Gaston de Foix

The Unholy Consult post-release SPOILER thread IV

389 posts in this topic

13 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

No, its not the lack of humor in the books, it's he himself seems to lack one. Seems way to serious all the time, but I guess that could be him trolling?

 

Edit: Also whoever wrote that blurb needs to be fired. It practically screams THIS IS THE FINAL BOOK FOREVER AND EVER and if you're not one of us crazy internet people I can see how you would think it is the end.

I am reading the guy's books not entering a relationship with him to care about his sense of humour :P

 

Actually, as far as Overlook ( for now at least. ) cares, TUC is the final book. They don't do any marketing for the books they are contracted to publish ( PoN&TAE) , why would they do that for books that they have nothing to do with ( TSTSNBN)  ?

It's Bakker's fault. The sub series approach is flawed. He should have just made it one big series called The Second Apocalypse.

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4 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

I came into TUC knowing there would be a third series and that it would likely end on a cliffhanger (I assumed the No God would come back). That wasn't what make me dislike the book so much. Even if there is a third series, I still feel that the Aspect-Emperor has to stand on on its own in a way that the Prince of Nothing did; sure, there was more coming, but The Thousandfold-Thought at least answered many questions, wrapped up the main plot elements of that trilogy, and pointed the way forward. The main characters all had arcs, and affected the plot in some way.

This series... not so much. If Akka and Mimara are two of the main protagonists of this four book series, then I expect them to do something in this four book series. I'm tired of fantasy authors thinking they need two to four books with tons of tedium so that characters can do something relevant in the next book/series. And the same feels true for half of the characters in the Aspect Emperor, from Sorwheel to Cnaiur.

And the Aspect-Emperor also fails to wrap up the major questions of the series. I don't particularly care that we don't learn everything about the Consult and the No-God and the world in this book. But aside from the Dunsult twist, I felt like I learned next to nothing. Hell, I have no clue what Kellhus' motives were, and those were to me the central mystery of the series, or what the nature of his deal with Ajokli was. So TUC combines a lack of payoff for character arcs with a lack of payoff for mysteries/plot arcs. Combine that with what I consider to be truly awful prose and style in the last two books (though I know there's some disagreement here), and these are the reasons I think this book and the entire series in the end were failures, not because they ended with cliffhangers and didn't resolve everything.

This. The whole of AE was reliant on the question WWKD -- the master plan of Anasurimbor to confront the issues brought up in the first series. The entire series hinges on having an amazing conclusion. Having the No-God rise was the most predictable ending, so it was assumed (at least by me) that it wouldn't rise. I didn't mind the book upon completion, but the lack of execution for many characters and arcs came clear with a little reflection, and I can't see myself re-reading this series in its entirety again... quite unlike PoN.

Bakker stated that he stopped reading theories because they tainted his own original vision... but IMO, sometimes it's OK to change or outright alter the original course of the story for something better, something more intellectually satisfying than going "anti-Tolkien." Seeding in some of the crazier stuff proposed around these parts could have made this series amazing. But RSB seems tied to both his original vision and to the concept of bringing in something the readers wouldn't expect.

I can only hope that the third series, now lifted from RSB's teenage parameters, will contain the creativity and sweep of the first series.

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51 minutes ago, redeagl said:

:bang::bang:

Sorry - what is particularly headbanging about this response? 

We learned what the Consult goal was, but we had already known what the Consult goal was as early as the 3rd book, so that wasn't particularly special. We learned a smidgen more about the mechanics of it, but not enough to finalize anything, and not enough to put speculation to rest. (for instance, we still don't know why NC and Kelmomas work, nor do we even know if it's the Anasurimbor line that works). Unlike the 3rd book we didn't learn explicitly what Kellhus' goals were in TUC, and were misled to think that they were to combine with Ajokli - which, as it turns out, wasn't his goal at all. And we still don't know what Kellhus' actual goal was, nor do we know what he actually planned to do. 

Now, Kellhus' goal could be answered in the next book, but that's not particularly satisfying because it's already failed. It would be akin to having Darth Vader want to imprison Luke and going to all the effort to get him, and slice off his hand, and have him fall and whatnot, without the "I am your father" line. That being revealed later makes it lose all of its narrative oomph. 

