The God's War Discussion

Book Three of The Great God's War trilogy, which may or may not ever be published.
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Russ Hatton
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The God's War Discussion

Post by Russ Hatton »

Finished the 3rd volume.
It was OK.
I did not regret reading it.
Not a waste of time.
But a bit unsatisfying.
Not even close to being my favorite Donaldson.
It had a bit of "paint by numbers" feel. A hint of fan fiction.

Punches were telegraphed well in advance.
One of the many things I loved about the Covenent books is that I could never guess how they would end. The ending was always an OMG experience.

Rile is a cardboard cutout of a big bad. Foul had a backstory and a "personality". He even got a hug at the end. Rile is just mean. Meanness incarnate. A nightmare of a control freak.

Too many interminable fights. Lovingly described blow by blow. Other books in the canon had much more interesting little bads. I simply scanned these fights. I usually savor Steve's prose. Not this time. I don't remember this being a problem with the rest of the Donaldson canon.

The usual amount of protagonist angst and whining. But I never cared about Bivalve and Estie like I cared about Covenant and Linden and Morn. They are both a bit Mary Sue.

There was no redemption. No Angus Thermopyle.

The mix of magic and weapons technology was interesting. But I never got the sense the Belleger had the infrastructure to produce the weapons.
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peter
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Post by peter »

I have a terrible confession to make; I'm beginning to wonder if SRD was ever as good as I thought he was.

Don't get wrong - no other author has for me, ever even approached the sheer pleasure that I got from reading the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever for the first time (not long after its initial publication).

But as his canon has increased over time, I've read first Mordant's Need and then The Gap books, then short stories, a couple of novellas and finally the first of this last series, I have to admit I've been increasingly unsure that he was ever going to do for me again, what he did with those first 3hree books.

Confession time (again) Mordant's Need I tried to read to completion three times. On the 3rd attempt I reached half way through book 2 and threw it down. I simply didn't like it. To me it was dull. Mordant (or whatever her name was) didn't do it for me and the whole politicking thing was a bore.

The Gap series, I started with the novella and at the persuasion of people on the Watch, went on to the first book proper. Got halfway in then abandoned it. No point in ploughing on with a six or whatever book series that I simply didn't like. I'm not a massive Sci-fi fan anyways, but this stuff wasn't good enough for me to press ahead with the reading.

Now the short stories I liked. Really liked. I thought he scaled the same peaks as he did with Covenant with stories like Unworthy of the Angel and Ser Visal's Tale, Rift the Just and Mythological Beast. But that's where it ended. The novellas (I forget their names) came and went, and series 3 of the Covenant tales (a series too far in my opinion - but I recognise that I'm probably in a minority with this). And it was with some hope that I read of the forthcoming Great God's War series. Was Donaldson once again going to do with my world what he had done when I was an impressionable 18 year old? Turn it upside down with a tale that would pull me into a new world, a world of magical invention, of Bloodguards and Ramen, or their new-world equivalents?

I read the first book and was a bit.....underwhelmed shall we say. I'd damn it with faint praise, but I couldn't go really even that far (whichis about what the OP has done). By the time the second book came out, I'd forgotten the unmemorable story of the first and iirc I made a desultory attempt on a copy borrowed from a local library, but tossed it aside a few chapters in, in preference for some other book in my ever growing reading pile.

And that was it. My Donaldson reading history. Not very impressive is it?

I repeat again, nothing will ever match my pleasure in reading the first Covenant series (swallowed in one gulp over a couple of weeks, all 3 books being published simultaneously in the UK). And the second series, travelling the Earth (was that what it was called?), I loved as well. But the rest (with the honorable exceptions of some of the short stories) is to me at least, so much chaff.

But perhaps I do it a disservice? Perhaps the canon is worthy of revisiting? I'll never attempt the dreary drudge of Mordant's Need again, but maybe the other stuff is worth another look. Can't see it happening however. My unread book pile has grown to a library in its own right and my time is already sufficiently short that I doubt I'll see it through (and my frikkin eyes are giving up the ghost at a fast rate of knots to boot). I work on the principle that if a book doesn't work pretty quickly for me, then out it goes. There's simply too much stuff out there to waste time on that which is a labour to read.
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Post by RandomHaruchai »

SRD is a great author. There are also many others I really enjoy from Immanuel Kant and Charles Dickens to Orson Scott Card and William Shakespeare. OK, Shakespeare isn't even in my top 10. They each have their niche, though. You get the point. I agree that Mordant's Need wasn't great, and I still think SRD is a great author based on the totality of his works.

Know that I'm quite biased. I really disliked reading Tolkien around age 10-11. But I had a sibling reading the Second Chronicles, so I borrowed LFB from the library (it was a boring summer). My vocabulary has never been the same.

Hoping GGW is as engaging for me as it seems to be for others. Leaving this thread before I ruin the punchline.
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peter
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Gosh I hope you have revisited Tolkien .....!

To miss out on his work because of a bad experience aged 11 would be just..... well - I haven't the words!

;)
If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
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The God's War Discussion

Post by RandomHaruchai »

peter wrote: Gosh I hope you have revisited Tolkien .....!

To miss out on his work because of a bad experience aged 11 would be just..... well - I haven't the words!

;)
Indeed. After seeing the (now) very old first Hobbit movie/cartoon, I went back and tried again. I'm still not a strong fan, but I get the appeal.
It may seem strange to some, but I find Dickens and Twain hold my interest more. Like Catcher in the Rye, things that require some awareness or insight or life experience feed my prideful delusion that overvalues my intelligence. Ender Wiggin's got nothing on me. <sarcasm emoji>
Good dreams don't come cheap
You've got to pay for them
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