Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson

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Book Information  
AuthorSteven Erikson
TitleDeadhouse Gates
SeriesMalazan Book of the Fallen, The
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by anthony 
(Sep 05, 2007)

the first book was good. book 2 is great. there are a couple of reasons for this. one, the story is tight. quite frankly, some of the other books are far to sprawling. deadhouse is able to avoid that trap. it has the same myriad characters and plots - most converging at the end - but there is no delay in the story, it's balls to the wall goodness all the way through. and all of erikson's best horses are here: dangerous and vicious good guys. bad guys who have too much charisma to be hated. a better understanding of the holds - a truly brilliant and invigorating magic system that roots in erikson's past as both an archeologist and anthropologist. and, unlike most fantasy, erikson has the balls to overlay his story w/both mystery and meloncholy - the second being the most important aspect of any substantial work of fantasy. there are characters you'll love and there are storylines that will truly sadden you. and yet others will reinvigorate. all of this book is such that you'll be wanting more. fortunately, there's an asimoff size amount to go (except its good).

Submitted by Jason 
(Jun 29, 2006)

Most of the charecters that we grow to love in Gardens and actually finally begin to understand at least slightly toward the end of that book do not appear in the sequel Deadhouse gates. While this is a great effort by Erickson and a worthy follow up to a strong first book, I am frustrated by basically none of the main charecters being in this text. I found myself through the entire book, thinking, "what are Whiskyjack and Paran and the rest doing?" rather than completely focusing on the story at hand. Unfortunatly, Erickson again introduces a whole host of charecters with very little if any background being provided, many of whom have similar charecteristics. The first book forced me to turn to the cast of charecters and glossary at the beginning and end in order to keep things mostly straight (I don't think anyone could keep it 100% in order on the first read). I liken it to reading George RR Martin but set in a world which is about a thousand times more complicated. In all seriousness, in order to get through the second one, I actually made copies of the glossary and list of charecters from both books and kept them by me while reading. I have to admit that his frustrates me somewhat but doing it did make things much easier.

It comes down to this. If you want to read an incredibly vivid book with a very different take on the fantasy genre then you should seriously consider checking this book out. However you need to be aware prior to starting that you will actually have to work to understand this book in anything more than a "passing glance" level. If you are not prepared to read and re-read certain paragraphs and basically be forced to rely on a study guide while doing it, this is not the series for you...

Submitted by Gary Zarback 
(Nov 18, 2005)

Steven Erikson follows through his first book with a resounding thunderclap that will shatter your teeth with horror, decadence and futility, yet strengthen your hope - all viciously crammed in one terrifyingly epic continuation called Deadhouse Gates.

The characters you grew to love, hate or fear in Gardens of the Moon may or may not be found within these 700+ pages of small print, though they are still part of the saga each and every one. You will be whisked off in many directions, introduced to more unusual creatures and strangely powerful beings contained with the Malazan mythology, and laugh out loud as your imagination interacts with a slightly crazy priest.

The realism of war is played out with uncanny brutality, precision and clarity that may sicken you, but never leaves you without hope. Plots within plots keep the reader frantically clawing for the next page while you are still thinking about something that occurred some pages past. The Glossary will be well-used, some concepts and ideas from the first book will be more revealed while others seem to grow more vague. As the book comes to an end, Erikson masterfully brings the drama to a close yet the reader is helplessly in dire need of more.

Book 1 of the series, Gardens of the Moon should be a prerequisite merely to attune the reader to this difficulty of reading & introduction to the mythology that Erikson weaves. Book 2 has reaffirmed the status of Erikson as being one of my favorite authors of all time.

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