Malazan Empire: Abyss is WILLING very very WILLING - Malazan Empire

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Abyss is WILLING very very WILLING reading thread Rate Topic: -----

#61 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 03:48 AM

Ahrighty then... now having Just FInished THE GOD IS NOT WILLING for the second time... *arguably third since i did audio and ebook overlapping the first, then selective (but near total) ebook the second...


WELCOME BACK SE - this was so much a return to form for SE. Unlike many i enjoyed the Kharkanas 2/3rdslogy, but this book... this was everything i loved about Malazan from the beginning way back... clever soldiers, fascinating, very human non-humans, weird worlds, hints at history and stories within the story, small conflicts and huge events, knife fights in the dark and armies charging each other. And others have commented elsewhere that in many ways SE has improved. I agree. There was a ... flow... to this story, a movement from part to part that worked very very well. The characters were even more real and more distinct, their voices wonderfully realized.

SPEAKING OF VOICES - ...I cannot say enough good about the earbook narrator Emma Gregory's work here. Her voices are PERFECT. THose scenes where a bunch of heavies were debating anything... she gives them each a distinct voice and speach, yet each sounds like a large heavy soldier... her Rake was perfect, her Shadownthrone and Cotillion as well.. and Stillwater... omg Stillwater just lives... the glorious absurd combo of moron out of her depth and clever lethal assassin-mage is SO well done.

BEST NEW CHARACTER - Stillwater. I cannot pretend otherwise. In a book full of great characters her segments were a joy to read.

BEST/WORSE/BEST NEW CHARACTER - I did not expect to enjoy Rant. His intro was dark and had a tone of futility and despair that, while not quite the Rhivi, didn't grab me at all. Then he met Damisk... ok, given the history there was some potential there. Then he met the Jheck and the narrator gave them these amazing 'Russian accents' and he got a Shi'gal in his knife and a pack of Teblor dogs and yeah... yeah that worked. The frustration and push-pull of his relationshps with his sisters was well done.

OTHERS - I enjoyed Damisk's story. His encounter w the War-Bitch and visit to the Beast Hold were very much the kind of 'random but not really random' multi-level story I read Malazan for. His end was appropriate.
...i do hope we see the giant grey bear and the four-armed Beast god thing again.

Oames was fun. His relationship w the 'limbs pulling off demon woman' was both creepy and interesting and also ew but mostly interesting, and the running joke about him being a Claw was great. The ultimate revelation that he was in fact a Talon was a nice touch paired w the discovery that Cots and ST are still around.

Captain Gruff was a greatest Malazan Captain ever. The narrator did SO MUCH great work w his voice, you could easily accept him as someone who painted his armor to make it pretty and then picked up a sword ready to hold a line w his troops.

So Bleak was fun. His perspective was nicely 'human'. The whole thing with Sgt Shrake was funny.

Spindle was great... it's amazing to consider just how much this character has been through in this series. The way he was respected and held in just a little awe but still very much a part of the ranks, part of the foundation of the broken little Legion whether or not anyone believed he was a Bridgeburner. I liked his interaction w Rolly, it was a nice touch.


The Marines were just treat after treat... Belker, sneaky mage who also happens to be an absolute beast w a sword, the heavies (OH DEAR GODS THE HEAVIES), Anyx and her experiments, Snack and his collection, Raiyal under-cover... just memorable character after character gloriously bounding off each other.

UPGRADES - The Marine Legion. Holy Hells this was just a great concept and FFS it was Mallick Rel's idea.


THE KABOOM - Moranth munitions have been replaced by the Fiddling Hedge Drum. YES. (i acknowledge that generally land mines are a horrible horrible thing but will make an exception here)

IM NOT CRYING YOURE CRYING - the Marines at Culver trying to save the Teblor... wow. Just... wow.

BEST SWITCH - again and again the book reminds us that the Malazans got their butts kicked by Balk's mercs... and then the glorious glorious revelation about what actually happened... 1000 mercs, 50 Malazans with orders not to attack, three entire squads not even in the fight and ... and .... and... yeah, WOW.

OH HI MONKRAT - Monkrat and Spindel's chat in ch11 about the Bridgeburners ascension and the Runts was soooooo gooood.

RAKE! - That is all.

I WANT TO KNOW MORE - Rolly's mission to spank a Jaghut. The Beast Hold God. War-Bitch's history w the Lizard d'ivers Iron Bars killed. The Runts. Why K'Chain Chemalle (not Nahruk) are pillaging Holds.

More soon, i think, but those are my thoughts having Just Finished.
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#62 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 03:53 AM

SCENE WE DIDN'T GET THAT I REALLY REALLY WANTED

*Massive wave bearing down on Malazans*
SPINDLE: Stillwater!
STILLWATER: Wut sargeant?
SPIN: *points at wave* Go kill that for me.
SW: Wtf???
SPIN: You're an assassin mage. Go assassinate. With... magery. Or something.
SW: But... no... i....
SPIN: THAT WAS AN ORDER SOLDIER
SW: Yessir. Could you look somewhere else for a moment?
SPIN: HOODS BALLSICLES GET TO IT NOW STILLWATER
SW: Right, sorry, going... *jumps into warren*
*massive wave gets closer... closer... closerrrrrrr... and just sort of dissolves*
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#63 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 03:54 AM

BESTEST STILLWATER LINE: "He just wanted a bath."
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#64 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 04:45 AM

View PostAbyss, on 22 July 2021 - 03:54 AM, said:

BESTEST STILLWATER LINE: "Poor everyone."

