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Ser Scot A Ellison

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn/The Heart of what was Lost/The Last King of Osten Ard

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Fall of Light was a better book overall. Without that mindfuck of an ending, Toll the Hounds would have been a bit of a disaster.

Hopefully Tad will shift into high gear soon, for this story needs to lift off ASAP. :unsure:

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5 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

Okay, I'm more than halfway through and this remains the most underwhelming Tad Williams book I have ever read.

Now I'm really worried. Especially given how much of a chore some chapters are to read. :(

This could well be Tad's equivalent of Steven Erikson's Toll the Hounds. Hopefully the ending will also save this novel, because I'm not feeling it at all up until this point. . .

Chore? Is it boring -- glacial plot -- underwhelming characters -- lack of tension -- uninspired prose?

I haven't read a TW book since Sea of Silver Light, but was curious about this one. 

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Several plotlines are (so far at least) indeed quite boring. The characterizationg does leave a lot to be desired and is a mess of POVs that bring little or nothing to the story. Lack of tension, no. Uninspired prose, no.

It's a chore to get through because very little actually happens and all the good stuff is buried so deeply under extraneous and superfluous scenes that it robs it of most of the desired impact. Underwhelming characters? Holy shit, you have no idea. :stillsick: How Simon and Miriamele have fallen so low, it's unbelievable.

At this point, the overall plot for this book is taking shape and will hopefully lead to a gripping finale. But you have to go through so much pointless scenes and conversations to get to the good stuff. I've never had such a hard time reading anything by Tad Williams. :(

Still waiting for a storyline or a protagonist to finally stand out (there are a few good ones, mind you), but thus far it has been a major disappointment every step of the way. Expectations are understandably high for TWC and it appears that this novel will be unable to live up to them. . .

Keeping my fingers crossed that the author will hit it out of the park before the end. But to be honest, I would have stopped reading this book long ago if it wasn't Williams' long-awaited return to Osten Ard. . .

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On 4/9/2017 at 1:50 PM, Lord Patrek said:

Several plotlines are (so far at least) indeed quite boring. The characterizationg does leave a lot to be desired and is a mess of POVs that bring little or nothing to the story. Lack of tension, no. Uninspired prose, no.

It's a chore to get through because very little actually happens and all the good stuff is buried so deeply under extraneous and superfluous scenes that it robs it of most of the desired impact. Underwhelming characters? Holy shit, you have no idea. :stillsick: How Simon and Miriamele have fallen so low, it's unbelievable.

At this point, the overall plot for this book is taking shape and will hopefully lead to a gripping finale. But you have to go through so much pointless scenes and conversations to get to the good stuff. I've never had such a hard time reading anything by Tad Williams. :(

Still waiting for a storyline or a protagonist to finally stand out (there are a few good ones, mind you), but thus far it has been a major disappointment every step of the way. Expectations are understandably high for TWC and it appears that this novel will be unable to live up to them. . .

Keeping my fingers crossed that the author will hit it out of the park before the end. But to be honest, I would have stopped reading this book long ago if it wasn't Williams' long-awaited return to Osten Ard. . .

This sound eerily familiar to my reaction to the first Shadowmarch book.

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Well, Tad Williams has been one of my favorite SFF authors ever since I read MST more than two decades ago. And TWC remains his most underwhelming novel I've read to date.

So much so that I've decided to take a break and stop reading it for a while. I'm more than 2/3 into it and I'm just not feeling it. At all. But I've been friends with Tad and Deb for years and I don't want what will likely be a lukewarm review at best (unless he really hits it out of the park before the end) to be the only in-depth review out there more than 2 months prior to the book's publication.

I'll pick up something else and go back to TWC later on. That way, my review, especially if it's on the negative side, won't have as much of an impact when it goes up closer to the pub date.

Never had such a hard time getting into anything written by Williams. Like many, I was hoping this long-awaited return to Osten Ard would be one of the highlights of the genre in 2017. Not sure this will be the case. . .:unsure:

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56 minutes ago, Lord Patrek said:

Well, Tad Williams has been one of my favorite SFF authors ever since I read MST more than two decades ago. And TWC remains his most underwhelming novel I've read to date.

So much so that I've decided to take a break and stop reading it for a while. I'm more than 2/3 into it and I'm just not feeling it. At all. But I've been friends with Tad and Deb for years and I don't want what will likely be a lukewarm review at best (unless he really hits it out of the park before the end) to be the only in-depth review out there more than 2 months prior to the book's publication.

