The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

ImageI know I didn’t get a review up on Friday or Saturday like I usually do, but I was celebrating my mom’s birthday by going to the Memphis Zoo. However, on the way back, I managed to finish up this book, and it was quite surprising. Just a bit of background about the author because I think it is awesome (he has one of my dream jobs): He is a writer for Bioware (a pretty famous video game company) and actually wrote for Mass Effect and Dragon Age. And while visiting his twitter, I found that his wife is an editor there as well. I wish my spouse had the capability to be my editor, but we would probably end up in a fight. Anyways, they just seem like an awesome couple and I am so glad that I enjoyed this book, because I would feel bad writing a ranting review like last time after actually communicating with the author.

You should know the drill by now and if you don’t here’s a blurb:

The most powerful man in the republic framed her, threw her in prison, and stole a priceless elven manuscript from her family.

With the help of a crack team that includes an illusionist, a unicorn, a death priestess, a talking warhammer, and a lad with a prophetic birthmark, Loch must find a way into the floating fortress of Heaven’s Spire–and get past the magic-hunting golems and infernal sorcerers standing between her and the vault that holds her family’s treasure.

It’d be tricky enough without the military coup and unfolding of an ancient evil prophecy–but now the determined and honourable Justicar Pyvic has been assigned to take her in.

But hey, every plan has a few hitches.

So, obviously, this isn’t your typical high fantasy book, which scared me when I was contemplating reading it. There were so many things that could go wrong, but amazingly, Weekes manages to pull off this humorous, fast-paced, hell-of-a-ride type book. I was hooked from the beginning, the description was concise and the dialogue was rich and full of great quips. I don’t know if the dialogue was so great because he writes for a video game, but I really enjoyed it. He does a great job with the side characters as well, which reminds me of NPCs (non-player characters), but it could be because I was in that video game state-of-mind. Each character’s “voice” was very individual even when making closely related sarcastic remarks.

Really, the dialogue made the characters in this book, and sometime the lack of dialogue as you will see at the beginning. I immediately fell in love with Loch who was a strong, black female lead and with Kail, her almost-sidekick who spouts off “That’s what your mom said jokes” at the beginning of each fight. The cast of characters was unique, and each had moments in the book without quite being the main character. I was impressed by the Joss Whedon-esque female characters with both flaws and strengths. Their personalities really shined in this book. All the characters were quirky, and I enjoyed trying to pick which I thought the author would most relate to. I could never decide if I was the death priestess, safe-cracker, or unicorn.

Also, despite being a white male, his characters were not limited to his race.Without saying it, he did attempt to address racial issues/stereotypes as well as social/societal ones. The book definitely felt like it had satirical undertones, which gave it an extra intellectual level behind the sometimes goofy banter. It was the same with the magic; there were many different kinds, all of which were intelligently developed, but not completely explored. It made for interesting learning process of the world.

The one problem I had with it was the quickness in which the characters were paired off, but they were not suddenly and unusually in love, so it won’t make me rage like last time.

Overall, I have to say that I can’t wait to read the sequel if there is one. Weekes did an excellent job of writing an intelligent book without it being overwhelmed with seriousness. There are great twists and turns, some obvious and some not. This book leaves you satisfied, but still wanting more. I truly hope he revisits this world once again. So, check it out!

The Palace Job on Amazon

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