REVIEW: The Call by Peader O'Guillin
1 hour ago
He realised he was afraid of the desert ahead.
He looked like wire clothes hangers all wrapped and twirled together. You could see all the lights of hell in his eyes, but he was grinning, just like the grins the children carve into their sharproots and pumpkins, come Reap.
Then he puked, and it was black and full of blood. It went right through that grin like sewer water through a grate. The stink was enough to make you want to run mad. He raised up his arms and just threw over. That was all. He died in his own vomit with that grin on his face.
"It excites them. He's dead. They're not."
You want to know about Death. I left him a word. That word is NINETEEN. If you say it to him his mind will be opened. He will tell you what lies beyond. He will tell you what he saw. The word is NINETEEN. Knowing will drive you mad. But sooner or later you will ask. You won't be able to help yourself. Have a nice day!
"That Allie's pretty nice when she wants to be, ain't she?" The hostler made a loose circle with his left fist and began poking his right finger rapidly in and out of it.
He brought the knife down with both hands, and the gunslinger caught his wrists and turned them. The knife went flying. Sheb made a high screeching noise, like a rusty screen door. His hands fluttered in marionette movements, both wrists broken.
He only saw her once more alive.
Alison Wells is no ordinary woman. Born with super-natural powers, she can never make love to a man without putting him in grave danger. But when her special vision reveals a glorious muscled man soaring overhead on mighty wings, she feels an overwhelming attraction she cannot resist - even as he tells her: 'I have come for you. Your blood belongs to me'. Kerrick is a vampire and a warrior who has fought his hunger for a woman's love for the past two hundred years. As a Guardian of Ascension, he is sworn to protect Alison from the death vamp armies who crave her blood and her power. But Kerrick has cravings of his own - a forbidden longing to open his heart and veins to Alison. To share his blood...satisfy his thirst...and seal their fates forever.
A veil of melancholy has fallen over Jacob Marlowe. He's the last of his kind. Hunted by his enemies and haunted by his past, he's worn out by centuries of decadence and debauchery, and by the demands of his lunatic appetites. He decides to submit to the authorities at the next full moon. But as Jacob counts down to suicide, a violent murder and an extraordinary meeting plunge him straight back into the desperate pursuit of life. Gory and sexy, The Last Werewolf is a thrilling take on our relationship with the wild side, what it means to be alone and the transformative possibilities of love.
Mal is different from other kids. Part-prophet, part tyrant, he runs rings around his family and friends and dreams of changing the world. But as he grows up he experiences an extravagant metamorphosis. Recounted by Mal’s charming younger brother, Bed tells of the rise and dramatic fall of Mal and those around him. Enchanting, enigmatic and unforgettable, it captures brotherhood, romance and parenthood, and explores how love always has a price. Bed also asks what it is we need to get out of bed in the morning.
Saffy feels like she has it all: a great job and a gorgeous boyfriend, Greg, who she is sure is about to propose. Greg's best mate Conor has two children with the love of his life, Jess, yet she refuses to get married. So, for these four friends, it seems their happy endings are playing hard to get. Everyone's keeping secrets and it will take some tough questions, and even tougher answers, to find out what they really want.
Best mates Sandie, Emily and Grazia thought they'd be friends forever. But they reckoned without the dividing effects of men and money. Shopping guru Sandie is happily pregnant, but facing an unusual battle with her boyfriend's mother. Bitter Emily has been banned from having a second child by her boyfriend, and faces a new temptation. Grazia must decide whether to give up on her career for a new, needy lover. Can they reconcile their differences? Or is it time to shut up shop?
Diana Gabaldon brings back one of her most compelling characters: Lord John Grey - soldier, gentleman, and no mean hand with a blade. Set in the eighteenth century, Lord John's world is one of mystery and menace. The strands of his secret and public lives weave together, to capture the tormented and courageous career of a man who fights for his crown, his honour, and his own secrets.