Was Mimara's arc to get pregnant and have birth?
Was Akka's arc to see the Dunyain and...do nothing with it?

I think the difficulty is that there are people who read this to answer questions, and there are people who read this to read the story, and some conflate the two directly. Thus, a headbanging reaction to the (obvious) complaint that he had hoped that this book would resolve the questions. Of COURSE it wouldn't resolve the questions - the questions won't be resolved until the end!

But...you don't have to do that. You can resolve the questions without resolving the story. You can say what the story is about without spoiling how it ends. I think a lot of people hoped that TAE would resolve the questions and the next series would have the climax and denouement, but instead we didn't get that (at least to many people's satisfaction), and thus...we get a book with Crabicus. 

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42 minutes ago, redeagl said:

I am reading the guy's books not entering a relationship with him to care about his sense of humour :P

 

Actually, as far as Overlook ( for now at least. ) cares, TUC is the final book. They don't do any marketing for the books they are contracted to publish ( PoN&TAE) , why would they do that for books that they have nothing to do with ( TSTSNBN)  ?

It's Bakker's fault. The sub series approach is flawed. He should have just made it one big series called The Second Apocalypse.

Point. I still take issues with the "god father of grimdark" line though.

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1 hour ago, redeagl said:

:bang::bang:

I don't understand why this post is worthy of headsmashing. In the same way that I think it's a good thing if each ASOIAF book have it's own climaxes and mini-resolutions, I don't think it's too much to ask that each of the sub-series stand somewhat on their own in the way that Prince of Nothing did.

I'm also confused why you bolded some things as being particularly headsmashworthy, like me anticipating that the No God would arise at the end of TUC and that the book would have some cliffhangers. Isn't that exactly what happened?

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18 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Point. I still take issues with the "god father of grimdark" line though.

Yeah, that line was funny

 

30 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Sorry - what is particularly headbanging about this response? 

We learned what the Consult goal was, but we had already known what the Consult goal was as early as the 3rd book, so that wasn't particularly special. We learned a smidgen more about the mechanics of it, but not enough to finalize anything, and not enough to put speculation to rest. (for instance, we still don't know why NC and Kelmomas work, nor do we even know if it's the Anasurimbor line that works). Unlike the 3rd book we didn't learn explicitly what Kellhus' goals were in TUC, and were misled to think that they were to combine with Ajokli - which, as it turns out, wasn't his goal at all. And we still don't know what Kellhus' actual goal was, nor do we know what he actually planned to do. 

Now, Kellhus' goal could be answered in the next book, but that's not particularly satisfying because it's already failed. It would be akin to having Darth Vader want to imprison Luke and going to all the effort to get him, and slice off his hand, and have him fall and whatnot, without the "I am your father" line. That being revealed later makes it lose all of its narrative oomph. 

Was Mimara's arc to get pregnant and have birth?
Was Akka's arc to see the Dunyain and...do nothing with it?

I think the difficulty is that there are people who read this to answer questions, and there are people who read this to read the story, and some conflate the two directly. Thus, a headbanging reaction to the (obvious) complaint that he had hoped that this book would resolve the questions. Of COURSE it wouldn't resolve the questions - the questions won't be resolved until the end!

But...you don't have to do that. You can resolve the questions without resolving the story. You can say what the story is about without spoiling how it ends. I think a lot of people hoped that TAE would resolve the questions and the next series would have the climax and denouement, but instead we didn't get that (at least to many people's satisfaction), and thus...we get a book with Crabicus. 

You see, I didn't expect any kind of conclusion from TUC. Nor THAT much answers ( Whatever Bakker says about G-strings. ) . For me, " The Aspect-Emperor " was just the name of books 4-7 of The Second Apocalypse series. Mimara and Akka's ultimate purpose ( Seeing Kellhus with the Eye. ) was a red herring. One of the main reasons I really like TSA for, is defying expectations. Now, I know how that could be anti climatic for some but their story wasn't all build up for that. Akka and Mim only decided on that objective after they explored Ishual. I guess their arc was to plant some seeds for TNG ( The Boy, The weirdo dreams, The Judging Eye etc... ) and it was pretty well written.  

