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Review of Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen)
This was a very different read, I had never read a book like this before. Granted, I haven't read so many books yet. It reminded me of a comic book I read called Morning Glories (that in itself resembles the TV show Lost). Especially the storytelling. You have to gather information from the story, piece by piece, working out things by yourself and to me this was fun, though I think it isn't fun for most. The plot is interesting but not so interesting as the other elements (characterization, storytelling, writing). And since I mentioned other elements, it's incredible how, with such a complex way of writing, Steven Erikson still managed to build stellar characters that feel literally alive (albeit a little passive to the plot) and have so much personality, they certainly don't feel like just characters. And the writing is also excellent. I loved that it wasn't so overwhelmingly descriptive like the other epic book I've read, Game of Thrones. But the world of Malazan is also so much different, it is really much more fantastical and different from our own, the most different I've seen in fantasy with the possible exception of Lord of the Rings. So, since it's such a different world and the storytelling is so complex, sometimes the writing simply can't handle and it is impossible to know what the hell's happening. It doesn't help the fact there is a flaw that appears sometimes in the writing, consisting of vague descriptions of action scenes that fail to describe anything. In fact, the descriptions are lacking sometimes. There are many different races appearing on the pages, but I remember very few descriptions of how they look, and the places also sometimes feel nondescript, especially the magical dream landscapes. It's really weird, and I thought I'd never write this because I don't like too much description, but I wanted a little bit more of it here, because this book asked for it. Another thing that bothered me was that sometimes the characters would talk to themselves, and it was SO weird, because it could easily be put in a paragraph, or in italic, but the character actually spoke to themselves, and all the characters do it at some point. Very weird. Also, the book has an ending, but it is somewhat open. It didn't bother me much, but I wanted more explanation as to the reasoning behind the gods machinations and manipulations and chosen ones. I think it'll come in another book, but I still think it was a little too open for me in this regard. And on the topic of the ending, the climax has some form of what appears to be deus-ex machinas, or easy solutions, but I think it's just because Erikson thought his world so huge that there was no escaping plot points being introduced so late in the book. That said, my rating is so high because it's such an original book, with such an interesting storytelling and endearing characters.