First off as a caveat I am an avid fan of Steven Erikson and have read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series complete, twice. There are many things about the Audio version that I loved but to be honest what astonished me the most was the sudden realazation as I was half way through that the Audio version of Gardens of the Moon was so much easier to follow than reading the book.
Anyone who has read the series will tell you that Gardens of the Moon is good book but in contrast to the rest of the series pales in comparison. Its more disjointed, has an incredible steep learning curve and REQUIRES complete focus and attention to understand what is going on. It is no supprise that many many people have a hard time finishing the book and are dejected at the idea of continuing on. But I say this for the feint of heart, if you are one of those people who have trepidation of reading the book because of said issues above then pick up the Audio book and give it a go instead.
It is in my opinion so much easier to follow all of the different threads and plot points listening to this begining of one of the most epic tales to be told in modern fantasy. Now you may be saying to your self "well of course it was easy for you, you have read the series, twice!" and yes that is true. But in answer to that statement I will tell you this! Every time I have read this series, in every book I finish I know that I have learned more, caught on to more threads of the story that I missed before and that I finish the book feeling that there is still more that I have missed. Following the listening of the Audio book I have walked away feeling that I missed nothing and that I was able to capture and become immersed in all the intracy, plot threads and ground work that has been laid down in this story. Take that for what it is worth and start your listen on this fantastic story.
So it you are reading this then I can assume you have read Blood Song and are looking to pick up or have picked up Tower Lord and just want to get an idea of the book before you settle down to read it. Well my title says it all this book has all the trappings of the great swampy middle ground of a series, allow me to elaborate.
This book is good, I enjoyed it quite a bit and was very happy to see how well the Author branched out from the first book. The first book was great, spectacular even but it was also simple in that it had very few PoV and very few locations. In Tower Lord we get to see more. More of the world, more people and more character development of several of the secondary characters from Blood Song. That last one was critical in that it allows the story to flush out through different PoV's with different motivations and experiences. As much as people want to see and read about Vaelin this book and the story as a whole would have just plain sucked if we did that again.
Well written, expanded story, more character development and interaction and a very enjoyable continuation of the overall story.
Its a middle book. A lot happens in it but at the end of the day it is stage setting for the rest of the series. Plus big Ol' dangled cliff hanger at the end, I'm not partial to cliff hangers personally so this is more of a personal preference than a true con.
Oh and for the people complaining about too many PoV and all the jumping around, there is 4...... seriously 4 PoV you follow through the story and the sections titled by which PoV you will be following. No problem knowing whose head I was in during the listen here.
If you read Blood Song you are going to read Tower Lord so go away and do so, right now! If you are reading this to see if you want to pick up the series then the answer is yes, go get it, now. Stop reading this and go, now. Stop. Reading. This. Review. NOW!
First off, Ray Porter you rock as a narrator. Seriously one of my favorite to listen to I can not imagine anyone else narrating Joe voice.
As someone else mentioned this book falls more into a Military/Horror area in my opinion. What Maberry did with this book to really sell me on it was he took something as cliche as the "zombie apocalypse" took modern day science and showed how, hypothetically it could be created in a lab today. From there the action ratchets up to 10 and the rest of the story is about following Ledger and his team work to prevent this from happening.
Soooo how is this different, still seems cliche right? Well a good chunk of this story is spent on the damage that Ledger and his team suffer because of there job. I am not talking about cuts or bullet wounds I am talking about honest to god emotional/mental trauma and Maberry weaves these aspects into the story seamlessly as to drive the empathy hammer home for the characters you are following. That right there made it possible for me to really get into the characters of this story and enjoy this fast paced thriller.
The story in of itself is simple in nature when compared to other books. But I swear I can continuously come back to this book for a good reliable listen. Book 2: The Dragon Factory is by far my favorite out of all the books in this series.
I enjoyed listening to this book, but when I was finished I did not feel as excited about the story as I did following the conclusion of Gardens of the Moon. Where was my excitement? where was my thrill to listen to the next book? I enjoyed the story, I KNOW I enjoyed the story so what is it about listening to this audio book that left me feeling disjointed? The problem was the structure of the narration.
Ralph Lister did a good job in the narration of the story, as well as can be expected at least with one man performing so many different voices, if you are familiar with the story then you know what I mean. The problem comes from quite literally the lack of pauses in the narration between one part of the story to the next. One moment you are following the Chain of Dogs and with out a pause in the narration you are now following Sha'ik and the whirlwind. This had the effect of quite often pulling me out of the story as I had to focus on who I was now following in the story. A 2-3 second pause in the narration would have been enough to allow a transition from one group to another thereby allowing the listener to know that you are moving to different characters in the story.
I have read the Malazan book of the Fallen series from start to finish 3 times and this is my first listen of the audio books. I did enjoy the audio book and I will certainly listen to it again in the future but this is only because I have already read the series and know what is coming. Although the lack of a narrative break does pull me out of the story at times it is very easy for me to get right back into it because of this. For newcomers to the series though this will make this audio book very difficult to follow and become immersed in.
This story had me intrigued from start to finish. Brandon Sanderson leaves enough mystery surrounding the characters and plot all the way up and thru the end. What does that mean you say? It means that here we have a short story that, to me, is an introduction or pitch to a new world that Brandon Sanderson has created.
Legion introduces an Urban story that could be Fantastical or Sci_Fi, with a lead character that is either completely nuts or extremely gifted or both! By the end of the story you will have a feel for the world, the characters and the general direction of the story with no resolution outside of the immediate experienced conflict. All of this is done in superb fashion that will leave you eagerly waiting for the next installment.
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