It's also looking like we may be getting an interview with a certain someone else that might interest you guys soon. But that's something else.
TheMightyRincewind wrote:Well, I finished "Reaper's Gale" yesterday evening (read it slowly), here are some quick impressions:
Without wanting to spoil anything, I have to at least say that the story takes place in the Empire of Lether, just like "Midnight Tides". And that was a problem for me, as I liked that book least of all of this series. There just weren't any characters I could really identify with.
The first half of "Reaper's Gale" continues to have that problem for me: Erikson does his utmost to portray the Letherii leaders as cruel, repulsive b*st*rds (and not really family friendly bunnyslippers, as the forum software wants to insist) with descriptions of grisly violence, rape, torture and so on (and the Edur aren't particularly sympathetic characters, either). In addition to that, seemingly everyone seems to have those deep philosophical thoughts, with paragraph after paragraph of inner monologue. That would be OK for characters you are genuinely interested in, but as that often wasn't the case, I began to skim through those parts after a few hundred pages.
The second half definitely improves considerably, with new elements being introduced, and the "sense of wonder" part (like the warrens, secrets etc.) playing a much bigger role. Saying much more about it probably would be too much of a spoiler, so I won't.
So my bottom line would be:
First half of the book: I would have been happier if Erikson hald trimmed that part considerably. That's not to say, that it doesn't have its moments, but too much focus on characters I didn't really care for.
Second half of the book: Much better, brings back some of the fascination of the earlier books for me.
Overall: I wouldn't rate it as one of the best books of the series.
Oh, and if you've read "Bonehunters" you already know that Karsa Orlong is on his way to Lether. And I really think Karsa Orlong manages to be a pain in the a** wherever he appears.
TheMightyRincewind wrote:Hey, the "Toll of the Hounds" prologue gets posted and nobody tells me?
Kunio_kun wrote:I read Gardens of the Moon a year or two back and didn't care for it. A few months back, I re-read it, since I've heard the series is actually popular.
But Gardens of the Moon just feels so generic. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that, but hell, nothing stands out in my mind.
Maybe there's a decent story somewhere, but the execution just falls flat and the most the characters inspire in me is a deep cynicism accompanied by a rocket like upwards rolling motion of the eyeballs. I get this feeling that it's too rushed. Like, these characters, the Empress' Hand, Dujek, Whiskeyjack, Lord of Moon's Spawn, all these dudes are supposed to be impressive because of the past and all their off-screen accomplishments, but I never got it. All this stuff of the Empire's past, the Warrens, the gods, and I never get that epic feeling, just a sense that "This happened a while back and it was supposedly rad."
Ok, confession time. I pretty much stopped reading Gardens the second time through when I reached the point describing Tattersail and that Lieutenant guy being attracted to each other through some shared sense of danger. The awkwardness was just too much by that point.
The world of the Malazan tales was created (in rudimentary form) by Steven Erikson and Ian Cameron Esslemont in 1982 as a backdrop for role-playing games using a highly modified version of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. By 1986, when the GURPS system was released and adopted by Steven Erikson and Esslemont, the world was closer to its current scope. It was then developed into a movie script entitled Gardens of the Moon. When this was not successful, the two writers agreed to each write a series set in their shared world. Steven Erikson wrote Gardens of the Moon as a novel in the period 1991-92 but it was not published until 1999. In the meantime, he wrote several non-fantasy novels.
Elwë Singollo wrote:If he had approached the whole thing as three or four loosely related trilogies I think it would have been much better, because I think he had some great ideas and as a world-builder was first rate.
I wrote: However, as the series is advancing I'm finding that the author might be including too many story arcs spread across each of the successive books. (In other words the whole thing is getting very bloated. )
He leaves one or two main "groups" with their storyline at the end of one book, but then jumps to, introduces and follows another main group and their storyline in the next book. The book after that then returns to the first group but again, the next book starts off with yet another group of players and their storyline and action aaaaaand so on and so forth. So now I'm in the 6th book, where he's added a few more distinct and different story arcs with their cast of characters but also has gone back with short scenes for some previous groups/storylines from the earlier books . . . all of which is making following the ever-growing cast / action / storylines more like work than entertainment. And as of this posting, he's up to Book #10, where the closing line of the description reads "And so, in a far away land and beneath indifferent skies, the final cataclysmic chapter in the extraordinary 'Malazan Book of the Fallen' begins. The final chapter - begins??? *sigh*
Personally? I wish he'd structured this entire series as three distinct but related sub-series; which would have made it a heck of a lot easier to absorb. However, since I'm not an award-winning or gazillionaire published author my ownself, that remains just my humble opinion . . .
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