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10 minutes ago, redeagl said:

You see, I didn't expect any kind of conclusion from TUC. Nor THAT much answers ( Whatever Bakker says about G-strings. ) . For me, " The Aspect-Emperor " was just the name of books 4-7 of The Second Apocalypse series. Mimara and Akka's ultimate purpose ( Seeing Kellhus with the Eye. ) was a red herring. One of the main reasons I really like TSA for, is defying expectations. Now, I know how that could be anti climatic for some but their story wasn't all build up for that. Akka and Mim only decided on that objective after they explored Ishual. I guess their arc was to plant some seeds for TNG ( The Boy, The weirdo dreams, The Judging Eye etc... ) and it was pretty well written.  

Okay - but you get how others might have been led to both expecting a conclusion from the book (given that the press releases said 'the conclusion' and Bakker said the g-string), and that might have led to not a great satisfying deal?

Especially when the next series is so much up in the air?

As to Akka and Mimara, Akka's story from the getgo was to find the truth of Kellhus and reveal it - to be validated. Mimara went along with that, though a lot of her arc was to find the truth of her as well. From an internal perspective their arc was cut abruptly short and ended without anything. You can say that's acceptable to you - and that's fine - but that doesn't mean from a narrative perspective it was particularly good. This went against typical narrative expectations, the expectations set from previous books and from the character arcs. 

I get that a number of people were fine with that, or are even happy with the notion that their arc just kind of ended, but hopefully you can also understand why others didn't see it as particularly satisfying - or how Bakker really didn't help here. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, redeagl said:

Yeah, that line was funny

 

You see, I didn't expect any kind of conclusion from TUC. Nor THAT much answers ( Whatever Bakker says about G-strings. ) . For me, " The Aspect-Emperor " was just the name of books 4-7 of The Second Apocalypse series. Mimara and Akka's ultimate purpose ( Seeing Kellhus with the Eye. ) was a red herring. One of the main reasons I really like TSA for, is defying expectations. Now, I know how that could be anti climatic for some but their story wasn't all build up for that. Akka and Mim only decided on that objective after they explored Ishual. I guess their arc was to plant some seeds for TNG ( The Boy, The weirdo dreams, The Judging Eye etc... ) and it was pretty well written.  

TTT was book three of TSA series but did a great job of concluding the storylines in the first three books while setting the stage for future books. Likewise TWP had a great plot in itself with its own climax and denouement. That's part of the craft of writing that is missing from TAE. YMMV. 

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16 minutes ago, unJon said:

TTT was book three of TSA series but did a great job of concluding the storylines in the first three books while setting the stage for future books. Likewise TWP had a great plot in itself with its own climax and denouement. That's part of the craft of writing that is missing from TAE. YMMV. 

I can agree with that.  PoN was very neatly tied up.

So what would TAE have needed to be the same?  For me:

1) A better meeting between Akka/AK for one.  Things were setting up nicely when Akka sees Prosha and says judgement is coming for Kellhus.  I was legit excited at that point.

2) Or perhaps 1a.  Something more with Mim.  Unless Baby Kellhus turns out to be true, it would seem there was no reason for her to be there.

3) Either by keeping his mouth shut on the AMA or with a better conversation with the Dunsult, mimic the confrontation with Big Moe to better explain Kellhus' plan.

I think if those things were done, I would feel it was mostly complete.  Honestly, I still go back to the AMA as ruining it.  When I got into the spoiler threads and read the early interpretations and saw the speculation that AK/Ajokli were partners and the switch out came because Ajokli couldn't perceive Lil Kel and then that Ajokli possessed Cnaiur angry that he thought AK had tricked him out of his merest portion, that could have been good stuff.

Maybe make it more obvious that Mim is the only one able to see that Kellhus was a hologram at the end, that could have given her some purpose late.

Really as I reflect on it some more, it's like Bakker was a gymnast going for the dismount after a skilled routine... he comes off the bars and lands cleanly, the crowd starts to cheer, and then he stutters and loses his balance just a bit.  Then when the crowd cheers start to fade because he didn't stick the landing, he falls on his ass in shock ruining the entire routine.

