On this weeks ‘things I read way back when’ I’m taking a look at books/series that, for one reason or another, I just gave up on and let them fade away into the deepest depths of my minds to be ignored forever more.
Well, kind of. In this post I’ll be looking back at five of them and seeing if I fancy ever giving them a second chance. I’ll be giving them a yes, no or maybe based on if I’ll be picking them up again.
Please note, where it concerns a series I will only use the cover image for book one. Series these days have so many books in them that it would take a silly amount of time to add every cover.
My previous posts in this series can be found here:
Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson:
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discontent.
Even its imperial legions yearn for some respite. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and for Tattersail, sole surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, still holds out – and Empress Lasseen’s ambition knows no bounds.
However, it seems the empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister forces gather as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…
Give it a second chance: Maybe
I really wanted to like this one. Way back when I used to work with Drew (Tattooed Book Geek) we’d spent our shifts talking about games, books etc … and this was one of the ones he rated very highly.
The writing is really solid and I remember thinking, when I realised I was struggling to like the book, that it was odd to not enjoy something that was so well-written. But I just found that I didn’t really follow what was going on nor care for any of the characters (well there were a couple, but I can’t even remember their names so they hardly count). By the time I finished it I just remember thinking ‘that took a good while and I feel like I know as much as before I started. I’m wondering if I were to try it again I may find the enjoyment that was missing the first time round. I’m undecided. Although I do feel annoyed that I’m perhaps missing out on something brilliant. Everyone I talked to at Comic-con raved about it.
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson:
ccording to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on roshar, the world of storms. And the Voidbringers followed …
They came against man ten thousand times. To help them cope, the Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, known as shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won.
Or so the legends say. Today, the only remnants of those supposed battles are the Shardblades, the possession of which makes a man nearly invincible on the battlefield. The entire world is at war with itself – and has been for centuries since the radiants turned against mankind. Kings strive to win more shardblades, each secretly wishing to be the one who will finally unite all of mankind under a single throne.
On a world scoured down to the rock by terrifying hurricanes that blow through every few days is a young spearman, forced into the army of a shardbearer, led to war against an enemy he doesn’t understand and doesn’t really want to fight.
What happened deep in mankind’s past?
Why did the Radiants turn against mankind, and what happened to the magic they used to wield?
Format: Audio Book
Give it a second chance: No
There are two things I love in an audio book series: Long books (I feel like I’m getting more value for my Audible Credit) and an author that can reliably bang out a book every year. In Brandon Sanderson, both of those boxes are ticked. Yet, I just don’t enjoy his work and I can’t understand why.
That’s not entirely true, I did enjoy Mistborn. But I didn’t like his writing enough to make me finish the trilogy. My main problem with The Stormlight Archive is that I just felt like I was dropped in at the deep end with no clue as to what was happening and no desire to carry on and find out. The way it started just kind of felt like the author expected the reader to have a working knowledge of what was going on and it just kind of soured me. I gave up on this one a couple of hours in and traded it in for another title as soon as I was able.
The Faithful and the Fallen by John Gwynne:
Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.
The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.
High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.
Format: Paperback and Audio Book
Give it a second chance: Yes
This is another one of Drew’s recommendations and one I fully expect to love when I pick it back up. A couple of factors went into my not enjoying this the first time around and they are both very easily remedied. The first was that I was kind of fed up of fantasy and the whole ‘young boy is the hero’ type thing was just not my scene. I feel that, when I have a yearning for fantasy again, both of those issues will disappear.
The second issue was that I just wasn’t feeling Audio Books at that time and this is an absolutely beastly tome to get stuck into if lengthy audio titles are bogging you down. To remedy that, I’ll just read my paperback copy. All in all, I’m looking forward to eventually trying this one again.
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson:
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again.
But one truth remains, and what mortal men forget, the Aes Sedai do not . . .
What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the shadow.
Give it a second chance: No
This is a strange one for me as I remember absolutely loving the first five books or so and then just stopping (warhammer novels took my attention after that). Despite loving them, I very much doubt I’ll ever bother re-reading or finishing the series. The whole ‘Farm boy just happens to be the saviour of the world’ thing is a trope I hate, it felt far too similar to Lord of the Rings and, as mentioned above, I am not a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s work.
I know Jordan wrote most of them, but he passed away before the series could be finished and Sanderson finished it off. I don’t think I could ever get enthusiastic to read a series I know will be finished off by an author I can’t get overly excited for.
The Chronicles of the Exile by Marc Turner:
A power-hungry necromancer has stolen The Book of Lost Souls, and intends to use it to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld.Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artefact at all cost. However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed.
Format: Kindle … despite it seemingly not being available on kindle now
Give it a second chance: Maybe
I remember getting to the 40% mark and just getting distracted by other novels (Robin Hobb and her Realm of the Elderlings is to be blamed here) and just never coming back to it. I can’t remember much of it other than that I enjoyed it, just obviously not enough to power through and finish.
So yea, I’m incredibly on the fence about this one as I have no real bad memories of it, just no overpoweringly good ones that make me eager to pick it back up.