Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2)

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Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) audiobook

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Review #1

Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) audiobook free

Shorefall is the second book the Founders series. This is a series that builds on the prior books and so you need to read them in order to have any idea what is going on. I actually re-read Foundryside right before jumping into Shorefall since it was one of my favorite books of 2018 and there are a lot of details, I wanted a quick refresher.

Shorefall did not disappoint; Robert Jackson Bennett isnt afraid to put his characters through some really tough times and hard decisions. You are genuinely scared for them because he isnt afraid to kill people off or have them make terrible sacrifices.

One of the best things about this series is the world and how it works. It is built on scrivings, which are little rules written into materials that make them do a specific thing or think they are something else. Like wood scrived to think it is as hard as stone, locks that are smart and will only accept specific keys. The entire city has thousands of these all around, forcing reality to believe it is something different.

Now a God-like creature, a Heirophant, who once destroyed most of the world has returned and wants to remake the city into what he thinks mankind should be. Once you find out how a Heirophant was made, it is hard to think anything they want will be good. If this one gets his way, it will not go well for mankind.

***Ofelia said his voice. You wish to make a moral world, do you not? A just, equitable, sane world?
Yes, she whispered.
Yes. Of course you do. And sometimes I find it takes a lot of treachery and death to make a moral world. That is simply the way of things. ***

Our cast of characters from Foundryside will be there working together with a powerful tool at their side trying to stop the returning Heirophant. Sancia can hear and see scrivings; she can even sometimes convince them to change, a trick she learned from a very special key. Sancia made ‘friends’ with Valeria, a tool once used by the Heirphant to change the world, until the tool became as powerful as the man who made her and went to war with him thousands of years ago. But, should you trust the powerful tool that seems to have an agenda of her own?

I loved the characters in this. None of them are great fighters, well except the former soldier Gregor, but all of them bring something smart and unique to the table. They were a small band trying to break the main houses who controlled the city. They never expected to have to fight an almost god and his most powerful tool.

***I remember the plan, said Sancia. I just also remember theres a lot of spots in the plan that say, Sancia improvises a bunch of crap. Which is not, you know, comforting. ***

Founders is a series Im both desperate and terrified to finish. Ive read other series by RJB and I know that nothing is off the table for him. The conclusions to his stories can be bittersweet for some characters and just down right sad for others. But I never guess what the endings will be and for that Im always grateful and in the past I have left his series feeling satisfied with the endings.

Another wonderful smart fantasy told by Robert Jackson Bennet and I was really happy that a certain key wasnt left out of the story since he was one of my favorite things from Foundryside.


Review #2

Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) audiobook streamming online

I received a copy of this story from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the first book so much and I was incredibly excited to receive an ARC of the second book! And I think I read it at the exact right time. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett said it best in that “most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.” (Good Omens). I think Bennett is channeling that same opinion, whether he knows it or not. Terrible things have happened to Sancia and Gregor (and just about everyone else, too) but there’s unfortunately no way to separate that abuse of power from what it means to be human on the most basic level. The events and choices they are all forced to make combine into a lovely commentary on society.

There were parts I found slow and a bit tedious at times. But there were others that were so innovative, so powerful and touching that I kept going to see how they would be used further. And I love that while I could figure out bits and pieces of the impending twists, I couldn’t predict all of them. It kept me invested in the story and I very much appreciate that.

Our friends have difficult choices ahead of them. I have no idea if all will end happily, terribly, or somewhere in the middle. But I’m excited to see where they go and how they use what they’ve learned for the best.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book but with one caveat: the third one is not out yet. So if a work-in-progress is a deal-breaker for you, just tuck this into your to-be-read pile and keep your eyes open for the rest of the story!


Review #3

Audiobook Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

Foundryside is one of my favorite books; reading it was a mind-blowing revelation. Now with its sequel, the second in a trilogy, I get to return to this amazing world and remarkable characters…But everything is heightened. Shorefall builds on the work and progression of the first book and makes huge leaps beyond that – we’re still in an action-packed heist frenzy, but now instead of sneaking into buildings (well, there’s still some of that, like in the delightful first scene) we’re sneaking into minds and messing with the nature of reality and it’s just so epic and breathtaking. This continues to be one of the most amazing series I’ve ever read, and I am eagerly awaiting the conclusion.


Review #4

Audio Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) narrated by Tara Sands

Shortfall is book two in the founders series, dont start here the series needs to be read in order and the back ground and magic system is complex.

In a city thats ruled by four merchant houses for centuries based on there command of scriving basically the ability to convince reality to do what you want, revolution has come on the back of the first book, the lamp lands has been created a host of independent scriveners following in the foot steps of Orso, Sancia, Gregor and Berenice who set up there own house known as Foundryside. Fresh off pulling a con job agaisnt one of the merchant houses things get hectic when a sometime ally warns of a ancient enemys resurrection after that things soon spiral out of control with Foundryside having to bring all there combined experience, abilities and ingenuity to the forefront just to survive.

This is a stronger book by far then the first one, and that was pretty great. However the stakes are much higher, the Antagonist is much better fleshed out then in book one and while undoubtedly not a good guy you nevertheless have to see his point to at least a degree. In fact this is a much more complex book then the first book, there are no clear right or wrongs and the crew lurch from one necessary evil to another, things get much more bleak as, in some ways , human nature itself becomes the enemy.

Its the tight bonds between the four that keep things from becoming too dark even as Foundryside and the City of trevane seem to be forced into a no win situation. Exciting, well paced and excellently written this is another great book by Robert Jackson bennet, well worth your time and money,

the worst part will be the wait for book three.


Review #5

Free audio Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2) – in the audio player below

So I thouroughly enjoyed this second episode in the founders series. It has morphed a bit but it still has the same pleasures and irritations as the first episode. I will be reading the next one. So last episode was basically a D&D level lots thief and faithful side kicks steal lots of magic items destabilise the unequal society tbey live it and do ‘lots of clever stuff’. The society they live in is unworkable mostly a city of four merchant houses that monopolise magic item production. New episode is all about an ancient god like being awakening and taking over the city. Another synthetic ancient being it already there in much reduced form and is seeking her own resurection. OK yes it is a magic AI. The magic system is absolutely splendid I have not seen its like before and is largely based on computery pokery concepts, from UNIX if I had to guess. Stuff happens AI and god escape the city so does our plucky heroine. So what is not to like? Heroine has a bad vase of little Mr Potter. Too plot driven even for me, the characters that were drawn well in the last episode face into the background. There is far far too much effluvia and odure in the city. It is waste (bad pun geddit) canals and ditches full of sewerage. The head sidekick spends rather a lot of her time immersed in it. I don’t know if the author has a fetish in this direction but it made me positively queasy. Wait a minute you say, isnt this a city of magical devices, how hard is it to make a magic water wheel or pump to get this crap moving down a sewer and into the bay? The Romans did it with slaves, Bazzlegette did it with steam engines how hard can it be?


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