Malazan Empire: OST is a stupid and boring book. - Malazan Empire

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OST is a stupid and boring book. There, I said it.

#81 User is offline   Nelix Q 

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:04 AM

Yep- I really really hate to say it, but Aptorian NAILED IT. Not only was this a total dud of a book, I think it's done a fair bit of damage to the rep' of the series.

I'm sure I'm no different to the other reader's here when I say that I have practically lived and breathed Malazan epic-ness as far as my reading in the last 10 years has gone, and I really can't begin to explain how ridiculously emotionally attached I have become to the story- but perhaps this is all part of the problem- since so much ludicrously epic shit has gone down (particularly in the series finale of TCG), maybe I/ we have just come to expect too much from these books, and have to realise that at some point there's going to be faster and slower points in the story line...? That's about all I can justify this book with anyway... but sadly I don't really dig that.

I think my main gripe is the feeling that ICE is trying WAAAAAY to hard to emulate SE's writing style. The whole "every scene is a mystery/ treat the reader's like mushrooms" thing- SE did it so damn well and that's what first addicted me like crack to the story, but I think now its become this stupid focus of the whole style just to confuse the shit out of the reader and keep them guessing- but I'm just bored with that now- its not drawing me in any more. I want to get some clarity to these millions of story threads that have been going on for so long.

Sorry if I'm repeating what others' have said above- haven't had a chance to read all the way through: But having all these MEGA bad asses cruising through the story line promising all sorts of mayhem (most notably Brood- this character implies SO MUCH- but have we actually seen him do anything???) and in the end they take a total back seat to the convergence/ climax, and it's the comic relief characters who save the day in possibly the lamest way ever.
Brood, Barathol, Topper, Jan, Leoman, Mallick, Vorcan, Dassem, Envy... even Raest!! None of them really did dick.
Antsy didn't even get to use a single munition, didn't get any gems or riches. He got onto the Spawn and practically instantaneously decided he wanted to get off again and went about making it his goal- not very exciting.
Spindle and Fisher managed to break the circle foundations AFTER all the cussers were gone and accomplished... what? Nothing.

In short- possibly above all- I think comic relief characters like Scorch and Leff are the biggest cop out an author can do. I'm sorry- but I think anyone more than 10yrs old just finds them annoying and time wasting- especially in a central role like these two were given.

My apologies to the author, and fans of this book, but I'm really hoping things are stepped up and hopefully with some fresh idea's in the future writings- and have no doubt: I am still VERY excited to get my nerdy nose into those writings :thumbsup:

Oh and P.S.- Aptorian- that was some bloody brilliant writing there opening the forum, some damn funny stuff and some great idea's!! You walloped each and every nail on the head with something akin to Brood's hammer.
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#82 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:09 AM

View PostNelix Q, on 26 April 2012 - 10:04 AM, said:

Oh and P.S.- Aptorian- that was some bloody brilliant writing there opening the forum, some damn funny stuff and some great idea's!! You walloped each and every nail on the head with something akin to Brood's hammer.


Finally somebody that appreciates me :thumbsup:
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#83 User is offline   Luzburg 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:07 AM

I really enjoyed this book. I've not read any malazan book from start to finish within 10 hours.....

Sure it had two glaring mistakes: She-K'rul and the Claw Guild.

Apart from that I was gripped from start to finish.
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#84 User is offline   Paleman 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

View PostLuzburg, on 02 May 2012 - 11:07 AM, said:

I really enjoyed this book. I've not read any malazan book from start to finish within 10 hours.....

Sure it had two glaring mistakes: She-K'rul and the Claw Guild.

Apart from that I was gripped from start to finish.


loved it too - just finished it.

All you whinging shites just have either too much time on your hands or lead really dull lives and this is all you have to gripe about. :killingme:
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#85 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:59 PM

View PostLuzburg, on 02 May 2012 - 11:07 AM, said:

I really enjoyed this book. I've not read any malazan book from start to finish within 10 hours.....

Sure it had two glaring mistakes: She-K'rul and the Claw Guild.

Apart from that I was gripped from start to finish.


What was the matter with the Claw Guild? The only claw we meet is Topper. Did you mean the Darujistan Guild of Assassins? What was wrong in its portrail?


