Scott Hitchcock's Reviews > Midnight Tides

Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson
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it was amazing
bookshelves: grimdark, malazan, beyond-5-stars
Read 2 times. Last read July 29, 2018 to August 24, 2018.

Reread:

Just as good the second time around. I sort of expected I would have forgotten a lot from this book but I didn't. My one problem was I thought I lot of events from Reaper's Gale happened in this book. I had a few details wrong, found hidden meanings I hadn't the first time around and mixed up who did things a couple of times but for the most part I had it down.

The social-economic, political and religious overtones and condemnation of each where corrupted resonated ever more this time around. There were chapters where I wanted to copy quotes nearly every paragraph. The symbolism intertwined with dualistic meaning, nobody does it as well as SE.

Then there's the humor to let you catch your breath from the heartache and heaviness of the topics. Tehol and Bugg are comedy gold along with some of the others. There's no wasted words with Erikson. From the prologue which in a series full of epic ones this may be the best to the epilogue it's all pure genius.

Original Review:
I'm halfway through the main series! Oh shit I only have half the main series left!

It never ceases to amaze me how when I reflect upon an amazing section of the book how Erikson makes rocks, sand, dead bones, smashed pottery, detritus....... seem so utterly cool, epic, world shaping......

Nobody writes a prologue in the epic and portentous way that he does and this may be the best of the lot. Simply amazing imagery, banter and hidden message set to unfold.

I've often heard people say different books read better in the re-read of Malazan. Though the first four I never really felt it. In this book the first 8.5 chapters show how much Erikson has grown as a writer. At the same time for the first time in the series I was somewhat lost. I kept thinking that description is amazing and I have no clue what half of it it pointing towards. I have to believe in the re-read I would see so many gems I missed.

From chapter 9 on, and chapter 9 has to be one of the top 5 of the series, it was simply amazing with everything clicking. I kept theorizing though out the book and thought I had things figured out and the last two chapters had me figuring little out and being so pleasantly surprised.

Erikson more than any other book to date in the series take on the modern state of the world attacking greed, war, government and the general lack of compassion. It was a massive quote-fest. To balance this there was a lot more of the humor of the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach series interwoven. You had to be careful because one of these little macabre banter sessions would suddenly drop a series altering bomb in the middle of it.

This is right up there with DHG and MOI after a somewhat, although still great, disappointing HOC.
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Quotes Scott Liked

Steven Erikson
“Destiny is a lie. Destiny is justification for atrocity. It is the means by which murderers armour themselves against reprimand. It is a word intended to stand in place of ethics, denying all moral context.”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

Steven Erikson
“Do not seek to find hope among your leaders. They are the repositories of poison. Their interest in you extends only so far as their ability to control you. From you, they seek duty and obedience, and they will ply you with the language of stirring faith. They seek followers, and woe to those who question, or voice challenge. ‘Civilization after civilization, it is the same. The world falls to tyranny with a whisper. The frightened are ever keen to bow to a perceived necessity, in the belief that necessity forces conformity, and conformity a certain stability. In a world shaped into conformity, dissidents stand out, are easily branded and dealt with. There is no multitude of perspectives, no dialogue. The victim assumes the face of the tyrant, self-righteous and intransigent, and wars breed like vermin. And people die.”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

Steven Erikson
“You still think like a child, don’t you? Clay figurines sunk to their ankles in the sand, one here, one there, standing just so. One says this, the other says that, then you reach down and rearrange them accordingly. Scenes, vistas, stark with certainty.”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

Steven Erikson
“Do not seek to find hope among your leaders. They are the repositories of poison. Their interest in you extends only so far as their ability to control you. From you, they seek duty and obedience, and they will ply you with the language of stirring faith. They seek followers, and woe to those who question, or voice challenge. ‘Civilization after civilization, it is the same. The world falls to tyranny with a whisper.”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

Steven Erikson
“You take your natural vices and call them virtues. Of which greed is the most despicable. That and betrayal of commonality. After all, whoever decided that competition is always and without exception a healthy attribute? Why that particular path to self-esteem? Your heel on the hand of the one below. This is worth something? Let me tell you, it’s worth nothing. Nothing lasting. Every monument that exists beyond the moment—no matter which king, emperor or warrior lays claim to it—is actually a testament to the common, to co-operation, to the plural rather than the singular.”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

Steven Erikson
“Money is sleight of hand,’ Tehol said, nodding. ‘Unless you’ve got diamonds in your hands. Then it’s not just an idea any more. If you want to know the cheat behind the whole game, it’s right there, lasses. Even when money’s just an idea, it has power. Only it’s not real power. Just the promise of power. But that promise is enough so long as everyone keeps pretending it’s real. Stop pretending and it all falls apart.”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

Steven Erikson
“We have a talent for disguising greed under the cloak of freedom. As for past acts of depravity, we prefer to ignore those. Progress, after all, means to look ever forward, and whatever we have trampled in our wake is best forgotten”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

Steven Erikson
“Fallen. Who tracks our footsteps, I wonder? We who are the forgotten, the discounted and the ignored. When the path is failure, it is never willingly taken. The fallen. Why does my heart weep for them? Not them but us, for most assuredly I am counted among them. Slaves, serfs, nameless peasants and labourers, the blurred faces in the crowd—just a smear on memory, a scuffing of feet down the side passages of history”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides

Steven Erikson
“Destiny is a lie. Destiny is justification for atrocity. It is the means by which murderers armour themselves against reprimand. It is a word intended to stand in place of ethics, denying all moral context”
Steven Erikson, Midnight Tides


Reading Progress

April 27, 2016 – Shelved
April 27, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 27, 2016 – Shelved as: grimdark
April 27, 2016 – Shelved as: malazan
July 8, 2016 – Shelved as: on-deck-to-be-read
July 30, 2016 – Started Reading
July 31, 2016 –
page 80
8.3%
August 1, 2016 –
page 157
16.29%
August 2, 2016 –
page 220
22.82%
August 3, 2016 –
page 300
31.12%
August 4, 2016 –
page 380
39.42%
August 5, 2016 –
page 460
47.72%
August 6, 2016 –
page 550
57.05%
August 7, 2016 – Finished Reading
August 8, 2016 – Shelved as: beyond-5-stars
July 29, 2018 – Started Reading
August 2, 2018 –
page 100
10.37% "‘A Beddict trait, dear sad minion of mine. You should see Brys, under all that armour. But even he looks scrawny when compared to Hull. As the middle son, I of course represent the perfect balance. Wit, physical prowess and a multitude of talents to match my natural grace. When combined with my extraordinary ability to waste it all, you see, standing before you, the exquisite culmination.’"
August 11, 2018 –
page 300
31.12% "‘You still think like a child, don’t you? Clay figurines sunk to their ankles in the sand, one here, one there, standing just so. One says this, the other says that, then you reach down and rearrange them accordingly. Scenes, vistas, stark with certainty.""
August 16, 2018 –
page 482
50.0% "‘The past lives on,’ the figure replied. ‘There is no way of knowing… standing here. How do we measure the beginning, the end— for all of us, yesterday was as today, and as it will be tomorrow. We are not aware. Or perhaps we are, yet choose— for convenience, for peace of mind— not to see. Not to think.’"
August 21, 2018 –
page 645
66.91% "‘And so you ask, what’s your point, Tehol? To which I reply with a shrug. Did I say my discourse was a valuable means of using this time? I did not. No, you assumed it was. Thus proving my point!’

‘I’m sorry, master,’ Bugg said, ‘but what was that point again?’

‘I forget. But we’ve arrived. Behold, gentlemen, the poor.’"
August 24, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-17 of 17 (17 new)

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Justine This one was my favourite of the series.


Choko Wonderful review, Scot! It doe seem overwhelming though, doesn't it:)


Orient Great review, Scott :) One more unforgettable read in Malazan :)


Scott  Hitchcock Choko wrote: "Wonderful review, Scot! It doe seem overwhelming though, doesn't it:)"

So funny reading a few of the quotes I quoted while reading this. They still ring so true.


Scott  Hitchcock Orient wrote: "Great review, Scott :) One more unforgettable read in Malazan :)"

No doubt........get busy and finish the series already! The Bonehunters might be the best of the lot with not one, not two but three separate amazing convergences along the way.


Orient Scott wrote: "No doubt........get busy and finish the series already! The Bonehunters might be the best of the lot with not one, ..."

Hha, it's not so easy, i feel like a lemon after a wild juicer course XD Wow, I know that BH will have my faves! :)


Scott  Hitchcock Orient wrote: "Hha, it's not so easy, i feel like a lemon after a wild juicer course XD Wow, I know that BH will have my faves! :) "

I hear ya but...........I only have Dancer's Lament and Fiends of Nightmaria left and I'll have read all 26 published books by either SE or ICE that are part of the Malazan world in only 15 months! SE offers empathy in his books, I offer none for neglecting to read them ! :)


Orient Scott wrote: "I hear ya but...........I only have Dancer's Lament and Fiends of Nightmaria left and I'll have read all 26 published books by either SE or ICE that are part of the Malazan world in only 15 months! SE offers empathy in his books, I offer none for neglecting to read them ! :)
"


Lol, Tyrant Scott XD I'll see what I can do! :) Impressive numbers you have here ;)


Scott  Hitchcock Orient wrote: "Lol, Tyrant Scott "

Mom can't tell Raest and I appart. :)


Orient Scott wrote: "Orient wrote: "Lol, Tyrant Scott "

Mom can't tell Raest and I appart. :)"


Aahahahha, you are right, easy to mix you XD




message 11: by Scott (last edited Jul 08, 2017 04:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Scott  Hitchcock Orient wrote: "Aahahahha, you are right, easy to mix you XD "

Geez at least post a good picture of me. :) It's never a good thing to wake Silanah up to early. :(




Orient Scott wrote: "Geez at least post a good picture of me. :) It's never a good thing to wake Silanah up to early. :("

That was a hilarious fight in GotM!!! :) P.S. I chose my pic as it represents your facial unsimilarities :P


Scott  Hitchcock Orient wrote: "That was a hilarious fight in GotM!!! :) P.S. I chose my pic as it represents your facial unsimilarities :P "

Now, now Kruppe none of your mental linguistics. :)


Graeme Rodaughan Great review Scott. Thanks for all your help with the series.


Scott  Hitchcock Graeme wrote: "Great review Scott. Thanks for all your help with the series."

Thank you and you're welcome. I'm glad you're coming to love it as much as I do.


Mayim de Vries I agree with you that this part is oh so quotable. It's amazing.


message 17: by Graeme (last edited Sep 10, 2018 02:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Graeme Rodaughan Agree Scott & Mayim, hugely quotable. Indicative of trenchant insight.


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