Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Barmacral

ATTN: The Dude

Recommended Posts

haven't read martin, though his fans seem to be the most vocal anti-goodkind that i've seen around.

 

i just don't find that his prose is that good either.  it's like i said; before i started seeing interviews with him ("i don't write fantasy, i write novels"  psssh), i just thought he was sort of bargain-barrell fantasy.  taste varies, of course, but even when i was reading them i wasn't exactly blown away.

 

you've got the straight of it though, brainfire.  his modicum of success seems to have gone straight to his head.  that's probably the thing that irritates me most now, is just his willingness to make grandiose and utterly ridiculous statements.

 

oh, and thanks for the vote of confidence there, oz.  you might overestimate my acumen, but in this case you're making the right choice.  cadsuane, save yourself, please.  the quotes are real, trust me, and that should be all you need to know.  i say this for your sake, man.  :P  but by all means, do what you like; just don't say i didn't warn you. hahahaha.

 

barm, barm, barm.  you see what happens when you get me started?  8)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pickede up the first book by accident, having heard people talk about it, and I was looking for something new while waiting for the next WOT novel to come out.

 

Was not too impressed, the story completely lacking any kind of originality, and a prose that looked like a 16 year old emokid had written it.

But I thought that Hey, maybe it gets better, surely people can't talk about this in a positive way if it does not get better...

 

So I forced my self to read the next three novels. Only to find that they actually grew worse by the chapter. And it does not help that he uses it as a tool to promote a philosophy that was quite stupid even when it was fresh.

 

Goofkind is by far the worst fantasy/scifi I have ever read, nothing comes even close to how much he sucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say it grows worse by the chapter, you only mean the writing don't you? I need to know if I'm going to have nightmares from reading the next couple of books.  ;)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Goofkind is by far the worst fantasy/scifi I have ever read, nothing comes even close to how much he sucks.

 

ah, but you forget that he's not a fantasy writer.  he's a novelist.  akin to an '80's hair band saying "we don't write rock, we write songs."  sigh.

 

jelly, i can only speak for the first, um, 4 books i think is what i read.  and well, they were already getting lamer by that point.  from what i've read of further volumes through hearsay, the trend doesn't ever turn around.

 

i guess that at this point it woudl be fair to mention that i am a fan of robert e. howard, who can be accurately described as extremely sexist and racist.  not that i subscribe to those sentiments, but despite them i enjoy his work a lot.  like, a lot.

 

just to say that it's not hard to pick apart my taste in books, so nothing i say here should be taken without a grain of salt.  anyone who enjoys goodkind is well within their rights, and i'm not deriding them personally (unless they give me a specific reason), only the books (and the author).  don't take anything i say too seriously, is all i'm saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pickede up the first book by accident, having heard people talk about it, and I was looking for something new while waiting for the next WOT novel to come out.

 

Was not too impressed, the story completely lacking any kind of originality, and a prose that looked like a 16 year old emokid had written it.

But I thought that Hey, maybe it gets better, surely people can't talk about this in a positive way if it does not get better...

 

So I forced my self to read the next three novels. Only to find that they actually grew worse by the chapter. And it does not help that he uses it as a tool to promote a philosophy that was quite stupid even when it was fresh.

 

Goofkind is by far the worst fantasy/scifi I have ever read, nothing comes even close to how much he sucks.

 

And lo it is by this sign that ye shall know them who have not suffered to read Robert Newcombe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pickede up the first book by accident, having heard people talk about it, and I was looking for something new while waiting for the next WOT novel to come out.

 

Was not too impressed, the story completely lacking any kind of originality, and a prose that looked like a 16 year old emokid had written it.

But I thought that Hey, maybe it gets better, surely people can't talk about this in a positive way if it does not get better...

 

So I forced my self to read the next three novels. Only to find that they actually grew worse by the chapter. And it does not help that he uses it as a tool to promote a philosophy that was quite stupid even when it was fresh.

 

Goofkind is by far the worst fantasy/scifi I have ever read, nothing comes even close to how much he sucks.

 

And lo it is by this sign that ye shall know them who have not suffered to read Robert Newcombe

 

Damn, if this Newcombe manages to be even worse than goofkind, we must be talking the equal to Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings from Greenbridge, Essex, England... ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SFF World review:

http://www.sffworld.com/brevoff/268.html

 

Once the novel starts properly, we learn that Wulfgar, half-brother to protagonist, Tristan assumed defeated upon the conclusion of the previous volume, is actually alive and plotting against Tristan. In essence, the Dark Lord whom the heroes thought they defeated is actually alive, a relatively familiar premise in Epic Fantasy.

