21 May, 2020

Review - Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie (First Law #4 but standalone)

"'Things aren't what they used to be' is the rallying cry of small minds. When men say things used to be better, they invariably mean they were better for them, because they were young, and had all their hopes intact. The world is bound to look a darker place as you slide into the grave.”

7268583I felt like this was apt for today's political climate...

“You should laugh every moment you live, for you'll find it decidedly difficult afterwards.”

There was a lot of this type of sentiment throughout Best Served Cold. Do this, for you're not doing it after. Which is definitely the theme of the book. Some hints that revenge, as cool as it is for a story (especially a Joe Abercrombie story) is kind of a waste of your life.

I know this is absolutely all over the place for a "review" but it was great getting back to Abercrombie. His work with characters is stellar, as expected, especially Shivers here. His books are endlessly quotable, especially Nicomo Cosca (I think both above are from him), and that is in BSC too.

I was highly satisfied. Expectations met and exceeded in places.

I like that this was fully contained and stand-alone, yet if you've read in the world, you'll be rewarded.

I was a little disappointed in his Shattered Sea trilogy. Loved book one, but the later two just didn't work for me. Sadly, I think that had to do with his amazing ability with characters, but I didn't like them very much in books two and three.

Best Served Cold was nice to read to get back to what I love about Abercrombie while at the same time following characters I really loved.

Steven Pacey was the audiobook narrator and he was absolutely perfect for this. Great voices for all involved, from gruff northman, to females, to ... Friendly. I forgot I was listening to a book and I was lost in the story. That's a good narrator.

BSC is also a book that works well for audio. It's straight-forward at its heart with character focus. Some books (like Reality Dysfunction recently) just don't work, there's too much that my brain needs to see to remember and keep the story straight. BSC worked.

4.5 out of 5 stars (highly recommended)

P.S. Though technically known as book 4 of the First Law world, it's not necessary to read the previous books. It's standalone. I had this experience though I barely remembered any of the reoccurring characters.