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Erikson Neophyte posted 16 August 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Sedulo, Candidate

Hi:

I just checked out Gardens of the Moon, Memories of Ice and Deadhouse Gates from the library based on fervent fan comments on this forum.

My top favorites are PoN and ASOIAF. Got tired reading Jordan but continue buying the books (because I don't hate it) and have heard of his illness. I figure I'll read it all the way through when it is finished.

Anyway, I have avoided any posts that look like spoilers but I have to ask...is Malazan as great as you all say <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: --> ... view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 17 August 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Malazan is excellent, although the style is very different from both PoN and ASOIAF. The Malazan series is very military oriented but is very over the top in term of power levels and such (some people complain about this but it fits for the type of book that it is) Gardens is slow until about the midpoint so don't give up to quickly.

It is definitly one of my favourite series out there. The characters are great and the scope of the book is very impressive. Plus the battles and action are very well written and exciting in my opinion. Lots of twists and turns in the plot, sometimes you just have to realize that you don't know squat except what the characters want other characters to know and think at any given time <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 18 August 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by noodles0585, Peralogue

i am currently reading gardens of the moon like you and also like you i am big fan of asiaf and PoN and also like the WoT and this book is awesome i at like 375 like 125 pages to go and i just love it and can't wait to start on deadhouse gates so take my word chances are if we share some of the same likes and dislikes you will like this. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 19 August 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Xray the Enforcer, Auditor

I'll be interested what you think of Erikson. I am not impressed with his writing, although he finally created an interesting character in Felisin. I swore to the Erikson fans at Westeros that I'd read thru DHG, and I will. After that, though, I don't think I'm going to continue the series.

I guess it comes down to what you're looking for in books. Nifty battles and cool world-buidling, with uber-1337 characters who never die? Multiple non-human races who do cool shit? Magic, magic, even more magic. It's magic all the way dow? Erikson is your man.

Structured narrative, character development and an inspired command of the written or spoken word (while also delivering the goods when it comes to world-building flava, etc -- what we read this stuff for in the first place)? Find another author, because that is definitely not Erikson's forte.

He does do blood well, though. Maybe not Cormac McCarthy levels of blood, but he's better than most. I dunno -- I can certainly see why others like the books. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 21 August 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Werthead, Candidate

A good series with an original approach to how to tell an epic fantasy saga (not many sagas have three books you can start the series with, although starting with Gardens of the Moon is the best approach). Lots of battles, some great characters and a general over-the-top, swashbuckling atmosphere. The end of Deadhouse Gates and pretty much most of Memories of Ice are extremely powerfully written and I've had grown men tell me how they cried at reading some passages in those books (I think this is going somewhat OTT myself). Erikson can also be damn funny when he wants to be (this is more prevalent in the later books).

That said, the third book is the best and the law of diminishing returns kind of sets in after that. The sixth book is pretty disappointing, but ends on a cool cliffhanger and hopefully the seventh will be better.

Erikson is also laudable for the rapidity of his publishing schedule. Book 7 is out in March and Book 8 is out just a year later. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 29 August 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Ismellofhockey, Commoner

Quote: &quot;Xray the Enforcer&quot;:3i3mnysy
I'll be interested what you think of Erikson. I am not impressed with his writing, although he finally created an interesting character in Felisin. I swore to the Erikson fans at Westeros that I'd read thru DHG, and I will. After that, though, I don't think I'm going to continue the series.

I guess it comes down to what you're looking for in books. Nifty battles and cool world-buidling, with uber-1337 characters who never die? Multiple non-human races who do cool shit? Magic, magic, even more magic. It's magic all the way dow? Erikson is your man.

Structured narrative, character development and an inspired command of the written or spoken word (while also delivering the goods when it comes to world-building flava, etc -- what we read this stuff for in the first place)? Find another author, because that is definitely not Erikson's forte.