View PostPaleman, on 09 May 2012 - 01:58 PM, said:

All you whinging shites just have either too much time on your hands or lead really dull lives and this is all you have to gripe about. :killingme:


Whinging shits?

We have too much time on our hands?

All we have to gripe about?

Good sir, I do believe you are an imbecile.
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#86 User is offline   Whiskey Bass 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:58 PM

have to agree with paleman,

why the constant whining about a book or an author that you dont like ? if it offends so much dont read it, or any other of the authors books. its as easy as that.

and dont forget ICE's books are following their own arc, which has yet to finish.
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#87 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:58 PM

View PostAptorius, on 09 May 2012 - 02:59 PM, said:

Whinging shits?

We have too much time on our hands?

All we have to gripe about?

Good sir, I do believe you are an imbecile.

You are a literal child.
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#88 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:29 PM

I dunno, complaints aside, the "if you don't like it don't read it" argument is kind of silly. It's not like a song you listen to over and over, it's a book....you read it, and only then do you know whether you like it or not. Also, are whinging and whining the same thing?
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#89 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

View PostWily Tuchuk, on 09 May 2012 - 03:58 PM, said:

have to agree with paleman,

why the constant whining about a book or an author that you dont like ? if it offends so much dont read it, or any other of the authors books. its as easy as that.

and dont forget ICE's books are following their own arc, which has yet to finish.


Well. This is a forum meant for discussing the books. Discussions are not much fun if everyone agrees with one another and spends all day singing the praise of the book or author.

In the case of this thread, when I wrote the OP, a lot of people were replying with very positive reactions to the book in other threads and quite frankly I did not see much to be happy about story wise. So I wrote my antithesis to these threads. I found the book lacking in many ways, ways that I have described in detail during this thread.

If you think that I am wrong. That OST is in fact a great book. That it is on par with the Malazan greats like DG, MOI, MT or the later not as greats, then make your counter arguments. Show us these places where OSTs story shines, where Esslemonts shows his true writing chops. The way I see it the flaws I outlined in the OP are too big to ignore. They ruin the book. And I say that despite me thinking this is Esslemonts best book yet (since NOK).

I do not think that simply stating that I am wrong, or a whinging shit, is a sufficient counter argument. Hell I am sure that Esslemont could descend upon this thread and easily tear me a new asshole arguing the merits of his choices but I have yet to see someone explaining what makes this book good. Sure, there is no accounting for taste, we all find different things to like about a book but I just don't see how you can like something that seems to settle for less than greatness.

And while we are at it, let me add a new criticism, something that I didn't include in my OP.

Did Esslemont really write these last three books RCG, SW and OST years and years ago? This is the final product that they release? Why not re-work them before publishing them? How could you read these books with years of distance between their creation and now and be satisfied with the over all narrative? Why hasn't an editor demanded that the jumbled storylines be smoothed out? That the unsatisfying endings be fleshed out?

I hate to be cynical but, if these books really are 10 years old, this smells more like an easy way to cash in on the main series popularity than a faithful continuation of the Malazan storyline.

This post has been edited by Aptorius: 09 May 2012 - 08:29 PM

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#90 User is offline   HoosierDaddy 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

I don't have to justify enjoying it. You don't have to justify not enjoying it.

You felt the need to justify not liking it for some reason.

As for WW's, "don't read it if you don't like it" disagreement: If you've read RotCG, NoK, and Stoneweilder, and didn't like those, then read OST and bitch about not liking it: yeah, you kind of had it coming. What else did you expect?
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#91 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 09:54 PM

You have a point and yet at this point in the series it feels like I have passed the point of no return.

I used the word point a lot in the above sentence.
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#92 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:41 PM

View PostAptorius, on 09 May 2012 - 08:24 PM, said:

Did Esslemont really write these last three books RCG, SW and OST years and years ago? This is the final product that they release? Why not re-work them before publishing them? How could you read these books with years of distance between their creation and now and be satisfied with the over all narrative? Why hasn't an editor demanded that the jumbled storylines be smoothed out? That the unsatisfying endings be fleshed out?

I hate to be cynical but, if these books really are 10 years old, this smells more like an easy way to cash in on the main series popularity than a faithful continuation of the Malazan storyline.


