George R. R. Martin – Dead Man’s Hand Audiobook
George R.R. Martin’s biggest saga: Wild Cards (yes no, it’s not the Iron Throne) which is really a saga worth seeing. I specify that this post is to give a general opinion on the saga, and therefore will not contain spoilers. I also specify that I would speak on this post to start only with the first 4 volumes (there are 7 published in French, and 24 currently in the United States) since I am in the course of reading the 5th and that it is too early to give my opinion.
Let’s start with the simplest: what is Wild Cards? Even if I believe that a lot of people here know what it’s all about, it’s always a good idea to remember. Wild Cards is an anthological series of superheroes written by twenty different authors. Most of the volumes are therefore composed of short stories / chapters (the difference becomes blurred) written by different authors, telling a story and being articulated around a plot common to all.
George RR Martin is the creator (he is the one who brought together the different authors around the project) the coordinator (he arranges for all the news to be consistent with each other and with the overall story) publisher and one of the main authors (at least on the first 12 volumes, after he took a step back from writing to focus on a slightly better known project).
The story is an uchronia, the breaking point of which takes place in 1946. George R. R. Martin – Dead Man’s Hand Audiobook Shortly after the Second World War, an extraterrestrial virus, the Wild Card, is widespread in New York.
This virus has the ability to give random superpowers to people it infects. So you would think it’s super cool for the infected but not really. 90% of those infected end up with powers that are lethal to them: indeed, if your power for example is to explode, well you explode and you die in the explosion.
9% of infected people have powers that allow them to live, or at least survive, but which is more a handicap for them than anything else: for example if your power is to have transparent skin, well, that’s good for you nothing but making you hideous. And still it’s not the worst, a lot of powers are really very disabling. We call these people Jokers.
And of all the infected, only 1% is endowed with non-disabling powers, see useful. We call them Aces. But be careful, it is not because they have super powers that they will wear tight suits with briefs over them to save the world or justice: most of the characters in Wild Cards are especially people who try to live normally with their powers.
Because this is the great fore of Wild Cards: George R.R. Martin and his team try to describe to us a realistic world, with characters who act in a realistic way, in a society which evolved in a realistic way with the Wild Card virus.
So here is my tome by tome review George R. R. Martin – Dead Man’s Hand Audiobook (guaranteed without spoilers):
Volume 7: Dead Man’s Hand
And here we come to the volume that really suffered from the geographic division: Dead Man’s Hand. Indeed, as much in the AFFC / ADWD diptych the division goes, since the intrigues of the North and Essos have almost no impact on the arcs of AFFC (except for some details not at all annoying) and vice versa. So much … Volume 6 has already spoiled us several times the police investigation of volume 7, since, as I said, its advance has a huge impact on Ace in the Hole. In addition, you really get the feeling that there are missing scenes, so that sometimes you have the impression of watching the scenes cut from a DVD. Finally, the main characters, if they could have provided an excellent counterpoint to the characters in Ace in the Hole, sometimes find it difficult to keep the story on their own. However, let’s not spit in the soup either. Dead Man’s Hand remains a good thriller, surprising, logical and full of twists and turns. And that brings different light to a lot of scenes from Aces Abroad and Down & Dirty.
In fact, what is really unfortunate is that if this breakdown had not been done, we would have had the best book of Wild Cards here. I therefore advise, if possible, to read volumes 6 and 7 simultaneously. It’s easy: the chapters are accompanied by the date and time of the events. Well then you have to like jumping from one book to another for sure …
What happens next? Well, we will have to wait. It is not until the volume 8 has not been translated into French the problem. The fact is that volumes 8 to 15 are simply no longer published in English, even in the USA. And second-hand copies on the internet are really out of price. Fortunately, a reissue is in progress (volume 8 is out in August, volume 9 in April 2019) but we’ll have to wait what.