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Ahira's Hangar • View topic - Midnight Tides (tons of unhidden spoilers - BEWARE!)

Ahira's Hangar

David Zindell's Neverness, A Requiem for Homo Sapiens and all things Science Fiction and Fantasy
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 Post subject: Midnight Tides (tons of unhidden spoilers - BEWARE!)
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:01 pm 
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As you guys know, I hated this book the first time around.

But as you guys also know, I was sick as hell with a respiratory infection and also had a blown out knee when I read it, so I was sick and in a lot of pain, and I have always thought that might have had a lot to do with my hatred of the book.

Well, I am rereading it now for my chronological reread of the series.

I do not hate it so far, though I still dislike parts of it (though this might change, as I am only about 200 pages in). :wink:

Parts I truly dislike:

* the constant preaching against unregulated capitalism and British old school style colonialism/genocide - yeah, I know you think they are bad Mr. Erikson - stop hitting my head with a board about them!

* the whole subplot with the three women who sexually harrass their male employee makes me feel literally sick to my stomach - I am unsure if this is grossness is what the author intended, or if he thought it would be cute and/or funny and/or sexy to reverse the usual sex roles in this subplot, but it is sleazy and digusting no matter what his intention was :gag:


Parts I like:

* the Edur parts are not as dreadfully boring as what I remember from the first read (though that might change as the book goes on) - he does a pretty decent job making up a culture of humanoids who are not human

* he puts in a lot of foreshadowing for the fall of Lethar and the rise of the Edur, and I am having fun finding them

Do you guys think that the Crippled God actually intended the sword to go to one of the Sengar brothers, or did he actually mean for it to be a gift for the Warlock King, as the Warlock King saw in his vision? Did Rhulad actually mess up the Crippled God's intentions here somewhat?

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 Post subject: Re: Midnight Tides
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:32 pm 
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Well, I knew it would eventually happen and it finally did last night, somewhere in the 400's. My eyes started feeling very heavy, and next thing I knew, I was waking up an hour or so later with the book open on my chest. :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

The first time I read the book I was very sick, and I fell asleep every few pages, so this was a big improvement. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

What sent me to sleepyland?

Rhulad had woken up from his first death, and one of the characters (I think it was Unidaas) kept going on about how both Rhulad and all of the Letharii are trapped in gold.

Now, that is a good bit of symbolism, but I think I would like it a lot more if the author just let it be, and let me make my own connections rather than beat me over the head with it. :razz: :razz: :razz:

Both symbolism and foreshadowing are better if the reader is left alone to find them on his/her own, IMHO.

And a good editor should delete the head beating over it, IMHO.

However, I remember the ice sequences are being great, and they were perhaps even better than what I remember. :mrgreen:

And I also loved the part where Brys is sent by the Letharii high mage to search for the ocean god Mael, but instead finds and defeats then helps the guardian of the forgotten gods. I had completely forgotten about that part, so was delighted to rediscover it. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Midnight Tides (tons of unhidden spoilers - BEWARE!)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:40 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Midnight Tides (tons of unhidden spoilers - BEWARE!)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:53 am 
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This is my week off from work, so I am trying to get this book finished this week. It was and is my least favorite Malazan book (of the ones I have read) so I sort of want to read it while I have time. I know that I will make time for DG and MOI and HOC when I get to those, but wasn't so sure I could avoid serious procrastination with this one. :razz:

I am doing Ok so far - I am in the 600's in pages read, so I think I will be able to finish it by Monday, when I have to get back to work. :)

It is nowhere as bad as what I remember, so my poor health during the first read definately colored my reaction to it. :)

On the other hand, I still think it would be a much better book if cut by a third to a half. Lots of navel gazing could go, as well as a lot of the political and economic maneuvering in Letheras, which is mostly boring as hell. :|

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 Post subject: Re: Midnight Tides (tons of unhidden spoilers - BEWARE!)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:53 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Midnight Tides (tons of unhidden spoilers - BEWARE!)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:50 pm 
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I also think that Rhulad was very young - too young for the trip, for the horror of what is about to happen to him (which could overcome anyone), and much too young to be married and be having sex with his wife, as exemplified by his cluelessness in understanding Mayen's emotions and sexual needs.

But I also think that he is flawed. Some insecurity when faced with brilliant older siblings is pretty normal for a person to feel. But Rhulad takes that insecurity to a whole new level - especially when combined with his ambition and competetiveness. Rather than finding his own gifts and strengths and path through life, he is determined to tear down his brothers' lives. Yes, this could be immaturity and insecurity - but he takes it a lot further than the norm, not only for his own culture (where taking Mayen from Fear is considered an outright abomination) but even for ours, which is lot more permissive in many ways than Edur culture.

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 Post subject: Re: Midnight Tides (tons of unhidden spoilers - BEWARE!)
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:15 pm 
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Oh, I agree. Rhulad's a piece of work. He may never have outgrown all the flaws in his character.

About Mayen, tho -- Rhulad's parents had the opportunity to intervene and stop his fixation on her before the Crippled God got involved, and chose not to. I dunno whether it's because they thought it was puppy love and assumed he'd grow out of it, or what. But they didn't do it. Not to blame the parents for Rhulad's flaws (as a parent myself, I *really* don't like where that line of reasoning could lead in real life! :lol: ), but I do think they coddled him some.

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 Post subject: Re: Midnight Tides (tons of unhidden spoilers - BEWARE!)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:13 am 
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Trull (who seems to be both the most empathatic and intelligent of the bunch) thinks that they all - every single one of them in the family - failed Rhulad. He thinks this somewhere towards the end of MT, though I will not even attempt to find the passage. He thinks the three older brothers (including himself) failed him by not making a greater attempt to include him in their activities.

And of course, Trull had been warning Fear and the others since the beginning of the book that there was a potential problem involving Rhulad and Mayen - and people kept blowing him off.

I think that what Rhulad did in taking Mayen was so unprecedented that no one could even understand the potential problem other than Trull.

After all, the Edur do not even have the word or concept for divorce - much less in doing something like taking your own brother's betrothed spouse as your own.

Once Mayen accepted Fear's weapon, everyone (other than Rhulad) must have considered them bound for life.

And what better way for Rhulad to show his dominance over Fear and the rest of his family than in taking away Fear's wife and possible children?

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