No mercy, ever.
These characters, their struggles, so heart wrenching... Oh Coltaine, oh Duiker.. Mappo. I made a mistake by reading Memories of Ice and listening to Deadhouse Gates at the same time, since they took place at the same time... so without spoiling anything, someone's fate was already known ...but it didn't matter; I was held by the narrative entirely.
This guy is fucking amazing. There is only so much someone can do with dozens and dozens of characters to voice and keep things distinct and he did that and more. I'm tempted to listen backwards from this book to the beginning of the saga if Lister is the guy behind the voice on them.
So many moving moments. But Duiker saving the toddler outside the gates of Aren and his final scene of the book are a toss up.
Mind blown, I had forgotten how good an audiobook could be. Thank you Erickson, Lister and Audible.
Everyone is asking for more audiobook versions in the Malazan fallen series. I went to Brilliance Audio website and they will have "House of Chains" ready for release in December this year, and then the next book in the spring. Steven Eriksons fans will be so happy-- well I know I will. It's also fun to listen to previous books again and hear all the things I miss the first time through. Hope the news cheers you up. i have over 600 books from audible and I love this series. What a great writer. These plot lines are varied and not superficial. Encourages thinking. A rare thing these days. Ralph Lister is a darn good narrator. Separate voices for each character makes the experience fun.
Hard question to answer. I have been eagerly awaiting this series on Audible because I enjoy epic fantasies more than any other genre. I have been buying each one of these book for my Dad after having read positive reviews, but I honestly do not have the time to read them. So I have chosen to simply listen to them every chance I get: early in the morning while fixing breakfast and while driving to work. I have found that I very much enjoy the performances of many of the narrators and they add a whole new dimension to these books.
Once I started to listen to Steven Erikson's work, I have found a few things: One, he has the most astounding dominion of the English language I have ever witnessed. He has a way of saying things in such a singular, insightful manner that you find yourself identifying with thoughts described in a way that you know EXACTLY what they mean and can remember feeling the same way but could have never put it in such perfect words. Two, it requires you undivided attention. The nature of these characters is that they all seem to be quite clever and intelligent. Dialogue is often oblique and nothing is said in a straightforward manner. I do not mean that the author has a baroque style. Rather, you have to read between the lines and make conclusions yourself about what is happening. Miss two sentences and you can be totally lost. This is impressive in a way, but also frustrating because, for me at least, it was often difficult to follow the story. I am not kidding when I say that I may have to listen to this (and the other books I have read from this author) three times or more. Three, although he has the most admirable dominion of the language, there is something wrong with the pacing of this and his other books that I have listened to. They do not follow the conventional buildup and climax that you find in other stories. This results in a book that may be exceptional in many ways, but not exciting.
I have also listened to "Gardens of the Moon" and "Forge of Darkness". I have found them all so far to suffer from the same problem with pacing, the lack of a satisfying climax. And yet they are all amazing stories that are complex and, above all, told in a truly exquisite and superior prose. Will I listen to any other of his books? Most likely. But after listening to "Deadhouse Gates", I definitely need a break and will listen to something that is not as heavy.
I don't think I can compare it to anything else. The longer epic fantasies that I have listened to or read, such as "Wheel of Time", "Sword of Truth", "Belgariad/Malloreon" are not as ambitious nor as majestically told. Those other series, however, are definitely easier to digest and great in their own way.
The narrator is great. I firmly believe that any good narrator adds another dimension to the story being read. He is good choosing voices for each character and complementing their personality with the delivery of the dialogue.
Impossible. I found myself needing to listen to this book in relatively short bites.
I'm a web designer in Southern California that loves a good thick book - especially epic fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary thrillers. My favorite authors include Stephenson, Erikson, and Sanderson.
I'll start by saying that this is easily in my top 3 favorite books that I've ever read (and I've read a lot). It's Erikson in his prime, and I honestly believe that he's one of the great authors of our time, even if his style tends towards the heavy handed and poetic. It's one of the few books that actually drew tears at several points, and I can't recommend it highly enough if you enjoy stuff like Game of Thrones, The Wheel of Time, The Way of Kings (Stormlight Chronicles), etc.
