First off, I’m not really sure why or how the complete Wheel of Time qualifies as a whole series when the Grimnoir Chronicles doesn’t – Warbound certainly reads like the last of a trilogy! The adventure is wrapped up in a grand finale like something out of a superhero tale – which is of course exactly what this is. I definitely enjoyed how the “magic” that would normally tag the series as a fantasy is actually due to an extradimensional space creature. Pretty sure by the standards of other works nominated for this year’s award, that means that Warbound is BOTH fantasy AND science fiction. /deeply amused
Of course, perhaps Correia simply isn’t willing to be definitively done with this universe – while the main conflict is over, there’s plenty of space left for additional storytelling. And of course, in comic book superhero stories, the bad guy is usually unkillable, so it would be true to genre for it to come back from (Almost) Certain Death. There’s even in-series precedent!
Additionally, althistory WWII hasn’t broken out yet, and I was kind of expecting that to happen. (I think Grimnoir!Hitler got assassinated already or something like that; but I was very much expecting a Pearl Harbor event.) The series is definitely entertainment first, second, and third – anything like “political” issues pertaining to modern controversies or “social engineering” are conspicuous by their absence, unless you’re willing to count “most powerful wizard in the world” being a woman as a strike for feminism against the patriarchy.
‘Course, if the extradimensional evil doesn’t come back, I’m not sure where the series would go after this. I mean, what do you do after averting the Apocalypse?
(Oh, I forgot: this series is definitely a subversion of the patriarchy on behalf of feminism, because the protagonists manage to convince the sexist government bureaucracy to hire – gasp – A WOMAN! Ahahahaha.)
Subtlety is not exactly what you’re going to find here. Warbound in one trope: Godzilla Threshold.
I was a little disappointed with the zombies, though. I mean, they’re hardly creepy or scary when you have God-Mode Girl going into Zombie Berlin by herself, not even an escort mission to give it tension? And why the heck has no one firebombed the city to ash in order to release the dead yet?
Another nitpick I had with the series was the sheer frequency which certain magical talents are described as “rare.” We’ve got the Secret Society Justice League thing going on, so it’s not surprising from a story-logic standpoint that the main characters are running into legitimately rare talents, but it doesn’t seem like terribly useful information to keep beating the reader over the head with.
Especially when one of the most valuable of these extremely rare talents dies off-screen and then despite redshirts dying right and left later on… the only member of the main cast that dies in the super-dangerous mission whom no one expects to survive is a secondary character. But I think that’s normal for the superhero genre too, so I don’t know that it’s a technically valid criticism. Kind of like complaining that water is wet, yeah?