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review 2018-10-30 12:11
Experimental SF: "Gardens of the Moon" by Steven Erikson
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson



Original Review, 2002)



Steven Erikson's characters are great; the reader is thrown into his world from the off, expected to follow along with who's who and what's what, and while this is initially disconcerting, I realised it was part of the experience Erikson was trying to create - confusion and chaos in the heat of battle. Relationships are already established, his characters already know who they like or dislike, there's no need for clumsy explanations in dialogue of what this magical term means or what that fantastical creature can do - the reader is expected to get on and learn the hard way, it's a bit like being in room full of people speaking French having never experienced the language before (I don't do French; never learned it).

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-05-22 00:00
Gardens of the Moon
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson Before I even started this book, I was already aware that it had a reputation for being pretty hard to understand. I knew that people liked it because it doesn't hold your hand and does things naturally. Turns out, as someone who's only started getting into adult fantasy and older fantasy, I like hand-holding. I don't like spending the majority of my time getting confused and then getting a migraine while I read.

Maybe I should have paid more attention to the details but that's hard to do when you're getting bored. To be honest, I really struggled with this book and I would have DNF-ed it if it wasn't for Darujhistan, Sorry, Tattersail, and Captain Paran. As much as I liked the latter three characters, I also realized that fantasy which leans pretty heavily on the military side of things may not necessarily be my cup of tea.

The Darujhistan crowd were really what made this book enjoyable for me. They are a fun bunch with their own quirks and their antics and arcs were very compelling. Most of them weren't really aware of the Malazans, it's more like they know they're there, but they have their own things going on. Except maybe one or two of them.

The writing serves its purpose, it's not overly descriptive and it feels functional at times. I did like how some scenes were broken down in certain chapters. It sometimes felt a lot like a movie you're reading.

The magic system in this book looks interesting but is kind of a headache to understand.

In the end, what I really enjoyed wasn't the plot itself, but the characters and their interactions. The bits which made them seem more human in their relationships, their friendships, and quests for revenge. It made them seem more relatable and less characters you see on the page.

As much as I complained about the headaches this book gave me, I'm still willing to give the series a chance someday. Maybe when I'm older and have read more fantasy. Then I'll give this book a re-read and continue.
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review 2018-01-11 03:48
Gardens of the Moon, Malazan Book of the Fallen #1 by Steven Erikson
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

There has been some high praise for this series, and I'm willing to admit that I don't have the headspace right now to get into something so high-falutin' and epic.

Or, it could just be bad. There's no way of knowing, because I do not see myself making another go at this book. I've made a bad habit letting books sit for months lately. The thing is though, MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN (emphasis mine to highlight the stupid title), unlike A 'Forsyte' sequel, 'The Familiar', or a Russian novel on Da Vinci, doesn't have a hook or characters, or a thought that I can connect to and, subsequently, remember. In Gardens of the Moon I have...I have fragments of a magic system, I have some politics, and a mage named Trellis (that's not right) and some soldiers who've had a raw deal. I read hundreds of pages, there should have been something that made a strong impression.

Erikson, you need to give me something. I will go on a long journey with authors, but you've got to give me something. There are books that are worth heroic efforts and concentration and zero parts of this book made me want to make anything like that kind of effort.

 

Malazan Book of the Fallen

 

Next: 'Deadhouse Gates'

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text 2017-07-25 21:11
Which Fantasy to Pick?
The Shadow Of What Was Lost - James Islington
The Way of Shadows - Brent Weeks
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer - Jonathan L. Howard
The Magicians - Lev Grossman
The White Rabbit Chronicles: Alice in ZombielandThrough the Zombie GlassThe Queen of Zombie Hearts - Gena Showalter
The Wheel of Time: Boxed Set #1 - Robert Jordan
The Malazan Empire - Steven Erikson
The Night Watch Collection: Books 1-3 of the Night Watch Series (Night Watch, Day Watch, and Twilight Watch) - Sergei Lukyanenko
His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

I want to read a great fantasy series. I like it when there are lots of mythical characters/creatures. I like it where the main characters are not normal human type. I do like Tolkien, but I want something a bit grittier. I uses to read a lot of fantasy book, but lately have found myself zipping through para romance. I have recently not been enjoying them as I uses to though. 

 

I have most of those above in complete, or near complete series. I also have King's Dark Tower books, most of Brooks' Shanara books, a lot of Robin Hobb, and Sanderson. Most of what I have I have not read past the first book and do not remember much of what they we're about.

 

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I don't mind if it is something I don't have, I will get it. 

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review 2017-05-08 22:17
Review: Gardens of the Moon (Steven Erikson)
Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson

Series: Malazan Book of the Fallen #1

Publisher: Tor Fantasy (2005 - First edition 1999)

Genre(s): Fantasy

 

So... The first epic book of epicness.

I must say I am a bit disappointed. It's not that I hated it. I just thought it was too confusing for its own good. I don't mind being thrown into the action right away, with no exposition or development of the world if I'm getting a crash-course as I go. But that doesn't really happen in this book, and I feel like that is not very acceptable. The world seems to have no rules, a sketchy past and no order. It makes no sense (or very little).

The action spans over more than 6oo pages but if you really look through it, the plot is thin and can be told in about 200+. Basically you have the end of a successful campaign, the beginning of another one and this one has a lot of players and can go right or wrong. But ultimately, everything is very confusing and you don't actually have a lot of foreshadowing or complex maneuvering on the part of the characters involved to make you speculate about what is going on. It's like you're in the middle of a riot and the author throws sound and lights at you, and you're confused, but the actual riot is no more than a tame gathering.

I'm not sure I'm explaining myself very well, but here's the bottom line: the ideas seem interesting; the execution is all over the place. The book is big, but the story is small, the characters have the potential of epicness but are never more than badly developed stereotypes.

I've read quite a few fantasy books and, yeah, I've read worse. But I've also read better.

I'll eventually come back to this world, because I sense there is more to all the players than meets the eye, but for right now I'm satisfied with my taste of this series.

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