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Author Topic: Malice Discussion  (Read 2076 times)

Offline Nora

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Malice Discussion
« on: August 27, 2017, 09:31:11 AM »
Well you make me glad I disliked the series from book 1 then!

I've just picked up a fantasy book to read in parallel to my non fiction. I've read in an Arvo snapshot by Sanderson, and now 20% in Malice by John Gwynne.

I had to grit my teeth at how high fantasy it is, but the reviews guarantee a no-one safe, no farm it of destiny, grim yet likeable cast book that convinced me to power through. I'm glad I did. I'm caught already. It's written relatively well. There are ways he shapes his prose I would not use but his characters are pretty compelling so far and not a bunch of dickheads.  ;D
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 12:14:29 AM by Arry »
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Nora

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 02:04:51 AM »
60% into Malice, and while it is enjoyable, I feel like I'm predicting the plot much too accurately. It's unusual for me to be able to do so. Not a good sign.
More importantly, I'm very disappointed so far in the female characters. Both the main princess and corban's sister are massive plot fillers. They are only here to enable the plot to move forward, and we only get the sister's POV when she can witness something her brother can't. It's very disheartening. Women are cardboard cutouts so far.
There isn't a single female character here who has any role in the plot, at least as we see it now.
I hope this changes soon because the amount of men sweating over their sword work is starting to feel overwhelming.

Also this book is a tremendous example of what not to do in a prologue.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 05:06:35 AM »
60% into Malice, and while it is enjoyable, I feel like I'm predicting the plot much too accurately. It's unusual for me to be able to do so. Not a good sign.
More importantly, I'm very disappointed so far in the female characters. Both the main princess and corban's sister are massive plot fillers. They are only here to enable the plot to move forward, and we only get the sister's POV when she can witness something her brother can't. It's very disheartening. Women are cardboard cutouts so far.
There isn't a single female character here who has any role in the plot, at least as we see it now.
I hope this changes soon because the amount of men sweating over their sword work is starting to feel overwhelming.

Also this book is a tremendous example of what not to do in a prologue.

You do meet some better female characters in the second and third books, but it's still focused more on what the men are doing.

Overall, I found Malice was quite an uneven book. I enjoyed it, but there were a lot of little issues with it that bothered me. The second and third books are generally much better.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 06:24:13 AM »
Trying to get into John Gwynne's Malice and maybe I've a bad case of the grumpiness, but I'm really struggling to see what's making it so highly rated by others and it contains a fair few of my pet hates. Right now thumping through it in the hope I find something hooks.

Obviously you don't read the forums @Peat  ;D I guess the sequels are better through.

Hedin

Finished the book this weekend.  Again it was ok but yes it was very tropey (I don't think anything surprised me at all with the way it turned out).  I'll give the remaining books a go but I'm in no hurry for it.

DrNefario

A lot people rave about that series, but I don't yet see it myself. I've only read Malice, so far, and I thought it was kind of a decent fantasy primer. It's quite tropey, but is pretty solid, if unspectacular. The nice thing it did was give you a range of people who could go to the dark side or the light. I do intend to carry on with the series, though, so it must be doing something right

Raptori

I felt the same about Malice, then the second book was a noticeable improvement, then book three was absolutely brilliant and now I can't wait for the last one. Definitely worth continuing if you didn't outright dislike the first!

Yora

I started reading Malice. 9 chapters in there's still no plot and all the characters are children worrying about children stuff. I expected something completely different.

Ryan Mueller

I almost gave up on Malice before the halfway point, but I stuck with it and found the last part of the book rewarded me for my effort. The second book was great throughout. I still need to read the third and fourth.

Bea

I adore it!