Only NoK and RoTCG were written years and years ago. SW and OST were written recently.

http://fantasyhotlis...-interview.html (he mentions progress on SW)
http://elitistbookre...-esslemont.html (he mentions progress on OST)
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#93 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:49 PM

Fair point and all, but don't contradict me in public, it's unseemly!
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#94 User is offline   Whiskey Bass 

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:07 AM

View PostAptorius, on 09 May 2012 - 08:24 PM, said:

View PostWily Tuchuk, on 09 May 2012 - 03:58 PM, said:

have to agree with paleman,

why the constant whining about a book or an author that you dont like ? if it offends so much dont read it, or any other of the authors books. its as easy as that.

and dont forget ICE's books are following their own arc, which has yet to finish.


Well. This is a forum meant for discussing the books. Discussions are not much fun if everyone agrees with one another and spends all day singing the praise of the book or author.

yep i totally agree



In the case of this thread, when I wrote the OP, a lot of people were replying with very positive reactions to the book in other threads and quite frankly I did not see much to be happy about story wise. So I wrote my antithesis to these threads. I found the book lacking in many ways, ways that I have described in detail during this thread.

personaly i enjoyed the book and posted my so in one of the OST threads,

If you think that I am wrong. That OST is in fact a great book. That it is on par with the Malazan greats like DG, MOI, MT or the later not as greats, then make your counter arguments. Show us these places where OSTs story shines, where Esslemonts shows his true writing chops. The way I see it the flaws I outlined in the OP are too big to ignore. They ruin the book. And I say that despite me thinking this is Esslemonts best book yet (since NOK).

imo OST was ok, not great, just ok. it had its faults like a possible error or two, certain scenes seemed implausable or plain wrong and certain characters felt strange (Kruppe) but on the whole it was enjoyable, quite exiting and above all Malazan. i've felt exactly the same reading some of the SE books, but i never see the same level of criticism aimed his way.

as for where id rate it....i dont know yet, but your greats arn't mine i struggled with GotM and hated DG(i have only read the series once so this may change
). by the time i moved on to MOI i decided that i had to stop bitching, or give up and go read something else obviously im glad i persevered
btw MOI, TtH BH and NoK are my faves

I do not think that simply stating that I am wrong, or a whinging shit, is a sufficient counter argument. Hell I am sure that Esslemont could descend upon this thread and easily tear me a new asshole arguing the merits of his choices but I have yet to see someone explaining what makes this book good. Sure, there is no accounting for taste, we all find different things to like about a book but I just don't see how you can like something that seems to settle for less than greatness.

its Malazan, thats all it takes to be on my read list

And while we are at it, let me add a new criticism, something that I didn't include in my OP.

Did Esslemont really write these last three books RCG, SW and OST years and years ago? This is the final product that they release? Why not re-work them before publishing them? How could you read these books with years of distance between their creation and now and be satisfied with the over all narrative? Why hasn't an editor demanded that the jumbled storylines be smoothed out? That the unsatisfying endings be fleshed out?

I hate to be cynical but, if these books really are 10 years old, this smells more like an easy way to cash in on the main series popularity than a faithful continuation of the Malazan storyline.

seems fishy to me aswell, but what do i know, as for the editing an that it could be something to do with my above answer. SHM (Shameless Malazan Junkies)





WW

im sure Apt stated Nok was the only ICE book he liked......that was the first book and OST was the third book after that, time enough to like it, or lump it or just leave it

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#95 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

View PostWily Tuchuk, on 10 May 2012 - 12:07 AM, said:

...
im sure Apt stated Nok was the only ICE book he liked......that was the first book and OST was the third book after that, time enough to like it, or lump it or just leave it



be that as it may, he keeps buying them!
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#96 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:59 AM

It's an abusive relationship. ICE keeps hurting me but I am sure that next time, next time he'll be good to me and not just take my money and break my heart.
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#97 User is offline   Sparrohawk 

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:15 AM

Don't you think it's stunningly arrogant/presumptuous to say 'how this book could have been improved'? It's like talking to Michael Komarck (the guy who did some awesome Malaz art) and saying 'I could do better' and proceeding to Photoshop his work. Or, in another context, saying 'I can do a better Elmo' to Kevin Clash. To say that you've written a better plot than ICE or Erikson induces a small amount of mental spluttering, because you haven't. You've made a forum post. They've written books. Many, many books, that have been published the world over, and are the culmination of years upon years of their gaming sessions and their imaginations working at full burn. By comparison, what you've written sounds like a film that Michael Bay might try and direct as some kind of medieval Transformers-style film. And I say unto thee, bugger that with a pitchfork.