He does do blood well, though. Maybe not Cormac McCarthy levels of blood, but he's better than most. I dunno -- I can certainly see why others like the books.[/quote:3i3mnysy]

That's pretty much exactly how i feel about Erickson, I'll push through his series simply because I have to expect any writer improves but mostly because it's hard to find perfect authors.
I'd be curious to know which fantasy authors you appreciate other than Bakker; I found your literature must reads and I'll look into Vellum but is there anything else you'd suggest in the fantasy field? view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 29 August 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Xray the Enforcer, Auditor

I just got back from WorldCon and am predictably brain-fried. But I'll try to get a list together for ya. A warning should go with Vellum, though. It's a love or hate book depending on how one feels about narrative gymnastics and general wankery. As in: the book is ridiculously high-concept, and your tolerance for those kinds of stunts vs. your interest in the story being told will dictate if you like the book.

I have very low tolerance for wankery, but was quite taken by the story and some of the themes in Vellum. It was touch and go for awhile, though. I very nearly landed in the hate column. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 14 September 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Scel, Candidate

Erikson's magic systems are kinda complicated, and all the varied races and their history and abilities make it hard to keep track and get INTO...but It's worth the effort.

There's an Encyclopedia malazan online somewhere that helps keep track of everything.

I'm on House of Chains right now...and amazon.uk has delayed my shipment of book 6...but they shipped 5 already...but I'm trying to slow down.

Some parts are suprisingly funny, which is good comic relief to the occasional darkness.

Some of it is quit stirring emotionally too. Can't ask for much more than that. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 14 September 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Krijates Iryssas, Candidate

I like these books a lot but they're not for everyone. Erikson is at his best with epic and battle scenes, he really catched these moods well. The world building is extremely good and colourful, though not as good as Bakker's. The characters are much more lovable, but not always very deep (and they are very, very many.) There's some genuinely freakingly good ideas and images all the way, but you have to overlook some weaknesses, too. I think they're books that would appeal to most Bakker fen, though. They are similarity in the scope and power of the characters, though Erikson have many very uber-powerful characters instead of a couple <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> and much more divine interventions (I like the fact it's a world where gods screw up mortals and mortals screw up gods) view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 14 September 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Quote: &quot;Krijates Iryssas&quot;:qgt2rfmn
I like these books a lot but they're not for everyone. Erikson is at his best with epic and battle scenes, he really catched these moods well. The world building is extremely good and colourful, though not as good as Bakker's. The characters are much more lovable, but not always very deep (and they are very, very many.) There's some genuinely freakingly good ideas and images all the way, but you have to overlook some weaknesses, too. I think they're books that would appeal to most Bakker fen, though. They are similarity in the scope and power of the characters, though Erikson have many very uber-powerful characters instead of a couple <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> and much more divine interventions (I like the fact it's a world where gods screw up mortals and mortals screw up gods)[/quote:qgt2rfmn]

That's one of my favourite parts of it as well. Even though there are alot of very powerful characters, being powerful isn't always a good thing. Erickson's idea of &quot;power drawing power&quot; as being a negative thing is a wonderful balancing force. That and mistakes (even if they don't seem like mistakes at the time) have consequences. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 30 September 2006 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by noodles0585, Peralogue

i am currently midway through the third &quot;memories of ice&quot; and so i far i love this series i just hope based on previous posts that fourth, fifth, and sixth aren't too bad other than that i will be in for the long haul. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 08 April 2008 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by noodles0585, Peralogue

i am now part of the way through book seven reapers gale and while this series is not the best fantasy i have ever read i do not regret starting it either i think that it has some real strengths and is a bit different so i do plan on finishing this series. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 01 June 2008 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by ThePrinceofNothing, Candidate

I've read Gardens of the Moon and fairly enjoyed it. It definitely is slow, but picks up perhaps midway through the book. Erikson is not the best writer, but some of his techniques are very interesting. The cinematic technique he utilizes of switching rapidly back and forth between characters to create a heightened sense of tension works quite well, and definitely helpes to move those passages along. You just can't wait to see what happens! As for characterization, both Martin and Bakker are far better, I believe. At first I never thought any fantasy writer could be better at characterization that Martin; that opinion changed when I read The Darkness That Comes Before. Bakker is on par with Martin; an impeccable writer. Personally, Erikson is good but a step below each of them. To be honest, when I first started reading Gardens of the Moon it felt as though I was reading some cheap adaptation of a role playing game (which makes some sense, considering they were originally intended as video games). Still, if you can make it halfway through, the book does eventually pay off.

