Masters in Fiction from Johns Hopkins, aspiring science fiction/humor writer. Give me the unexpected with a bit of grit and humor, please.
I returned the book.
It is so . . . ignorable? I found myself rewinding most passages several times, but the passages were just too mundane despite the subject matter. The characters are easily forgettable and interchangeable (except for Cropper, who is much like Falstaff, a character borrowed from Shakespeare). There are LOTS of characters and lots of names. But, unlike other authors who make each one memorable, most times the name and profession is all we’re given.
It's like the author is TELLING a story, (SIMPLY telling) and not taking the reader along on the journey. The reader never has a sense of place, never quite knows where he is are or how he got there Things happen, but it's hard to care about the events when the reader has no frame of reference.
Part of the Hero's Journey is establishing what is at stake and the motivations for the characters. I'm all the way through part one and I still have no idea. People fighting for the sake of fighting. That's it. This book is like reading an instruction manual, with lists of dry details. It reads like part II of a series where the reader is already familiar with the background of the characters so the author has no reason to show depth.
Here's an example:
I still don't know what Moonspawn, the floating fortress, looks like. Is it round like an actual moon? Is it a floating hill or a construct of brick? I don't know where I missed it, but looking for a particular description, if one even exists, within an audio book is all-but impossible. I'm leaning toward the assumption that Erikson mentions it in passing long before it had any relevance to the story, as with most of this book. I think it's too much to ask that I memorize irrelevant details in hopes that they may become important later. How am I to tell what’s important and what isn’t?
In my re-reading while looking for what the heck Moonspawn is, a character mentions, "A sapper named Fiddler took me down" (into the tunnels). Fiddler is a character that is described in some detail MUCH later in part I. How is a reader supposed to reference one un-memorable line, seven chapters ago? In re-reading, I have a frame of reference because now I know who fiddler is, what he looks like, etc. This happened again and again and again with many details. It's like Erikson is writing backward.
Character and plot development is bland to the point that, even almost half way through the book, I am unsure of what, exactly, is going on and I don't have a clear enough connection to any of the characters to know if I like or dislike them. To be sure, I have an idea on what is going on, and I know most of the main players, but I don't have a any kind of intimate connection with either the story or any of the characters in the story.
I hate his voices. Many sound very similar and his range of emotion seems limited to a sort of whining or gruff, surely, angriness.
I am a bit confused, at this point, as to how this is so popular. I picked it up because, it was said, that if you liked "ASOIaF", you'd like this. Um, no. Martin, even though he builds a pretty large world, with an extensive history that you learn about along the way, populated with several characters and many concurrent story lines, makes you care enough about the story and characters to WANT to keep listening/reading. With this book, I find my mind wandering while I'm listening; I just don't care what's happening.
Maybe, it is a book that must be read to be enjoyed; I don't know. I'm not impressed at this point.
I love a good story, especially one with a bit of a dark side.
I guess I am in the minority here. I just never felt invested in any of the characters enough to care what happened to them. I listened to 16 hours of it but just found myself daydreaming too often. The writing is fairly good, but the plot is too buried for my liking, if there is one. The story begins from too many distant strains and just never seemed to really merge. I'm sure they end up together, but I just never could get into it.
I'm 24 hours into it and still don't know what's going on or why and I don't care about any character or plot line. People die but are still alive. Wounded but healed but wounded but sort of healed miraculously or sometimes not. Big and mean but impotent. Small and fragile but impotent. But sometimes not. Everyone is against everyone else, or not, sometimes. Yeah, it's like that. There isn't any focus. The writing jumps from one seemingly irrelevant place to another relevant place with no known relevance.
Lister has an incredible array of voices and moves easily from one to another. He is a great reader.
I'm done with this series.
Erikson starts his stories as if you already know the characters and the world they live in. There is no context setting and you spend the first third of the book just trying to figure out what is going on and who is who. It is really not until you are half way through the story that you can really follow all of the characters and you begin to see how the story is coming together. You would think that would make for a bad review, but the story is absolutely brilliant. Events follow one after another in an unpredictable but very realistic manner. The world he creates is immense. And as you approach the end of the book you are left to wonder how he could have written such a brilliant story. It’s dark, it’s realistic, it’s funny….it is a great fantasy read!
This series is characterized by superior writing, excellent plot and character building, and consistently exuberant world-building. Ralph Lister performs in a professional manner that extracts simplicity and emotionality from complex story-telling. I sincerely hope Audible releases the remainder of this series that regularly appears on top-ten lists of Fantasy/Sci-Fi series.
The structure of this book make it stop and start from now where. While I have read reviews about this problem I thought it would be something that would prove worth while. It has not been.
I gave this book two attempts. One in normal daily situations, cutting the lawn or going for a walk. That sort of thing. I could not get in to it.
I went camping deep in the hills where I would not be disturbed. Tired and ready for a peaceful night by the fire, I was bored to tears.
choppy - slow
sure. Good narrator.
I have no idea. Maybe have a reading guide to go along with it.
The story is good if you can understand what is going on however it seems to skip around and follows too many characters without piecing them together. All in all if you have the time to listen and re listen to the book a few times it is a good story the reader was very good i have the book in paper form as well and it is also hard to follow.
It was good and it leads you to the next book in the series
he give the characters depth and is very creative with distinguishing each character
it would make a good series but not a movie it has too many different roles and i am unsure who to put in what role.
Fifty something, small business owner, married, no children. Love travel, beaches, tropical isles, classic cars and listening!
I tried, I really did, I'm 4 hours in and have absolutely no clue, I don't know, maybe it's my listening style but I continually reset and listened again. Perhaps it is the narration or my habit of listening in short bursts, I'm totally lost, after 7 days of trying, many resets and no idea of the plot or ability to follow the characters, I finally gave up.
Of course, "your mileage may vary"
I love fantasy, and I like listening to complicated and dry things. Honestly, I found this book kind of a slog, and I can't decide whether I'll tune in for book two.
Interesting, well drawn world. Unique and compelling use of the supernatural. Tons of promise in the relationship between deities and mortals. Potentially interesting story. Really comes alive in the third act, and by the end I completely believed that a lot of the foreshadowing and hinting will bear interesting fruit in future books. A few characters were well drawn and interesting (loved Kruppe, like Tool).
I don't believe the society at all. It feels like an excuse to house various fantasy tropes.
I don't believe the motivations of any of the characters, seen or unseen. The author doesn't seem to know how to write for deep emotions, or how to realistically grow relationships among characters. Sometimes, bam, they're in love. Sometimes, bam, they're angry at each other. Bam, angst that we're supposed to relate to somehow. It's just out of the blue more often than not.
Often, characters simply deduce things they could not possibly know to advance the plot. This could just be me missing things, but I feel like the book doesn't always take the time to explain things when it should. For example, we hear the word "Otataral" as an adjective for several hours before anyone tells us it's a special mineral. Took me forever to figure out that a Jaghut Tyrant was not a Jaghut that happened to be a tyrant. Is a hound bad? What's a finnest? What's a Bridge Burner, and why do I care? What's a Tiste Andii? Could we spend a little time on how warrens work, and what a path is? Things like that. Robs many scenes of drama until you can piece together what's what. Some of this stuff would be easier if you could read what was capitalized.
Writing is sometimes suspect.
On the reader side:
One major problem here. The book shifts from character to character without headings. Instead, there's an extra line between paragraphs marking the end and beginning of a character perspective. The reader does not pause at all at these transitions (in fact, he goes a little faster), and so it's easy to miss them.
Separately, sometimes, I think the reader is unsure of what the character is feeling when it talks. I don't think he pulls off "Sorry" for this reason.