They came with white hands and left with red hands.
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#65 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 02:25 PM

View Postworry, on 22 July 2021 - 04:45 AM, said:

View PostAbyss, on 22 July 2021 - 03:54 AM, said:

BESTEST STILLWATER LINE: "Poor everyone."



Not bestest but arguably MOST DRAMATIC.

I loved that about Stillwater... she's essentially a complete psychopath prone to killing people close to her, who joined the Marines because it gives her other killing options and/or people close to her tend to die anyways.


...also, an heiress, a lawyer, a soldier, an entirely competent Meanas mage, a thief, a con artist, the host for a millennia old High Mage-level witch ghost...



...have i mentioned recently how much i love these books?
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#66 User is offline   Traveller 

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 03:09 PM

I loved it. SE at his absolutw best.

One point from earlier - the priest reenactment of the Unloved Woman this was Tavore/Felisin, right? Does this mean that Tavore did eventually find out that she killed Felisin? I can't find the damn quote now, but wasn't that the scene they were acting out?
So that's the story. And what was the real lesson? Don't leave things in the fridge.
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#67 User is offline   champ 

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 04:54 PM

 Traveller, on 24 July 2021 - 03:09 PM, said:

I loved it. SE at his absolutw best.

One point from earlier - the priest reenactment of the Unloved Woman this was Tavore/Felisin, right? Does this mean that Tavore did eventually find out that she killed Felisin? I can't find the damn quote now, but wasn't that the scene they were acting out?



Would seem that way...


Quote

She is the matron of widows or plain women or something. I don’t know. It’s a woman thing. In a central square there is a ritual, hundreds, even thousands, of women standing in a vast circle. The High Priestess steps into the cleared space, wearing plain Malazan armour and wielding a sword with two edges. Her enemy approaches, fully armoured, her head covered in a helm with a face made of iron scales or maybe coins. She too holds a sword, in her right hand.
...
‘But it is the left hand that rises between them,’ Nilghan said. ‘And even as it does so, the High Priestess strikes! Her sword cuts down her enemy! The crowd roars and suddenly everyone is weeping and they’re dragging off the body leaving a streak of blood—’



Brutal...

Tehol said:

'Yet my heart breaks for a naked hen.'
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#68 User is offline   Traveller 

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 05:32 PM

Oh so depends how you read it.. it could just be the story of Tavore ending the rebellion by killing Shaik. Not necessarily with any awareness of who Shaik actually was.
So that's the story. And what was the real lesson? Don't leave things in the fridge.
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#69 User is offline   Tsundoku 

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Posted 24 July 2021 - 10:56 PM

View PostTraveller, on 24 July 2021 - 05:32 PM, said:

Oh so depends how you read it.. it could just be the story of Tavore ending the rebellion by killing Shaik. Not necessarily with any awareness of who Shaik actually was.


That's my take too.

Finished. SE's best Empire novel since TBH. :thumbsup:
"Fortune favors the bold, though statistics favor the cautious." - Indomitable Courteous (Icy) Fist, The Palace Job - Patrick Weekes

"Well well well ... if it ain't The Invisible C**t." - Billy Butcher, The Boys

"I have strong views about not tempting providence and, as a wise man once said, the difference between luck and a wheelbarrow is, luck doesn’t work if you push it." - Colonel Orhan, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City - KJ Parker
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#70 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 04:22 AM

OTHER BEST NEW CHARACTER: Creature. Just for surviving.

BEST OLD FRIEND IT WAS SO GREAT TO SEE: We got Rake. We got Cots. We got ST. On the balance i give this award to Cotillion for being the character we know and love, just a tiny bit older. Rake was very different in some ways, but a logical change given what little was revealed about him. ST was ST in all his grumpy glory, tho Oames suggestion that there was some sort of worldwide spell to forget him was very interesting.

I'M NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING AWARD: When Rant first says, dead serious, that Malazan Marines are nice and there to help, it's... well... wrong. Given everything we know. Honourable, sure, but not... 'nice'. And then Benger and Stillwater and Anyx risk everything to help Sarlis. And the unnamed Marines at CUlver trying to help Dayliss and co. after massacring them a moment earlier. And the squads at Silver Lake doing the same because you're refugees... damn allergies....

WORSE DEATH: Tonith Agra and a nameless marine to a landmine.

BEST SINGLE CHAPTER FULL OF INFO: Chapter 11, Spindle and Monkrat discussing the Bridgeburners ascension was verrrrrrrry interesting.

WHAT THE JHECK???: "All the Jheck...White-furred and black, silver and rust." ...and Spindle just ASSIMILATED THEM INTO THE EMPIRE.
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#71 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted Yesterday, 09:47 PM

Woah. Finished at last. Too much to comprehend now, should have gone to sleep.

But Woah. Seriously good...
A Haunting Poem
I Scream
You Scream
We all Scream
For I Scream.
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