03 December 2012

Review: Three Parts Dead

Three Parts Dead
Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, a book with a ton of good buzz and reviews, but it also finally helped me understand why I struggle with urban fantasy so much.

Here's the deal: Tara is a necromancing craftsman who is essentially investigating a murder and ends up embroiled in a rather elaborate situation involving cults, gods, gargoyles, and all sorts of bad stuff. It starts to fall on her very quickly to make things right before it's too late.

The book is a fantasy, and a good one at that. The issue, for me, is that urban fantasy almost always (for me, at least) turns into a mystery book. This probably has more mystery/procedural elements to it than your standard fare, but even The Rook, which I loved, was a mystery in theory with fantastical elements. As I tend to gravitate away from mysteries, it's not shocking that most urban fantasy turns me off as a result. Compare this to your standard sword-and-sorcery tome, or something with a traditional fantasy setting. It's different.

This one works, though. Tara's a great character, it has some awesome scenes involving the legal system of the city, and it sets up very well for a sequel I'm excited to look up. It's a new book that's worthy of the praise it's gotten so far, and it's definitely worth your time and energy.

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