Bill Moore has it all: a high-income job, the perfect home and a loving wife. But then he is sent a business card - blank except for the word 'modified'. He dismisses the seemingly random event until the word begins to pop up in other places. Bill soon finds out, in the most terrifying way, that his life has become the subject of a sinister and deadly game...
Alice McLean is living the life she always dreamed of: no ties, no constraints and no worries. But her charmed existence is about to come to an abrupt end. Her best friend and husband have been killed in a car crash and Alice is now the legal guardian of their young daughter. So begins a journey that will force Alice to reassess her dreams, as she realises that sometimes the greatest adventures are the ones you never thought of taking...
Buffy: It's so weird. Every time something like this happens, my first instinct is still to run to Angel. I can't believe it's the same person. He's completely different from the guy that I knew.
Willow: Well, sort of, except ...
Buffy: Except what?
Willow: You're still the only thing he thinks about.
Spike: The last time I looked in on you two, you were fighting to the death. Now you're back to making googly-eyes at each other like nothing happened. Makes me want to heave.
Buffy: I don't know what you're talking about.
Spike: Oh, yeah, you're just friends.
Angel: That's right.
Spike: You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love 'til it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other 'til it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood -- blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.
[At Giles's apartment, Xander and Anya are arguing about their relationship.]
Xander: If you don't know how I feel about -
Anya: I don't. This isn't a relationship! You don't need me. All you care about is lots of orgasms.
[The others are silent with disbelief.]
Xander: OK... remember how we talked about private conversations? How they're less private when they're in front of my friends?
Spike: Oh, we're not your friends. Go on.
Giles: Please don't.
Flashback Spike: Death is your art.
Spike: You make it with your hands, day after day.
Flashback Spike: That final gasp. That look of peace.
Spike: Part of you is desperate to know: "What's it like? Where does it lead you?"
[Flashback Spike snaps Nikki’s neck]
Flashback Spike: Even you. The only reason you've lasted as long as you have is you've got ties to the world... your mum, your brat kid sister, the Scoobies. They all tie you here, but you're just putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later, you're gonna want it. And the second- the second - [Both Spikes clap their hands together inches from Buffy's face]
Spike: ... That happens... You know I'll be there. I'll slip in... have myself a real good day. Here endeth the lesson.
Buffy: Dawn, listen to me, listen. I love you. I will always love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles… tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world… is to live in it. Be brave. Live… for me.
This first encounter with Esslemont’s side of the Malazan world has sure been a bumpy ride. For every Temper there was a Kiska, basically *grins*. I don’t think I need to re-emphasise my dislike of the young naive character. She was an effective tool in Esslemont’s hands to help any info-dumping go smoothly and feel realistic, but, by all the Gods, she got annoying damn quickly.
My over-riding impression of the novel is that is was basically a novella to start with, and got padded out to fit a novel length. There isn’t a great deal of real action here, in terms of moving along the story, and the biggest scene by far is the ascension of Kellanved and Dancer, but I found myself rather confused about it rather than thrilled.
At times the prose was weak when it should have been exciting, with clumsy exposition and characterisation.
With that said, I did enjoy a lot of what was on show here. I loved the horror aspect of the novel - something that we haven’t seen from Erikson in the same way. Anything involving Temper, especially the flashbacks with Dassem and the final showdown between him and Jhenna, was just brilliant. I also enjoyed seeing an entirely different perspective of Tayschrenn compared to Gardens of the Moon - I join other people now in finding him entirely intriguing. Definitely more to come.
My favourite character from Night of Knives was definitely Temper - from his grizzled resignation to his flash of pride to the potential of what is yet to come. How about you? And why?
In summary, this will never be my favourite part of the Malazan series, but I have not been deterred from Esslemont’s future works. I think this was a slightly simplistic read in comparison to Gardens of the Moon - however, I do firmly believe that Esslemont can only improve going forwards, and I’m looking forward to Return of the Crimson Guard when we hit that as part of the re-read.
So, onto Deadhouse Gates.... I am apprehensive, pleased, excited, and already confused :-p