 

 

Many writers have worked with this, or other familiar formulas with great success. Of course these other writers have added something new, infused the story with a unique voice, or have written in an engaging style that makes the story seem fresh. Still other writers, usually the best, manage to both say something new and tell the story with sparkling, clear prose. Unfortunately, Robert Newcomb doesn't manage to do any of these things. The prose was clunky and cumbersome, with sentences and paragraphs overly wordy, further hampered by wooden characters speaking very stilted dialogue.

 

A number naming conventions and phrases rang rather silly, with an overemphasis on all things azure. One in particular struck me fairly strangely; a discipline of martial skills is called "The Serpent and the Sword,’ with the Serpent representing various forms of hand-to-hand combat. Serpent, is of course, another term for a snake, which has no limbs and really can’t engage in hand-to-hand combat. Another time he gives a group of people a title, "the Corporeals" and says they have the name for good reason, yet he doesn’t explain this good reason. . . .

 

 

 

Another one http://www.curledup.com/savageme.htm:

 

And, guess what… Wulfgar is back! Althoug he died in the last book, he is back to seek revenge an, of course, go after Tristan. Readers of “The Chronicles” may recognize this plot from the first two books, where the enemy died but came back to life.

 

 

So Tristan and his friends are off on another adventure. Plenty of action should keep any readers interested in violence happy; there is no lack of graphic sequences of carnage, but some of scenes seem repetitive. It feels like Newcomb had to force the story, throwing in extra padding. Padding is okay, but only if it is interesting. The repetition feels like Newcomb had to try too hard to write this tome.

 

There is also a lack of decision-making, or inner struggle, or any sort of personal struggle at all - things are already decided for the characters. Even the skills they “learn” are not really learned - they don’t read spell books or take classes or even practice. They just inherit them in their blood, and that is a little too easy and convenient.

 

The conclusion to this long adventure ends up a little predictable. Tristan even gets cocky, and at the end of the story you wonder if the author even remembers the plot line. Some of what happens at story’s end does not match up with what was stated in the beginning and transpires throughout the book.

 

 

 

And some good amazon reviews:

 

Let me start out by saying that Robert Newcomb's "The Gates of Dawn" is a stunning novel. Literally. After several hours, I blacked out from the migraine accrued while reading the book. The Gates of Dawn is Newcomb's second foray into the epic fantasy world. And I pray to God, it's his very last.

Here are the four reasons why the novel is drivel, and I'm sure you could come up with several dozen more without breaking a sweat:

 

1) The writing is absolutely horrific.

I have never, ever witnessed a book with such awkward, ponderous, and downright BAD, prose. Newcomb doesn't have even the slightest modicum of writing ability. "Gates of Dawn" is choked full of grammatical errors, cheesy, horrfic dialogue, repetitive phrasing, adverb tags, etc. Put it this way: anything that can be done wrong, grammatically, Newcomb has done it.

 

Whoever edited "Gates of Dawn"should be fired on the spot; it exhibits all the qualities of a first daft. The writing is so bad that an elementary school dropout could find the errors. Was it even edited at all?

 

For example:

In a dialogue scene between evil villains, Newcomb actually has one of the villain call someone "sophomoric". It's a word, but completely out of place. Geez, talk about an egregious breach in continuality...

 

2) Most of the book is pure exposition.

Newcomb treats his readers like idiots, bashing them over the head with not-so-subtle plot pointers. He also pumps the entire plot through the overactive mouths of Tristan's two wizard friends; indeed, practically every third page is yet-another-explanation, ad nauseam. If after five pages you tire of the two wizards equivocating with Tristan, brace yourself; you have only another 300 pages of it. Any reader expecting the protagonist to actually do something-other than stand around chatting with the wizards-will be sorely disappointed.

 

3) The Plot is tenuous and contrived.

Tristan's friends spend most of their time hiding secrets from him. These "secrets" get doled out in very large chucks (pages and pages) during the course of the novel. The plot goes something like this:

 

Tristan doesn't know what to do. He talks to wizards. They pretence ignorance. Tristan moans for fifty pages. Wizards then reveal a secret that will help Tristan. Ad infinitum.

 

To add insult to injury, I can't say how frustrated I felt after spending a good 10 hours finishing the book(i've run marathons that are easier), only to find out that the ever single action by the protagonist (and friends) had zero impact on the ultimate plot ending. Indeed, Tristan and Co. could have gone to Disneyland and the outcome would have been the same. I don't recall ever reading a book with this type of scenario.

