Kingmaker Paperback – 13 Aug 2013
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Little bit of a let down, had some much promise but didn't deliver.Published 9 months ago by WiltonShagpile
This is a good and very engaging book, which whilst dark in places it has an interesting plot. The protagonist is portrayed well with him being both very accomplished and also... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ruaridh 69
Enjoyed this. A dark dystopian near-future tale very much based on the modern world. For example, I loved the book's idea that American corporations will legally take over... Read morePublished on 19 July 2014 by CC Man
This was the first book I have read by Cantrell and found it a really good read and would probably recommend it to fans of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan books. Read morePublished on 15 April 2014 by rlsg
After reading this I'd be interested in reading anything that Christian Cantrell has written. Totally inverted the scifi/spy genre with a background that's both relevant and quite... Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2014 by Chris
Its a good read apart from the superfluous and long descriptions. I just ended up skipping over those sections as I learned they weren't generally relevant. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2014 by A. Howe