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Hardbackworthy

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Hopefully in the next week or so the first episode of my pilot will be online (YAY!) and I’ll be updating a lot about that. The edit is almost locked, the credit animation will be done Monday, and after 10,000 other things are done that I probably forgot about, it will be online! That will be another post though.

AcaciaI’ve been under the weather this last week, feeling better thanks so much to you well wishers, and besides dealing with things with the film, I’ve basically been playing Super Paper Mario on my Wii and reading. (Running out to buy Harry Potter in the morning, of course. 🙂 ) I just finished “Acacia” by David Anthony Durham last night. It’s rare that I say go buy this book in hardback, but I’m saying it now: Go buy this book in hardback.

Cover art good: Check. Interesting world building: Check. Good characters: Check. Amazing twists you’ll never expect and genre cliche’s thrown on their head: definite check. I would say the closest similarly veined series I can think of is George RR Martin’s Fire and Ice, which is my absolute fave. “Acacia” is more violent, more unexpected and darker. Check, check, check.

I don’t want to give a synopsis because I even think the cover description gives too much away and ruins the fun of the beginning of the book. Reviews that say that the first part of the book is slow because the synopsis at the front negates reading the first 90 pages or so, which is stupid. Vaguely, it deals with assassination, slavery and drug abuse and lots of graphic disembowlings. The deliberately contrary approach to what you’d expect to happen in a “destiny” royal family saga feels very fresh. This author is a neophyte to this genre, and I think approached it with a deliberate eye not to fall into expected traps. He mostly succeeds in his quest, I think. Each character is flawed and believable as individuals and the next book is set up beautifully. The world is built as an amalgamation of many different cultures and races in our own world, and is a grand parable for something if I cared to look that deep 🙂

There are certainly things I wanted more of: I felt his pacing was a little rushed for a book of this type and a few things seemed too easy for the characters to accomplish. Also, I didn’t feel a consistency in his magical realm, it seemed vaguely defined and not wholly connected. I sensed a reluctance to deal with the magic specifically, because he was afraid of going into cliches, and this book is all about avoiding the expected. Hopefully he will explore this part of the world more in the next book because it deserves it.

Those mild critiques aside, I don’t regret picking this puppy up for full price at all. This is the author’s first foray into fantasy, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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