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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another quality title
Fan's of this series by Adrian, of which I'm one, were shocked with the last title as the author demonstrated his ability to play for keeps and to be honest, it wasn't pretty. So with past events still firmly in mind I picked up this title with tongs and oven mitts (hey I was taking no chances) and began reading in earnest.

What unfurls is an offering that is...
Published on 28 Aug 2010 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting sidestory
Several characters from the previous books reunite in this story. Unlike previous books the parallell stories of each character stay closely related and intertwined. The book stands well by itself, which is not neccessarily a good remark - I find that the prolonged passing of events suits the style of Tchaikovsky's writing better. It lacks the thouroughness of previous...
Published on 25 Oct 2010 by T. Knutsson


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another quality title, 28 Aug 2010
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) (Paperback)
Fan's of this series by Adrian, of which I'm one, were shocked with the last title as the author demonstrated his ability to play for keeps and to be honest, it wasn't pretty. So with past events still firmly in mind I picked up this title with tongs and oven mitts (hey I was taking no chances) and began reading in earnest.

What unfurls is an offering that is similar to the earlier books and with the freshness of new characters to play with, Adrian really did give me an offering that I couldn't put down. For such a prolific author I'm surprised that not only the quality but also the twists and turns are maintained with each new offering. For such a relatively new author, Adrian is showing a masters hand with his prose, he's got great twists and above all else an almost sickening talent with characters that make you care to read about their fates. A serious talent and one that deserves more recognition that he currently gets.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars return to form, 26 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) (Paperback)
I deliberated long and hard before buying this one as many of my favourite charactors were killed in the last episode, the war we have been following had ground to a stalemate and, well I didn't really enjoy it that much as it was too frenetic.

This was much better. It was paced very well, had an intiguing story line and starred Thalric who is by far the most interesting of Tchaikvsky's surviving charactors.

This story is much more like the early Apt books and has a lot of imgredients that series followers will be very familiar with, a seige, a tortured Thalric being pulled apart by mixed loyalties, the rekef up to their eyelids in evil and a couple of new kinden.

It is for the most part the 'Thalric and Che show' with a nice cameo from Totho who emerges from the shadows a bit with this episode. Also a couple of new charactors, one maybe even man enough to fill Tisamons boots!

We start with Che who is haunted by what she believes to be the spirit of Acheos and Thalric who is far from enjoying his wedded status to the new Wasp empress. Both find themselves despatched to a faraway city who though peopled by beetles have failed to make any technological advancements and just at a time when the Scorpion desert hordes decide it's time to wipe the place off the map.

What follows is the best part of 700 pages of warfare, soul searching, sexual tension and Rekef double dealing. Also with a nice Egyptian flavour and a bit of an Eastern mystery!

If I had to to be hyper critical I'd say it was very similar to a couple of the earlier works in that it relied heavily on a seige and perhaps it just meandered a bit in the middle section but this was a highly enjoyable return to form. It has rekindled my enthusiasm for this highly original series and the last 200 pages were totally gripping and I devoured them in a single sitting!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best so far!, 15 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) (Paperback)
My girlfriend bought me 'empire in black and gold' because she thought it looked like the sort of book I would read. It took me a while to really get into the story however by the end of the first book I was hooked. With every book I read from the series I started to fall in love with the story. I have just finished reading 'The scarab path' and have to say 'WOW'. This has been the best one so far, I really got the 'just one more chapter before bed' feeling. The whole mystery of the masters had me wanting to speed through the book just to find out what happened, and even wanting to do that I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I would recommend this series to anyone and everyone! Can't wait to get book 6!

Sorry if that isn't very helpful, this is my first review ever! :P
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Fantastic!, 23 Jan 2011
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Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) (Paperback)
Wow! I closed this book a minute ago, having spent all of a rainy day turning page after page, avid to see what happened next. And I was not disappointed.

I have read all the previous Shadows of the Apt books, and I have to admit, I found book 4, Salute the Dark, to be a bit less than I had expected. It took me a while to pick up book 5, The Scarab Path, but having done so, I have found that the whole universe of these books has now opened up to a whole new level.

The returning characters seem to have deepened and developed; the new characters are fully formed, people of new and only heard of kinden who now appear in the story to full effect.

The story in this book is riveting - the atmosphere pulls you in, the story tears along at a thrilling pace.

I cannot wait to get book 6, which I have pre-ordered.

