I’m not sure you can miss a book. I’m certain you can’t miss a book you haven’t read but that was precisely the feeling I had within a few pages of A Little Hatred.
The book takes the world as it was at the end of the last series, adds a few decades and some coal, and builds on it. There is a new generation of characters, some of their parents, and references back to what had happened in the past. There are twists. There’s violence. There are flawed characters aplenty and a biting takedown both of capitalism and the consequences of revolution. The text is clean and easy to read and, impressively, the use of each character’s ‘voice’ is not just limited to their speech but to the entirety of the text when it is their turn on the page. And there is the rolling point of view Abercrombie does so well – when the protagonist of one section merges seamlessly into the protagonist of the next. (Seen best here when the revolution bites and one character’s actions knock on to the next’s in the subsequent paragraphs.)
All in all, this is a great book. The writing combines grit and glory, humour and horror, beautiful and bitter observations on life and all other manner of alliterating adjectives.
As with The Once and Future Witches, I appreciate that this is not a ‘balanced, critical’ review but I don’t see the point of adding criticism for the sake of it.
That said, I have one issue. I think I missed some of the jokes and references because it’s been so long since I read the First Law books and the stand-alones. The solution? Get the rest of the series and reread from The Blade Itself forwards.
Reckon the books deserve it.