Friday, 12 June 2015

In Dark Service

In Dark Service
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher

Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's living a comfortable, quiet life, obeying the law and minding his own business while raising his son Carter ...on those occasions when he isn't having to bail him out of one scrape or another. His days of adventure are - thankfully - long behind him. Carter Carnehan is going out of his mind with boredom. He's bored by his humdrum life, frustrated that his father won't live a little, and longs for the bright lights and excitement of anywhere-but-here. He's longing for an opportunity to escape, and test himself against whatever the world has to offer. Carter is going to get his opportunity. He's caught up in a village fight, kidnapped by slavers and, before he knows it, is swept to another land. A lowly slave, surrounded by technology he doesn't understand, his wish has come true: it's him vs. the world. He can try to escape, he can try to lead his fellow slaves, or he can accept the inevitable and try to make the most of the short, brutal existence remaining to him...unless Jacob gets to him first and, no matter the odds, he intends to. No one kidnaps his son and gets away with it - and if it come to it, he'll force Kings to help him on his way, he'll fight, steal, blackmail and betray his friends in the name of bringing Carter home. Wars will be started. Empires will fall. And the Carnehan family will be reunited, one way or another... 

Holy wow this book is fantastic! I was sucked in from the first page, the world building is truly incredible, there's such detail, and the imagination used to create it! It gave my own imagination a bit of a workout! It's an extensive world and I'm hoping we get to see more of it in the next book. There were so many different elements to it, there's an old worldy feel, I got a bit of a western feel in the beginning and then there's a steampunk element. I was blown away by all the different inventions, the sky ships, the sky mining and everything. 

I loved how there were all these different things going on, one kingdom is very different from the more futuristic Vandians, I guess what I'm trying to explain is that there's different development in different Kingdoms/nations which was fascinating. The world is the biggest fantasy world I've read, the proportions are immense. There's such intricate and rich politics going on that match the complex plot. There's so much going on under the surface so there's lots of twists and turns and shocking surprises as more and more is revealed about how the two Kingdoms work and what's been going on. 

Some people might not get on with the writing, in the beginning, there are some action packed bits, but for the most part it is a bit slow, establishing the characters and the wold and so on, and then towards the end of the book the pace really picks up and then there's plenty of action all the time. So some people may give up before the book has really got started. The other problem people may have is that the writing is quite clunky/dense, in the beginning it's a bit of a slog, but as the action and the pace picks up, the writing gets easier to read. So if you just stick with it you'll be well rewarded, but those are the couple of things that might turn some people away.

Jacob was an interesting character, on the surface he appeared to be just a pastor, but he actually had a far darker past that I'm very interested in learning more about. I loved Willow, she was beautifully sarcastic and she may just be my favourite character. Carter, well, he interested me but mostly because at one point all the action was happening in his parts, he was an okay character, he saved others, he was hell bent on an incredibly stupid plan to escape and he was totally reckless but despite his faults he did save a lot of people. Duncan I really didn't like. He was quite a pathetic character to be honest, totally blind, and at the very end of the book I'm like "great he's going to be an idiot and turn on his own people" and because of Game of Thrones I now freely, when confronted with characters like that, say "I hope you get killed off soon". 

In the book you kind of see every scale on the spectrum of human behaviour. You have Adella, the manipulator who will do anything to survive. You've got characters that are all about helping others. There's such a variety of characters with such a variety of personalities and behaviours. There's those you root for and those you're just like "I really hope you get what's coming to you".  

In Dark Service has a mixture of things, it's humorous, it's heart breaking, it's shocking, it's brutal, there's mystery, complex politics. There's parts that will make you so angry on the characters behalf and parts were you just want to smack some characters in the face. I enjoyed the Wild West element a hell of a lot as it's very different from the usual fantasy books. In Dark Service is a very original read, and I'm excited to see what happens next to our characters. 

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