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review 2014-06-08 18:29
I think I like this one the least so far
Reaper's Gale: Book Seven of The Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson

A thing that happened at the end has me really angry.  Without outright spoilers, I will say that it's likely to be upsetting to anyone reading it.  And it's easy to guess I'm referring to the death of a great character.  Since characters die in every book, that hardly seems like a spoiler.

 

There were a number of things I disliked about this one.  First off, major portions of this dragged worse than any of the others.  It was work to force my way through a lot of this.

 

So much about Reaper's Gale was reminiscent of all the things I've grown to dislike about George R.R. Martin.  There was a lot of rape, torture, and gruesome death.  The author kept introducing new characters, giving them a bit of back story so it looks as though, you know, he's introducing a somewhat promising new character.  And then they die horribly, and that's it.  If this were not an ebook, I would say that is a waste of paper.  It's absolutely a waste of my time.  It adds nothing to the story.  It's just a suckerpunch, and I hate that.  There were a lot of sucker punches in this one.

 

There were some character arcs that satisfied me.  There was excellent dialogue, particularly whenever Shurq Elalle or Tehol Beddict were involved.  And in between the slow, dragging portions, there tended to be frenzies of action, from which I could not look away.  And then, back to the lull.

 

Is this still possibly my favorite fantasy series?  Yes.  But I am sorely unhappy with this book, overall.

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review 2014-02-21 00:00
Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book 7) (The Malazan Book of the Fallen)
Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book 7) (The Malazan Book of the Fallen) - Steven Erikson Set in the continent of Lether this book deals with the aftermath of the Edur victory over the Letherii. This book wasn't quite engaging in the first half though it picks up after the arrival of the Bonehunters. It has some of my favourite characters Tehol, Bugg, Fiddler and Hellian. Karsa and Icarium are badass as usual. Not the best in the series but better than Midnight Tides.
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review 2013-11-02 14:41
Reaper's Gale - Steven Erikson

There is a common trait in all of Erikson's books: the multiple local plots, that seem to be drawn by common underlying factor(s) (Crippled God etc.), brilliantly interwoven into an epic story, with an epic breathtaking end that brings tears to my eyes. It is simply impossible to put the book down once you reach the last couple hundred pages. A storytelling that reaches millenia back and creates a wonderful adventure. Both in the book, and in my mind as I try to remember what had happened two or three books back.

 

In Reaper's Gale, we return to Letheras, which is now under the occupation of Emperor Rhulad Sengar's Tiste Edur. But we soon realise that the Tiste Edur do not hold as much power as they think they do. The emperor being the one who is mostly deceited of them all. So even under a foreign rule, the wealthy Letherii are further empowered by the institutions they created to guard and further their interests: the Liberty Consign and the Patriotists. Wars continue to be waged under false pretences in the East, while everyone who opposes the new setting of power disappears. But uncertainty looms once again. The Empire is on the verge of economic collapse, the one that Tehol Beddict started orchestrating in Midnight Tides. The invasion to the Awl'dan meets failure after failure as a new leader returned from the Wastelands with powerful weapons and powerful allies. From the west, the outlawed Bonehunters seek a way to Letheras. And the Edur fleet returning to the capital carries the new champions that will face the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths. Among those champions, Icarium, the Jhag that his rage has destroyed cities in the past, and Karsa Orlong, the short-tempered barbarian warrior with the souls of those slain by his hands trailing him.

 

And while forces converge to Letheras, a group of fugitives leave that city behind them. Silchas Ruin, Fear Sengar, the ex-slave Udinaas, the Acquitor Seren Pedac, the child Kettle and a Tiste Andii wraith seek a way to the place where the soul of Scabandari Bloodeye is. But the journey, through warrens and realms is a difficult one, as doubts are born, tensions grow and as in the end of their journey looms betrayal. 



Compared to the previous books of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, this one wasn't as satisfying to read. It seemed to me that he was stretched too much in too many sub-stories and that in the end, we don't get a clear conclusion, as he did in all the previous books. For example, the Awl part and their war with the Letherii seemed really important, but once things got hot in Letheras, the things in Awl'dan got in a quick ending that left many questions unanswered. Abandoned. This awkward navigation through the story, in general, really bugged me. Too many deux-ex machinas, too many hasty "answers" from previous books, too many "happy endings" and too many "dramatic endings" that seemed shallow in their description. 

Maybe he needed to write too many things, so it resulted in this clumsy handling? If it was just the too many things to read through, I would have been fine. It is Erikson after all, every book has to be some kind of a challenge to read. Possibly.

 

Despite my bitter review, I'm not giving up on this series - Erikson remains one of my favourite authors. Just that this book now occupies the "Least favourite Malazan" book spot. Given the somewhat abrupt end, I remain positive that Reaper's Gale and my harsh opinion on it will be redeemed in some following book in the series.

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review 2012-07-09 00:00
Reaper's Gale
Reaper's Gale - Steven Erikson This really is a book of two halves, one of which is the most boring thing Steven Erikson has written so far. The Awl plotline is really pretty bland and not particularly engaging, and although it has one or two important points as regards the overall arc of the series, I'm pretty sure they could have been slotted into the story different because to be perfectly honest, I didn't give a shit about Redmask. On the other hand, the latter half of the book is REALLY GOOD. I mean REALLY REALLY GOOD. I'd put this one about on a par with House of Chains; it has higher highs and lower lows than that book.

Also the end part of the book has all the death and NOTHING is okay. I actually had to put the book down when Beak died because I was crying so much. And then Trull dies and NOTHING IS FAIR. At least now Tehol is king of everything? Which is pretty much as it should be.
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review 2012-07-09 00:00
Reaper's Gale - Steven Erikson This really is a book of two halves, one of which is the most boring thing Steven Erikson has written so far. The Awl plotline is really pretty bland and not particularly engaging, and although it has one or two important points as regards the overall arc of the series, I'm pretty sure they could have been slotted into the story different because to be perfectly honest, I didn't give a shit about Redmask. On the other hand, the latter half of the book is REALLY GOOD. I mean REALLY REALLY GOOD. I'd put this one about on a par with House of Chains; it has higher highs and lower lows than that book. Also the end part of the book has all the death and NOTHING is okay. I actually had to put the book down when Beak died because I was crying so much. And then Trull dies and NOTHING IS FAIR. At least now Tehol is king of everything? Which is pretty much as it should be.
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