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review 2018-03-27 10:31
Understatement would be to call this work brilliant
Midnight Tides - Steven Erikson

Quite frankly as a stand alone this is the best fiction read yet. Given this plonks you into a time when you only know of one character you immediately fall in love with pretty much everything in this book. From the ridiculous mindset of the Lothari Empire held together by a stringent and cruel ultra-capitalistic code to the traditional Tiste Edur. The first mention of the Lothari legalities had me in stitches early on when we are taken to the docks.

 

Both groups have their significant flaws which Erikson delves deeply into given the social implications of the book a really nice edge that is layered magnificently via the character building. The characters were brilliantly done. Bug and Tehol were absolutely fantastically done. I really hope these two make another appearance later in the series. I don't want to give too much away in regards to these two but the opening scene with two had me in stitches and continued throughout. I enjoyed the development of our protagonist Trull. We meet his family (proud nobility mother, father and four sons) including Fear and Rhulad. Both are remarkable in their journey throughout the novel and are nicely weaved into the story. Others in the story like Tehol's two brothers are also quite interesting. The way the Azoth changes in the novel is quite interesting too. It leaves you wondering what implications this has on the rest of the book just like the new batch of demi-gods, the remnants of the Crimson Guard, and their leader Iron Bars' actions in the Divers' temple (well we know what happened there partially in book two but I am sure there is more to come).

 

Anyhow this truely is a fascinating read. Erikson delivers the perfect amount of detail and continues to slowly unwind his world in pleasurably style which is very easy to be enveloped into. 10 out of 10!

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text 2018-02-25 07:19
Reading progress update: I've read 550 out of 940 pages.
Midnight Tides - Steven Erikson

Midnight Tides - Steven Erikson : I didn't think the last book could be bettered. I was definitely wrong! Erikson is a master crafter of story telling.

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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 2018-01-25 23:35
Pure Verve and Elegance
House of Chains - Steven Erikson

The way Erikson intricately weaves his plot is stunningly brilliant. I really do not want to give things away here. A mysterious flooded warren? I thought what on earth. Then later on mind blown. A floating skeletal bone dragon from book 2. Ah starting make a lot more sense, There is so much going on in these books. The series is definitely not for the faint of heart. But if you like a really intelligent good read that is thought provoking then these books are for you. 

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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, 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 (I did namedrop The Familiar), 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.

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