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Evil For Evil: The Engineer Trilogy: Book Two
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2007
This book is the second part of a trilogy, the first being "Devices and Desires" and the third (out imminently in paperback) being "The Escapement". I have just devoured the first two books almost without pause, including some very late nights, which seems to suggest I really enjoyed them, but I'm still not quite sure if I did or not.

Let me explain. Pretty much everything about both books looks wonderful - the story is epic and complex, the characters detailed, the world varied and interesting. Parker's writing style is highly original and inventive and the action clips along, combining intrigue, action, epic battles, involved relationships and individual hopes and dreams.

Yet somehow it adds up to less than the sum of these promising parts. I found myself disliking almost every character, leaving me unsure who to root for. The world is analagous to the late Roman empire, with a highly advanced but arrogant and stagnant nation and their worthy, honourable but relatively primitive antagonists. Each of these nations is frustratingly one-dimensional, their attributes set out early in book one and hammered home through all 1400 pages of both books.

The villains are cartoon baddies, the good guys similarly clear cut (yet, in their different ways, much less interesting). Parker also uses a particular approach to getting under the skin of the participants, writing long passages (pages and pages) of their internal thoughts and dilemmas. One character thinks of everything as a machine, another as a hunt...over and over again, to the point where I started skipping large chunks just to get to the point where the action moved on.

Somewhere in the 700 pages of this book there is a fantastic 500 page novel. Same for book one and, I expect, book three. I like long stories and have no fear of 2,000 page trilogies, so it is odd to find myself wishing this one was 25% shorter. And of course if it was shorter, it would be less original, less involved and thus perhaps less enjoyable...

Which brings me back to my original dilemma...5 stars for its sheer scope and originality; 1 star for annoying me with repetition and characters whose deaths I was eagerly hoping for with very page turned. Some people are going to absolutely adore this, others will get bored halfway through. No bad thing to divide opinion of course, except when the divided opinion is in my own head...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2007
This book is described quite accurately by the title. It is, to date, the most tragic book I have ever read, yes more tragic then Deadhouse Gates or Storm of Swords or even the Farseer trilogy. But I must have some, as yet undiscovered, masochistic tendencies because despite this I still found Evil for Evil to be a fantastic read.

It is testament to Parkers skill as a writer that i can say that the story of the Ducas' fall is a truly heart breaking one. I remember feeling great frustration at what a broken man the Ducas had become while at the same time marveling at the fact that Parker could move me so much. Until now i don't understand why i didn't just give up on the book half way through and read something less suicidally depressing, but instead i just sat there utterly engrossed, putting my life on hold, as i read into the early hours of the morning.

Having said this much, i don't think i need to go into any detail about just how brilliant the characterisation is, or how fine the writing. Instead, i will say that it would be a great mistake for anyone to read Evil for Evil before you read Devices and Desire, this way you can grow steadily closer to the characters and feel the full effect of their fate by the time you get to the second book.

The story itself, as in the actual pace and plot, also got a lot better in this second installment. Vaatzes great and terrible scheme is in full swing now and there is rarely, if ever, an idle moment. I am also pleased to say that there is a new character who is just as intelligent as Vaatzes and even more dangerous. It is my great hope that this character will double cross Vaatzes in the future and ensure that he gets the most painful and heart breaking demise possible ; its only what Vaatzes deserves after all. This isn't the only addition to the tale either, there are twists and turns aplenty in this book and the suggestion that even the great and terrible Vaatzes is being manipulated by a higher power.

As you can probably see i am completely smitten with this book, to the point where i have come to resemble an old lady gossiping about her favorite sitcom, something i didn't think any book could move me to do. I eagerly await Parkers next installment. 9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2007
After reading Devices & Desires I was eagerly awaiting the release of this book for a long time and I was by no means disappointed. Evil for Evil is every bit as excellent as it's predecessor in terms of story and atmosphere. Parker takes the show on the road, revealing new parts of the world and introducing some vital new characters. A new and unwelcome component is added to "the machine" in the form of engineering prodigy Daurenja, the most intrigueing and sinister character encountered so far, whose true intentions will keep you guessing right until the very end; and what an end it is!

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the first installment; you will not be disappointed with where the story takes us. The only bad part is having to wait for the third and final volume.
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on 29 April 2013
This takes the story of Devices & Desires (pt 1 of the trilogy) another step. The motivation of Ziani Vaatzes is starting to appear but the mystery remains to some extent. I will be getting pt 3 as soon as I've finished my current read.
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on 22 August 2013
a fantastic trilogy but difficult to find in most of the shops.
would recommend to any one who likes a mystery.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
second volume in a trilogy of fantasy novels [the first is called devices and desires]. they are set in a typical fantasy setting of warring feudal kingdoms but there are no strange creatures or magics on display. the story is about an engineer, condemned to death by his own people, who has launched a very clever scheme for revenge. a continent spanning war has resulted, and this continues the story from the first book as the war rages and the main characters schemes continue.

the book runs for 730 pages approx and you could probably pick up the story without having read the first one, but you'll get more out of it if you do. whilst there's a slight feel of mid book in series syndrome - novels that are just setting things up for the end of a trilogy - this does remain very readable throughout and comes good in the end when the main character comes to face something he hadn't expected.

It's a good read and a great book to get if you like big ones you can get your teeth into. there a very small amount of strong language, and not all the characters are very likeable, but it's still a good engrossing series and I look forward to book three
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2014
I have read a couple of his/her books and the y are well written and intriguing. However he/she is very long winded and seems to be spinning this novel out. When you look at it from a macroscopic level nothing much has really happened
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2010
Part 3 of a trilogy: a well crafted and engrossing story and a brilliant read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2009
A very different book, which excites and interests in equal measure. Really loved it.
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