Written for adults, this book has rich and deep characters. The world is complex and weaves an interesting network of layered machinations upon machinations.
However, given the great maturity in writing style and characters I kept waiting for a more meaningful and develop story arc. Instead it felt like every event and conflict resolved through deus ex machina---which may have been the point, but it left me wanting a story line to get invested in. I may listen to the second book, but I'm not highly motivated to do so as I don't really care what will happen to these characters (that may also have been the point).
The story is second to none but the narrator misses the mark on several characters.
Quick Ben. Because he and his ilk are the reason I like fantasy.
His voice for Fiddler was a travesty. Really detracted from the experience having one of my favorite characters sounding like a crackhead. Quick Ben's and Kalam's voices were likewise bad.
Had to pee a couple times.
The Malazan Book of the Fallen is, in my opinion, the greatest epic fantasy to date and anyone that loves fantasy is sure to thoroughly enjoy this/these book(s).
The start really put me off with this novel, and I almost did not finish it. It felt like the author was throwing in so many plot lines and twists at thee beginning that someone new to the series would become hopelessly lost. The ends were worth the struggle however, and I persevered. I think I may go back through soon to see what I may have missed the first time.
Cropper-You never no what he is going to say next.
No at the start, but once it got rolling I did not want to stop.
Absolutely! This book will need two listens at least. It is very involved and I agree with the other reviewers that wrote that this book is not for the feint of heart. It is obviously a large story and this first book is a bit confusing, though not as hard to follow as I thought it would be. Due to being a bit confusing I decided to rate the story 4 stars.
Having said that, I will say that this author is one hell of a writer. His writing skills are up there with the best fantasy writers out there (in my opinion). I place him in the company of George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, and Patrick Rothfuss. I knew within the first 10 minutes of listening to his prose that I was in good hands and even though his story was a bit convoluted in places, when I did get a little lost, I didn't really mind because what was being said was still very entertaining and by the end of the book it all came together.
I was extremely excited to hear that the story only gets better from this point on and that there are 10 books or so to look forward to! AUDIBLE and Mr. Erikson, would you please get your act together and get these books out in audio format! I am so looking forward to the rest of this series of books! I know that I will probably have to read these books now, because I don't think I can wait for the audiobooks versions to come out, but I know that it would be incredibly enjoyable and add an extra dimension to my enjoyment, if I could "hear" these books!
I really loved Ralph Lister's narration. This is my first time hearing him and I felt that he was a perfect choice for this book. He made every character stand out and I never was confused about who was saying what. He did an excellent job and deserves 5 stars for his performance.
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
From the outset, this book seems like a good introduction to a very involved fantasy series. Try this book if you are very open to continuing on with the series. There is a lot that is left unexplained and much that is left incomplete, so if you want perfect understanding and all the characters rounded-out by the end of the first book, you'll be left wanting. However, if what you are wanting is an extended, multi-part fantasy epic, you could do a lot worse.
The very appealing thing about this book is the interaction of the various characters who, at first, seem very distant from each other, but then eventually collide in, often improbable, but quite entertaining ways. Even with the heavy use of prophecy as a foreshadowing tool, there is little predictability in these interactions. When you combine this fact with the lack of contextual development (i.e. history, mechanics of magic, pantheon etc.), you feel as if you are being swept along in a fast-moving narrative stream.
On the other hand, I was somewhat disappointed by the lack of character development on the side of the protagonists. There were quite a lot of them and their endeavors were given very egalitarian coverage by the narrator. So maybe the author spread himself a little thin. Where this really needled me was when I was trying to discover a particular character's motivation for their actions. This was lightly explained at best. Often a protagonist was acting as the tool of another through possession or some other kind of influence, but even in those cases, the motivations of the possessors was similarly left unclear.
I recognize that as the first of a larger series, much of this will likely be explained, but just taking the first book on its own merits, the characters need a little depth and the world they inhabit needs texture.
The narrator was very competent in developing distinct vocal characteristics for the various dramatis personæ. I would call a few of his characterizations a little odd relative to the way they were described physically. This did not detract from the story at all and most of his work was quite enjoyable.
NOTE: As of this writing the subsequent novels are not available from Audible.
I have read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series in paperback. I enjoyed them so much that I plan to listen to each of the audio books as they are made available.
Thank you so much Audible.com for making Erikson part of my audio library.
I enjoy fiction including Sci Fi and fantasy (lots of epic fantasy.) I'm also a big fan of some of the spy genre like the Bourne series and some Tom Clancy.
That is a definite maybe. But probably not. Right now I don't know how I will go on to listen to the next two.
This book had all the makings of a fantastic book. Without the story. So what's wrong with the story? It doesn't really exist. You're pulled into it without context, description, direction or any sense for what anyone is doing beyond their present actions. You have no ability to sense the gravity of the moment or have any emotional attachment to what's going on. At one point there's what seems should be a dramatic scene and he says "The day of the Tiste Andii has come!" It has the same gravity as "DUH DUH DUUHHHHHH... Bob is acutely pissed." Maybe it's different when you can sit down and slowly read it but there are some many seemingly mindless facts, names, places, etc. that when the time comes that those things are important you've completely forgotten what they are or just don't realize why you should care.
There's a dramatic fight scene at one point on the roofs of Darujistan which Anomander Rake joins. You find out he's a bit of a bad@ss. Well, actually you don't. You don't know it's him. Later in the book you find out it was him and then you're like... oh... ok? Well I guess he's a bad@ss.
Frustration. Boredom. I found myself easily distracted and wanting to do something else other than listen to the book.
There are far more enjoyable books out there. If you really geek out on technicals - if you LOVED the Silmarillion.. then maybe this book is for you. Just remember you'd have to love the Silmarillion without reading any of the other Tolkien books first! That would be a similar experience I think.
If I recommended this book to a friend, I would warn them of its complexity and uneven writing. The world building is impressive, but there are too many view points that are confusing. The plot wanders.
Ralph Lister did an outstanding job reading this book.
I have heard the books get better.
I don't know how I'd missed this, but I had. I actually found the recommendation for it on another, personal review site, which, too, would have been missed were it not for my recent draught of work from known authors. I persisted in my search for a new author, and realized that author might not actually be new. I found him.
The reviewer warned all that the first book would be hard to follow. Indeed, I was told the story might be incomprehensible until well into the second book. I must admit having been put off at first. A great deal was happening. I felt like a styrofoam cup in the middle of a river that had recently burst its banks, a wild, torrentuous ride which could ultimately only affect me by crushing me to pieces.
However, nearing the end, I felt completely in-the-know. Of course, having already generally resigned myself to accepting that which cannot be known, likely had a great deal to do with that. Were there still unanswered questions? Yes. Did I understand the many plots? No. But I was enjoying the story, and I had a firm grip on what was happening *now*, and thoroughly enjoying that I''d no idea what was going to happen next. I didn't actually know how rare that was until this book. I thought I'd experienced it, but not fully.
I'm also told this series is quite large. Normally, that would excite me, but I'm actually a little afraid that I've entered a world much larger than Westeros, and that it might be too big. Right now, I love what I don't know, but it seems highly possible that I won't ever know a great deal.
However, I'm rating this book. This one book, and it was very well done. One could argue the depth of meaning was completely accidental, but who cares how it was designed? A snowflake is a snowflake.