This is something new I would like to try. As I finish reading a novel, I will review it here for you. I will try to explain why I chose the novel I read and how I felt about it overall.
I’ll kick off this new feature with Jim Butcher’s latest release, Captain’s Fury.
This is the four installment in the Codex Alera series. In this book, Tavi, leading the First Aleran, is concluding a two year war against the Canim, wolf-like beings that were forced to invade Alera. Tavi is convinced they are only trying to leave to fight a more pressing battle in their homelands. Along the course of his adventures he learns more about his true lineage. As he was raised by his aunt and uncle, he never knew his parents.
Yet another compelling novel for Butcher. As with the previous three novels in this series, I was sucked in at page one and unable to put it down until I reached the final word. I find the battle scenes vivid. Writing action sequences is a difficult matter. Very few authors are capable of pulling off a good fight let alone a complete melee without losing the reader. Butcher does it with ease.
Butcher also has a knack for cliff hangers. At the end of each chapter, he dangles that attention-gripping carrot, forcing you to start the next chapter. The next thing you know, it’s one in the morning and you have to wake up for work in four hours.
Now that I have shown enough of my man-crush for this author, I did find a few problems. There is one couple in this series that I never found believable. From the first time they got together in book one, I didn’t buy it. I found no basis for their relationship. Now in book four it continues, and I know it’s supposed to be intriguing, but I couldn’t get into it.
I also find myself wishing that the main character, Tavi, wouldn’t come into his own. What compelled me to his character in the first place was his lack of any magics whatsoever. In a land where every human is able to command some sort of fury, a magic element of a sort, Tavi had none of them at his command. Even without a fury, he was able to use his head to avoid (or barrel into) almost any situation. There was a sympathy for the character for that very reason. Now in book four (though it did start before now) the luster is going away. Don’t get me wrong, I still rooted for him throughout the novel. I’m just worried that this might wonder into a horrible place… predictability.
Regardless, I will continue to buy Butcher’s novels and drink them in as often and as frequent as he can have them published.