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In the third book of the series Larry really keeps up the pace of the story and characterisation that makes this a class leader of the genre.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Where does Warbound rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Warbound was a very enjoyable piece of pulp fiction. This is not the kind of book that is going to win literary awards, but it is the kind of book that will keep you "spellbound" from cover to cover. I really need to call out that the narration in this book in particular (and the whole series in general) was superlative.
What does Bronson Pinchot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Bronson Pinchot brought personality to every character and enhanced the action of pivotal scenes through inflection, volume and pacing. I have well over 100 audio books in my collection, and this was my favorite narration by a male narrator. Tokugawa!!!!
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Spelling bad never felt so good.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Larry Correia’s Grimnoir trilogy has come to a conclusion in “Warbound.” There is so much I love about this series, that takes place is an alternate 1930’s era, that its hard to know where to start. The characters are true to the era, yet they live in a world that has been given magic from a creature that has come to earth in an effort to hide from a predator that wants to suck the magic out of the entire universe. Larry Correia’s use of real life characters from the Thirties such as John Moses Browning and General John, “Black Jack”, Pershing, and references to Nichola Tesla and his inventions, gives his alternative world authenticity.
In “Warbound,” Jake Sullivan, Sally Faye Vierra, and the iron guard Toru, are the main characters in this third installment. I really like the relationship that is formed between Jake and the Iron Guard; and of course, Faye is my favorite character in the series. There are still the other characters we’ve come to know such as, Pirate Bob, Francis, Dan, Heinrich, and Pemberly Hammer - the Bureau of Investigation's human lie detector, but their roles are diminished in this book. One of the new characters, Dr. Well, a sociopath and inmate of Rockville Penitentiary, that Jake recruits to help swart the greatest threat to earth, the Pathfinder, is also a standout character.
The battle action is amazing with magic being thrown from all sides and the technology that Mr. Correia adds, such as powered armor, and of course the flying airships, only add to the excitement.
On a side note; although this is the end of the trilogy, Mr. Correia leaves open the possibility for more Grimnoir adventures;let's hope.
About the narrator; it’s crazy, to me, that Bronson Pinchot, “Balki Bartokomous” from Perfect Strangers (one of my favorite sitcom televisions shows from the mid-80s and early 90s) is the narrator. This guy has range, and gives another great performance.
57 of 62 people found this review helpful
Warbound (2013), the third book in Larry Correia's sf-fantasy-pulp Grimnoir trilogy, takes up in 1933 where the second left off: President Roosevelt is pressuring all American magical Actives to register and move to Active-only towns; Francis Stuyvesant (young owner of United Blimp and Freight who also happens to be a Mover) is not cooperating; Sally Faye Viera (a teen who's the most powerful Active in the world) is looking for someone to help her avoid becoming "a rampaging murder machine"; Jake Sullivan (a Heavy ex-soldier, ex-detective, ex-convict, ex-FBI hunter, ex-public enemy #1) is leading his team of Grimnoir knights, aided by their bitter Iron Guard Brute enemy Toru Tokugawa, on a probably suicidal mission in a cutting edge UBF dirigible into the dread Japanese Imperium to try to prevent a super alien predator (the Enemy) from coming to earth in pursuit of its prey, the entity known as the Power; while the Power (a symbiotic alien that endows certain humans with magical ability) is trying to survive.
Correia is good at writing characters with different personalities and voices. Faye and Jake are fine co-protagonists. Faye is naïve, sweet, and ignorant but also ruthless, powerful, and intelligent (you wouldn't want to be a "bad guy" in her sights). She doesn't want to become a devil, but does sometimes hear a little voice telling her to take other people's Active powers. The description of a hero written by Raymond Chandler (Francis' wannabe writer accountant) suits Jake: a common, extraordinary, honorable, chivalrous, lonely, complete man. But Jake fears that he has the brain of a scholar in the body of a thug and is really only good at one thing: killing.
In this third book Correia depicts Japanese culture more complexly than in the first. Here, although their evil "schools" are still twisting "pupils" into killing machines, and Unit 731 is still experimenting on living (magical) subjects, and the Imperium is still dedicated to purifying the world, there is also something appealing about their honor-based culture. Toru, so uptight while teaming up with his sworn Grimnoir enemies, is fun to follow, and Akane Yoshizawa (aka Lady Origami) is a sympathetic character whose origami plays a key role (and she even gets an interracial romantic relationship).
Correia does interesting things with genre staples like zombies (attracted to bright colors in addition to loud noises, they may maintain their identities as long as they continue doing the most important thing in their natural lives) and alternative history (historical figures and things like John Ford, John Browning, Duke Ellington, Sigmund Freud, Rasputin, World War I, and the Berlin Wall are given magical spins).
He explains magic in a science fictional way. The Power gives select people access to nodes of power so they will develop and increase them and return them enhanced to the Power when they die. Most Actives access but one type of magic, with expectable abilities: Cracklers manipulate electricity, Torches fire, Ice Boxes cold, and Heavies gravity; Mouths make people do what they're told; Beasties possess animals; Healers heal; Lazaruses make zombies; Cogs make intricate machines; Fixers fix things; Movers use telekenisis; and so on. All are limited to how much Power they may use without resting to restore it to their reservoirs.
I do think Correia imagines too many overlapping abilities. Readers read people's minds, while Justices sense when people are lying; Brutes are super strong, while Massives make themselves indestructible; and Travelers (like Faye) teleport themselves and objects and people around, while Fades fade themselves and objects and people through walls and the like. And I can't grasp how demons summoned by Summoners fit into the physical nodes of the Power.
Despite all the magic in the trilogy, Correia's true love is guns. Characters think, "Magic was nice in a fight, but it never hurt to back it up with bullets," and, “When you didn’t know what kind of trouble to expect, it was best to bring guns and friends with guns.” Sub-machine guns (Thompson and Suomi), shot guns (Winchester and Browning), pistols ("a British Webley with a snub barrel and a cut down grip" and a GP32 machine pistol with "a cyclic rate like a buzz saw"), giant Browning Automatic Rifles (enchanted and normal), even a bazooka (don't stand behind Faye when she's firing one), and more.
When Correia adds to the guns and magic knives, swords, spiked war clubs, Russian stick grenades, Tesla Peace Rays, war blimps, etc., he ends up with graphically violent action scenes (brains sliding down walls, walls painted with dripping blood, bodies exploding into pink mist or bursting like melons, eyeballs cracking with cold or running down cheeks, bones melting, limbs being severed, heads decapitated, bodies impaled, guts disemboweled, etc.). This becomes unpleasant and numbing. But the 3+ hour climax is exciting (and the resolution is nice).
Correia writes some neat lines: "Jake Sullivan may have been on the side of the angels, but they were some damn bloody angels.”
And some funny exchanges: "You're one malicious manipulator, you know that Doc?" "It is nice to be appreciated."
And some klunky dialogue: "You guys want some cookies?" "No, we're good."
And some anachronistic English: “Fuller manned up.”
And some libertarian leanings: "Governments are all about the same thing, bossing folks around."
Audiobook reader Bronson Pinchot relishes Correia's pulpy prose. He does a great zombie, Lady Origami, Jake, and Faye, and a super "Tokugawa!" war cry. He owns quiet, malevolent villains. He's entertaining.
People who read the first two books in the trilogy will be satisfied by the end of the third; people new to Correia should probably start with the first book (Spellbound), although he smoothly works in enough background from the first two books to follow this one. People who don't enjoy gunplay and bloody action and libertarian pulp should steer clear.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful