los angeles, CA | Member Since 2005
I'm not really sure what it was about this book - it's been recommended to me by several people, but after reading through about half of it, it just dragged on and on without anything of substance ever happening that warranted enough interest for me to keep reading.
I might come back to this one, but there just didn't seem to be an engaging plotline; In several hours of listening, nothing happens besides following an adolescent girl through an exceedingly boring court life, listening to her whine about how boring it is, and then following the plot line of an unremarkable stable boy that was gaining magical powers (although they very well may be the more dull magical powers ever to grace the written page).
Something more modern...
The narrator was fine, really. No complaints there.
The entire first half of the book.
Nope. This isn't bad writing, it just wasn't my preference. Perhaps I'm just desensitized by more modern fantasy writing that includes more structure, world building, and conflict.
The story, the characters, the world were all so interesting and different. I have absolutely zero interest in Vaudeville or theater, but that's really just the framework that this magnificent fabric of story is hung upon - in short, don't let that part turn you off.
I'm a big fan of thicker fantasy & fiction writing, but this book (which is relatively short compared to my usual far) really worked like a charm to break up a "reading rut" that I'd run into where I just wasn't finding anything interesting to dig into.
I didn't love the ending... but I also can't really imagine a better way to close up the book. In short, I guess I was just sad to see the story come to a close when I could have read another 400 pages (or hours?) of material based in this world.
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.
So I loved the first book in this series - it was full of action, was set in a really interesting world, and the plotline moved at a quick clip - which is perhaps why I was so disappointed as I read this one. The plot just moved so... slow. And so much of it felt like artificial setup for something that happens later in the book, but that just didn't feel like it had the crescendo that the first book had.
To be fair, after listening to the post-book message by Orson Scott Card himself, I fully understand WHY he wrote this book the way that he did - he's setting up for an epic Book 3 where all of the setup will pay off. I fully intend to pick up that book, but that still doesn't make me like this one any more. The teenage angst, sexual frustration, and laggard pace almost turned me to deleting the book from my phone... but plow through it, as I think we'll all rewarded in the next book of this series.
I didn't particularly love this book, but I'll admit that it's got some interesting things going on. The deity, "Death", is new to the job and essentially wanders around collecting souls and engaging in "episodic" internal debates over the merits of man's life here on earth and whether or not a soul should go to heaven or hell.
Cool story bro. It reminded me of the television show Grey's Anatomy - but replace the intense personal drama with heavy philosophical arguments.
The story just didn't really engage me in any real way, but I'll be the first to admit that I've read a lot of material like this and that, ultimately, if I'd read this when I was a bit younger, it would have become one of those cherished novels that I push on my friends and children. I suppose I'm a bit jaded by the whole heaven and hell world structure, so this felt a little stale. To be fair though, the book is 30 years old and has aged as well as any book has in the genre.
The ideas here are great - even if you don't love the world, there's tons for a young mind to ponder over and it gave me plenty to chew on myself... I just got bored of the chewing and wanted to move onto something else. It's solid writing, has a great narrator, and is worth a listen - if only to say that you've touched on this classic.
I just wish this guy would quit writing other books and work on this series alone!
This is one of those... if you could only download one audio book... books.
It's important to note that this book seems to transcend genres... in a way crossing elements of the book "Peter Pan" and many other pseudo-fantasy novels with strong notes of Americana like the film "Stand By Me" or the Wonder Years... it truly is a great summer read, or listen in this case.
The narration is nothing short of excellence; Unlike some downloads that I've found here where the narration is awkward or the story ill suited to be read aloud, this book seems to have been written for the spoken word, much like Orson Scott Card's book "Ender's Game"... and naturally the dual narration is perfect for the dual narrative form of the story.
The Stolen Child was an easy, yet engaging listen that you'll probably breeze through over the course of a week, as it's a "pageturner" and you'll want to sneak in every minute of the day that you can to listen to it... I don't listen or read to many books more than once, but I'm sure that I'll be returning to this one in a year or so and will definitely pass it on to my kids when they're old enough and adult friends alike.
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