Quick Review: Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie (2016)

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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Orbit

There are few things I love more than Joe Abercrombie’s writing, specifically his First Law works. I was excited, after getting a short-story collection from Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire series last fall, to get back into Fitch’s series as well.

Anyone who’s read my reviews and blog knows that I’m a big, BIG fan of novellas and shorts. Love them. A collection of shorts is a great thing as well, especially a novel containing something like 12 new shorts, containing some characters we know, and a handful we have not seen much of – if anything – before. The new characters were bright and refreshing, and brought a new life to stories that sometimes were distinctly First Law, and some that could have been almost anywhere. But, lying under all of that, is signature Abercrombie writing – the wit, the edge, the beautiful word stylings.

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Overall, I enjoyed the majority of the stories. Some, such as Two’s Company, Wrong Place Wrong Time, and Three’s a Crowd were exceptional and exciting, vintage Abercrapple, with cracking one liners and multi-dimensional characters. Others, such as The Fool Jobs did not do much for me, and I moved right through them. Overall, I enjoyed the majority.

The only major thing I could point out is that every single story features some kind of LGBT element – a main character with romantic feelings about a member of the same sex, some kind of casual gay sex, etc. It was only a noticeable effect  because of the fact that having a gay character of some sort in every story is still a bit of an oddity – we are making great progress in that department, with some brilliant works like NK Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, but as of now it’s still an under-represented fact. Not so much with Applecrumble in this set of stories.

Overall, an enjoyable package, full of wit, charm, humor, hard-hitting action and moral dilemmas – just like Joe himself. I am still eager to get more from him, more stories and new worlds, but these things take time.

I just lack patience.

Rating: 4 / 5 

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