Friday, August 3, 2018

ARC Review: Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Countryside by Robert Jackson Bennett 
Release Date: August 21st, 2018
Format: Egalley,
Source: Netgalley*
My Rating: 

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself--the first in a dazzling new fantasy series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett. 
Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. 
But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic--the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience--have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims. 
Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them. 
To have a chance at surviving—and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way—Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined

You all know how much I fell in love with Robert Jackson Bennett's Divine Cities series, right? They are amazing go read them. I wasn't even aware he was working on a new series until I got an email about Foundryside being available on Netgalley. I am so glad I was able to get access to it.

When I first started this book almost forgot who the author was, but as soon as I settled into the story I thought, "oh, yeah! RJB is awesome!" One thing that he really does well is world building and this book is no different. Right off the bat I got a good feel for this weird fantasy, steampunk-esque world. It was so fascinating and so intricate that I couldn't stop myself from reading on. The author has a real knack for weaving in data dumps into the story, but in a way that doesn't make you feel like he's doing that.

Other than the awesome world building, I think what made me love this book was the characters. Our main character Sancia is a sarcastic jerk, but is also an interesting thief whom is just trying to survive in this crazy world. She winds up stuck in the middle of a conflict she wants no part in when she steals a mysterious key. Oh that she can also talk to? It's hard to explain without getting into spoiler territory. Sancia ends up having to work with Gregor, a real stick in the mud whom is unsuccessfully trying to bring order to a chaotic work. She also is reluctantly helping Orso and his assistant Berenice, both scrivers for a merchant house. Orzo is kinda of a old curmudgeon so of course I loved him. I didn't really know what to make of Berenice, she was certainly a smart and resourceful character, but I found myself not that interested in her.

The city they live in Tevanne is set up with all these complicated scrivings in order to make things work better. It made the world have that industrial/steampunk feel to it. The book explains how this all works, which seemed super complicated to me, and I'm not sure I actually understood it completely, but in the context of the story it made sense. It seemed like physics was highly involved with it. Which I have absolutely no understanding of, so maybe that's why I had a hard time understanding how exactly it worked! I will say it was really cool!

There were a couple things I wanted to point out about this book that I think readers need to be aware of. It's pretty clear that Sancia suffers from PTSD, so if that is a trigger for you be aware. There are also depictions of slavery, torture, we abuse so keep that in mind if you plan to read this one.

Personally, I loved this book and if you enjoyed the Divine Cities series I highly recommend it

I received a free egalley copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reads Everyone!