Since the England-based publisher Angry Robot has begun distributing its books in the United States, they’ve contributed some incredibly creative tales to the genre. Many of them are unique reimaginings of common themes or plotlines. This month, David Tallerman takes on the traditional story of the thief caught up in major events in Giant Thief.
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer.
Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help.
One the one hand, I liked this novel. There’s a lot of action to keep the plot moving briskly along, and the author takes readers to several different locations to establish some of the geography (physical and political) of his world. The political climate may seem a bit tangled at first, but by the time you get to the end of the story, everything comes together in a fairly seamless whole.
On the other hand, I really had a problem with Damasco’s character through most of the novel. I freely admit that I am not a huge fan of anti-heroes, and that has likely colored some of my reactions to the novel. I kept waiting for Damasco to do something noble and figure out how much events are moving on a larger scale than his own concerns. It takes almost the entire book for Damasco to come around to become more heroic than otherwise. Frankly, I wanted to punch him in the nose more than once, and although I may not like it, I have to admire the author for getting me to react with such depth of annoyance. If I hadn’t been involved with the tale, I wouldn’t have cared.
I’m fairly sure that this novel is the first of a series, as there are many things that could happen from this point. I’d definitely be interested in seeing what else is written about these characters. Tallerman has laid the groundwork for quite a lot of action to take place from here on out, and I’m hoping that the author can keep up the same level of madcap adventure in future novels.
While this novel may have personally been a little rocky for me, I can see where others would respond more positively to Damasco and his devil-may-care attitude towards his own life and the fortunes of those around him. Giant Thief shows that Tallerman has a lot of promise as a novelist and I look forward to what he does next.
This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on January 22, 2012.