Friday, October 30, 2009

What am I reading? Gardens of the Moon

I've been seeing Erikson's books in the stores for years and most seem to have pretty cool looking covers. I was over at a friends house a week ago and we were talking books. Gardens of the moon was one that caught my attention and he mentioned that he'd never been able to finish it, although he got about 80% through it. Well I did get through it and here what I have to say about it.

This is a very ambitious novel. It doesn't take long to see what the author has planned. He sets up 5 or 6 different plots and then runs them into each other at high speeds for an explosive finale. This is both good and bad. A good element is that it builds great tension. After a while you can see how the plots are going to come together but how its going to end is anyone's guess.

There are however, a lot of things wrong with this though some of it can be blamed on the authors style. Each plot have several main characters, many of which are somewhat similar to each other making tracking what's going on very difficult.

Another fault of the author is that he explains very little. There is a ton of history and background for this setting and very little of it is explained. The magic system is rather unique and very complicated.

I kept wondering if it really was the first in the series. It felt more like a third or fourth book where the setting, background and any unique features to it had already been explained.

This book is over flowing with cool ideas but organized in a way that makes many of the incomprehensible and meaningless. New characters keep getting introduced before you've managed to get the current ones straight. The characters are interesting but there are too many of them. They often have diametrically opposed goals and its hard to figure out who to cheer for.

I liked most of the mundane characters and their mundane plot lines. I can follow the bits about revenge, love and duty. Where I got lost is when he starts talking about magic, gods, soul shifted insane puppets, and ancient monsters.

Overall, I have to say I'm disappointed. After a huge buildup parts of the climax failed to deliver. Too much of the book didn't work for me and unless someone comes along and tells me its gets better I'm not sure I will continue with the series. I liked the war theme but there was just too much left unexplained for me to continue.

1 comment:

Tayloritos said...

It gets better.