Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review for Jay Posey's "Three: Legends of the Duskwalker"

As many of you may recall, I am frequently a visual buyer. When I shop at book stores, I usually pick up books based upon the cover, even though we are all aware of the old saying.

Luckily, we have an Amazon app that allows me to see the reviews. I do caution about judging books on these reviews alone. But, if it's 4 stars or higher and has been reviewed by 50 or more people, it's usually safe to give it a try.

So, I was at B&N before a work trip (the only time I ever frequent such places anymore). I saw the cover and it didn't have a title that disgusted me. I can't really quantify WHAT that means, but if it has a name that is obviously meant to be catchy, I usually put the book down. But the title was simple. The reviews were good and the description said this:

"The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.
But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantel of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise"

The editorial reviews said:

"Stark and powerful, THREE is a stunning debut. Reinventing the post-apocalyptic western as a journey across interior badlands as dangerous as the cyborg-haunted terrain his hero must cross, Posey has crafted a story that is impossible to put down."
- Richard E. Dansky, author of Snowbird Gothic

"Three feels like the result of tossing Mad Max, Neuromancer and Metal Gear Solid into a blender. If you don't find that combination appealing, then I do not understand you as a human being."
-Anthony Burch, writer for Borderlands 2 and Hey Ash Watcha Playin

"Jay Posey creates a vivid and mesmerizing world whose characters are so real and so flawed that you'll recognize them immediately.  An unforgettable read."
-Peter Telep, co-author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller Against All Enemies

"A post-apocalyptic road yarn sure to yank your trigger and tug at your heart."
- Matt Forbeck, author of Amortals and Dangerous Games

"... there’s no doubt that Posey is someone to defi
nitely watch as a rising star with this debut."
- www.birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com

Why not. I gave it a try.

The book started very similar to most post apocalyptic works featuring a scavenger/survivor. It portrayed a hard, razors edge man who only looked after himself. Three has a past that has given him all the tools he needs to provide from himself, whether that's scavenging or taking jobs. In this case, he has a bounty to collect. He strolls into town with his loot and is trying to spend some down time. Sound familiar? Try "Waterworld" and "Book of Eli".

But, he finds himself offering help to two strangers despite a lifetime of experience telling him to walk away. Each step he takes down this path draws him deeper into the plot of a conflict not his own. What starts out as helping two innocent strangers in needs leads down a darker and broader path than he could have imagined. And, he finds himself being pushed from a loner without a need to help anyone at anytime to a man devoted to becoming a hero, despite himself.

What I Liked About This Book

  • There isn't a long lead in period into the action. You are given a glimpse of Three and his personality, then it leads immediately into the plot. 
  • That glimpse is brief and gives you the very basic information about Three. I don't like that authors try and reveal the character all at once in the beginning of the work. It's perfectly ok to reveal a character bit by bit. It gives a lot of anonymity of the character as well as surprise as you don't know how they will act all the time.
  • There is a lot of useful vagueness to the world. You get the impression of only seeing what Three sees. That isn't a lot, but it's just enough. 
  • The world is a very hostile place. Many times, as per the aforementioned movies, the world is only dangerous for everyone else. The hero always seems perfectly adapted
  • There is a lot of hand to hand combat and very few firearms. It gives a lot of realism to the fights
  • Heroes get hurt. In most works, the hero either never gets hurt, or when he does, it's nicks and cuts. Not this book
  • There are a lot of unanswered questions. These are about a multitude of subjects. Why is the world like this? Who is Three and why is he the way he is? What are the Weir?
  • Posey KNEW he would be writing more, so he left a lot of questions out there. I love that. Don't show all your cards in one piece then try and capitalize later. 
  • The world created was very unique, though it seemed to me to be borrowed from places, like "The Matrix"
What I Didn't Like About This Book
  • Like most every work, the hero bends and breaks his own rules. I don't just mean why he helped Cass at all, but a lot of the decisions in this book were backwards from how he would have done things
  • I disliked the end of this book. Read it and you will see why. 
  • Even though Posey liked leaving a lot of loose ends, there seemed to be way to many ends that were tied in the end. Many of the ends were obvious.
  • I have a hard time believing a character can change so rapidly after spending his whole life doing the OPPOSITE of what he does in the book.  

The book was non-stop action. I actually read it far faster than I typically read other works. The book was gritty, which I loved. The world that surrounds the plot is unique and unforgiving. Three is a unique character. He is a hard, razor's edge man that does have a code to live by. I'd love to read more about him. I will be picking up the other two books in this series soon. The plot twists and turns, sometimes contorting to the edge, but for the most part, keeps you guessing throughout. 

3.5 Stars