–this is extraordinarily accomplished.  The worldbuilding is complex and holds together, the plotting is precise and economical, and I loved all the characters, especially Tara Abernathy.

The other cool thing about this book is that while it’s the first book to come out in this series, it’s actually the third chronologically–there’s a whole post about the chronology, in fact.

This book was really so much fun to read. There’s necromancy and legal maneuvering and hive-mind police officers and poetry-writing gargoyles and gods. The gods might be my favorite part. Or the Deathless Kings. Or the vampires.  Or the temple which is also a power plant (and the maintenance logs are a critical plot point, be still my heart). Or maybe it’s all these details combined with a confident narrative voice and with characters that are compelling and fully fleshed out–you get the sense that these are people with full lives and stories and we’re only seeing a fraction of their complexity here. Love that.

In summary: loved this book. You might love it, too.

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