Monday, September 19, 2011

Blame Steven Erikson!

Blame Steven Erikson! For the lack of reviews on my blog.

Sincerely apologize for the limited number of reviews up for the last month – The reason was lion share of my time went in reading up the books # 3, 4 and 5 in the Malazan Empire of the Fallen series. By far, the most mind blowing fantasy series that I’ve read (rivaling SoIF perhaps!) Am onto “Bonehunters” now – the only issue is Steven Erikson tends to be really heavy and after having ploughed through three mammoth 1000-plus pages books continuously I think I deserve a break. 

I bought these books way back in 2008 and had still not touched them till now – Yeah stretch me down on the rack and break my bones for this sin – but I started my first efforts to tackle this impressive series that I been reading about for close to two-three years ( the first time I read about Steven Erikson’s Magnum Opus was in 2007 – before I went on to do my MBA!!) in 2008 – Read and completed the “Gardens of the Moon”- was completely baffled by this book that pitched me into the middle of nowhere – vast empire, tyrant Empress, Assassins, Mages – and here it comes, hold your breath – Gods who walked the mortal realm. A series where Gods came down and played out bloody conspiracies against mortals. Very intriguing. And yet one of the most difficult reads I had done in recent times. Mind swirling with unanswered mysteries, puzzles that seemed to have no beginning or end, more open ends than the tentacles of the mighty kraken! A difficult book truly. I started #2 DeadHouse Gates and didn’t complete the same. Into some 300 pages. Failed to hold my interest.
Attempt # 2 – I truly consider that I have matured as a reader of speculative fiction and now I take time to appreciate the depth that is conveyed in certain author’s works. Armed with this firm conviction that I no longer like shallow books that just has a racy plot and believable characters, I plunged back into the seething cauldron called Malazan Empire of the Fallen. Success. At least to a smaller degree. This was sometime around 2009 mid. I finished deadhouse gates and enjoyed the book! One of the best books that details big-ass war scenes, giving me characters like Leader of the Crow Clan, General Coltaine whom I would have gladly followed into the depths of Hell. A book much better than “GoTm” I put it.
But my best attempt came around in 2011 – when I bulldozed my way through book # 3 – Memories of Ice, # 4 – House of Chains and # 5 – Midnight Tides. Loved ALL three! But the best till date and my personal favorite remains, Memories of Ice. This is where Steven Erikson really comes into his own and lays down the premise for his whole series, introduces one to the Crippled God, brings to light the conspiracies and plots within plots being spun by the Gods themselves, a brave mercenary company called the Grey Swords and gives us memorable characters that live on beyond the pages.
Long story short – I am really in the thick of things and since this is actually a series that has seen an END (thank god for small mercies!) I really would like to get to the end. The Only other long standing series that I enjoyed and LOVED so much, would be the Dark Tower Series by Stephen King.( Another author whose books I would blindly go ahead and buy – though was bitterly disappointed with the ending of the “Under the Dome” book in the near past!) Have all the books until the last, Crippled God. And am really going full steam on this.
But coming back to books – Whats in store next ?

Reading a light Agatha Christie now.
Soon to take up, American Gods by Neil Gaiman – another author whose books I been hoarding but have never got around to read!
Next in line, Soul Catcher by Michael White, a western set against the backdrop of the American Civil War.
These three shouldn’t really take time as are relatively easier read compared to Steven Erikson. So I should give you something by next week! Hang on.