I bought Deadhouse Gates with the intention of beginning it, but before I could explore it a decent amount I discovered Bakker's trilogy. Needless to say, Erikson was put down. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 17 June 2008 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Curethan, Didact

There are many things about these books that annoy me.
Too many characters, that run the gamut from being ridiculously overpowered, amazingly prescient and unbelievably, smugly clever to incredibly similar, boring and dim. Themes almost reach critical mass. Too many divergent plotlines.

Nevertheless, I enjoy the books, and every one of the things that pisses me off about them is also one of the things I enjoy. <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
A guilty pleasure. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 26 June 2008 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by anor277, Didact

Just wanted to add that Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian Cameron Esslemont has now been published and will be shortly available from Amazon. (The current hardback edition by a small UK publisher is riddled with proofing errors and a bit pricey.) Both Esslemont and Erikson share (and co-conceived) the world that is depicted in the Malazan novels, and the new novel details events in Quon Tali after Erikson's Reaper's Gale, and covers the return (duh!) of that infamous mercenary company that opposed Kellanved 100 years previously to their homeland. Further novels by ICE will include places that Erikson has so far ignored (i.e. Assail).

One thing I liked about Esslemont's novel was that it explained straight off (or at least attempted to explain) things that Erikson should have explained 25,000 words ago (warrens, decks of dragons, we're still ignorant of ascendancy). view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 05 August 2008 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by anor277, Didact

Quote: &quot;Curethan&quot;:2vh01r1f
There are many things about these books that annoy me.
Too many characters, that run the gamut from being ridiculously overpowered, amazingly prescient and unbelievably, smugly clever to incredibly similar, boring and dim. Themes almost reach critical mass. Too many divergent plotlines.

Nevertheless, I enjoy the books, and every one of the things that pisses me off about them is also one of the things I enjoy. <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
A guilty pleasure.[/quote:2vh01r1f]

Just rebumped this thread because Erikson's latest, Toll the Hounds, has been recently released. While it is undoubtedly exciting (in places) and enjoyable it epitomizes the criticisms that Curethan makes above. There are just so many plotlines in an (approx.) 1000 page novel; it's a case of too many hats and not enough rabbits. And the multiple plotlines are resolved by omission: many of the interesting developments are ignored and are just not resolved in the novel. As far as we know the conclusions will not be supplied by Erikson.

Curiously, the consensus of opinion on the Malazan boards is that TtH is excellent. For mine, the earlier novels, Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice were quite superior. And note that we don't know much more about the Malazan world re sorcery and warrens and ascendants and timelines now after 8 novels than we did after 2 or 3. The revelations have been a long time coming and I don't think they'll ever come now. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 11 October 2008 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by AJD, Candidate

Quote: &quot;Xray the Enforcer&quot;:1glzhrqk
I'll be interested what you think of Erikson. I am not impressed with his writing, although he finally created an interesting character in Felisin. I swore to the Erikson fans at Westeros that I'd read thru DHG, and I will. After that, though, I don't think I'm going to continue the series.

I guess it comes down to what you're looking for in books. Nifty battles and cool world-buidling, with uber-1337 characters who never die? Multiple non-human races who do cool shit? Magic, magic, even more magic. It's magic all the way dow? Erikson is your man.

Structured narrative, character development and an inspired command of the written or spoken word (while also delivering the goods when it comes to world-building flava, etc -- what we read this stuff for in the first place)? Find another author, because that is definitely not Erikson's forte.

He does do blood well, though. Maybe not Cormac McCarthy levels of blood, but he's better than most. I dunno -- I can certainly see why others like the books.[/quote:1glzhrqk]


This may be one of the worst reviews of Erikson I have seen.

i know some may not like him but geesh. I would also be interested in knowing at what book you had stopped at, Xray. view post


Erikson Neophyte posted 27 October 2008 in Literature DiscussionErikson Neophyte by Mats, Candidate

The thing that elevates Erikson above the cookiecutter rabble we've come to expect from the fantasy genre is not his &quot;advanced magic system&quot; or even scope (let's face it, he's just one of many who have been allowed to write as much has he has, and there's a reason for that), it's his character developments. He introduces them as subtle little mysteries, rumours even, which are built upon layer by layer - so deftly that you hardly even think about it! - until they've become people that are so achingly real for better or worse. A character you barely give a second through could very well turn out to be your favourite a book or two later and that's fucking exciting. view post


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