Note: The reviews included below are all from www.Amazon.com
The next King of Weird - Outstanding debut, 29 April 2009
By Mr. R. Johnson (UK)
From the opening pages of Liam Sharp's debut, we are thrown in to a maelstrom of ideas that soak you to the very bone - like the ocean that tries to claim our main protagonist. Machivarius Point is a visceral tale full of testosterone - a contemporary, barbaric tale of forgotten self that reaches for the jugular and doesn't let go until its powerful climax.
If this novella wasn't enough to introduce you to Sharp's poetic vision, you are dipped head first in to an all familiar territory that only a British writer could do best - Derby's Demons and metaphysical entities have just made a small place much, much bigger. With fine prose that absorbs many influences, those who wish to compare his work to those at the top of their game may do so - because these very writers we compare him to already know how good his stories are.
The epic universe of Machivarius Point is so densely layered that some readers may become lost in the world due to how much has been crammed in to such a short story - but it's hardly a negative point. You will cry for more - God Killers is perfect to absorb again and again - the beginnings of something even bigger. Read once for the prose alone, then peel away those memories and get under the skin of Sharp's main protagonist.
You may not like what you see through his eyes, but it's one hell of a ride.
Impressive first novel, 17 April 2009
By I. Gibson
An ambitious first novel that succeeds more often than it fails. Sharp's Machivarius Point, the main story (at 200 pages) in the book is what might have resulted if Robert E Howard and China Mieville had produced some strange offspring through eldritch means.
The main characters of Sharp's novel occupy the fictional space somewhere between David Gemmell's Druss and Ian Graham's Ballas. Much less heroic than Gemmell's flawed protagonists, Sharp's creations manage to be much more appealing than Graham's, both in terms of likability and with regard to the complexity of the characters.
Never short of ideas, possibly the biggest weakness of the story is that the rich tapestry Sharp weaves is not as fully explored as it could be. On the flip side, the narrative approach he has taken forces the reader to engage with the book on a more intellectual level and to that extent what might be a flaw according to traditional storytelling is perhaps a fascinating and not unsuccessful approach to bring a different approach to constructing a heroic fantasy saga.
At times a thoughtful meditation on the horrors of war, while simultaneously being a testosterone-fueled barbarian saga, the writing manages to transcend the apparent limitations of its genre and is one of the more literary approaches to this type of subject matter that I've read. Definitely not for the squeamish though, as should be expected from something with such a clear message that violence is not a pleasant business and certainly not a heroic one.
The remaining stories that take up the final part of the book continue to showcase Sharp's literary ability and range from the broad comedy of Death and the Myrmidon to the M John Harrison-inspired weirdness of Metawhal Alpha.
Whetted my appetite for more, 13 May 2009
By Phil Winslade
God Killers: Machivarius Point and Other Tales
When I was given this book I was a little dubious-I haven't read any new fantasy since the 80's where magic was always more important than men's efforts and elves and goblins were involved-plus they were the size of a brick! So I was surprisingly pleased to find how much I enjoyed "Machivarious Point."
The characters are well-rounded and consistent, their motivations logical set in a world realized with a depth that perfectly and believably delivers as backdrop to this epic endeavour.
The plot is witty and well-paced, delivering surprises and twists which aren't awkward or illogical or convenient. Sharp utilizes and subverts the conventions of the genre in such a way that he creates thought-provoking insights into human nature with its flaws and savagery. Though this is not a book that revels adolescently in gratuitous violence but still shocks with its candid understanding of the low points to which man can stoop.
Along with that comes a journey, not though a cardboard cut-out landscape, but a sincerely conceived and realized world. A place with its own rational politics, religions, fauna and flora, angels and demons, legends and humour.
Yes, I liked this book, it is an enthralling, logical, consistent, remorseless and beautifully realized if tragic read... and no elves!