• Full Fathom Five

  • Craft Sequence, Book 3
  • By: Max Gladstone
  • Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On the island of Kavekana, Priestess Kai builds gods to order - sort of. Kai's creations are perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the Old World. For beyond the ocean, true deities still thrive, untouched by the God Wars that transformed the city-states of Alt Coulumb and Dresediel Lex.

When Kai tries to save a friend's dying idol, she's gravely injured - then sidelined from the business, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy and digs into the cause of the idol's death, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear that will break her if she can't break it first.  

Set in a phenomenally built world in which lawyers ride lightning bolts, souls are currency, and cities are powered by the remains of fallen gods, Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence introduces listeners to a modern fantasy landscape and an epic struggle to build a just society.

©2014 Max Gladstone (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Full Fathom Five

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Better

The first book in the series was excellent. The second book was good but the third book falls between the two.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gladstone just gets better

So this book is… well. It’s part murder mystery, part horror movie, part caper, with poetry readings and pickpocketing and the looming threat of colonialism and a secret gods and number of dangerous night swims. It defies your attempt to categorize. It dares you to read it instead. Each book in the Craft Sequence is better than the one before, and tackles complex moral ideas without easy solutions while building flawed characters that make you fall in love. I loved Izza immediately, while Kai took a little longer, but that’s intentional on the author’s part. He’s very good at writing characters who are prickly and complicated and difficult to like until their stories unfold, at which point you will love them forever, unshakably. The end of this book made me cry, in the best way.

I especially loved this book because one of the protagonists is trans, and not only is there zero transphobia or misgendering for the sake of “authenticity” (or inner struggle around being trans for that matter)—and not only is Kai a complex, idealistic, stubborn woman whose character absolutely does not ride on her gender—but ALSO, when her back is to the wall it turns out that her trans-ness, and the strengths it represents in her, are absolutely her superpower. 💖

It’s honestly fine if you jump in here without having read the first two, because each story is self-contained. But you’ll recognize other characters if you read them first, and there are one or two spoilers inherent in their presence, so I’d recommend it. Start with Three Parts Dead; read the first two and come back for this. It’ll be all the sharper, and all the sweeter.

I left off one star on the performance of this novel because the reader pronounced a number of place names differently from previous readers (which may not be her fault, but feels like an overlook on the editors’ part) and sometimes came across a little stiff (which may have been intentional because she was after all reading a bunch of super inflexible characters) and intentional or not, both of those issues kept me at arm’s length from the story occasionally when I wanted to be in the midst of it. But she did a fantastic job all told and I appreciated her.

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Left me unsatisfied

while I loved the previous books in this series, this book felt like novela featuring cameos of previous characters. Development of the main character was lacking, as if being transgender was all that defined her.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful, lyrical, compelling, superb.

Gladstone reaches within for something remarkable here. In his retelling of modernity, he takes us to the richness and depths of Hawaii.

World-building like Ursula Le Guin and Ian M Banks, the sparseness of detective and legal thrillers, and the ethics of re-making gender are all brought wonderfully together.

I’ve been waiting for the Audio version and it was so glorious that it was hard to pause whenever it became time to work.

1 person found this helpful