Caveats: This book is heavy - we're talking George Martin heavy - 20+ POV plotlines are introduced with hundreds of relevant characters. Erikson excels at "epic" world building and this is perhaps the first book where he really lets loose on that front. So be warned - this book takes some level of engagement to follow. It's entirely worth it though... you'll find passages in this book that rival the best literature ever written, even if it's tough to catalog all of the characters, locations, factions, etc.
I've also recommended to a number of my friends that they start the "Malazon Book of the Fallen" series with this book, not Gardens of the Moon, since it's riveting and fleshed out in a way taht GOTM never really was.
Oh geez. Kruppe & Kalam are my favorites and they aren't really even central characters in this part of the series... Kruppe for his ridiculously entertaining narrative style and Kalam for his badassitude; but there are just so many others that are a close second.
I won't ruin the ending... but damn. Did someone cut a whole bag of onions? WTF man. Best ending to a book I've read since Ender's Game.
Betrayal Sorrow Loyalty
It is difficult to choose a single character, as each has his or hers own intertwining story line. To do so is, in my opinion, crass and presumptuous.
He is a great reader. One has to listen carefully though, as he tends to increase or decrease volume depending on character. I am able to follow characters on the voice alone.
Coltaine's and Duiker's death.
I can not say enough about this series. I am so very happy to find it on Audible. This second book was the one that really got me hooked. The Chain of Dogs story line just grabs you and does not let you go. Epic series and I hope they continue with the rest.
This series is dense, deep, rich and can be confusing if you're not paying attention. So many names, so many places and so many things going on. I would love to see the entire series on Audible (it would be nice to have a complete, long series ready to go!)
I can't say too much that's negative, it's just all good! Characters are memorable and you invest yourself in their stories. The plot seems pretty solid, although I have no idea where it's going, yet. The writing is quite good and at times you feel the language elevate you to more emotion than you probably want while sitting in an office, listening to a book. And its scale is epic. A nice, long listen.
Download it. Download it now!
Listening to the story was not time well-spent, and given the length of this story, that is a hell of a sharp critique. This book is LONG. In many ways, length is a good thing. If I enjoy a story, I get to enjoy it for a longer time. But if I am desperately waiting for a story to stop sucking and get to the point, length just prolongs my suffering or, in the case of this story, makes me feel cheated when the longed-for point is underwhelming.
Most disappointing was the fact that after two books (the first of which was ok, inspiring me to get this one) I still have no idea how the world the story takes place in works. There is a rich and detailed magic system. There are a multitude of diverse and interesting societies. And there is absolutely no explanation for any of it. Without having at least some background about why things are as they are, and how the system works, it is very difficult to make guesses at what will happen next. Thinking about what will happen next is kinda important for a story this long.
Example: The marines enter the magical rift world. They have an adventure in which they survive a deranged maybe-or-maybe-not dead wizard through absolutely no skill of their own. They encounter immensely powerful elder undead things, and one of them comes away with a maybe-or-maybe-not magic sword. The sword serves absolutely no purpose (at least in this story). They encounter an ancient undead dragon so mighty that it's mere magical wake is sufficient to draw them out of the magic rift world, once again, through no particular skill of their own. And then, later, we discover that the marines have "almost ascended", whatever that means. So apparently by entering the magic rift world, normal humans can become godlike Ascendants. Question: why? Answer: because the author says so. Explanation: none is forthcoming in this story.
Aside from drum my fingers in frustration and tedium, no.
THE PROBLEM the author writes as if you just finished his last book. No introductions barely any description. Every book should be self contained. Unless you just put down book one this will be a bunch of nonsense. Bang your head on the keyboard and read that instead of burning your credit.
I found this a hard read. To many things going on, not sure who was good/bad. First book I enjoyed but this was to complicated.