Malazan Empire: Marines - Malazan Empire

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Marines Am I missing something? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Hellian's Keg Lid 

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 05:58 PM

One of the biggest criticisms I've seen of DoD so far has been how some of the readers felt all these persectives got a bit crowded, or that the squads had grown too much for reader comfort in keeping track.

Soooo... I think I'm missing something as I'm looking at the DP for DoD, and... Off the top of my head, characters I didn't pick up on in prior books or haven't been around before are running a short list -

Captain Skanarow, Captain Fast, Lieutenant Raband, The Bridgeburners.

All the other marines/mediums/heavies have been around in some form since House of Chains. We've had a couple books to get used to them bitching on Strings/Fiddler, how the heavies are well, heavy and whatnot.

Some yes, are fleshed out more in RG, but still they were around.

Am I missing something on why this is now a "big thing" on the penultimate book?
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#2 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 06:10 PM

View PostHellian, on 08 April 2010 - 05:58 PM, said:

One of the biggest criticisms I've seen of DoD so far has been how some of the readers felt all these persectives got a bit crowded, or that the squads had grown too much for reader comfort in keeping track.

Soooo... I think I'm missing something as I'm looking at the DP for DoD, and... Off the top of my head, characters I didn't pick up on in prior books or haven't been around before are running a short list -

Captain Skanarow, Captain Fast, Lieutenant Raband, The Bridgeburners.

All the other marines/mediums/heavies have been around in some form since House of Chains. We've had a couple books to get used to them bitching on Strings/Fiddler, how the heavies are well, heavy and whatnot.

Some yes, are fleshed out more in RG, but still they were around.

Am I missing something on why this is now a "big thing" on the penultimate book?


I don't know why it's a "big thing" but you're not quite right.

Badan Gruk and the other squads of the 3rd Company (8th Legion) only showed up for the first time in RG, and only really got any perspective parts in the one battle in a Letheri village. Sinter and Kisswhere didn't appear at all so far yet (they were said to have fallen down a well by the other marines in RG). There's also a bunch of new recruits to the marines from Letheras. Also, marines from the Ashok regiment like Widdershins, Ebron, etc who have been there since HoC but haven't had any perspectives yet also finally get some.

So yeah, there's more PoVs than before, and I guess some people dislike it.

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#3 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 08:11 PM

People are straining for answers now because it's the finale, and new characters in that context annoy some people. To them, the new characters seem beside the point. I'm not one of those people, but it comes down to what aspects of the story you like best. And some people want the mysteries solved more than anything. I get the feeling that some readers have only "put up with" SE's unconventional ways to get to the "good stuff", while others feel the unconventional parts are a substantial portion of the good stuff.
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#4 User is offline   Salt-Man Z 

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 09:08 PM

The jumping-around-to-multiple-obscure-Malazan-solider-POVs bugged the heck out of me in RG, and to a lesser extent in DoD. Yes, yes, I get it, Hellian is a drunk and thinks Touchy and Breathless are the same person. Yeah, Throatslitter wants to kill people. Pores is a scheming jerk. Everyone wants to do Masan Gilani. I get it.

Probably the part that bugged me the most in DoD was like an entire chapter devoted to the Malazans drifting down the river or camped out at night with nothing really happening other than jumping over here to get 6 paragraphs of POV from Soldier A, then jumping over here for 4 paragraphs of Soldier B, then Soldier C, ad nauseum.

I understand a lot of people like getting to know the characters (though I'd argue how much you can get to know them in 3-4 6-paragraphs chunks spread out over 1,000 pages) but what strikes me as odd is this: everyone seems to love the old Bridgeburners from books 1-3 so much, and why? SE certainly didn't spend entire chapters of non-action jumping back and forth between the fragmented POVs of, say, Trotts, Hedge, WJ, and Mallet.
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#5 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:18 PM

action is overrated. not really, but non-action is underrated. that's definitely one of my favorite chapters in the book. also, while readers don't know it at the time, it's possible SE was just saying goodbye to a lot of them.
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#6 User is offline   Ulrik 

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:00 AM

Well, in MOI SE actually did spend time by POVs of many BBs. Until final massacre we got pretty good picture about Blend, Antsy etc.

And in DoD, I loved fragmentarization into many soldiers POV.
1) It helped to form losing of morale in Letheras
2) It helped to create army feeling. Frankly, in MOI, we were hanged to Bridgeburners, but what about those poor heavies and all soldiers who died when BB made their spec ops action?
3) When you know them, its more perosnal when they are slaughtered. Poor Ebron...
4) After reread its more deep, you got hints about those "DoD" soldiers in all books.
5) I loved it. Not solid argument, but...I loved it. And I understand that someone dont like it...but no, I dont understand it.
How could battle with Nahruk look without it? Bottle goes for wyvals, Fid hamstrings them, Tarr stays as usually and all over some noname soldiers die. Who cares? We want to know whats with Fid! But now I care! Some got brutally sprayed by Nahruk lightning, some went to battle...I simply care bout them (and hope Skulldeath survives:)).

Frankly, Im tired of fantasy where only who is important is hero and few sidekicks.
btw - deepness of minor characters makes difference between good military sf/ fantasy and bad. MBoF is partly military...and for me is this part good as it is.
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#7 User is offline   Garak 

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:43 PM

My favorite parts of the novels have been with the Marines (and Rake, Kruppe, Pust, Gruntle). I like it when an author does this sort of thing, it makes it actually seem like a battle/war. Gemmel did it in Legend to a lesser extent and it was great, Abnet does it as well (true, 40k is more about the action than anything else but still).
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#8 User is offline   foolio 

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:20 PM

Quote

3) When you know them, its more perosnal when they are slaughtered. Poor Ebron...


man I hated that Ebron bought it. I have been tracking him since HOC.

