digital, 400 pages

Published Sept. 4, 2017 by


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4 stars (5 reviews)

The God Wars destroyed the city of Alikand. Now, a century and a half and a great many construction contracts later, Agdel Lex rises in its place. Dead deities litter the surrounding desert, streets shift when people aren’t looking, a squidlike tower dominates the skyline, and the foreign Iskari Rectification Authority keeps strict order in this once-independent city―while treasure seekers, criminals, combat librarians, nightmare artists, angels, demons, dispossessed knights, grad students, and other fools gather in its ever-changing alleys, hungry for the next big score.

Priestess/investment banker Kai Pohala (last seen in Full Fathom Five) hits town to corner Agdel Lex’s burgeoning nightmare startup scene, and to visit her estranged sister Ley. But Kai finds Ley desperate at the center of a shadowy, and rapidly unravelling, business deal. When Ley ends up on the run, wanted for a crime she most definitely committed, Kai races to track her sister down …

1 edition

Review of 'The Ruin of Angels' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Gimmick bad; book good?

The craft books have always been based on, essentially, a gimmick: mundane office jobs in a magical world. But Gladstone has always been really, really committed to the gimmick, which made it feel less gimmicky and more fun. You were never going to confuse it for high literature, but pushing hard on the edges of a profession was at least entertaining. Here, Gladstone's commitment to the gimmick wanes. I'd been excited to see VC through his entertaining, screwy lens. But he pays it lip service, instead: not integral to the plot in any way, and glossed over so trivially that you learn nothing interesting about our world or his. Might as well have left it out altogether.

All of this probably makes it a better book? So I guess if you're into decently written fantasy, by all means! Just don't go into this expecting the same …

avatar for chris_st

rated it

3 stars
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rated it

4 stars
avatar for stinkingpig

rated it

5 stars