Um, nothing that I can think of. It would have to be a different book.
Erikson comes highly recommended all around. But having read an enormous amount of fantasy myself from trying to start this book, twice in print and once in audio, I don't really get it. The language has all the overwraught quality that flaws much of the best fantastic writing, but without the plot or characterization insofar as I could get to. The whole thing reminded me more of a romantic era epic poem in which the characters were more demiurge than human, and demiurges who were hard to care much about. The battle scenes were full of pyrotechnics and magic, but the first was, in the age of cgi, so what, and the latter not realized, but rather simply imposed upon the narrative. Suspension of disbelief would demand interest; my interest began waning from the opening bell.
Not particularly, but then he did not have much in the way of characterization to begin with.
I believe there are those who love the challenge of Erikson's in medias res style of scene. I would be more willing to put up with that in the third book of such a long series. This was a young author more filled with ideas than fleshed out characters. If you are an idea person, then go for it. He kind of reminds me of David Lindsay, the early twentieth century, Brit author of A Voyage to Arcturus, but with many of Lindsay's flaws, lacking Lindsay's stupendous imagination.
I have heard that the books in this series get immeasurably better after the first one. At the same time I have been told it is necessary to get through the first one to go on. Well, there you have it. I have tried and tried again, but it always puts me to sleep.
As has been mentioned in other reviews you regularly find yourself wondering what happened, and need to go back a bit to make sure you understand the connections. In a paperbook this would not be a big issue, but in an audio book it is a hassle. And as I regularly listen in the car to and from work this book was not the enjoyment I had hoped. It seems to have potential, but I would recommend people read it instead of hear it.
I don't think changing his performance would of made a difference. This book is just very complicate.
This isn't a book where you can listen to while driving, cleaning, or doing other activities. Every sentence is important so if you passively listen, it will confuse you later on. You have to really give it your full attention, or you'll have to keep rewinding it to catch back on.
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.
Love to listen at work
The sheer size of the story and nothing is explained right out. The series is not for a novice.I have read most fantasy epics and this is impressive.
That nothing is simplistic, magic, ghosts, gods,rulers, heros, villians, it is never black amd white. Least interesting is...well his description of types of peoples is tough to remeber at times.
When the Imass race is first introduced. Maybe when Anamando Rake is introduced as well.
The characture named Kroper makes me smile.
There is a lot of plot to process at first but this is a masterful series. Remember dear friends that nothing is as simple as it appears.
I liked he storyline, but the narrator's voice is horrible. I couldn't continue with the book. He accentuates the same word on every sentence. it was so annoying, I had to return the 2nd book even though I had already purchased it in anticipation of the whole series.
Really hard to get into the book at first. I actually listened to it a second time and enjoyed it significantly more
Nothing could have, this is a terrible book I didn't like it at all.
His writing style
Assassins, magic, meddling gods, threat of a powerful tyrant, and intrigue, what more could you want from a epic fantasy?
Be warned this book is long and has a high learning curve. I was about a quarter or third before I could stop wondering if I understood what was happening and start enjoying the story.
It all came together at the end and the last few chapters was exciting and page turning. Despite being part of a long series the story stands well on its own.
There are many characters and politics to track. The main characters are well fleshed out and have their unique voices.
If you don't like books you can't get into right away then stay away from this. If you're patient and okay with a slow increment of reveal and plot advancement then hunker down and start reading.
One problem with the audio book is that the character viewpoint will often change within a chapter and there are no audio cues or even pauses. It can be quite jarring and annoying.
I went into this book after reading glowing praise from other readers whose opinions I respect and was utterly disappointed. There are so many characters in the first 2 hrs that even though the narrator (who by the way was brilliant) did a great job of creating unique voices for each even he couldnt save it from being a jumbled mess. I listen to audio books like most people while commuting or working out and for me this book was just to hard to follow. I listen to be entertained not to have to rewind and listen again to see if I had the right character doing the right thing. Sorry its just my opinion and Im clearly in the minority but for me it was just to much to try to keep up with.
Not if the style is the same
Everything He was fantastic!
I would have stuck with maybe 10 characters instead of 40 in the first 5 chapters.
I was so gung ho about this series I bought the 2 books following this one and am ever so thankful to Audible that they let me return them.Lesson learned I wont be doing that again.