Some views from earlier about the novel.
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

Offline Nora

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 10:02:30 AM »
Oh anyway I know this was the author's first book! So I'm cutting him more slack. If this were the work of a ong established author I would be much more annoyed indeed.
Mostly the problem so far is the women serving only as eyes and ears for key plot points, the predictability, and the prose.
The prose is not exactly bad, but it's devoid of any style or refinement. He uses everyone's names all the time, to make it quite obvious who's doing what. Some pages I have stuff like this :

"Jael.. said Kastell
Jael...
"..." said Jael... to Kastell
..............
Kastell turned to Jael..."

*gags*

Again, first book, that's fine. I'm in the shoes of all the people who spit at Sanderson I guess.  :P

On the whole so far it's entertaining... like a nice walk in trope valley, treating yourself to some high fantasy cliche. Well made fantasy cliche.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Online ScarletBea

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2017, 01:57:51 PM »
The books move away from cliche/tropes gradually, and the series remains one of my favourites :)

And Nora, definitely better and with initiative female characters in the next books.
Malice was his very first book, and it shows in some aspects.
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Offline Nora

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2017, 08:38:17 AM »
What's confusing you Bea?

@Lanko the series is pretty consistent, but in the last book the author becomes quite fond of the technique of hinting that something is afoot, doing the twist in action, and then filling you and everyone in on what the plan was. Honestly not a fan of that because it happened like 3+ times, but it remains a satisfying and even story. I would persevere.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Online ScarletBea

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 10:01:04 AM »
What's confusing you Bea?
All the different 'personalities', I'm never sure where exactly I am. And I still don't see a plot/story - yes, they're short-ish chapters, but after 2, I would expect a hint of a story ???
I don't think it's bad, and I'm definitely continuing, I just hope it picks up soon.
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Offline Nora

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 08:25:50 PM »
Finished Malice and now 20% in book 2 of that series with growing concerns. It's not great. I'm skimming through a lot of pov chapters, waiting for things to become interesting but not impressed so far.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Nora

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 01:11:06 PM »
Glad you liked it Lanko.

So far I'm 50% in Valour and bored enough to think about dropping the entire series by now. Nothing happens, characters don't develop, the sword fights are ludicrous. Not realistic at all. Reading them feels like watching a shonen anime. I suspect that's where the author takes his inspiration.
I'm skimming through entire chapters, reading 2-3 sentences being enough to know what goes on.
The new female character has no internal life, she's just an "angry reaction" automaton whose POV chapters are not even 5 pages deep and who gets less background story than my average MC in the monthly contest.
In the Hero's Journey chart, our farm boy of destiny still hasn't gone past the damn Threshold, he's still deep in denial and I'm 50% in a large book 2.
What's up for next series, start from the day farm boy of destiny is conceived and follow through his potty training?!

« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 01:13:15 PM by Nora »
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2017, 02:08:40 PM »
I would drop it Nora and start something else.
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

Offline Nora

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2017, 03:42:48 PM »
I would drop it Nora and start something else.

I'm almost 1k pages in this series, and everyone raves about it and how it gets better and better. I'll keep speed reading though it hoping for the best.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Online ScarletBea

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2017, 03:44:42 PM »
If you don't like it by now, I don't think you will like the rest.
Different people, different tastes - enough for everybody :)
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2017, 03:52:03 PM »
I would drop it Nora and start something else.

I'm almost 1k pages in this series, and everyone raves about it and how it gets better and better. I'll keep speed reading though it hoping for the best.

There don't rave about it on here ,seems most views here are meh apart from the odd one or two.

I know Hedin didn't finish the series he gave up on it , @ultamentkiller dnf the first book, Peat really struggle with it and Yora looks like he gave up on it as well.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 04:10:24 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

Offline Nora

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Re: Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2017, 04:18:43 PM »
Yeah i was surprised by that as well. I thought mostly the beginning of book one was a bit confusing, because the ship still has all its ancillaries and between that and the perpetual "she", it took a while to slip in the story. But after that I found the plot straightforward and easily to follow so I don't see what causes problems.

I can't wait for Leckie's next book. Coming out soon too.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty