Publisher: Dutton Adult
Author: Paul Hoffman
Release Date: 8/4/2011
Recommended Audience: Adult
The Left Hand of God was a unique tale of a 16-year-old assassin that was tortured in a religious boy fortress where he broke free with two friends and set in stone events that would change the land. It was gripping with great pacing, well-done dialog, and likable characters. Paul Hoffman’s writing style may be a bit off (or too British) for most, but it was tolerable. The Last Four Things falls short of the first book with many chapters of boring nonsense and the story never really goes anyway by the end of the book.
This book is about Thomas Cale’s campaigns fighting for the Redeemers to take over the world and put Redeemer Bosco on top as the Pope. He doesn’t really have a choice with the Redeemers completely wiping out the Materazzi empire and Cale’s love, Arbell Swan-Neck, selling him out to Bosco. The battles are boring and poorly described. I honestly couldn’t get a battle plan in my head because Hoffman would talk about a general or king Cale would be battling then go off to that person for an entire chapter, then the next chapter goes back to the battle. I was very confused and made this book lose the nice pacing of the last one. There’s a little dialog in the whole book and has one of the worst openings I can remember. The book isn’t really interesting until it’s almost over which is a real shame.
This book is mainly about Vague Henri, Cale, and Bosco and you don’t even see the Materazzis until the last few chapters. What a shame. It would help if Hoffman updated his map at the beginning of the book for the new territories, but I guess he just forgot. What’s worse is that this book is so long and you flip through each page wondering when it will get interesting. There is no climax, no cliffhanger ending, nothing, it just ends. It doesn’t even end on a surprising note either, but at least the ending is entertaining. Fans of the first book will, of course, read this so there’s probably no stopping them. This book could have been better if Hoffman did more with the characters. Campaign after campaign is boring with useless dialog that really led to nowhere and isn’t fun to read. There are a few shocking moments that involve torture, execution, and massacres, but they are spread so thin.
Overall, The Last Four Things doesn’t surpass the last book which was excellent. The dialog (when it is there) is still top-notch and gripping, and the characters do grow in the book just very slowly. The constant campaigns against the Antagonists are poorly done with a loss of focus that confuses the reader. Hoffman’s style of writing isn’t the best and is very confusing on its own. As it stands, fans of the first book probably have already read this so there’s no stopping them.