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Old 02-20-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
jgaiser
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Malazan Book of the Fallen

After many warnings and a couple of false starts, I picked up the Tor omnibus and started in on Gardens of the Moon.

About 100 pages in, I discovered that somewhere in the dark past I had purchased the Audible audiobook for Gardens of the Moon and started a readalong with it, which has a great narrator and helped bring the story to life.

Now about 300 pages in (well into Chapter 4) and I don't completely understand all the warnings. The first couple of chapters *were* confusing, but once the story gets going it's been difficult to put the book down. If this first book is the worst of the series, I think I'm really going to enjoy this series.

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Old 02-20-2014, 01:30 PM   #2
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I admit to being intimidated by the sheer size of this series. If I'd been keeping up as it was being published, it'd be one thing. But a ten book series is looking pretty Sisyphean to me right now (not to mention that my tastes have changed, so that I now favor "one and done" subject matter). Wheel of Time and Sanderson's Stormlight Archive are just going to have to survive without me for much the same reasons.

Erickson's would probably be the one I'd go with, though, if I ever do get the hankerin' for epically long fantasy again.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:53 PM   #3
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... Big? Calibre pagecount (APNX algorithm) reports about 13500 page for the omnibus, so this isn't going to be one I read one after the other.

Still, I do enjoy *big* stories. Bigger than could be shoehorned into a single volume. And everything I'm seeing online says the first 4(?) books are pretty much standalone with satisfying conclusions. Also listening to the audiobook a couple of chapters behind has added a huge amount of understanding to the story.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:14 PM   #4
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I have a friend who is starting this series soon and look forward to his opinion. The series intrigues me but I have heard a lot of the "its way to confusing, pay very close attention as you read" stuff.

However, if I could get a great deal on the omnibus, maybe i'll take a chance.

I'm glad to hear you are enjoying it so far, let us know if you continue to like it 5000 pages in
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:12 PM   #5
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... Big? Calibre pagecount (APNX algorithm) reports about 13500 page for the omnibus, so this isn't going to be one I read one after the other.

Still, I do enjoy *big* stories. Bigger than could be shoehorned into a single volume. And everything I'm seeing online says the first 4(?) books are pretty much standalone with satisfying conclusions. Also listening to the audiobook a couple of chapters behind has added a huge amount of understanding to the story.
I don't suppose you have the Wheel of Time in Calibre to do this type of check? Another huge fantasy series. My re-read stats say 13,303 pages, 4,420,310 words, so same ballpark but different method I am sure.

I enjoyed the first book and have heard great things about the series as a whole, but I haven't wanted to delve into the rest of it for some reason. Partially because I have been trying to read things other than fantasy for the last couple years.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:45 PM   #6
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I don't know if I was just in a bad mood, but it didn't work for me. I have no real desire to read the second book while there are still other things I want to read.

I liked some of the names, and the imagination, but I didn't like the arbitrariness and post-rationalisation of some of the plot turns. The motivations of some major characters made no sense; some whole story arcs turned out to be irrelevant dead ends; and the constant over-topping of ultimate powers started to become a bit yawnsome.

In theory it should be right up my street, but for whatever reason I just didn't connect with it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:51 PM   #7
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I don't suppose you have the Wheel of Time in Calibre to do this type of check? Another huge fantasy series. My re-read stats say 13,303 pages, 4,420,310 words, so same ballpark but different method I am sure.
About 13600 with hand addition of the separate ebooks I have copies of. Another one of those series I acquired over the years that I still haven't gone beyond the first chapter or so. Even though I've got a friend who asks me every time we meet "Have you started Wheel of Time yet?". Nope... Not yet...
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:00 PM   #8
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I don't know if I was just in a bad mood, but it didn't work for me. I have no real desire to read the second book while there are still other things I want to read.
Nothing to be ashamed with. It didn't work for you. No use worrying about it.

That said... Unless you truly hated the first book, what I'm reading on reddit in the /r/fantasy sub, there was about 8 years between the writing of Gardens of the Moon and Deadhouse Gates and that second book was/is much better.

Since I'm enjoying the first book, so far, and of course since I've all the books already, I'll continue with the series. Though not one after the other.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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What kind of bargain did you get on the omnibus, just out of curiosity?
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:28 PM   #10
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I have a friend who is starting this series soon and look forward to his opinion. The series intrigues me but I have heard a lot of the "its way to confusing, pay very close attention as you read" stuff.

However, if I could get a great deal on the omnibus, maybe i'll take a chance.

I'm glad to hear you are enjoying it so far, let us know if you continue to like it 5000 pages in
Yeah.. $62+ U.S. is a pretty big commitment, but you can pick up the first book in the series for less than $6.

And the first book will get me almost 1/4 of the way to 5000
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:35 PM   #11
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What kind of bargain did you get on the omnibus, just out of curiosity?
There's bargains and there's bargains. $62+ for 10 books. Not a bad price, but still not cheap.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:46 PM   #12
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About 13600 with hand addition of the separate ebooks I have copies of. Another one of those series I acquired over the years that I still haven't gone beyond the first chapter or so. Even though I've got a friend who asks me every time we meet "Have you started Wheel of Time yet?". Nope... Not yet...
I think the first book is one of the best in the genre. Unfortunately it bogged down a lot in the middle. Honestly, if you didn't know it was a series going in, the first book could be pretty much stand alone.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:27 PM   #13
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I think the first book is one of the best in the genre. Unfortunately it bogged down a lot in the middle. Honestly, if you didn't know it was a series going in, the first book could be pretty much stand alone.
The first book is very good, compared to many other fantasy books. But I think too, the second book is even better. Mainly because it is plot wise much more distinct from most other fantasy. While the first book is great in world building (as of course the whole series) the main plot is somewhat traditional.

Since the op plans to read the series step by step, I can say that the series is great for that. There are some greater plot lines, but nearly all books are very good on their own (an exception would be the last two books, which conclude the major plot line). Each book focus on an own subplot which is concluded in the book. You could also try to read them not in publication order some times. Would be interesting to see, how they feel if read in chronological order or reading book 3 before 2 (these two books cover the same time on different continents). Since each book works for itself, I never encountered the fatigue I had with the wheel of times (seriously, the pacing there is terrible. There are whole books, where nearly nothing happens. It has its strength but also many flaws).

So, have fun with the series and take your time. Seriously, too much Erikson can lead to cynism and fatalitism, but also to some sprinkles of hope
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:37 AM   #14
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I thought Dazrin's post was talking about the first book in the Wheel of Time but I am glad to see you offer the same opinion on the Malazan books. I have read the Wheel of Time and there were definitely at least 3 books in the series where a plot line was just continued...not introduced, not resolved, just dragged on through a 1,000 pages. It was rough even though I liked the series as a whole.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:31 AM   #15
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Argh, you are right, he was talking about the wheel of time. That beeing so, I agree with him about the first book of the wheel of time.
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