K.J. Parker's The Hammer cover

Monday, May 17, 2010

I haven't read any book by the mysterious K.J. Parker but there's the first novel of the Engineer trilogy (Devices and Desires) sitting in my bookshelf. One of my friends who has pretty much the same taste as me and is sometimes my "test reader" couldn't get past the half mark. I'm still going to give it a try someday. Parker usually gets pretty good reviews.

Here's the cover for trade paperback edition of The Hammer (a stand-alone novel) set to be released in January 2011. Not bad and as it is mentioned on the cover launch post from Orbit, really inline with the previous covers, also designed by Keith Hayes.

And the blurb :

The colony was founded seventy years ago. The plan was originally to mine silver, but there turned out not to be any.

Now an uneasy peace exists on the island, between the colonists and the once-noble met’Oc, a family in exile on a remote stronghold for their role in a vaguely remembered civil war. The met’Oc are tolerated, in spite of occasional cattle stealing raids, since they alone possess the weapons considered necessary protection in the event of the island’s savages becoming hostile.

Gignomai is the youngest brother in the current generation of met’Oc. He is about to discover exactly what it is expected of him; and what it means to defy his family.


Showtyme said...

I've read The Engineer's Trilogy and The Company. I absolutely loved the first two books of The Engineer's Trilogy, and upon first finishing the third thought I loved that one too, but as time went by and I had time to reflect on them, I came to the realization that the third was a definite let down, very anti-climactic.

I had high hopes for The Company before reading it (because I liked the first two from The Engineer's), but about half way through I was still waiting for the book to begin. It had all felt like something that should have been covered in just an introduction. By the time I was finished the book (I never quite reading halfway through something, no matter how bad it gets) I was even more disappointed, it left me waiting for the action to start.

So, however good his other two, this one and The Folding Knife, sound I doubt I will read either of them because I'm tired of being let down by Mr. Parker.

Phil said...

Hum... not a great experience. Judging by this, I ought to ask himself again if it's novels I should pick up... Maybe in the future when my reading pile gets smaller.

Still, even though the third book can be a letdown, do you think the Engineer's trilogy is worth the time?

By the way, I read that it's probably a Miss Parker!

Showtyme said...

I would suggest reading the trilogy if you get a chance when your pile gets smaller (but if your pile is anything like mine it will just keep getting larger and larger). As a whole, I definitely enjoyed it. The first two make up for the third, at least for me they did. They kept me guessing about the main character's plans and plots until the very end of each book, and then it all comes together and works out. I remember thinking to myself, "Damn, that guy is a frigging genius. I can't believe he had that entire thing planned like that."

Hmm, I guess since most of my favorite authors and most of the books I read are written by males I just automatically assume they are all male (heh, probably a little sexist, but I can't help it). Especially when the author description only says, "KJ Parker is a pseudonym."

Josh said...

The Folding Knife was an awesome standalone experience. Haven't read anything else of Parker's, but that one was great.

Psycho said...

I re-read. A lot. It helps that there's a library five minutes walk from my house, it helps that the website loves me and all the books I suggest for purchase are usually bought within the month, and it really helps that no-one else seems to read the books I do.

I was disappointed by The Escapement the first time. But OH MY GOD, the second time was incredible. Somehow, in not rushing to see what would happen, I was able to sit back and enjoy watching the teeth of the cogs slide together and really enjoy the un-picking of the story, despite already knowing what would happen. So I'd recommend reading the trilogy, but reading them progressively slower- you can read Devices and Desires however quickly you want, but to really be enjoyed, you need to spend time on each part of the last book, and, to a lesser extent, the second one.

Or you could just pick up The Folding Knife. That's good at any speed.

viperforge said...

I must say that I love K.J. Parkers work and have read the scavanger, fencer and engineers trilogy.
I agree that time has to be taken to read these book due to the thought that goes into them. In the cover of each book it tells you that K.J Parker used to be a lawer and is now retiered and make things out of wood and metal with "his" hands, so I would asume that he is male.

I would recomend any of his books. Though belly of the bow left me with a bad taste in my mouth for the better part of a year, when I picked it back up I was glad I did

Matthieu C said...

I've discovered KJ Parker with The Company which was an awesome read. I then picked up The Scavenger Trilogy which proved to even a better read. When I read The Folding Knife I was a K.J Parker's addict.
Dark humor, cynical, verry realistic with a lot of details, complex characters, great world building: her/his books are always page turners.

regenklang said...

Phil and Showtyme, can I just say that I've had trouble working my way through some of Parker's books before, including the latter halves of the Engineers trilogy books - and I'm still a big fan. I understand why some people aren't though, the digressions and the detail can bog everything down even though they are relevent, and the complexity of the writing can sometimes escape any climax you might think was due such a buildup.

but please, please read The Folding Knife. it's short, it's standalone, it's recognisably Parker's but is basically the concentrate - and it is supremely satisfying.

feel free to come and sock me one if it disappoints you

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