Beyond Reality discussion

Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > 2009-07 The Steel Remains - finished *spoilers*

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Let us know if you've finished reading the book!

message 2: by Shanon (new)

Shanon (boban) I listened to the audiobook of The Steel Remains. I'm thinking it wasn't the best book for an audiobook because I felt like I missed a lot of details.

Overall I enjoyed the book and the world that was created. I plan on reading the next in the series after I actually READ this one again to be sure I caught everything. I hate feeling lost in a story.

This was the first book I've read of Richard K. Morgan. I'm curious if his other books are the same.

message 3: by Jade (last edited Jul 01, 2009 10:00AM) (new)

Jade (jaderubies) I had ordered the book many months ago when it was available on the UK Amazon (I'm in the US) so its been a while since I've read it--I haven't had a chance to re-read it this month.
I'm not ready yet to give a review of it (I need to refresh myself on the details) but Shanon, its not really at all like his other books. This is the first book he has written that was fantasy, everything else of his so far has been sci-fi...very noir style, dark sci-fi. But all his books are all very hard core, violent and fairly blunt/brutal (and I *love* them!), I think, with strong & deep messages about people, social structures, community, etc. This is an author that has something to say and is not shy about getting to the point.
The first book of his I ever read was Altered Carbon, and I was hooked immediately--I highly recommend him.

ETA. oh, the other thing that is different about this book, imho, compared to his others is that all his others are really self contained stories (even the Altered Carbon trilogy) where the Steel Remains really felt to me like a more classic trilogy, where clearly its just part of a bigger story. I believe he said in interviews that he tried to make the book as self-contained as his others, and feels that he did so... but I wasn't quite sold on that point. Just my 2 cents, though.

message 4: by William (new)

William (williamjm) Bjtriton wrote: "but Shanon, its not really at all like his other books"

I'm not sure that I'd entirely agree with this. Of course, it is in a different genre but other than that I thought there were quite a lot of similarities to Morgan's Science Fiction novels. For example, the basic plot structure of a cynical veteran soldier turning detective to investigate a seemingly simple crime and uncovering a conspiracy with deeper implications is similar to the basic premise in Altered Carbon. The writing style seemed fairly similar as well, in fact I did sometimes feel it was more like a Science Fiction novel in a superficially Fantasy-like setting (it is a bit unclear when there is any real 'magic' in the setting or whether there might be a more Science Fictional explanation for the seemingly supernatural events). Basically, there are plenty of similarities and differences compared to his other books, but I suspect someone who enjoyed this would like Altered Carbon, and vice versa.

In terms of quality I'd probably rank it about the same as most of Morgan's other books. It did take me a little while to get into it, but once the plot really kicked in I thought it was a very entertaining read, and the ending was good. The world-building is intriguing (particularly the Kiriath and the Dwenda), and I look forward to finding out more about the world in later books in the trilogy. Characterisation was also good, although I thought Egar maybe wasn't as interesting as the other two main characters - the Yelteth Emperor was also an interesting minor character.

message 5: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 338 comments I've read Thirteen and Altered Carbon and I love the fast-paced darkness of his science fiction work. They're loaded with graphic violence and sex, which I usually don't like, but they are very well-done. I found the sex and violence to be fitting to the novels.

For some reason, The Steel Remains seemed awkward and contrived to me in comparison to the rest of his books. It seemed to me as if he wasn't at all comfortable writing in this genre. The sex scenes didn't seem to fit the novel and didn't seem realistic. (Not that I know what sex between two men is like.) The characters seemed kind of two-dimensional to me and the pace was excruciatingly slow.

I really wanted to love this book, I was so excited about reading it. I was very disappointed.

message 6: by Ron (new)

Ron (ronbacardi) | 302 comments I like Morgan's comment that he was trying to combine noir style with a fantasy setting--you might almost call it torchpunk. I think I have to disagree about the sexual scenes, although I have to make the same disclaimer as Sandi. The scenes with the Aldrain/dwenda leader, Keelhaul or whatever his name was (sorry, it's Seethlaw), seemed almost delirious, which made all the more poignant and nasty Ringil's later repudiation that he'd had better in any number of muddy alleyways.

I do agree that the pace is slow, at least for the first couple of hundred pages, but I think the last third moves pretty quickly. And if those early pages are really the set-up for a longer series and not just the opening of this novel, then they will probably turn out to be time well spent. I certainly want to know more about the Kiriath and the Helmsmen.
And I wonder if there aren't a few of those reptiles still hanging about, too.

message 7: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) Torchpunk...I like it.

The sex and violence definitely fit with Morgan's style and did not feel out of place in the world created within the novel either. I almost had a sense of Morgan 'telling it like it is (was)' rather than giving us a 'gussy'd up' view of the fantasy life.

My problem with the book was that despite enjoying the characters and the writing, the story just failed ot hold my attention. My mind would drift and I'd find I'd turned pages without remembering what I'd read. And then I'd just keep reading without bothering to check what I'd missed.

back to top