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Kingmaker Paperback – 13 Aug 2013

3.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (13 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477807438
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477807439
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,715,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Christian Cantrell is a software developer from Northern Virginia. He writes the technology blog LivingDigitally.net and takes photographs for microkosmic.com. Cantrell is the author of several self-published short stories, including “Brainbox” and “Farmer One.” His first novel, Containment, was published by 47North and he is currently working on the sequel. You can follow Cantrell on Twitter at @cantrell.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded "Containment" for free which I really enjoyed so I gave this one a go. Everyone seems to give everything 5 stars today without any real barometer or measure, so to get 5 stars the book would have to go into my desert island book collection (which this one doesn't) but 3 stars seems appropriate for a book which I enjoyed, liked the main theme of the book, read quite quickly but would not read again. A good effort all in all and good value. Glad to see that the author is writing a follow up to Containment (that's one I would read again and give 4 stars)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent book, projecting a suitably dystopian U.S. scenario based directly on trends and developments that are in process (and accelerating) today. It's a call to action, basically, but also works as very effective fiction with attention-holding detail given to all kinds of technological/biopharmaceutical processes underpinning the power cartels in play. It's enjoyable as fiction, but just take one step back and contemplate the implications of what you're reading, and it becomes scarily prophetic as possible fact. To use the book's own analogy: Cantrell is sketching out what happens when the earthquake really hits, after the gradual buildup has taken place.

My two mild criticisms: occasionally the author would benefit from some competent copy-editing; although his language flows well and varies very effectively in tone and pace, there are occasionally clunky phrases that could have been tidied up by some capable copy-editing. But Cantrell is very much a self-publishing author, so has my respect for that. Second thing: the novel does skip about on its internal timeline occasionally, and this isn't always very well managed, sometimes resulting in apparent loose ends (whatever did happen to the mysterious piratical plastic surgeon and the two highly trained boys sent to deal with him?), sometimes resulting in incidents which don't fit very well into the overall jigsaw (assassination aboard aircraft; when, where, why?) But neither of these two issues is enough to detract from a very impressive piece of prophetic fiction.
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Don't start this thinking you are going to read a story because you are not. There is a basic story line but it is hidden deep inside a jumble of prose which is really difficult to follow. This is not light entertainment or escapism. If you enjoy twisting and turning through a strange puzzle then this is for you
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Picked this up on a Kindle sale thinking I'd give it a go and if it wasn't any good, it was only a couple of quid - but I thoroughly enjoyed it! I hadn't read anything by Cantrell before, but this was very readable, very enjoyable and I'd recommend it.

I honestly have no idea why others have described it as 'incomprehensible', I thought some of the ideas were very cleverly thought out and the point of the main storyline is subtlety..!

If you're looking for something solid by an author you don't know, give it a go.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, I have to admit I couldn't finish 'Kingmaker'. I got about two thirds of the way through before giving up for good - and I really, really hate not finishing a work of fiction - so make of the following what you will based on that information.

A lot of sci-fi and fantasy novels I've seen on Amazon lately have been (as far as I can tell at least) the work of self-published authors, works that might be somewhat generic or derivative but nonetheless enjoyable if they weren't rendered all-but inaccessible by a horrendous lack of editing, or even proof-reading: poor grammar, incoherent narratives, and sometimes simply terrible writing abounds. As such, I was pleasantly surprised by the extremely high level of language on display in 'Kingmaker'. Not only does Cantrell seem to have a much better grasp of the English language than a lot of other writers competing in this increasingly-crowded market, 'Kingmaker' also gives the impression of having actually been proofread, which was a nice change. In addition, near-future sci-fi it might be, but 'Kingmaker' seems to take a lot of its inspiration from cyberpunk, creating a rich and coherent world in which to set its action.

However, this is where I took issue with the novel: much of this (admittedly fascinating) world is presented to us in huge chunks (often at least five pages on my Kindle) of flat description in the narrator's voice, rather than via exploration or through the eyes of the characters - that is, there's a lot of 'telling', and not much 'showing' - which not only broke up the narrative, but also made the world seem somewhat dry and distant, rather than vibrant and living.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book confusing because of the way that the author uses the lives/experiences of his characters to keep the.action going - but in a disjointed way, jumping back and forth in time so that I had to keep referring back to keep track of what was supposed to be going on.
I did persevere to the end as I hoped for some resolution or even explanation. Not to be however!
If you are NOT looking for a book at bedtime and like a really complicated "plot" then this is the one for you! If not - give it a wide berth!
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