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Blood of the Mantis: Shadows of the Apt (Shadows of the Apt 3) Paperback – Unabridged, 7 Aug 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Unabridged edition (7 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230704166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230704169
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.6 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire before heading off to Reading to study psychology and zoology. For reasons unclear even to himself he subsequently ended up in law and has worked as a legal executive in both Reading and Leeds, where he now lives. Married, he is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor, has trained in stage-fighting, and keeps no exotic or dangerous pets of any kind, possibly excepting his son.

Product Description

Review

'There is magic and engineering, epic fantasy story lines and steampunk ones, love stories, betrayals, and intrigue...Highly, highly recommended.'
-- Fantasy Book Critic

`Blood expands this scope further, and brings a richer diversity of tone...this leaner instalment foes to interesting places.'
-- SFX

Review

'There is magic and engineering, epic fantasy story lines and steampunk ones, love stories, betrayals, and intrigue...Highly, highly recommended.'

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neil J. Pearson on 11 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
I think this is probably the most solidly written installment of the seires so far and pretty much all of the new characters introduced this time are very strong and instantly recognisable or likeable. I also enjoy how Adrian is giving us a tour of his world and how distinct his cities are in peoples, politics and customs. The main drawback with this book is that it is very much an intermediary novel, that is necessary for the overall narrative but doesn't have any key developments (even the ending is very much to be continued/ open ended). This is not a problem if you are enjoying the series though and the quality and the concept remains strong enough to keep me picking up the next installment. I also have a growing suspicion the series is going to get better and better as long as the world doesn't become too large to keep a hold of the overall arc.
One final quibble is the title which is catchy but very misleading as it has virtually nothing to do with the overall plot, if anything it has more to do with a fly but i guess it's hard to come up with a good title with fly in it (excluding lord of the flies). So for people expecting a story focusing on Tisamon and his mantis-kinden, don't be fooled.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. I. Harrison on 5 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having loved the first two in the series, I was very anxious to read this next installment of the Shadows of the Apt series. And a series it definately is, as there is not only no conclusion to the story here, but no immediate sign of one either, as Tchaikovsky weaves an ever more complex web of intrigue and world conflict.

By the time I had prised my copy off my wife, I had read a couple of fairly negative reviews of the book which reduced my expectations significantly, so I was actually very pleasantly suprised by it. Yes, it is not quite the masterpeice Dragonfly falling was and is a couple of hundred pages short of his previous offerings. But there is still an enormous amount to enjoy here. This includes a couple of exciting new charactors, one a female fighter pilot Ace, who is part of an exclusive little pilot club, with it's own code of honour. (Very Red Baron like)

Also as other reviewers have alluded to, there is another new wave of Kinden races. I think Tchaikovsky has with this brilliant idea sown a harvest so potentially rich he doesn't know quite where and what to put in next and is just starting to throw the goodies about like a spoilt kid coming out of a sweet shop. I would urge him not to get too carried away but curb the creativity till this story and already huge cast list conclude! Then perhaps write another series on the same world. There is just a risk readers could be swamped by all storylines and ideas coming at them.

Anyway back to the book. Our party of heroes are once again sent to the 4 corners of the world. Che and Nero to spy on the Wasps further expansions. Tisamon and Tynisa (and interestingly Thalric) are sent in search of the Darakon box and Sten continues to try and unite the Lowlands against the wasps.
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Format: Paperback
The third book in the 'Shadows of the Apt' series (with more to come) by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

This book continues with the tale of the Wasp Empire's quest for expansion through continental domination, while their various and diversified (and often divided) 'enemies', try their absolute best to fend them off.

There is magic, battles, clandestine plotting, deceit and betrayals. Add to this a host of interesting and diversified characters and you've got fantasy/adventure with all the basic ingredients for a great tale.

However, all the above would mean little without great writing, and the writing in this book (as with the 2nd book) is stellar. The author has found that magic niche that make for an interesting tale presented with near perfect timing and pace.

In addition, there is:
1.) a good map, that encompasses an eastern extension of the maps found in books one and two.
2.) there is a helpful list of names, places and organizations (with brief descriptions of each) that explain the relationship of some of the unusual characters and places you'll encounter in this work.

Conclusion:
Simply one of the finest series I've read in ages, and more to follow (I initially thought that this was a trilogy, but apparently this in not the end). A great story, told with superb writing and an author with a uncanny sense of timing for suspense and the unexpected. Fantasy/adventure lovers rejoice. 5 Stars...more if I could.

Ray Nicholson
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Format: Paperback
The third instalment of the Shadows of the Apt series is just as good as the previous 2. It has all the elements that I have come to love; multi faceted and complex characters and lots of action. I won't go into too much detail as that will spoil the plot but the battles now take to the air and another of my favourite characters dies. Why does he keep killing off the ones I like?

The story continues at a break neck speed following the heroes and villains across the vast landscape as they all fight and scheme to gain possession of a magic box and get ready for future battles. And once again you are left at a point in the story where you are wanting the next volume to come out so that you can follow the story onto the next level.

So that there is some balance there are a few, very minor points that I should mention:
It is a lot shorter than the previous 2 books but at over 400 pages it is still a fair read.
There seems to be even more characters with strange names and I had to concentrate so that I could remember who was who and which side they were on.
Although there were some first rate fights and air battles there weren't any massive battles on the same scale as the previous books.

But none of the above points are that much of an issue as it is still a magnificient read so I still give it 5 stars. Read it and enjoy.
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