Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie – Review

uk-orig-best-served-cold

Did you enjoy the ever fabulous First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie like I did? I know, I’m still shouting that from the roof tops, I’ll give up at some point…or just go hoarse…yeah, probably the latter… If so, you might just be in for a treat with Best Served Cold. This stand alone book is just all the better if you have read the previous series, as it’s not only set in the same world, but brings back a smattering (or maybe splattering? heh…heh…) of the characters. This made me extremely happy and my excitement just went up another notch every time someone else either showed up or was mentioned in passing, leaving me practically bursting with enthusiasm for the first 280 pages or so. It’s supremely satisfying being in the know for all the little Easter eggs that kept popping up. Mmmm… easter eggs…

Seriously, there's like this many.

Seriously, there’s like this many.

It was slightly after this 280 page point, that I started to feel sick. Not because I didn’t love gobbling all those kickbacks to the series I so loved, but because the story itself was taking some turns and character arcs that I found kind of dark…but not quite in the deliciously dark I had come to expect. Kinda more in the you just found a bug in your dinner and it was already more than half eaten kind of dark. Well…maybe not that bad, but it was enough to burst my glowing bubble of enthusiasm. It might be that I had raised the bar so high, I was no longer able to see it in the sky, but I’m sure it was just because that blasted sun was in my eyes. I also found that although I loved some of the new and returning characters, I was starting to feel a bit put off by the main pair, so I’d have to delegate this book to the end of the line of Abercrombie books, making it the one I’ve liked the least. Not to say it’s bad, since it was still better than loads of other stories I’ve read. It just wasn’t quite as satisfying, and it was simply the few favourite supporting characters, and hopes that the two I was starting to dislike might come back around that carried my interest until close to the end. Again this might have been measuring bar misplacement, or dashed hopes of another favourite character who was mentioned but didn’t officially show (I’m sure he was busy).

That being said, and since I don’t want to give any spoilers, the ending actually redeemed the slog to get there a bit with some things that came up that I wasn’t expecting. I think the best thing about this book, well, other than some more time with some great old and new characters, was that at the end I had this sneaking feeling that I needed to re-read the First Law series again, because I was left with the distinct feeling that one of the characters that I thought was new may have had an all too brief intro in those books somewhere (or maybe, probably, just a name drop) which is kind of a delicious bow to put on top of this whole thing.

I’m looking forward to the next stand alone book, since from a brief side glance at what it’s about there should be more eastery goodness in store. Cant wait!…although now I’m strangely hungry for chocolate…

How ’bout you? Have you read this book? Will you try it?

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2 thoughts on “Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie – Review

  1. Pingback: 101 post – boop, blorp…yeah, I don’t know either | Lives In Stone

  2. Pingback: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch- Review | Lives In Stone

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