Reviews tagging Gore

The Unspoken Name, by A.K. Larkwood

8 reviews

sapphic_in_the_stacks's review

Go to review page

This book and concept had such potential, I was really excited to start reading it. Honestly I just couldn't make myself finish it. I was listening to the audio book and I kept listening in hopes it would get better, but it was so slow and dull from the beginning and it didn't get better. The characters are somehow both boring and annoying, their motivations feel so basic. I also couldn't listen to any more unnecessarily gory scenes. I get that Csorwe is supposed to be this badass character, but she's really just annoying and reckless, and the amount that she becomes seriously graphically injured really got to me by this point. When I realized I was dreading trying to get through any more of this book I decided it was time to give up. If it's not good by 70% of the way in, it's not worth finishing. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

booksandbodylib's review

Go to review page

adventurous dark emotional sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This is the perfect book to finish my 2021 reading challenge on. I absolutely loved this!!! It will definitely not be everyone's cup of tea, but my god, it was mine! All the cups!!! Dark, eerie, queerie (hehehe), and character-driven with the most epic world-building. Csorwe and Shuthmilie are everything and Tal??? He adds that levity that balances it all out. It sort of gave me Senera/Relos Var from the A Chorus of Dragons series by Jenn Lyons vibes, which is HIGH PRAISE. I cannot wait for The Thousand Eyes. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

giuliagoolia2k's review

Go to review page

adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

candidceillie's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous emotional slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

kamreadsandrecs's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

... there’s truly something wonderful in this novel. The world, the characters, the plot, the themes – all have immense promise. But sadly, they are all smothered by the writing style, which muffles and dims the parts that ought to be memorable and striking. There are stories, of course, that suit such dry and deadpan delivery, but that style does not serve this novel well at all. Where the reader ought to be drawn in close to the characters, ought to inhabit the setting, ought to be moved by the plot or ponder upon the themes, they are instead set back at a distance, observing everything with dispassion. This is not exactly something I want to feel from a fantasy novel, and I’m sure there are plenty of other readers who would agree. 

Full review here: https://wp.me/p21txV-KE

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

fictionalportal's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous emotional funny mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

samespelho's review

Go to review page

adventurous emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I spent a long time with this book, mostly because I was not in a big reading mood in the last couple of weeks, but also a bit because this wasn't a very easy novel to get into. There were some time skips and structure decisions that I found arguable. However, for the most part I really enjoyed the book. The main character, Csorwe, was an interesting lead who went through considerable growth over the course of the story, and there were plenty of other compelling characters. Where the novel really shines is the setting: a Planescape-reminiscent multiverse with cool magic, gods, wonders, and numerous mysteries to discover. I also really enjoyed seeing so many queer characters just having adventures, their arcs not being all about their queerness.

There are some weak parts where the author quite obviously struggles to find her voice and to choose the right structural frame for all the events, but this kind of thing is something I expect from a debut. Overall, The Unspoken Name is packed with plenty of cool ideas, and I'm curious to see where the series goes next.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

cgcunard's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated
Got this book as a gift from a friend for xmas 2020 - and man, I have good friends! I loved reading this, even though it is not something I think I would have picked up for myself. Most of the critiques or doubts I had about the plot and/or character development in parts 1 and 2 became explicitly addressed as central themes of the text in later parts. I love that it feels like it can stand alone, even as I'm excited to see that there is a sequel in the works! 

Larkwood writes beautiful prose, spare when it needs to be and incredibly evocative almost always. The worldbuilding is strong, and is delivered in a way that feels very natural. There are many things that I don't know about how some of the stuff in this world works, yes, but that actually feels realistic in itself--we get as much of an understanding of it as the characters do. It means I know a lot about what people are eating and wearing, and less about the mechanics of the (super incredibly fascinating I'm jealous I didn't think this one up) magical transit system that links a variety of worlds.

Also, it has complex, messy, significant queer relationships (yes, plural!) - which are not even necessarily what the story's about. Or rather, yes, one of them becomes a thing the story is about, but there's no context of homophobia or forbiddenness around it so it's just. A relationship! Almost as though queer people are just. People??? Maybe I've just been reading too much YA lately, but even as a major romance junkie, it was so refreshing to read a fantasy plot where romance was important while also nowhere near all-consuming driver of plot. (I say all this as a queer woman; worth noting the author is as well.) 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings
More...