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2 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

I don't understand why this post is worthy of headsmashing. In the same way that I think it's a good thing if each ASOIAF book have it's own climaxes and mini-resolutions, I don't think it's too much to ask that each of the sub-series stand somewhat on their own in the way that Prince of Nothing did.

I'm also confused why you bolded some things as being particularly headsmashworthy, like me anticipating that the No God would arise at the end of TUC and that the book would have some cliffhangers. Isn't that exactly what happened?

I bolded it because you were correct there but then... You can't have a cliffhanger and a resolution both. About the other point:

37 minutes ago, unJon said:

TTT was book three of TSA series but did a great job of concluding the storylines in the first three books while setting the stage for future books. Likewise TWP had a great plot in itself with its own climax and denouement. That's part of the craft of writing that is missing from TAE. YMMV. 

I disagree. A series is when you can't really fit the story into one book.Especially in epic fantasy when it can be too ambitious, At least for me. To make the " beginning, middle, ending " rule relevant, you need to judge by the whole series. The story doesn't end in TTT nor in TWP. 

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18 minutes ago, redeagl said:

I bolded it because you were correct there but then... You can't have a cliffhanger and a resolution both. About the other point:

I disagree. A series is when you can't really fit the story into one book.Especially in epic fantasy when it can be too ambitious, At least for me. To make the " beginning, middle, ending " rule relevant, you need to judge by the whole series. The story doesn't end in TTT nor in TWP. 

To each their own. It's basically the difference between Storm of Swords and Feast For Crows.  Seems pretty clear to me which was the better crafted book. 

@Rhom totally agree that the AMA is what killed me. I was cool with the ending on its own. 

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13 minutes ago, unJon said:

To each their own. It's basically the difference between Storm of Swords and Feast For Crows.  Seems pretty clear to me which was the better crafted book. 

@Rhom totally agree that the AMA is what killed me. I was cool with the ending on its own. 

I don't get the Feast hate either :P

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32 minutes ago, redeagl said:

I bolded it because you were correct there but then... You can't have a cliffhanger and a resolution both.

Of course you can. You resolve the existing plots and then cliffhang the new thing. This is, like, what every serialized book and show does. 

 

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Lets pretend all this is part of Bakker's masterful Philosophic Trolling or what the fuck ever. What I want to know, is what the fuck wa she smoking when he came up with the MRA Dragon, cause seriously, wtf.

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Lets pretend all this is part of Bakker's masterful Philosophic Trolling or what the fuck ever. What I want to know, is what the fuck wa she smoking when he came up with the MRA Dragon, cause seriously, wtf.

That's exactly what he wants you to be asking!

Edited by larrytheimp

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1 hour ago, redeagl said:

I don't get the Feast hate either :P

It's all coming together. 

45 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Lets pretend all this is part of Bakker's masterful Philosophic Trolling or what the fuck ever. What I want to know, is what the fuck wa she smoking when he came up with the MRA Dragon, cause seriously, wtf.

You have just experienced dragons, er, meaning in a new way. 

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Lets pretend all this is part of Bakker's masterful Philosophic Trolling or what the fuck ever. What I want to know, is what the fuck wa she smoking when he came up with the MRA Dragon, cause seriously, wtf.

He was probably thinking: "okay if unmake orcs so they are pretty, I can make them grotesque again with erections and hued semen... lets go with, uh... black (black's such an underrated color, and symbolic too), so if I unmake dragons so they are Misogynistic instead of Fetish objects that'll be like, 'dude, whoa, deep, you're a genius for thinking of that!'"

Edited by lokisnow

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2 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

That's exactly what he wants you to be asking!

Exactly, and the fact that we're asking this question (what the fuck?) shows that Bakker succeeded in what he wanted to accomplish. Am I right? 

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People have still not said what is so disastrous about the AMA? They keep saying it but not exactly what was so bad about it. 

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Pretty disheartened that Crabicus is the main character of the first No-God book. I am already imagining a work consisting of wandering through the woods and philosophical pondering.

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