Best served cold was so nihilistic that i can understand the lack of character sympathy. Whereas the first law broke you into the bleak pointlessness slowly and had, in a perverse way, "heroes" or at least characters that weren't wholly detestable BSC picked up right where Last argument of kings left off and never made much of an attempt to break readers in. Its an interesting concept and i liked the book but it certainly wasn't escapism and did feel a lot like something put out between bigger projects.
I enjoyed the Painted Man, felt it had a lot of promise. The second one was a bit of a dissapointment.
Someone on Westeros put it best when the said he wrote "like Terry Brooks trying to write a Joe Abercrombie novel". There's this uncomfortable mix of young adult style writing and tone combined with very dark events and a sort of immature prurience that don't sit well together. His cheap use of rape for example felt distasteful. Its rather constant use as a plot device almost felt like it was supposed to be titillating and when you put it next to his one handed writing of Leesha, who goes on a rather jarring erotic journey (rape is ok 'cause its a different culture like???).
http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/to ... r-v-brett/
I'm not doing a very good job articulating what i mean. I think that thread explains it better.