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Book Review: An Ocean of Others

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Survival is never easy, but it’s never been harder for Grim, the last bounty hunter in Liwokin. He survived the Great Riot that killed Liwo by the thousands, endured the bloody chaos that ruled the city in its aftermath, and avoided the crushing fist of the Agency created to quell the unrest. Rule of law returned, but following the rules doesn’t put food in your belly.

On a job gone wrong, Grim stumbles into a conspiracy that targets Ulken, the Head of the Agency, a man who has done more to ruin Grim’s life than any other. Struggling to earn honest coin, Grim plans to use this information to rise quickly through the ranks of the organization so an empty purse never worries him again. He becomes a Finger of the Agency, joining a sardonic ranger, two fugitive siblings, a stone-skinned Skardwarf, and a powerful dark mage—none of whom know any better than Grim what they’ve gotten themselves into.

Grim’s Hand soon discovers the Agency’s furtive work is far deadlier than hunting bounties. While fighting to save his home from monsters who once were men, Grim discovers the conspiracy runs deeper than just Ulken and the Agency—what was unleashed is spreading, and if Grim’s sanity doesn’t prevail, it will consume the minds of the Bright Empire and beyond.”

Title: An Ocean of Others

Series: Dance of the Sibling Suns #1

Author: Joshua Scott Edwards

Page Count: 489

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: October 18th, 2023

An Ocean of Others by Joshua Scott Edwards was another from my top 20 books I added to my personal SPFBO-9 TBR. This was a solid read. I’m going to offer some full disclosure on this one though as I actually listened to the audiobook in September and that month was insanely busy for me. Though I enjoyed the book I didn’t take any notes, then a couple of weeks went by and I couldn’t remember enough with confidence to put together a full review.
I didn’t think that was fair so I queued up the audiobook again last week to refresh my memory and I’m glad I did. I think I even enjoyed it just a bit more the second time around as life has calmed down a bit and I was able to focus and enjoy the story a bit more.
This was another one of those stories where I started to question who I was supposed to trust, if anyone! The line of remember what is real became difficult for myself when reading. There is so much illusion and deceit that I struggled at times on which direction I was hoping Grim would pursue next.
The use of the body parts as ranks or divisions of the agency was a nice touch. The Hand and Fingers reminded me a lot of an old underrated movie Band of the Hand which was always a favorite.
The pacing was solid in An Ocean of Others. The narration was done very well by Danny Gavigan which I don’t believe I’ve heard before this. He did a solid job with the various voices and expressing emotions when needed from the characters. I can’t ask for much more when it comes to good narration.
The worldbuilding was also a lot of fun and unique. I enjoyed the magic system the author has built within this world and of course the intrigue between cultures and characters throughout book one. I felt like we’ve only just scratched the surface of this world. There is so much potential to expand on things and it’s history still.
The character development was probably the strongest of the three aspects I focus on. Not only does our protagonist Grim go through a lot of growth throughout the book but many of the support characters and even potential antagonists. This of course contributed to me not always know who to trust or which way the story may go though. But this was in a good way!
All in all I did enjoy this read and I’m glad that I went ahead and gave it a second chance before putting together my full review. I will keep Joshua and this series on my radar to read future installments for sure.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4.5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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