Monday, December 22, 2014

eBook Review: The Palace Job

The most powerful man in the republic framed her, threw her in prison, and stole a priceless elven manuscript from her family.

With the help of a crack team that includes an illusionist, a unicorn, a death priestess, a talking warhammer, and a lad with a prophetic birthmark, Loch must find a way into the floating fortress of Heaven's Spire–and get past the magic-hunting golems and infernal sorcerers standing between her and the vault that holds her family's treasure.

It'd be tricky enough without the military coup and unfolding of an ancient evil prophecy–but now the determined and honourable Justicar Pyvic has been assigned to take her in.

But hey, every plan has a few hitches.

So I've seen this alternately likened to Ocean's Eleven (George Clooney version), and the Eli Monpress novels.  Either way I took much longer to get around to reading the book then I meant to.  There's a lot to enjoy about the book - each character is unique and interesting, vying for attention even as they try to scheme and plot around new difficulties in an already impossible plan.

Interestingly while the book has its moments of action, the bulk of it is reserved for the last 25% wherein its literally one thing after another hounding, harassing and hunting our heroes.  Loch is not a Robin Hood type - while she didn't deserve to be locked away for doing her job, she also wasn't reclaiming her birthright for altruistic reasons. Revenge and a healthy profit are the sole reasons she's gunning for that manuscript.

This is a book of set-up.  We begin by watching as Loch builds her plan to escape from jail (entirely silently I might add), then as she builds her insertion team and finally, in the grand finale how she built her revenge.  She's a quick thinker, master manipulator of the truth and above all she understands what drives people.  While on the outside some of the recruits (like the safe-cracker team and the illusionist) appear to be in it purely for the money, Loch gives them all something they probably would have had trouble finding on their own: a purpose.

There's plenty of humor (Kail knowing the old "yo mama" joke in every language possible for example...hey it DOES get the job done), a bit of romance, intriguing world development (the Glimmering Man, Death Priestess, Dairy in general...) and heck ninjas!

I do think the book hinges on a reader's ability to just go with it.  A lot of what makes the plan successful are variables that when taken together could not have been as accurately predicted as they were.  Loch makes some leaps in logic that almost smacked of Mary Sue Intelligence.  Granted she does prove herself clever in even small ways (her banter with Pyvic in the pub house is a mastery of double faced truth-lies), but I don't know if she really could have predicted the outcome of the last bout.

This does make me want to read the next book (how lucky for me its out now) THE PROPHECY CON soon and see what happens next.