August 08, 2020, 10:02:47 AM

Author Topic: Finished - thoughts  (Read 12555 times)

Offline jdiddyesquire

Finished - thoughts
« on: August 09, 2011, 02:22:21 PM »
I finished the book last night.  So I don't want to make too many comments for fear of forgetting where things happened when.  I'll say this... the last 100 pages blow the rest of the book away IMO.

After finishing, I'm not really sure what Tomes is or who Sykes is as a writer.  I guess that's to be expected in a debut author.  Parts of it read like the Douglas Adams or Christopher Moore of the fantasy genre, parts read like amateur AD&D, and others read like extremely well written epic fantasy (see last 100 pages).

Look forward to talking to everyone about it when we're all done.
Justin
My reviews and other malarkey:
http://staffersmusings.blogspot.com
Twitter: @jdiddyesquire
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Offline Overlord

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 03:57:19 PM »
I finished the book last night.  So I don't want to make too many comments for fear of forgetting where things happened when.  I'll say this... the last 100 pages blow the rest of the book away IMO.

After finishing, I'm not really sure what Tomes is or who Sykes is as a writer.  I guess that's to be expected in a debut author.  Parts of it read like the Douglas Adams or Christopher Moore of the fantasy genre, parts read like amateur AD&D, and others read like extremely well written epic fantasy (see last 100 pages).

Look forward to talking to everyone about it when we're all done.

Similar feeling with me. I loved the book, but I certainly, even now wonder what it was. I think the fact it is so unique works in its favour to many and as a hindrance to the rest. Is it this or is it that? I guess the answer is that it is neither really.

I mean the Dragonman / Pup bit was just beautiful, but so totally un-like the rest of the book... it was just a bit of everything and I really enjoyed it. I think it shows Sam has a lot of places he can go and areas to explore - I'm looking forward to his 5th/6th-10th/11th books and wondering how he would have evolved by then :)
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline jdiddyesquire

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2011, 04:01:00 PM »
Similar feeling with me. I loved the book, but I certainly, even now wonder what it was. I think the fact it is so unique works in its favour to many and as a hindrance to the rest. Is it this or is it that? I guess the answer is that it is neither really.

I mean the Dragonman / Pup bit was just beautiful, but so totally un-like the rest of the book... it was just a bit of everything and I really enjoyed it. I think it shows Sam has a lot of places he can go and areas to explore - I'm looking forward to his 5th/6th-10th/11th books and wondering how he would have evolved by then :)

That scene, along with Asper and Daenos, and even Kat and Lenk (although I was thinking - fuck already) to some degree, were all really beautiful scenes.  And some of the other intermediary stuff during the journey to the Iron castle place thing were well done too.

My only real complaint (and it's kind of a big one I guess) was that I dreaded the action somewhat.  The whole 166 page intro fight scene totally exhausted my action quota.
Justin
My reviews and other malarkey:
http://staffersmusings.blogspot.com
Twitter: @jdiddyesquire
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1652081-justin

Offline ChristinaJL

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2011, 10:06:34 AM »
I've finished as well.  Whilst I did enjoy the book (I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars), I don't think it was without issues.  For example, hugely drawn out battles in which the characters seemed to stop in the middle and have long conversations.  What was that about?   :D  I thought the characters were pretty interesting, but don't think they were described enough as I didn't get a clear picture of what the dragonman and the rogue looked like.  Some scenes he wrote very well, but others were not so good.  I'm interested to see what direction he takes as a writer, as I think he needs to strike a bit better balance between action/dialogue.  I'm now reading another book by Erikson and it kind of shows up how undeveloped a talent Sam Skyes is, but I guess he has plenty of time to work on his writing.

Offline Vilutheril

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011, 01:26:05 PM »
I'm also finished now. Although it is certainly not without some flaws I really enjoyed reading this book and can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Like Overlord, I'm quite interested in seeing how Sykes develops as a writer. I think he has a lot of talent that can be refined into something quite great.

In my opinion, the main thing that trips thestory up a little is some inconsistency in pace and tone. However it is a debut novel and it's even possible that this adds to it's unique flavor. It may even be used to it's advantage with a little polishing.

I agree that the last quarter of the novel was by far the best. Very well written with exciting and some really touching scenes. :)
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Offline iwillreadbooks

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2011, 11:11:39 PM »
I mean the Dragonman / Pup bit was just beautiful, but so totally un-like the rest of the book... it was just a bit of everything and I really enjoyed it. I think it shows Sam has a lot of places he can go and areas to explore - I'm looking forward to his 5th/6th-10th/11th books and wondering how he would have evolved by then :)

That was the most surprising thing about the book. Sam does a complete u-turn and surprised me. I cant quite put my finger on  exactly when I realised that I actually do care about these misfits. Certainly the second half of the book somewhere. I don't think Tome of the Undergates is a great book, but I am glad I stuck with it to the very end. For a while it was very close that the, at times very juvenile, humor of the book would force me to put it down. Then I had a mention from Sam on Twitter saying that he hoped I liked the book and I thought I better not put it down just yet :)
I Will Read Books (and review them) http://iwillreadbooks.com

