March 26, 2019, 06:39:33 AM

Author Topic: Finished - thoughts  (Read 9137 times)

Offline Noona

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2011, 08:36:10 PM »
Finished - ok, so it's technically September, I tried!
I really liked this book, I actually liked it right from the start and it grew on me from there. I loved the writing style, the blending of such beauty (the above-mentioned scene with Gariath and the pup, and a few other descriptions of scenery and things that I noticed) with such vulgarity (see more or less everything Denaos says!) I thought was really well done. I agree with some comments that visualising some things like the omens was quite difficult at times but it didn't bother me much and I imagine that is something that will get better in later books. I enjoyed the sense of humour running through the whole book, I think fantasy often takes itself quite seriously and it's nice to read something that can make a bit of a dig at the whole adventurers and companions thing.
Looking forward to Black Halo coming out in the mass-market paperback in February. :D

Offline DBASKLS

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2011, 07:20:49 PM »
Finished last night. Overall I didn't enjoy it. However, it did get better in the closing chapters but not enough to make me want to continue the trilogy.

I'm reading a couple of other books on my pile before starting the September book.
  • Currently reading : Dominion - C J Sansom
  • On hold : The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2011, 04:23:34 AM »
I finished this yesterday and I loved it!  I will do a more in depth post tomorrow when I'm not falling asleep at the computer. :)

Offline Overlord

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2011, 12:37:33 PM »
Good to see so many people have enjoyed it... I have three copies of Black Halo... I feel a competition coming on!!! ;P
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Offline Ken

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2011, 01:14:52 PM »
Good to see so many people have enjoyed it... I have three copies of Black Halo... I feel a competition coming on!!! ;P
I hope it's open to International members! :)

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2011, 04:32:43 PM »
Good to see so many people have enjoyed it... I have three copies of Black Halo... I feel a competition coming on!!! ;P
I hope it's open to International members! :)

Ditto!

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2011, 07:11:29 PM »
Okay awake and done with modding duties! :)

This book was great!  The characters being the best part.  They reminded me of my D&D group, except Sam's characters show some sympathy for each other on occasion (my friends are sadistic when they play D&D).  I liked how each character seemed stereotypical at first but the longer the story went on the deeper each person became.  All of them had outward flaws that annoyed the other characters, but all of them had inward flaws that no one else knew about.  And those were the parts of them that guided the character's decisions rather than their more obvious and annoying traits.  I was actually pleasantly surprised when all the main characters survived the book.  And while I realize that they could end up being offed in the next one, I do like that they get a chance to developed further, as I really want to know more about each of them.

The fact that the story took place on a boat, then an island was a neat twist.  Most epic fantasy is set in the woods, the mountains, or in cities.  There are some points where boats are involved, but it's usually not a main part of the book.  It was kind of nice to have a new set of terrain based problems and evil baddies to read about, rather than the basic tropes.

Also, the Omens sound really creepy and I'm glad they are made up. :o  Their description actually creeped me out more than they Abysmyths.

I'm going to write a more complete review for the site, but I wanted to get my thoughts down here since I never seem to finish book club in time. :D  And now I need to somehow acquire a copy of Black Halo, because I need to see what happens next! :)

Offline lazyrhino

Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2011, 09:04:14 PM »
Finally finished this last night.

I've had only 20 pages to go for the last week and a half and just couldn't force myself to finish it (I read the first two Mistborn books instead).  I think if I hadn't just received Nights of Villjamur in my mailbox I may never have finished it.  I didn't want to start a new reading club book without having finished the last one though.

Anyway, my comments mirror most of those already expressed in this thread so I won't repeat them.  I won't be picking up the sequels to this but would be open to trying Sykes again once he starts a new series and gains more experience.  He is certainly unlike anything I've ever read before (I've never read Abercrombie so those comparisons don't work with me).

Although I can't say that I enjoyed the book, I am glad that I read it.  It is for exactly this exposure to works that I wouldn't normally choose for myself that I wanted to join this book club.  I wish that I had enjoyed my first one but hope to have better luck in the future.

Offline Jeryn

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Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2011, 06:47:26 PM »
Finished the book this week and posted my thoughts on my blog at richardmbray.wordpress.com:

---

It’s been a long time since I’ve been as thoroughly disappointed by a book as I was by TOME OF THE UNDERGATES.

