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review 2018-02-20 13:53
Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson, Abandoned @ 10%
Deadhouse Gates - Steven Erikson

Series: The Malazan Book of the Fallen #2

 

I'm invoking the "Life is too short and I have too many better books to read" clause.

 

I really wasn't a fan of Gardens of the Moon, the first book in the series, but I kept hearing from my friends that the first book isn't actually all that good and that Erikson learned how to write in the interim. Maybe. But the writing wasn't my only criticism of Gardens of the Moon. Mostly I was just bored.

 

The same thing happened here. The "clever" banter felt stale and I just didn't find myself interested in any of the characters. I was briefly interested in the apparent storyline to go assassinate the Empress, but honestly the plan felt so convoluted (yes, we want to go to point A but first we have to go to points B and C so that we can get further away to point D so that eventually we can get to point A and have our backup magically parachute in...ok, I admit I was probably half-skimming at that point) that I don't feel there will be enough pay off even there.

 

Sure, Erikson has invented a complicated fantasy world...but I just don't find it very interesting. This is the tired old fantasy in a new setting, the kind of stuff that made me swear off most fantasy (except for Pratchett) for the better part of a decade growing up.

 

I'll admit I decided to bail after reading the part about how Felisin is trading sex for favours, not because this is happening in the story, but because of the way it's described. It's a tired old cliché that's so impersonal it's just dull. The funny thing is that Felisin is supposed to be a protagonist and you feel absolutely nothing for her. Anyway, I basically went "Oh, so it's going to be THAT kind of story again...sigh. There are way too many pages left..." And put the book aside.

 

There are better books out there. Hell, there's better sword & sorcery fantasy out there. And by better I mean not clichéd and can actually hold my interest.

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review 2018-01-05 08:38
This was the least favourite thus far in the series for me but do not give up!
Deadhouse Gates - Steven Erikson

The Deadhouse Gates is an interesting book and one that is quite the dichotomy. The chain of dogs story as well as Felisin's arc was a tough slog. Then you get gem arcs revolving around two very old and odd travellers as well as a few known characters in Kalam, Apsalar, Fidd and Crokus. So please take heed of the title. Read on friend as the gold pit that awaits you will be special if you pay attention. 

 

Much of the story will give you a few easter eggs of what is to come in the series particularly what is waiting in terms of our friends the Bidgeburners as well as the interesting Anomander Drake and the interesting fellowship in Darujhistan. These interludes can make for some complex reading.

 

I am not sold on how daft and unconvincing Felisin is. I think I will need to read her arc again and see how convincing she is. I do quite like some of the elements that arise from her arc though but do not want to spoil such for those who have not read the book.

 

Kalam's story is top shelf and my second favourite part of the book which does pertain to a fair portion of this book.

 

The biggest gem for me occurs toward the end of the book when the old travellers meet some interesting companions. The moment was a watershed one for me within this series. You realise just how damn big this series world is. Mind officially blown!

 

On top of all of this, Steven Erikson really is a wonderful writer. He and Sanderson exceed anyone else I have read in the fantasy genre. These guys are master craftsmen. The simple way in which Erikson utilises a paragraph, sentence or phrase to deliciously describe a scene is magnificent and very satisfying. A small smirk can make all the difference in reading a story. Just today whilst reading the fourth installment of this very series I came across a few examples. One simply described a dog's stature comically: "Beside Him lay the scrawny Hengese lapdog that Truth said was named Roach. The bone the creature gnawed on was bigtger than it, and had that bone teeth and appetite it would be the one doing the eating right now."

 

Hang in there as you will be well rewarded I assure you. I almost lost my s**t and put the series down. Do the series the service it deserves and see it out.

 

 

 

 

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review 2016-08-09 00:00
Deadhouse Gates
Deadhouse Gates - Steven Erikson I see now that the unnamed soldier is a gift. The named soldier –dead, melted wax –demands a response among the living ... a response no-one can make. Names are no comfort, they're a call to answer the unanswerable. Why did she die, not him? Why do the survivors remain anonymous –as if cursed –while the dead are revered? Why do we cling to what we lose while we ignore what we still hold? Name none of the fallen, for they stood in our place, and stand there still in each moment of our lives. Let my death hold no glory, and let me die forgotten and unknown. Let it not be said that I was one among the dead to accuse the living.
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quote 2015-07-03 08:43
Such is the vastness of his genius that he can outwit even himself.
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quote 2015-07-03 08:42
And over it all, the butterflies swarmed, like a million yellow-pettalled flowers dancing on swirling winds.
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