To place your vote go here. Polls will remain open until 4/12
I keep expecting to post that Avempartha has lost, only once again Royce and Hadrian have survived against the odds. This last battle was a tough one with the third longest thread in the competition so far.
Avempartha took an early lead and it appeared that a landslide victory was brewing then after Sandman Slim’s author Richard Kadrey made a plea on Twitter, his fans came out in strength. There were many thoughtful arguments and good points made as passions ran high both for and against. A great many voters appear to have only read one of the books in the contest—which is expected I think—but doesn’t provide a fair accounting. Likewise, the books while both fantasy, were dramatically different, which made it difficult to compare.
One of the better posts came from a voter listed as btempleton who had read both novels and wrote:
The reality is both of these books are worthy contenders - they are also very different.
Gritty, dark noir fantasy is no longer "new" in fact it seems to be everywhere these days - You can see several in this contest: Sandman, Finch, etc. Someone going to hell and coming back to seek revenge is also not new. War between heaven and hell - also been there done that. Foul-mouthed anti-heroes that "kick serious ass"...need I keep going. All that being said. Sandman Slim has humor and is a fast paced read that holds one interest. For what it is, and what it was attempting...it does a good job. Ultimately, for me though...I don't like the main character and most of the supporting cast - which is probably the point - so again good job.
Avempartha is also not new. Ancient beasts destroying villages, fantasy archtypes, wizards whose motivations you can't trust also has been done before. But, in Avempartha it feels like a breath of fresh air. The characters are likable, the banter entertaining, the plot engaging. It also is humorous fast paced story that keeps the pages turning. Unlike Sandman I like these characters, I want to learn more about the larger story that is unraveling behind the scenes and bottom line - I'm entertained.
For this particular match up I think both books do what they set out to do Sandman slim, to me, seems like a darker grittier Dresden (whom I actually prefer), and probably one of the reason's I'm throwing my vote for Avempartha -- I'm not a huge fan of the anti-hero. Avempartha returns me to fantasy of my youth, great characters, an engaging world with rich political systems and some twists thrown here and there to keep me on my toes. What makes it all the more engaging to me is this is a new author who has come out of nowhere (published by an indie press) I look forward to the entire series and hope to be seeing more from him in the future.
In the end, Avempartha won out thanks to all of you.
Sullivan's fans continue to positively overflow with energy and enthusiasm, propelling Avempartha into the final four.
Regardless of the future, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote and who made this Cinderella story possible.