Without Bloodshed

without_bloodshedThis is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it to anyone. The pace is quick, it’s full of intrigue, the plot is complex, and Claire might just be my favourite female character of all time. I’m not sure if I should characterize her as a major minor character, or a minor major character, because the cast is quite large. There are a lot of heads you’ll be in throughout the course of the story, and that can get a little confusing at points. It’s interesting seeing what everyone’s thinking/doing, but I think some of them might have been better left cut out to further increase tension for the reader (I found Chapter 1 killed what could have been a great surprise at the end). Furthermore, several characters go by more than one name, and they aren’t simple names. I’m still not sure I can tease them all apart.

The one thing that made the reading experience strange was all the references to movies/music from previous decades, considering this story takes place in the 2100’s. At first I thought perhaps it was a character or two who had a weird fixation with the distant past, but as more and more characters appeared to have knowledge of our own past (but apparently not our present), it felt more and more strange. Why would people have knowledge of an obscure bit of metal history, yet there is no mention of more modern day musicians? Perhaps because, ultimately, the repetitive nature of our current music industry is forgettable. Another thought hit me, and that was perhaps more modern movements were lost in Nationfall. But I couldn’t come up with a reasonable answer for why that would have happened. In the end, the question remains. How many people in our current decade have a working memory of art from 100 years ago? Very few, I’d wager. Perhaps this will be answered in future books, or maybe not.

Either way, I eagerly await the next book for the masterful way Matthew Graybosch weaves the lives and plots of the characters together.

About the Reviewer

ToxopeusRyanmedHusband, father, and researcher, Ryan Toxopeus spends his free time working on his epic fantasy trilogy, Empire’s Foundation. He started writing the first book, A Noble’s Quest, in 2010 and fell in love with all aspects of storytelling. He focuses on fast paced, character driven plots. His motto: “If I’m bored writing it, others will be bored reading it.”

Learn more about Ryan and his work at https://prcreative.ca/ryan/

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