Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Rise of Empire

Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4)Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here I continued my audiobook re-read of the first three books of the Riyria Revelations, giving Nyphron Rising another go. It's funny when I look back on my original review from 2009. Funny how anxious I was to continue with the series, and at how I'm sitting here close to five years later writing down my reaction to that very book.

What the hell happened? Well, to make a boring story short, I fell behind when books 4 and 5 came out. Then I found out that Orbit had bought the series and would be re-releasing them even as the sixth book was being finished up. So it was easy enough to wait...

Then I started collecting the new editions from Orbit (while still building the original collection). By the time 2011 was coming to a close, I decided a re-read was in order.

I re-read the first two books but ran out of time before the New Year. I was literally finishing up Avempartha when the ball dropped in Times Square. Why does this matter?

I had put a ban on myself for the entire year of 2012. A ban against re-reads. I had found that I read too many books I had already read in 2011, so I needed to force myself to read new books.

The good news: I did it. I successfully made it through 2012 without re-reading a single book.

The bad news: Nyphron Rising went un-re-read. Since it was fuzzy in my old memory, I couldn't continue with The Emerald Storm.

So then after 2012 was over, it felt too soon to read the first two books again. Then I found out the prequels were coming out! I scooped those up and read them both, loving every page.

So then finally this story comes to a close as in the middle trimester of 2014, I decided it was past time to get back on the series and read it, start to finish. I kept hearing great things about Tim Gerard Reynolds on the audiobook and decided that would be a great way to do my re-read.

Success! I have found him to be the perfect reader for this series, and one of my favorite audio readers to date. As a result, I continued with his narration even after catching up on the re-reads and venturing into the unknown with The Emerald Storm. (See what I did there?)

The Emerald Storm, wow. What a start. Early on I found myself shaking my head as the author seemed to have completed a transition from a Terry Brooks influence to that of a grimdark master. I was WTF??? O_O > What's this, George R.R. Michael J. Sullivan?? Did you really just go there??

And so he did. Man, what had I been missing?

I did get a bit concerned that this would end up being my least favorite of the series though, as the parts on the ship seemed to get long. But I need not have feared, as the story quickly came back together.

And yes, as soon as I finished, I queued up my copy of Heir of Novron. Not waiting five years six months this time, oh no!

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