Monday, November 12, 2012
Giant Thief, David Tallerman
"Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer.
Even the wicked can't rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he's going to need help. Big time."
This was a really fast read, it's less than 400 pages, and the font size is huge. If you settle down with this one with no interruptions it'll only take you a couple of hours to get through. Which for a Fantasy novel is a refreshing change!
The good thing about Giant Thief is also, in a way, the bad thing though. It's fast and light and a nice brain break, but at the same time there's nothing to really get your teeth into. I think, in general, fans of Martin et al would drop this one after a hundred pages or so. Except me! Because work is doing my nut at the moment and I was quite happy to sit back and not have to think. It's like...having a fizzy drink and choccy bar for your dinner. It's enjoyable, and feels a bit naughty, but ultimately it doesn't satisfy.
I wanted to mention the cover art, which I know I shouldn't..but...it looks like YA, doesn't it? or is it just me? that plus the massive font made me wonder.
On the whole, Giant Thief was an OK read. I thought the concept was absolute genius. I don't want to include any spoilers...but...let's just say Easie's getaway vehicle was monumentally awesome. It started really, really well. And then unfortunately, after such an original opening, it settled back into complete mediocrity. I felt that the opening 10% or so, and the closing 10% were the best bits of the novel, and the 80% in the middle was below average. It's essentially just one long, drawn out chase scene. There's too much running away and it gets old, fast. To quote Easie himself;
"And that was how it went for the longest time. They came closer, we pulled away, on and on."
...he's not wrong. I got bored.
There's no World building to speak of, I think that's really where it failed for me. Saltlick is a fabulous character, Easie I could take or leave, and even with the never-ending chase I think I could have forgiven a lot more if I'd had more of an idea of the world I was in. Just little touches...would've made all the difference. I did adore Saltlick though, and him getting into the boat sticks in my mind as a wonderful scene.
In Estrada Tallerman tries to give us a strong female character, which is always nice in Fantasy as it's still stupidly rare (by strong female character I don't mean some lycra clad 'hot babe' who 'kicks ass'. *shudders*). It doesn't really work well here though as she needs to be rescued by the menfolk one too many times. Still, definitely points for effort.
Again this is hard to cover without spoilers, but the big reveal wasn't really a big reveal...and I still can't figure out why Easie didn't put two and two together when the Big Bad explained his situation to Saltlick. For a character who's supposed to be sharp witted...it doesn't really add up.
And the last thing, there's a monumentally daft suggestion on the back of the book saying "if you like this you might enjoy The Lies of Locke Lamora". I really don't know why publishers feel the need to do that. You might as well say "If you like hamburgers you might also enjoy a nice rare 16 oz rump steak. It's just...daft. There's no way at all you can compare Tallerman to Lynch here, and honestly, they'd have been much better off not mentioning him. IMHO of course.
The verdict? It's a fun read in parts. Maybe a good entry novel for younger readers want to cut their fantasy teeth. Would I pick up the sequel? Doubtful. Too many other things around to get my teeth into.