*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
I have read work by Anderson Atlas before so I am used to his style of writing and knew what to expect when I cracked open my copy of this book. I must say, this is probably the darkest of all the books I have read by this author. That is not at all a complaint! Just something I noticed.
For starters, the main character is a former slave who rises to power. As I read his story I realized this book was all about growth and change. Seeing his personality shift and mold throughout the story was somewhat chilling as the main character was a bit ruthless and merciless at times.
I liked that Jibbawk was not entirely human. He was something of a half bird-half human species which made for many wonderful detail and descriptive opportunities that Atlas definitely took advantage of. Jibbawk had a detached personality and I think it worked well for the events he faced and the way he handled himself in certain situations. He alone was his own worst enemy so watching him struggle and climb throughout the book was intriguing.
Adam is a very fitting character for this story as he is so unsuspecting and carries an air of innocence in his demeanor. His betrayal is definitely obvious to readers but Atlas does a swell job at hiding Adam’s motives from Jibbawk as the story carried on. Their relationship was somewhat surprising but I think it worked and it stood as the backbone to the story. I kept turning pages wondering what would happen between them, how things would fall apart, and how Jibbawk would react when/if he ever found out about Adam helping the rebels.
While I did enjoy this book very much, I do have one complaint and that is that the book had an awkward pace. I felt some parts were very well put together and fleshed out in a detailed manner while some parts seemed rushed and stuffed into the book just to make the story make sense. The book was not terribly long at all but it could have benefitted from maybe thirty-fifty more pages—just enough to give the story more time to breathe and develop smoothly. It was fantasy after all, so I was quite surprised by its length.
That being said, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it others especially if you have ever read any work by this author in the past. Fantasy and science fiction nerds will enjoy it very much and those with an interest in adventure or dystopian books will want to grab a copy.