Offline Overlord

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 10:13:17 AM »
I mean the Dragonman / Pup bit was just beautiful, but so totally un-like the rest of the book... it was just a bit of everything and I really enjoyed it. I think it shows Sam has a lot of places he can go and areas to explore - I'm looking forward to his 5th/6th-10th/11th books and wondering how he would have evolved by then :)

That was the most surprising thing about the book. Sam does a complete u-turn and surprised me. I cant quite put my finger on  exactly when I realised that I actually do care about these misfits. Certainly the second half of the book somewhere. I don't think Tome of the Undergates is a great book, but I am glad I stuck with it to the very end. For a while it was very close that the, at times very juvenile, humor of the book would force me to put it down. Then I had a mention from Sam on Twitter saying that he hoped I liked the book and I thought I better not put it down just yet :)

I think it is an enjoyable book that seemed to be a simple read that was pretty much set to end and be as it was, but then the ending kind of opened things up a bit and made me think there is a lot more to come. Really think Sam has a lot more to offer as his career progresses and if you put it in the context of being a debut novel, it is even more impressive :)
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 07:04:45 PM »
I would agree with the comments, not a perfect book but very promising. So many questions are left open!who is the voice in Lenk's head?who are the longfaces?what will Asper do about her arm?Will Gariath find any of his kin?why do Schits hate humans?will def stay on board to find out the answers!
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Offline Overlord

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 12:03:07 PM »
I would agree with the comments, not a perfect book but very promising. So many questions are left open!who is the voice in Lenk's head?who are the longfaces?what will Asper do about her arm?Will Gariath find any of his kin?why do Schits hate humans?will def stay on board to find out the answers!

Good summary when you put it like that and shows the scope Sykes has to work with :)
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline pornokitsch

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 05:15:50 PM »
I mean the Dragonman / Pup bit was just beautiful, but so totally un-like the rest of the book... it was just a bit of everything and I really enjoyed it. I think it shows Sam has a lot of places he can go and areas to explore...

Very much agree. The Gariath episode was so unexpected, and so (weirdly) touching, it blew me away. One of those scenes that made me rethink every other scene in the book, as I had to reappraise the character entirely.

Offline Overlord

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2011, 08:35:08 AM »
I mean the Dragonman / Pup bit was just beautiful, but so totally un-like the rest of the book... it was just a bit of everything and I really enjoyed it. I think it shows Sam has a lot of places he can go and areas to explore...

Very much agree. The Gariath episode was so unexpected, and so (weirdly) touching, it blew me away. One of those scenes that made me rethink every other scene in the book, as I had to reappraise the character entirely.

And also it seems to set him on a completely different path in later books. From being a mindless killing force, he suddenly goes to being a character with a mission that we can respect and relate to. It also exposes a weakness in him that up until this point he seemed not to have.
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline pornokitsch

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2011, 04:11:18 PM »
And if Gariath can be a sensitive soul, it makes you rethink all the other characters you've met as well. I really like it. Sykes subverting his own work.

Offline thedoctor

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 05:05:22 PM »
I share a lot of opinions with you all on this one I think. I had really mixed feelings, but for some reason I really want to read the next book in the series. I am also really looking forward to following Sykes as an author and seeing where he goes. In particular, I want to know a lot more about Dread and the world this is set on. At the moment, my biggest problem is immersion - there are too many things that break me out of the world.

For those who are interested, there is a fairly extensive review on my blog: http://fromafantasyfan.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/tome-of-the-undergates-sam-sykes/
Twitter: @authorneil
Blog: http://neilandersonblog.wordpress.com/

Offline Overlord

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2011, 09:17:55 AM »
I share a lot of opinions with you all on this one I think. I had really mixed feelings, but for some reason I really want to read the next book in the series. I am also really looking forward to following Sykes as an author and seeing where he goes. In particular, I want to know a lot more about Dread and the world this is set on. At the moment, my biggest problem is immersion - there are too many things that break me out of the world.

For those who are interested, there is a fairly extensive review on my blog: http://fromafantasyfan.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/tome-of-the-undergates-sam-sykes/

Certainly seemed to end 'right' so to speak. Hound summarised things better than I can, but so many questions left open that you feel a need to find out what the heck is gonna happen next :)

I've heard book 2 has a similar marmite effect on people ;)
Founder: http://fantasy-faction.com
Editor: Fantasy-Faction Anthology (Aug 2014)
Author: "Son of…" in 1853 (2013)
Host: Fantasy-Faction's Grim Gathering

Offline Ken

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2011, 04:38:55 PM »
I was quite surprised by the ending, it wasn't how I would expect the first book to end but I'm intrigued enough to read the second book. Despite the slow start, I came to enjoy the book a lot, even the arguments! It's not perfect but I think there's a lot of potential in this series.