Max Gladstone's Three Parts Dead, the first in the Craft Sequence series, is an ambitious urban fantasy. Its themes and setting are reminiscent of N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy. Unfortunately, Gladstone's work lacks Jemisin's finesse with both language and plot.
Three Parts Dead is set in a world in which gods and magic are real. A cataclysmic war between the gods and mortal magic practitioners left the world broken and scarred. In Three Parts Dead, a novice magic practitioner must solve the mystery of who killed a fire god and set things right before the town he cared for falls to ruin. The world is captivating, with intrigue, beauty and an underlying grittiness. The idea of the plot is also fascinating, with intricacies and character development deserving of a much better writer. Unfortunately, this novel felt dense, with poor writing and pacing that bogged it down and made it a slow and trying read. Ultimately, I describe it as an N.K. Jemisin knock-off - you're better off going with the real thing.
Three Parts Dead is not the novel it ought to be. Its poor pacing and writing take what should be an excellent addition to urban fantasy and leave it dense and disappointing. Points for neat ideas, but it's not worth reading.