If you are unsure whether to start a new series of fantasy books, and invest in a long series of books yet to come, all I can say is - start at the first book and keep going - you will NOT be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and epic fantasy, 10 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) (Paperback)
The Scarab Path is the fifth in the Shadows of the Apt series and is the first book in a new chapter of the story. It is also very much the story of one character, who up to now, has been fairly adrift, pulled this way and that by events and was someone without any real purpose or goals. Perhaps that's why until this book, Cheerwell (Che) Maker, has been my least favourite character. In some ways she is very much the everyman in this strange new world. Someone who at first is swept along by events she cannot avoid and once this realisation sinks in, she does try to help in her own unique way. Unfortunately, as is pointed out a couple of times in The Scarab Path, Che's attempts to make things better often end with her being captured by the enemy and imprisoned, because she is a fairly ordinary person.

Despite all of the fantasy elements in the story, the solid core of Tchaikovsky's books is his characters. Che was a college student when the war started, and although she was being coached by her uncle, she was by no means a master at anything. There are no fantasy tropes or character archetypes in the series and no shortcuts to greatness. All of the characters are just ordinary people living through extraordinary times who are forced into impossible situations. Sometimes they rise to the challenge and sometimes they fail, making their responses more realistic than the hero always winning at the most critical moment. Also Che does not become a master at anything overnight, but she is fundamentally changed by her experiences during the war, as any person would be in her shoes. There are expert fighters in the series, but these are people whose very core is that of a warrior and they have dedicated their life to becoming that, forgoing many other things and making sacrifices along to achieve that one goal. These are determined people who relish a fight and yet they are not a master of all weapons, magic, languages, history etc, because that is wholly unrealistic. Time and again when reading this book I was reminded of that level of realism because the story was very grounded despite the fantastic, which made it a much more enjoyable experience for me.

The story begins where the war with the Wasp Empire is temporarily over. By no means have their goals of conquest evaporated, rather they are put on hold while other more pressing internal matters are dealt with. The Empire is fractured, in dissent, and being led by a dangerous new Empress who many underestimate, including the jaded Wasp spymaster, Thalric. There is something rotten and terrifying at the heart of the Empire, and despite everything that has happened to him and how much his own kind have hurt him, Thalric returns to the bosom of his homeland hoping to find comfort among his own people. Instead he finds a place he doesn't like and cannot tolerate. A nation ruled by a person he barely recognises and suddenly he is desperate to escape it again.

Forever seeking allies, and conscious that the war will resume at some point, Stenwold persuades his niece, Che, to travel to distant Khanaphes, a city only recently discovered by the Lowlands even though it has stood there for centuries on the edge of maps and has been hinted at in stories. Here, Che, is very much a stranger in a strange land, desperately trying to not only understand the local culture and customs, but also come to terms with recent events and tragedies that have caused some fundamental changes to her personality and abilities.

Khanaphes is a fascinating city, peopled by a race of terrified Beetles who live in the shadow of something unspeakable. Their silent Masters, absent Gods or long dead Kings and Queens, no one is really sure, but there eternal presence is felt on every street as fear of the Masters and their unspeakable wrath is palpable. This is just one element of what is a unique and multi-faceted society which, although was probably inspired by ancient Egypt, has become something else as Tchaikovsky has taken a few core concepts and build on them to make something completely his own. The city is one of intrigue and it rests upon many mysteries that Che tries to unravel because the Lowlands needs new allies in its war against the Empire.

This is a murder mystery story in some ways, as Che is not only trying to unravel the Khanaphir as a people, and the weird stories that fly around the city, but also uncover what happened to a colleague who disappeared. There are a number of layers to this book and I suspect on repeat reads I will get something new from it. There are a number of further complications and plot twists, and all of this intrigue is in stark contrast to the approach of the Scorpion-kinden who also have designs on the city of Khanaphes. They are brutal, driven barbarians, but not without an interesting culture of their own, and while the physical differences make it easy to tell the races apart, Tchaikovsky does not leave it there and take the lazy approach. Every part of their culture is built on a logical foundation and The Scarab Path gives us a unique insight into a race that has been on the periphery up to now.

How far would you be willing to go to save your home or your city? What would you be willing to do to protect it? Would you be willing to kill someone? And what laws or customs would you break to protect your fellow man? How much would you be willing to personally sacrifice for the greater good? These and other key questions form the crux of the story when several characters are pushed to their limit until their true nature is laid bare. In the comfort of your own home it is easy to make proclamations about what you would do in a tough situation, but only when the moment is upon you can a person know the truth. Without spoiling it, there is a host of interesting characters in The Scarab Path, both old and new, and each is pushed beyond all reasonable measures by events and what emerges out the other side is surprising and sometimes disturbing.

