Top critical review
Pretty good. Wanted more from the book.
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2019
Light spoilers warning:
Disappointing. I was worried about this one ever since Sharp Ends, which was strongly tilting towards the feminist agenda side of things. The only reason I bought that book was for the Logan story which was also very disappointing as it showed Logan act in ways he never has before.
I can't help but talk about Logan. Everyone who reads fantasy knows of Logan Ninefingers. He has become an icon. He was by far Joe's greatest character. But for whatever reason Joe decided to basically sideline him. I always thought Joe could have/should have wrote several books about Logan's adventures between the end of "Before they are Hanged" and the beginning of "Red County." There is 15 years there that he could have had some amazing adventures. Or, he could have wrote about Logan and his band of misfits from the time just after he left Bethod and right up until the flat heads attacked in The Blade Itself. So many great tales to be told but alas, Joe did not deem it worthy. Instead we got an older, not really himself version of Logan in Red Country. This is even more frustrating because Joe puts Shivers in every damn book! Shivers is fine but c'mon!
Anyway, the reason I am lamenting is because A little Hatred is a disappointment to me. Yes, there are some names we recognize but none that we really care about. The focus here, as in Sharp Ends, is on the females, which there are an abundance. Not that I mind female characters. I loved Monza, Ardee, and Ferro. But there is a difference in having a strong female character to go along with strong male characters and having all the females be strong, brave and incredibly smart and all the males being dullards, stupid and cowardly. Or, is often the case in this book, needing the help or advice of the female in order for the male to be successful (Leo in the circle, Orso in Valbeck) It becomes preachy and looks like you are pushing an agenda.
Furthermore, I just didn't care for the setting. I liked the North parts but the Valbeck/breakers story was not to my liking. I don't read fantasy for the discussion of "fair pay," and workers rights. The breakers were upset about jobs being lost to industrialization but how many more jobs were created?I'm sorry but all of this just came off as SJW to me.
Sorry, bit of a rant. I wish Joe would go back and write a prequel about Logen and Three-tree's and Dogman and the gang but clearly that's not going to happen.
Upon a second read I enjoyed this a bit more and upped my score. I would have liked at least one pov from one of the older characters, Jezal, Glokta or Dogman, they were really throw away characters. I'm also hoping the next books open things up a bit and we are not relegated to all the action being in just 2 cities.