I personally had no problem with the book. I've actually just deleted a huge set of rebuttals to things people have posted here, because ultimately if you don't like the books, and your experience of past books is tainted by what you've just read, that's your decision and your problem, respectively. If you hold every book of a series to the expectation that they must fullfil whatever you found best about said series, you will inevitably be disappointed. Ask yourself if the problem is with the books themselves or your expectations of what you want the books to be.

If you don't like a work of writing, or art, then it is your privilege to dislike it and to express that dislike. But when you go from not liking something to suggesting how you would do it better, you demean the writer, their work and the fact that it is *their* privilege to portray the things that they wish to portray, in the way that they like. At the very least have respect for that.
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#98 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:02 AM

Decent point, but three paragraphs?? I think I could have said it more concisely.
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#99 User is offline   Sparrohawk 

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:04 AM

View Postworrywort, on 12 June 2012 - 06:02 AM, said:

Decent point, but three paragraphs?? I think I could have said it more concisely.


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#100 User is offline   Fist Gamet 

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:16 AM

Arrogant or presumptious? No, not at all, this is, after all, a forum for us to discuss our opinions. Every writer who is published is, by that very act, opening their work to public praise and criticism. Although it may sting a bit, I feel ICE would be a fool to ignore the critique that his readers openly and honestly provide in this forum, and that a writer's endless task is to constantly improve their skills. He will ikely disagree with the majority of it but I would be willing to bet that ICE will accept some of the negative stuff and see ways to improve the next time, and I believe that throughout NoK, TCG and OST I have seen how he has experimented with styles and techniques. I applaud him for that.

I accept your point about respect for the writer, provisionally. Writers and editors are as prone to mistakes and poor decision as much as the next guy and that relationship between writer and reader is not just one way. I will argue that the writer also needs to respect the opinions of his readers, good and bad, uncensored, and deal with it (agree/disagree/consider) if he wants to keep them as readers. Malazan is a weird entity, a huge investment in time and money from the readers and I think that SE and ICE get that and appreciate its weirdness and crazy fans. I'd like to think the ICE and SE would read the critiques and say 'yes, I hear what you're saying and I agree/disagree/hate you/love you/etc as is my right...'

So no, there is nothing presumptious in criticising a writer and suggesting ways he or she could do better because one does not have to be a published writer in order to know what makes a good book. We have all read enough books of similar ilk to have enough knowledge to offer our opinions on this. The published work is not sacrosanct and cannot possibly please everyone and I am sure most writers would be delighted to know that there were readers out there who cared enough to argue the finer points of their work online so vociferously (I know I would). I doubt there has ever been an epic series written where the quality of the story and writing was maintained at a high level throughout the entire series. Highs mean lows, after all, peaks and troughs and all that. Take it a step further and the writer will tell you that without the troughs...well, you can guess the next bit (and this can apply to pacing and quality as well as the intentional plotting stuff)

On the wider issue of those who are trying to slap down the critics by calling them whiners who just shouldn't read it if they don't like it - well, like most members of the forum, I have bought and read every Malazan book to date, and that, my friends, is exactly what entitles me to express my opinion, good or bad, with like-minded members. If you parted with the cash, you're entitled to have you say. What does not help anyone, and is actually quite poor forum etiquette, is simply telling us to shut up and go away if we don't like it (in fact, I have seen this from time to time in various discussions and I always found it hard to understand why anyone would come to a discussion forum to tell people to stop dicussing it if they didn't like it). Like Apt said, get involved in the argument and actually try to show us how we are wrong and how we did not understand. Sure some people might take their criticism a bit too far at times, and I put that down to a personal over-investment of emotions and love for all things Malazan on their part, but hey, that's fine too so long as they accept having it pointed out from time to time. Deep breaths, mate, count to ten.
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