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This is clever writing by a very talented author. Drew Hayes creates wonderful characters and puts them in cleverly crafted worlds. I was originally worried about the premise of a trio of scoundrels in a land that is essentially a fairytale. However, three pages in and I was hooked. This is a very fractured fairytale and Drew Hayes is very clever in how he uses the bare bones of well known fairytale stories as a backdrop for our heroes (or anti hero if you prefer) adventures.
this one is not for me. i was excited to see him branching out for a new series, but ....
I really appreciate the work that has gone in and think this is a really nice idea as a concept but....i really didn't enjoy this story, i didn't like the characters, i couldn't draw myself to like them or get on board with the story, i didn't really see this more as a load of cobbled together stories bolted together. I left feeling fully under-whelmed.
I love super powereds, i loved the spells, swords series, loved most of drews work so far, but this and the accountant series are a bit of a no-go for me...sorry.
I hadn't really thought I'd enjoy this as much as I did, its a fun tale with some surprising debth and emotion. I really enjoyed the whole Narrative as a God like hand that guides the world thing. One thing, welsh or welch? Did you use it right? Anyway, enjoyed this, will read the sequel.
If you need a delightful palette cleanser between series, this is an excellent choice.
It's a fun take on different fairy tales. At first it seems like the entire book is more a collection of short stories, but after the first few encounters/missions it gels into a coherent story arc. Maybe it's meant as some sort of metaphor about Jack, the main character, but the story never really commits to anything except the protagonists themselves. It always pulls away at the last minute, teasing with the unfulfilled promise of more. It has a few gory descriptions but overall the story is light on description. It's humorous in parts, but not truly funny. It has deep moments, but overall keeps at arm's length emotionally. It's enjoyable and clever and a good way to pass the time but it doesn't deeply satisfy like many novels. It's a cotton candy read, but sometimes that's just what a person needs.
I enjoyed the premise and general plot-line of Second Hand Curses. However, I can't get over the feeling that a good editor would have pushed this book out of "okay, kind of fun," into "wicked compelling and very funny." At times the writing feels like it's taking short cuts. By the third story we should know the characters well enough to know that, say, Jack is motivated by money and the author shouldn't have to explain that is why Marie is surprised when he doesn't negotiate for more . Marie's reaction should guide us by then, if we aren't blinking in surprise. Or her conversation, "Jack, are you feeling well? You haven't done a job for so little since you came down with the black plague." Again, it was good. It was fun. But I think I'm annoyed because it could have been *really* fun.
This book is basically a re-imagining of most fairy tales adjusted for modern capitalist realities, where everything has a price, and practicality beats honor 11 times out of 10. Our protagonists are basically fixers who solve fairy tale problems for a price in a rather grim realistic way. (how to stop kidnappers? Kill them all of course).
The book is fun to read if you like this twist approach, however, most cases become very predictable after we see how our "heroes" deal with the first 2-3. Still a good book worth checking out.