Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Review Dragonfly Falling by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Dragonfly Falling is the amazing follow-up to Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Empire in Black and Gold. The story directly follows the events of book 1. The wasps have increased their hold on the lowlands, and the position of our heroes is much more precarious. The empire has begun its assault and the blood is flowing. Tchaikovsky’s battle descriptions are nothing short of epic, bloody, and gritty, with nail-biting sequences that seem to run for pages. Empire in Black and Gold introduced you to the players, and set the overall stage. I struggled a bit with its pacing, but had none of that problem here. Dragonfly Falling is truly when the dung beetle hits the fan.

The characters continue to grow and change in amazing ways. Like Empire in Black and Gold, Dragonfly Falling explores the many facets of the various characters. Who’s good and who’s bad is not always so clear cut, and that’s refreshing. I’ve also come to realize that there are just as many “Insect Kinden” in Tchaikovsky’s world as there are insects. I stopped keeping track of them about a quarter of the way through the book. As nice as it is to have a diverse population in your story, you lose a bit by always having a convenient race to solve various issues. It’s not a device often used in the story, but the potential for abuse is there. I wonder if it will become a little more prominent as the series progresses.

I am so glad Pyr has decided to release the SHADOWS OF THE APT series in the US, as so far it has been incredibly well written and unique. Dragonfly Falling raises the stakes in every way possible, and I’m excited to see how everything progresses in book 3, Blood of the Mantis. Dragonfly Falling does everything right, and I really can’t find many faults. Tchaikovsky’s writing is top notch and seems to be getting even better. In a genre where a lot of ho-hum stuff gets over-hyped, do not let SHADOWS OF THE APT fly under your radar. —Justin

You can also learn more about Adrian Tchaikovsky’s books at the Fantasyliterature Adrian Tchaikovsky page

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