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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 (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,397 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 Sept. 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 Sept. 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
Have you ever read a review which starts.."Well this is the first book in this series that I have read.." Why? Obviously because they have been given the book to review, not because they are reading for pleasure. You can't start reading a multi-book series at book 3 - so don't. I saw this on the shelves at The Works ages ago and much as I was tempted to buy because I had seen Adrian at a convention, I knew better. I got started because I got "Empire in Black and Gold" in a goody bag and have been hooked ever since.(some idiots put middle books into these bags just to get rid of them - d'uh!)
But you want the 5 reasons:
1. This series is endlessly inventive. The idea of the Apt and the Insect races is as far as I can tell genuinely original and marks it out from the other derivative stuff.
2. The interweaving narratives - I like books constructed this way. You follow one group for a chapter and then another group, which allows the writer to leave you at as many cliffhangers as he likes, so you have to keep reading. For example at one point you know that an assassination attempt is about to be made, but you have to wait 3 chapters to find out what happens. Obviously the book is not written this way. Adrian will have written each strand I assume and then put the book together in this way at the end.
3. The world of the Apt is gradually being revealed book by book. Frankly I was grateful for the change of pace in this book after the exhausting battles of the last 2 books. This one is all about chasing the McGuffin (the box), but we get to explore 2 new contrasting environments at opposite ends of the map as we are now shown it. Both are towns on the edge of large lakes and Adrian seems to set himself the challenge of making them uniquely different.
4.
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Format: Paperback
OK so the first 2 books took you all over the Lowlands and by the end of Dragonfly Falling it is very clearly understood how good these books are, how interesting and ever-changing the several plots are, how exciting the characters are to follow, and that all you want to do is keep reading.

This is no different. All the great things about the first two books continue brilliantly here, there is no 'slump', more kinden are introduced and the lowlanders start to visit new and exciting places in their world.

I will not therefore go on and on - this is a fantastic book, carries the plot on brilliantly and I am now left waiting for number 4 to arrive.

What I will say is this - for me, after 3 books the Apt/Inapt thing is becoming very frustrating. This who did not believe in magic have seen it and felt by the end of this, yet they STILL frustratingly refuse to accept its existence, and it feels as though this is more to do with the author justifying inventing the concept in the first place (therefore sticking to it). Sometimes you just want a character to say "oh my god, magic!", not "I cannot be sure it was magic". Shut up! Read the books, it is so frustrating. Along similar lines, the lines are blurring between the Apt and Inapt. Inapt = unable to operate machinery of any sort, be it a flying vessel or a door lock - can use magic capabilities. Apt = able to operate machinery etc etc, unable to fathom the concept of magic even existing.

FOR ONE: WASPS FIRE BALLS OF FLAME FROM THEIR BLOODY HANDS. AT THE APT!! This is infuriatingly silly that the author continues to drag this idea through the mud. The notion that because someone is Inapt means they cannot even open a door is also frustratingly ridiculous to keep reading, and it is contradictory.
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