I'll pick up something else and go back to TWC later on. That way, my review, especially if it's on the negative side, won't have as much of an impact when it goes up closer to the pub date.

Never had such a hard time getting into anything written by Williams. Like many, I was hoping this long-awaited return to Osten Ard would be one of the highlights of the genre in 2017. Not sure this will be the case. . .:unsure:

flat out abandoning for a while it is probably the worst kind of 'review' possible at this point. especially as you're almost finished and have no motivation to slog through to the climax.

Are there new problems that are making you hit a brick wall, or is it the same you've already informed us of? 

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Well that wasn't aimed at anyone specifically, but when I see people complain about Shadowmarch/Otherland and slow pacing I get the impression some people here and Williams may not be a good fit.

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I'm almost done with DragonBone Chair.  It's good but the latter half hasn't quite hooked me like the first.  Might be another series I just don't have the energy to continue with even though I mostly liked what I read. 

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8 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Well that wasn't aimed at anyone specifically, but when I see people complain about Shadowmarch/Otherland and slow pacing I get the impression some people here and Williams may not be a good fit.

Pacing has always been an issue with Tad Williams. Some can't get over that, while others don't see it as a problem. It was never a problem for me in the past. But it definitely is with TWC.

@kuenjato: Pretty much the same issues I've mentioned before. Nothing much happening and extremely weak characterization being the worse offenders, though.

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3 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

Pacing has always been an issue with Tad Williams. Some can't get over that, while others don't see it as a problem. It was never a problem for me in the past. But it definitely is with TWC.

@kuenjato: Pretty much the same issues I've mentioned before. Nothing much happening and extremely weak characterization being the worse offenders, though.

Pacing is relative to the reader, of course. If the world/story/characters are interesting or immersive, then I personally don't care if it's "slow." The Dragonbone Chair was my favorite fantasy novel when I was 13, because the world felt much realer and tactile & the prose was much better than other serials at that time (late 1980's). From what it sounds like, TWC is lacking the strengths of the original series, and potentially the mystery. 

Question: is this treading old ground, or offering anything new?

Otherland kind of killed TW for me -- I like a lot of it, some of the prose was exceptional, but it was so bloated that I started to lose interest by around the mid-point of the third novel. Sounds like bloat is an issue with this one as well.

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You seem to read a different book, Pat.

It took me a few chapters to get back into the Osten Ard spirit as well but it was well before page 100 that I got truly engaged. During A Meeting On Lantern Bridge to be precise. From that point on I laughed and cried, gasped and shouted at the book occasionally. I wasn't able to put it down for the last 200+ pages although that meant a day on two hours of sleep which is nothing old women like me stomach easily  ...

And to pick a nit: It is one halfblood Norn POV ;-)

Edited by ylvs

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I've read those reviews and I'm not sure what book these people have read. . . :unsure:

ylvs, up until the point I've reached, there are two of them. Guess that's one big revelation down the line. :)

ARCs were sent out well over two months ago, and yet there are only 2 reviews out there. Given that there is no embargo and that Goodreads reviewers usually don't give a shit and post their reviews immediately, I'm afraid that I might not the be the only person feeling underwhelmed by TWC and don't want to piss in people's cereals. A lack of reviews this late in the game is usually an indication that the book isn't that good. . .

Since I've put TWC on hold, I've read Alan Smale's Eagle and Empire (great read) and now I'm reading Ian McDonald's Luna: Wolf Moon. I haven't decided if resuming the new Tad Williams will come next, or if I'll go through another novel before that.

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1 hour ago, Lord Patrek said:

ylvs, up until the point I've reached, there are two of them. Guess that's one big revelation down the line. :)

Well, there is another halfblood character but that's not a POV. I think I know whom you're talking about and at no point in the book is that one labeled a halfblood.

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2 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

ARCs were sent out well over two months ago, and yet there are only 2 reviews out there.

 

A lack of reviews this late in the game

For the record: ARCs were sent to Ylvs and me because we were working on the appendix, and needed the book to compare to the working appendix. ARCs were not sent out to others until very recently. We felt very privileged to receive copies months before they went out to anyone else.

"A lack of reviews this late in the game"... months before publication is certainly not "late in the game", Pat.

 

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41 minutes ago, ylvs said:

Well, there is another halfblood character but that's not a POV. I think I know whom you're talking about and at no point in the book is that one labeled a halfblood.

Yep, one halfblood POV.

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