Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review: The Last Four Things

The Last Four Things

By:  Paul Hoffman

Publisher:  Dutton Books

Publish Date:  August 4, 2011

Format:  ARC

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  2nd book in Thomas Cale series; Book 1 ~ The Left Hand of God

Recommendation:  For me, I couldn't get into it.  But I do hope others give it a try.

Book Synopsis:
Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. These are the Last Four Things. Now there are Five. Meet Thomas Cale. Returning to the Sanctuary of the Redeemers, Thomas Cale is told by the Lord Militant that the destruction of mankind is necessary; the only way to undo God's greatest mistake. Cale seemingly accepts his role in the ending of the world: fate has painted him as the Left Hand of God, the Angel of Death. Absolute power is within his grasp, the terrifying zeal and military might of the Redeemers a weapon for him to handle as simply as he once used a knife. But perhaps not even the grim power that the Redeemers hold over Cale is enough - the boy who turns from love to poisonous hatred in a heartbeat, the boy who switches between kindness and sheer violence in the blink of an eye. The annihilation that the Redeemers seek may well be in Cale's hands - but his soul is far stranger than they could ever know. 

First Sentence:
Imagine.  A young assassin, no more than a boy really, is lying carefully hidden in the long green and black bulrushes that grow in great profusion along the rivers of the Vallombrosa.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Cale is with Redeemer Bosco again at the Sanctuary, the place he escaped from not even a year ago.  Bosco acts different with Cale now, as Bosco believes Cale to be the flesh of Gods anger with humanity.  Bosco has much planned for Cale and Cale is working with him as he doesn't seem to have any other choice.

After reading The Left Hand of God I wanted to read this book.  There was great setup and creation in the first book with the Redeemers and Thomas Cale and his friends.  There is an audience for this book, but I'm sorry to say I don't think I'm in that group.  I struggled with this book.  I felt as the first 100 pages where very confusing, well, not confusing as much as straying.  We are on the main path of the story then off the story went with the side characters telling us about them and their history.  I wanted to stay on track with Cale and the main story line.  In this writing style I found myself forgetting what was happening.  When Bosco talked with Cale I was lost.  They seemed to talk in circles around each other, which is what I expect them to do knowing their history.  The lines fell flat for me, which again the characters are raised this way so it is true to character.  But for me I struggled with it.

I worked my way to a little over half way and still felt I wasn't getting much from the story.  I don't like to not finish books, but this one I stopped.  I may someday come back to try and finish, but felt best to let go now.

I found myself falling asleep while trying to read it, like I do with historical reads.  So maybe if you are a fantasy fan who enjoy historical reads, you might enjoy this trilogy as well.

I hate giving bad reviews, and I do hope others enjoy this series.  If you have tried it and enjoyed it I would love to hear from you.

I requested a copy of this book from the publisher.


  1. Eek! I sorry this book didn't work for you, especially since you enjoyed the first book.

    I think I might skip this all together. Character talking in circles isn't really my thing.

  2. I think you're right about there being an audience for this type of story, but I don't think I'd fit in either. I don't think I'd enjoy all the straying. Maybe my mind is too one-track.

    Hope your next read is better.

  3. I am sorry you were falling asleep :/ Like me and Rothfuss, I do know the feeling

  4. I have to confess I didn't like the first book much. I like fantasy but just found myself a little bored with the whole story - and teh end was a little abrupt for me. Sorry the second one didn't do it for you - always disappointing especially if you liked the first one!

  5. Hm... no, I think if it didn't work for you then it won't work for me. I also hate to have a bad review or a dnf, but it happens. Perhaps it just wasn't the right audience. I usually suspect that as well. Hopefully the next will rock your socks off! :)

  6. I never got a round to reading The Left Hand of God because the reviews were so mixed, and I think there were more negative than positive ones. And seeing that the sequel put you to sleep I don't think I'll ever bother trying to read this series.

  7. WonderBunny - I liked the first one and was hoping this one would be better. There was great potential for it. But it just didn't work for me. :( Thank you for stopping by.

    Missie - Well, it's nice to know I'm not alone. :) Thank you for stopping by!

    Blodeudd - Thank you. Glad to know others know the feeling. I really felt bad even with requesting the book and all too.

    Mel - I was good with the first book. But I really thought there was some great potential there for this book to really pick up the world and characters. But it just didn't work for me. This one was wayyyyy more boring than the first book.

    Melissa (books&things) - Yeah, I think you should pass on this series too. Thank you! And I'm working on a few great books now. :)

    Simcha - The Left Hand of God was good. Not all that great. But I thought the world building had some great potential and hope for the second book. But it fell really flat for me. I don't think these books are for you actually. So good thing you passed on them. :) Thank you!

  8. Fell asleep while trying to read it...doesn't bode well for the book now does it? And it sounds like it digresses a lot which I don't care for either.

  9. StephanieD - Thank you. I was kind of bummed with this one. I really thought it could have gone a long way, but just didn't work for me. Stinks. Thank you for stopping by.

  10. Struggling to a connect with a book can be so frustrating. It's almost like you're fighting yourself- wanting to like it but not being able to. :/

    If it's any consolation, I hate writing negative reviews too. You did it so nicely, though! :D

  11. The Left Hand Of God is still waiting to be read at the back of my TBR shelves... reading from your review, it don't look like it's gonna advance in the queue soon...

  12. Lisa @Read.Breathe.Relax - That was exactly how I felt. Fighting with my self to love this one and it just was boring to me. I hate to say it. :) Thank you. I really didn't want to blow the book away as I know there is a crowd for it, but I just don't fit in it. :) Thank you!

    Cherry - Well... yeah, no need to rush to it. We chatted briefly on Left Hand of God when I read it. It had moved slower too, but there was enough there to make a great second book. I just felt bored with it. Hope when you do finally get to it you enjoy it more than I. :) Thank you!


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