I really like the Marine POV, Balm is one of my favorite Characters...Although I do think it is getting a little late in the game for new introductions.
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#9 User is offline   rannald 

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:32 PM

I acutally loved the Ex-Ashock soldiers, because we first saw them when they captured Karsa in Genabackis and then later again when Kalam found them in that fortress in Seven Cities,We also hear how Limp(one of my favorite chars for that group) got his gammy leg :blink: and i think it brillant that SE actually kept it on with that squad cause other squads that have been mentioned were just dropped, like the ones that appeared on drift avali(sp?) they arrived, fought got wiped out...never mentioned again....but apparently one was special to cot and shadowthrone...on a side note wasnt it mentioned that cot had a daughter, of sorts somwhere if so, the marine he picked up from drift avalii was female and particulary special to him...im just speculating and it probably will never be resolved

This post has been edited by rannald: 10 April 2010 - 01:52 AM

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#10 User is offline   foolio 

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 08:32 PM

I am with you Rannald.
I have seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter at the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain...."
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#11 User is offline   Hellian's Keg Lid 

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 09:26 PM

I loved it all :p just wasn't sure what the problem was with having the POVs expanded to include some faces we'd known for books and books... But now I've been answered :D
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#12 User is offline   foolio 

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 08:18 PM

Quote

but apparently one was special to cot and shadowthrone...on a side note wasnt it mentioned that cot had a daughter, of sorts somwhere if so, the marine he picked up from drift avalii was female and particulary special to him...im just speculating and it probably will never be resolved


the drift avali chick that ST and Cot mourned was admiral Noks wife....she was a fringe old guard.
I think the consensus of "Cots daughter" is apsalar.

This post has been edited by foolio: 15 April 2010 - 08:19 PM

I have seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter at the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain...."
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#13 User is offline   rannald 

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 09:17 PM

View Postfoolio, on 15 April 2010 - 08:18 PM, said:

Quote

but apparently one was special to cot and shadowthrone...on a side note wasnt it mentioned that cot had a daughter, of sorts somwhere if so, the marine he picked up from drift avalii was female and particulary special to him...im just speculating and it probably will never be resolved


the drift avali chick that ST and Cot mourned was admiral Noks wife....she was a fringe old guard.
I think the consensus of "Cots daughter" is apsalar.


i can kind of agree with the apsalar bit, as i can kind of see how it would work out that way...but that marine being Noks wife, Noks himself said his wife died when the malazan empire was founded, so how can it be that this women is his wife??
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#14 User is offline   Sinisdar Toste 

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 07:04 AM

well after much comparing of quotes and theorizing and such, i believe we came to the conclusion that Nok was either lying, or didn't know his wife had survived, because she was a talon and needed to go WAY underground
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#15 User is offline   Gothos 

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 07:10 AM

That, yes.
Also, I'd say Aps being a daughter of sorts to Cot, that one's obvious as hell and set in stone.
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#16 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 07:38 PM

I really enjoyed all the "common soldier" parts. Of course I really really love reading dialogue, so that might be part of it.
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#17 User is offline   High Mage of Ruse 

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:48 AM

Following the marines is the BEST part of the book for me. SE allows us to really empathise with the characters so that who lives or dies matters to us. I like their humour and banter, and comeradery even in the face of extreme odds.

I actually get bored with all the other characters especially Mappo and his tedious wondering looking for iccy. I have to try really hard not to skip these bits!

For me, the books are about the malazans. The other stuff is secondary!
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#18 User is offline   Abberon 

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:36 PM

I don't mind following the marines really. I think the marines and the soldiers are really the backbone of the whole series. It's called the Malazan Book of the Fallen and really reads like a soldier's tale of what it was like and what happened in the Malazan army. The other subplots, like Mappo/Icarium, Karsa Orlong, the Tiste Andii, the Letherii etc, all add a lot to the series (while other subplots don't), but overall this is about the Malazans and it's what we always end up coming back to.

That being said, I think it was REALLY bad story telling for SE to go ahead and introduce a whole new cast of previously unheard of or barely heard of characters in the final volume of the series. His focus has always been rather wide and all over the place throughout the series, which in and of itself wouldn't have been a bad thing if he managed tie a lot of it back in for the last few books. Instead of doing that, however, he appears to get even more long-winded, philosophical and unfocused. Reaper's Gale and TTH in particular introduce HUGE new subplots and hundreds of pages worth of filler regarding characters that in the grand scheme of things appear to do nothing to advance us towards the long-awaited conclusion.

Dust of Dreams was BY FAR my least favorite book of the series because so much time was spent dealing with the development of new and relatively unimportant characters. Even more time was spent with long-winded philosophy that would have made even Anna Karenina die of boredom. Erikson should have stuck to what he was good at and kept the focus a little narrower.

I'm dreading DoD on my re-read. Totally dreading it.
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#19 User is offline   Orlion 

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 03:36 AM

Having read Anna Karenina, I'd have to disagree with your assessment on principle :)
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#20 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 06:02 AM

Just for the record, I completely disagree with Abberon in every conceivable way. Dust of Dreams took me a long time to read only because I had to keep putting it down to give my emotions a break. Also, I think it's silly to read half a book (Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God, in my opinion, comprise two halves of one book) and then stop to go back and do a series re-read when the second half is available.

I would have been fine with MORE of the newer characters, actually. More Sinter and Kisswhere, more Badan Gruk, more Skanarow, etc.
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