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The Sea Watch (Shadows of the Apt) Paperback – 4 Feb 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Main Market Ed. edition (4 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330511467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330511469
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.2 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 436,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Superb world building, great characters and extreme inventiveness (FantasyBookCritic blog)

Adrian is continuing to go from strength to strength. Magic (Falcata Times blog)

I cannot even begin to explain how much I enjoy the Shadows of the Apt books . . . some of the best fantasy entertainment out there (LECBookReviews blog)

Book Description

The sixth novel in the thrilling Shadows of the Apt series

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't know why I view Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt as guilty pleasure, given that the stories have well crafted characters, thrilling plots and some stunning battles. I think it was the initial premise - people with some insect-derived powers - that seemed a little twee. Plus the fact that there were spiders too, a move surely designed to callously enrage entomological pedants everywhere.

With the Sea Watch, the initial insect focus becomes even more awry, with the revelation of an entirely new category of kinden - no surprises for guessing where they come from. After the events in the Scarab Path we return to Collegium, where Stenwold Maker is trying to prepare for the inevitable resumption of hostilities with the Wasp Empire, whilst avoiding a war between supposed allies in Tsen and Vek. And while he does, ships keep on disappearing...

This is a book of three halves, and the initial part, as Stenwold slowly descriptions the mystery of the vanishing ships, I though was gripping We are treated to some new characters, and I liked the Fly Laszlo. There are some stunning developments with Teornis the spider savior of Collegium during the Vekken war and Arianna, Stenwold's lover. One of the strengths of this book is that we get a much better insight in to the spider mindset, and these two characters really come alive in this book. The second part of the book - I cannot say much without giving much of the plot away - I found tended to drag. The descriptions of the new Sea-Kinden are good and as ever the abilities and synergy between creature and kinden are well thought out, but as we are literally flooded with new information the plot itself tends to grind to a halt.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While not quite as strong as the previous two installments this is still an impressive edition to the series. The majority of this book deals with the Sea-kinden, a previously unknown race and as such a lot of worldbuilding has to occur. While Adrian does a commendable job in establishing the new setting and various kinden it does feel a bit like a whirlwind tour and many may feel a lot of the new characters suffer. That said there is some excellent characterisation of Teornis the Spider-admiral, and Lazslo the fly pirate. This book also features the creatures that the kinden share their heritage with in a far more proactive role than previously seen and some of the sea-kinden are almost alien-like in their differences.
Strangely enough the part of the book i enjoyed the most was the beginning which dealt with a lot of the politics hanging over from previous books. There was also the beginnings of some really well-handled espionage/gangster politics too, which I'd love to see more of in the remainder of the series. Adrian does a good job of handling the two different sections and tying them together in a satisfying, if overly neat fashion.
Ultimately I feel as though this entire book is a fun "first contact" style diversion to the main series and fleshes out two existing characters and introduces several more. I think it suffers slightly from only focusing on one character and plot though as all the previous books have at least featured several core cast and I don't think Stenwold was the character to pick for a solo adventure. That said he was the only logical character to pick for the story being told so I commend Adrian for not forcing another character into the role. For fans of the series, it is still one of the best books in the series and it successfully introduces a whole new world into the overall saga.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Certainly the most awkward book in the series to date. I still devoured it however and i imagine that if you've got this far you'll keep going to the end!Stenwold is beginning to grate a little at this point and I was never really 100% sure who exactly some of the Kinden were! In the greater scheme of the Shadows of the Apt series I think this book will prove to be the weakest and least intregal to the war with the wasps.

Still - really enjoyable fantasy. I'd give it 4 stars but wanted to illustrate that I feel it's a step below the other books in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've given this book 4 stars. It's not perfect, and does have some issues - but it is really well written.

The first four books centred on the war with the Wasp kinden, and were very tight and had a really good arc to tie them together. The 5th book (The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5)) followed on from the war, but seemed separate from the others for the most part - instead focussing on a little known civilisation where the beetles weren't quite as apt as the ones from Collegium. That said, I really liked it. The story was a good one, and I got the impression that it would lead somewhere in the future books. This one, I'm guessing is along the same lines. We are yet again introduced to a whole new civilisation, this time living under the sea.

Here lies my first issue with this story. The idea of this series has been that there are lots of different races of human, all taking attributes from a particular insect - the wasp kinden with the ability to shoot lightening bolts from their hands, the moth kinden who can see in the dark, the fly kinden who can of course fly etc etc. This book introduces us to many different kinden living under the sea, and to be honest I found it hard to keep up with - let alone pronounce - who was who. That aside however, there are some sea kinden who are related to the Octopus - the Krakind. Now I'm no expert, but is an octopus an insect? The list goes on, and I know it's not really that important - but it bugged me (no pun intended).

This book is also long. Too long? I don't know. The story did flow, but it just seemed to really drag on in some places, with no end in sight.
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