Jul 25, 2016

Thoughts on Gardens of the Moon

I'm holding true to my initiative to write down my thoughts after finishing each book I read. This one has taken an uncharacteristically long time... the book was Gardens of the Moon, first book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, by Steven Erikson. I read it on Uma's recommendation, a recommendation I thought solid given that the series earns the #10 spot on /r/Fantasy's top Fantasy series' of all time. Well, /r/Fantasy was wrong and Uma was wrong.

It took me over 4 months to finish Gardens of the Moon. Why? Because it wasn't good. You know those books that intentionally withhold some information from the reader to build suspense / cultivate surprise or the ones that respect the reader by leaving room for interpretation? The ones that hide little nuggets that can only be appreciated on a second or third reading? Gardens of the Moon is kind of like those books, but shitty.

The author essentially never bothers to explain anything. He assumes that you'll read his books not twice or three times, but a dozen times to pick up all of the details and connections. His lack of explanation passes well beyond respectful into a strange realm of disrespect for the reader's time and energy.

There's probably a time in my life when I would have really appreciated Gardens of the Moon. That time of my life involved me typically playing World of Warcraft 18 hours a day. Adult me just doesn't have time to committing to reading a book ten more times. I could just save myself some time and stop reading 75% of the way through any other book for a similar effect.