I received a copy for free through GoodReads’ First Reads.
It was a pretty fun read, and there was a lot that I admired about it. I appreciated that the descriptions of place and people were vivid without being florid. The author gave enough information that I could visualize a person, place, or thing while leaving enough room for interpretation that my imagination never got tripped up by unnecessary and trivial details. Personally, I think that makes for a much richer reading experience.
Maxey’s uncluttered writing style is also great for fights and physical comedy. Some of the latter was downright slapstick, which I’ve seen very few writers pull off. I mean, we’re talking about largely visual humor in a text-based medium—impressive. I guess in a lot of ways the physical humor was tied to character (such as when the somewhat prideful Tower, a man who flies around by gripping his “Gloryhammer,” faceplants into a wall in the false matter room—great way to take the 'shining hero' down a notch), so maybe that’s why it worked so well. Still, I kept thinking this would make a fun movie. It would take a big budget to do it right as live-action, but maybe we could do an animated version? With Nathan Fillion voicing Stagger, of course.
My reservations mostly stem from plot propulsion and emotional impact, which probably weren’t powerful enough to warrant a full four stars for me, at least as I normally gauge books. But . . . there was enough novelty and interest and fun that I found Greatshadow to be a pleasant surprise. I can open it to almost any page and find something I enjoyed. With that in mind, I'm going to go ahead and round up to four.