Part of this was because of my expectations. The good people at Fantasy-Faction.com gave Sykes’ Aegons’ Gate series glowing recommendations, describing the book as a cross between Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch. Lynch’s ‘Gentlemen Bastards’ series has a chance to become one of my favorite fantasy series of all-time, so that’s pretty high praise. ‘Gentlemen Bastards’ is the funniest fantasy series I’ve ever read, and the first book in the series is simply tremendous with a plot twist that still knocks me on my ass more than a year after I read the book. Abercrombie’s ‘First Law’ series is just a notch below ‘Gentlemen Bastards’ in my eyes, with painstaking character development mixed in with all the action so that the books — and the series itself — become a character study of the protagonists. It’s really unlike anything else I’ve read in fantasy.

So when the forum members at Fantasy-Faction.com, who to the best of my knowledge have no reason to lie to me, tell me it’s a cross between these two fantastic authors, it was enough to convince me to go ahead and order the first two books in the series.

Now, in ordering these books one of the first things that stood out to me was that in every blurb I saw reviewing or previewing the book, Sam Sykes wasn’t merely referred to as Sam Sykes, he became “25-year-old Sam Sykes,” so we were all aware that he was a young phenom with a long future in the publishing industry. But after reading the first 400 pages, I had no reason to believe that this book was actually written by a 25-year-old. Maybe a 14-year-old. Maybe.

Through the first 400 pages, the plot goes like this — our five antihero companions are all on a boat that gets attacked by pirates and a sea monster. These five companions, who all come from different races and backgrounds, hate each other, and they bicker constantly. They don’t trade witty insults like the characters from Scott Lynch’s novels, and they aren’t charming antiheros like Nicomo Cosca from Joe Abercrombie’s books. They just bicker like 12-year-olds, with most of the insults centered around racist comments and criticisms of one another’s intelligence, courage and personal hygiene. And it goes on and on. The plot continues so that the sea demon steals the Tome of the Undergates and the priest onboard hires them to get it back. So the five antiheros go to the island where the sea creature is hiding, find a whole army of demons hiding in the caves on the island, and decide to sneak into the caves to try to get it back.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, ‘But that doesn’t sound like 500 pages’ worth of plot.’ Well, that’s because it’s not. The rest of the book is filled with the five main characters arguing amongst themselves. Occasionally Sykes makes reference to some dark past in each characters’ backstory, but mostly they just argue unimaginatively as Sykes hops from perspective to perspective within the same scene, a pet peeve of mine.

The main character, who, by the way, seems to be a Legend of Zelda rip-off (he’s a long-haired, lithe young lad named Lenk), spends most of his time either lusting after one of his companions (despite the fact that through 487 pages there is not a single tender moment between the two — they’re constantly fighting, both verbally and physically, and in the final scene between the two she climbs on top of him to stab him in his sleep, but instead they have sex) or talking to a murderous voice inside his head. He gets separated from his companions and then (I’m not making this up), gets bitten by a demon shark. As he struggles to free himself, his hand miraculously touches the satchel containing the Tome of the Undergates and he grabs it. He also grabs a sword while he’s under the water getting his leg bitten by a shark, and he kills it. For the next 50 pages or so he seems to forget that a shark was chewing on his leg as he fights more bad guys, then at the end he remembers again and everyone decides to hang out on the island for a few more days. Miraculously, despite a huge battle, none of the main characters are killed.

Strangely enough, after the bulk of the book is totally preposterous with no attention to character development whatsoever, Sykes spends the final 50 pages developing each of the characters and setting things up for what could possibly be a decent second book. To be honest, if I hadn’t already bought it (It’s called BLACK HALO), I probably would have just skipped it altogether, but I do hate to have an unread book on my shelf, so I’ll probably get around to it eventually. I’m just not holding out much hope. The first 400 pages had already burned me out.

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2011, 09:37:48 PM »
Finally finished my review for Tome.  Here it is. :)

http://fantasy-faction.com/2011/tome-of-the-undergates-2

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2013, 01:28:25 PM »
Finished Master Sheraptus Abysmyth Throne was a bit disgusting eek  :o

I'm undecided to carry on  with the series or not it had things I liked and didn't like

Liked Lenk's Inner voice,The longface society, I want to find out more about Denaos back story and  I  want to see where Gariath Goes now his had a vision from the elder stone

Disappointed with the Lenk kat romance or whatever it is  :) , not enough of Dread and the advantages/disadvantage of magic ,battles lasting a bit too long for me,wanted the Quillian and Kat hostility to carry on not vanish when there get off the ship and I found asper boring/annoying until I found out about her Killer arm (weird)

I think I will try to get book two from the library if it's there
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Finished - thoughts
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2016, 05:54:38 PM »
Three years later starting Black Halo!,Thank god for this topic just what I needed to refresh my memory  ;D
Did you ever finish  the series @Nighteyes?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 05:56:16 PM by Eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate