Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Codex of Alera: Academ's Fury (More villains crammed in one book than a Spiderman movie)

Book two in the Codex of Alera series finds everyone from Calderon spread across Alera. Tavi is now in the Academy and is Gaius' own personal page. Of course, things couldn't be easy, seeing as he has no furies, so he's mercilessly picked on. Isana's running the steadholt now and Bernard and Amara are in their new positions. When the vord start stomping on everyone's picnics, Isana has to go to the Capitol to get help, but also for fancy appearances sake since she's the first female steadholder. Now, it wouldn't be a Jim Butcher book without a lot of action, but this book requires at least a dozen different enemies to do so.


Angry Horde #1: So, let's start with Tavi, since that's where the book picks up. He's got all these douchely Citizen dudes picking on him from the beginning. Problem is, the father of one is High Lord Kalare. He is the distraction bad guy throughout the book. He serves to just....well, cause them problems. It was a great setup for book three where he's head honcho bad guy, but man. No wonder this guy sires douches, as he sets the precedence for Primary Asshat in the first place. He sends assassins to kill Isana, but she's saved by the Aquitaines, last book's bad guys turned not-so-good guys in this book. And then when Kalare's dolt of a son gets his ass whipped by Tavi, Kalare takes on a personal vendetta against him. Granted, none of it is as bad as the chaos he causes in book three.

Angry Horde #2: The Canim. Now, I know the last book focused on the Marat, but I think more might have been mentioned about the puppyfolk. These guys haunt around the Capitol growling in people's faces and leaving dumps as open acts of rebellion against Gaius. That last part didn't happen, but it is one of the questions brought up by half humans, half wolf people. Where is the line drawn? Regardless, the Canim become a huge problem by the end of the book because of the bigger threat...

Angry Horde #3: The Vord! Between the wax spiders, possessed masses and weird buggy shapes, these guys are a boatload of fun. And since the whole rest of the Capitol is distracted by petty politics and the lack of Gaius, nobody comes until the fight is pretty much over to help poor Amara and Bernard. For the second time in a row, Calderon people are left saving the asses of the entire nation and yet people still don't believe them. The vord took on so many different appearances and forms that it became difficult to keep up all of what they could do. These guys seem like the ultimate baddies, but it's kind of hard to take them seriously when everyone's squabbling over at the Capitol, ignoring the vord while they're in full rah rah conquer mode. Despite the overwhelming number of villains in the book, Butcher manages to entangle most of them in with the vord by the end, thus making it work, rather than sink like a kitten in a vat full of pudding.

Rating: 3

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