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.
** If you have ever wanted to read a history book about another world, I think this is your book.
The chances of you caring what happens to the characters in this book are low. So low. This is partly due to the fact that the author doesn't outright demonize one side or the other, and partly due to the fact there are so many characters you will have a hard time keeping them straight.
** If you ever wanted to read a book that is confusing and dragging the first time but makes more sense each time you read it, I think this is your book.
Most of the time you have a hard time following what is going on. It's hard to understand what the characters are trying to accomplish half the time. The author LOVES to write confusing scenes that will likely keep you from realizing he is talking about one of the main characters. In fact, he seems to go out of his way to keep you from realizing he is talking about someone you know. One way he does this is with sudden viewpoint shifts in new scenes to people that don't know the main characters.
The author LOVES to obscure the significance of a scene so that chapters later you go... Ahhh... okay now that makes sense. The downside to this is, you say that, but you couldn't care less that it happens because there was no promise of it happening.
** If you like unneeded violence that leaves you numb and uncaring about a world filled with brutality, this book is for you. The author LOVES to spell out intricate details about a person's pain in this book.
** If you want a long fantasy series to follow, give it the first book. DON'T go to the second book if you didn't like this one. It's more of the same. In my opinion the second has a weaker plot than this one. I stopped the series on the third one when the audible app malfunctioned and sent me chapters forward (like it does from time to time) and I didn't notice for 30 minutes of audible book. Really? I can advance 30 minutes in the plot and not even notice. Hardly a cohesive plot that has a gradual progression.
**** In summary... I hated this book and series. I really wanted a new fantasy series to follow so I gave it three books. It's all the same. If you want a better choice, try Wheel of Time, Mistborn, Way of Kings... those are better in my opinion.
if you haven't tried Malazan, do it now! This isn't an easy series, but its extremely rewarding as you find the answers to your questions. Oh, you will have many questions.
I have seen this series recommended everywhere and so i thought I might give it a shot.
I completely regret that. I have forced myself through it, because some people have said it gets better, but it really doesn't.
Maybe i'm too used to people like brandon sanderson who build internally consistent worlds and don't rely on the Tolkienesque deus ex-machina school of world building. In this book, everything can happen, everybody is a god, people randomly "shift souls", there are a ton of beings that are multiple millenia old.
The whole world makes no sense, the motivation of the people is completely nonsensical, everybody is magic, but it devolves into a dragon ball z type contest, where the next confrontation is even MORE MAGIC! rinse and repeat.
I'm used to complicated books, I read a ton of fantasy, maybe this isn't a good book as an audiobook (because the narrator constantly sounds out of breath and his constant super emphatic style where everything is super important makes you just annoyed), but I have devoured Anathem by Neal Stephenson as an audiobook and that was far more complex in the topics discussed.
This book on the other hand was basically just magical word salad. And if the character was needed as a plot device in the next chapter a thingamajig kept him alive or not. and then he used a god as a pawn, or not. and then the gods use the mortals as chess pieces except when they don't.
The book is especially bad because I listened to it after words of radiance, which is an absolutely fantastic book.
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.
I don't know how I missed Erikson for all these years, but the Malazan books are without par. In the vein of Cook's Black Company, but so much more. George R.R. Martin lost his way as did Robert Jordan building up tales that became so complex they became lost in their own detail. Not Erikson - these tales are action filled yarns with characters you care about.
Deadhouse Gates is a great introduction to this meaty tale. The naration is top notch.
Take it from a lifelong fantasy geek, these books are a great listen.
One caveat, only three of the 10 books are available and Brilliance Audio does not show book 4 available until December 2013.
A little more explanation of the world upfront. I understand that like a lot of hard sci-fi and fantasy that they just thrust you into the world, but I was more than halfway through the book when I realized some basic tenets of their world.
The performance was really spectacular. There are a ton of characters in this book, yet I felt I recognized each by their voice alone as soon as one spoke. Each character's voice really befit their character as well. I feel this is a good introduction to what may be a great series. My only complaint is that it really takes a while for the story to start making sense. He doesn't give much in the way of explanation of what is occurring in the first half of the book, and uses a lot of fantasy words he makes up for the story. I was utterly clueless about what was going on for the first 12 hours of the audiobook, but I am glad I stuck with it. He does eventually pull all those threads together into an impressive climax, and you are left wanting more. That's good, because now I have 9 books to go!
I enjoy listening to fantasy, some science fictions and have recently found myself enjoying the lecture audiobooks.
I enjoyed how the characters end up intertwining and the characters themselves and the overall story arch.
While I'm interested in Quick Ben, I'd have to say my favorite ended up being Cropper. Lots of personality, at times the character made me smirk and some surprises made him even better.
I have not, however he did very well.
I'd have to say Croakus's (probably spelled the name incorrectly) love interests were a touch moving.
The only minor problems I found was that until about half way through the book, the constant adding on of all sorts of characters made it hard to keep track and even focus with the book, also it's the kind of book that very abruptly changes over to another characters story or continuation there of. There are a LOT of characters in the book. I got used to it after a long while, but it was frustrating at first. Otherwise the book is beautifully written.
I've read this series in hard copy and thought that this book would be a safe way to spend an extra credit. However, I found Mr. Lister's narration to be so enjoyable I'll be buying the whole series again in audio format.
The in depth pervasive environment, history, well fleshed out characters. It's an epic fantasy realm unlike any other.
The kick-off to a great series!
He is probably one of the better readers I've listened to, perhaps the best. The Malazan books are full of different cultures, characters, languages, etc. and I think the reader does a great job at trying to create different accents, styles of speach, and attitudes for each character.
The first 30+ hour movie!
Why did he give Khalam a nasaly voice?! I am seriously holding this against the reader. I imagine Khalam as almost Khal Drogo-ish type of character and the reader makes him sound like British Milhouse from the simpsons.