Reviews, Part 21


New reviews of my work:

1) Patrick of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist gave Game of Cages 7.5 out of ten because he liked the book I wrote but would have liked a different book better. “Game of Cages is an entertaining blen of urban fantasy, mystery, and action. The pace is crisp, making this one another page-turner.

I’m honestly tempted to tell him not to bother with the rest of my books because it seems pretty clear that we’re not interested in the same things.

2) Rob D. Smith at A Thousand Masks liked Game of Cages quite a bit. “But if you like tautly crafted hardboiled magic tales, go out and get this book.

3) MTimonin also liked Game of Cages, and sees where the overall story is going. “Connolly has some very good characters here, and his premise is intriguing.

4) K.C. Shaw at Skunk Cat Book Reviews loved Child of Fire very much. “In short, this is probably the perfect example of an urban fantasy.

5) K.C. Shaw also read Game of Cages and liked it a lot, although not as much as the first book: “I don’t usually read sequels immediately after reading the previous books. This series is too amazing to resist, though.

6) The most thoroughly neutral review of Child of Fire yet: “It would be accurate to say that if one likes Butcher’s work, Connolly’s will have some appeal.” That sentence is as close as the reviewer comes to expressing an outright opinion on the book; I’ll take that as a “didn’t care for it.”

7) Drey at Drey’s Library gave Child of Fire a “Good” rating: “Child of Fire is a pretty good first offering from Harry Connelly, and I’ll be finding out how Ray fares in the next installment, Game of Cages.

10 thoughts on “Reviews, Part 21

  1. Greg

    I was under the impression that a couple of reviewers had the same reaction that Pat did to Game of Cages. That said, after I finished the book I didn’t feel like I’d missed out on learning more about the Society or Ray’s world given the context that he operates in. I don’t get the sense that you really want to explain the Society in detail, or that it’s even really necessary to the stories involving Ray that you’re trying to tell. Maybe it’s the Dresden Files comparisons that are making people expect something else. Harry’s obviously an insider in Butcher’s world and Ray really isn’t in his.

    I think the biggest question I had at the end of the book was how you were going to pull off another intense story like that without Ray going off the deep end (hope that wasn’t too close to a spoiler there).

    As for the book itself, I really enjoyed Game of Cages. I thought it got off to a bit of a slower start than Child of Fire but really ramped up at about 1/3rd through and just kept increasing the pressure all the way through the finale. I thought the ending was much more intense than in Child of Fire, actually.

  2. I suspect that urban fantasy readers bring their desire for a traditional fantasy-genre world building. You have magic and it has rules, you have powerful factions that are brought into the open… part of the fun of epic fantasy is discovering the setting the author has created.

    I’m not as interested in that with the Twenty Palaces setting. Part of the reason is that I want the society to be a genuine secret society–to take their secrecy seriously–unlike most secret societies in fiction.

    The other reason is that I think there’s too many heroic experts in the genre. Let’s have some fumbling newbies!

    And thanks for the kind words about Game of Cages. I’m glad you liked it. Hopefully, you’ll like Circle of Enemies even more.

  3. Greg

    I’m definitely looking forward to the next one in the series though I’m guessing it’s going to be a while before it’s out, right?

    I see what you mean about epic fantasy expectations. I’d guess that it’s also why many fantasy readers look for hints of some kind of huge story arc that leads to the main character saving the world/universe/whatever.

  4. janet

    What really intrigued me about Ray’s world is that I was seeing it through his prospective. As the reader, I did not know more than he did. He was thrown into an unknown/hidden world and finds himself repelled and attracted by it. He has spent time on the streets and committing crimes–he’s got a couldn’t give a shit less attitude with a wide streak of fatalism.

    It was so fun to find Child of Fire and Game of Cages because they are not the usual SF/Fantasy shtick. I’ve known guys a bit like Ray (well, not the ghost knife/predator hunter-oh, except the really burned out ones…)

    This isn’t Harry Dresden’s world and I wouldn’t compare them, but reviewers frequently do. They seem to want the “formula” followed, but then they can be a bit snarky about that also.

    I’m hopin for July–Circle of Enemies!! WhooHOO!!!

  5. The formula exists because it really works for a lot of people. I don’t knock it because what the hell. Me, I really enjoy discovering things along with the protagonist. It’s a much nicer way than having a mirror character or letting the protagonist monologue in the narrative.

    I’m hoping CoE will come out earlier than July, but I’m glad you’re excited for it.

  6. I just heard from my brother and he really likes this series too. I think it’s the first time we’ve both liked a series (or even a single book) equally.

    I appreciate having a viewpoint character who’s new to the setting or events. It feels much more natural than having an “in” character who needs to explain everything to the reader/another character.

  7. Hey, I’m promoting family togetherness! And look, a single shaft of sunlight shines down on me from the heavens… Oh, wait. That’s the targeting light from my son’s Nerf gun.

    I’m glad you enjoyed them. Personally, I think book 3 is the best one yet.

  8. I’ve just discovered that I can look at the stats for my blog (who knew?), and so I’ve found that you linked back to my review – thanks! Looking forward to book 3.

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