In some ways this book is a standalone novel as it is almost completely focused on one location which Tchaikovsky has not done before in the series. There are several interconnected points of view which keep the story moving along at a good pace and I devoured this pretty hefty tome in under a week. On the whole though this is Che's story and my opinion of her has changed significantly, because by the end of the book I wanted to see more of her not less. The story was also unpredictable because going in I knew it marked the beginning of a new chapter in the story, but I had no idea of where it was going. By the end there are some clues as to where the series might go next, but I am not already mapping out events that must happen because they have been so heavily foreshadowed.

This is epic fantasy at its best. Gripping, original and multi-layered storytelling from a writer bursting with lots of fascinating ideas. The concept of insect-kinden makes the series unique, but it is Tchaikovsky's ability to create realistic characters that you really care about that keeps me coming back for more. Other long running series can drag, and sometimes I have felt as if nothing happened in some books until the last hundred pages, but that is not the case here. Every book in the series is an important chapter in the story and I can't wait to see what happens next, but also where in the world we next visit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning World Continues to Expand, 10 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) (Paperback)
The Fifth book in the series is a worthy successor to "Salute the Dark"; this series just keeps on getting better and better. The characters, despite their insectoid nature, have always been exceptionally human in their finely-drawn weaknesses, allegiances, loves, hatreds and confusions; "The Scarab Path" loses the slight tendancy towards narrative confusion of the earlier books by focusing in on the three characters who were probably most interesting from the start of the series - Cheerwell, Thalric and Totho.

The complex world continues to expand and more of its underlying logic is revealed in an immensely exciting narrative, with moments of almost Lovecraftian horror and invention. Adrian Tchiakovsky retains his capacity to depict both situations and side characters in a series of tiny, beautifully-realised moments which bring the scene - or person - to life to the reader with heart-stopping - and sometimes tear-wrenching - immediacy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 9 Oct 2013
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Enjoyed every page of this book/series. The story can not finish as far as I'm concerned. Sooo looking forward to more Tchaikovsky books
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!, 15 Jun 2013
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I have enjoyed the series thus far, but never been as gripped by it and honestly didn't expect it to start getting better. This book had me trying to get a chance to read at every opportunity I had from about halfway through to the end and maintained the tension brilliantly. While it may stand on its own somewhat, though, I would not recommend reading it without having read the rest of the series this far.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inventive, inspired and refreshingly original this insectile-human inhabited world is a universe unto its own., 16 April 2013
This review is from: The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) (Paperback)
`Shadows of the apt' is a uniquely distinctive fantasy/ sci-fi creation like nothing you will have encountered before, filled with captivating characters and vivid imagination. Book 5: The Scarab Path is just as colorful, vibrant and action-packed as the war with the Wasp Empire comes to its end and a new beginning unfolds. This thrilling tale is supremely magical, intensely exciting and so unexpected as to have you gasping in shock continuously. Complete with a glossary of people, places and organizations and things this epic creation is remarkably vivid and awesome.

Entering a world ravaged by a great battle wherein now lies bitterness and wounded veterans; one finds that Cheerwell Maker is crippled in ways that cannot be mended. The Empire Seda is now regaining control over those imperial cities that refused to bend to her will, as she draws power from something much more sinister than mere armies and war machines. Only her consort, the former spymaster Thalrie, knows the truth and now the assassins are coming...out beyond the desert of the Nem, the ancient city of Khanaphes awaits them both, with a terrible secret embedded beneath the stones.

Exploring the Inapt Kinden and finding out more about the Apt Beetles was fascinating; their magic and technology as well as other characters such as Che and Thalric. Also, the sections on the Scorpion Invasion and the Masters were interesting as I was constantly intrigued by the depth of substance and detailed world-building. Adrian Tchaikovsky's characterization, world-building and storytelling is simply stunning and certainly distinctive from other works within the fantasy genre. As I continue to immerse myself within an extraordinarily rich creation, I am constantly astonished by how exciting new events that unfold are and also how things proceed after the war of the Wasp Empire. If you are a lover of science-fiction, epic fantasy and wonderfully imaginative worlds then I highly recommend this spectacular series as a work of pure genius and magnificence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A present, 16 Dec 2012
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I really cant comment on this book as it was asked for by a friend for christmas she seems to love it
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The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5)
The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Paperback - 6 Aug 2010)
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