 

4) Dismal female characterization.

 

In his first book, "The Fifth Sorceress", every female character was either a

a) sexual deviant

b) victim of rape

c) helpless hanger-on, useful for soft porn scenes

d) combination of two or more

 

Did he improve his female characters in "The Gates of Dawn"?

 

No.

 

The two leading female characters are insipid. Tristan's sister mopes around, crying whenever Tristan leaves. His "love interest" spends several hundred years getting raped by an evil wizard.

 

I think we all know what Newcomb's personal opinions of women are. I'll stop there.

 

Summery:

I equate Newcomb's newest offering the same entertainment value found in mowing the lawn. Spare yourself the headache.

 

(full disclosure - this next one is mine):

 

I don't understand some of these reviewers praising this book; maybe they really took it to heart when their mom told them that if they didn't have anything positive to say then they shouldn't say anything. Because the truth is, this book stinks to high heaven. It's the type of book that makes me wish I were reading a scholarly article on the mating habits of dung beetles. It's so bad I would seriously consider having a copy available to use to punish my kids with: "You crashed the car? That's it! Go to your room and read Savage Messaiah! Go!"

 

The flaws in this book (and the entire series) are open and obvious. First of all, the villain here is Wulfgar. Remember when Tristan killed him in the last book? Guess what - he's back! Of course, remember when Nicholas died in book one and came back in book 2? Remember when Newcomb last did something original? (Yeah, I can't either).

 

Newcomb's inability to come up with new conflicts for his hero borders on the ridiculous. In the first book, he had to agonize over killing his father. Ok. In the second book, he had to agonize over killing his reborn son. Umm, fine. In the third book, Newcomb invented a long lost half brother so Tristan could have another family member to slay. Getting old, Bob. I guess even he realized that inventing a long lost sister would be too much, so he brought back Wulfgar.

 

More importantly, Newcomb has destroyed any interesting aspects of his characters by making their choices wholly deterministic, entirely based on blood lean. In book 3, Wulfgar was a good sort until his blood signature was flipped, now he's the embodiment of all evil. Take that to its logical conclusion, and you realize that folks like Tristan, Wigg and Shailiha aren't so much heroes as equal captives of their own blood signatures - their blood leans towards the vigors, so they have no CHOICE but to be good.

 

And, just as bad, the forestallments. I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say that Tristan eventually wins this battle. Of course, before he does so, it's hyped up as a "battle royale" something that will be unspeakably tough even if Tristan manages to gain some very crucial forestallments. In fact, the "battle royale" never materializes; Tristan's victory over Wulfgar is a snap, and Tristan even toys with him a bit in the hope that he can convince Wulfgar to be good (hey, Tristan, he's got no CHOICE, remember? I guess Newcomb forgot; as long as his readers didn't, there's absolutely no suspense to that little plot device).

 

In short, it's a bad book with uninteresting characters and an inherently harmful system of magic. But maybe those other reviewers are right. Aside from that (and Newcomb's so called "writing") what's not to love?

 

One last one:

 

'The Scroll of the Ancients' is so bad that reading it is a somewhat surreal experience. I first became acquainted with Newcomb's writing through his legendarily awful debut 'The Fifth Sorceress', which was later selected by fans at Bubonicon as the worst book ever written. I wasn't particularly interested in a repeat performance, but when a friend offered to pass on a copy of 'Scrolls' I decided to give it a shot. After all, Newcomb had nowhere to go but up, right? Wrong.

Tristan, an alleged thrity-year-old who acted like an angry stupid kid in the first book, has now advanced to acting like an angry stupid kid. I guess character development isn't Newcomb's strong suit. Tristan and Gandalf-clone Wigg take on some uttrerly ridiculous villains who have concocted an evil plan to control the cheddar cheese industry. Wait, my mistake. Their evil plan is to take over the world. I guess originality isn't Newcomb's strong suit. Also thrown into the mix is Tristan's long lost brother Wulfgar. Luckily, Newcomb avoids the good brother vs evil brother cliche. Well, actually he doesn't. Tad Williams, you might have a plagarism lawsuit here.

 

Anyway, Tristan merrily hacks his way through crowds of bad guys, and also spends A LOT of time agonizing about how awful it is to have to fight your own brother. Then comes a 'climactic' showdown where Newcomb once again invents an arbitrary magic trick that gives the good guys the victory. And that's it. No real story, no surprises, no humor, no attempts at suspense, no nothing.

 

The gaping holes in the 'plot' are too numerous to mention. Every time a new band of of all-powerful magicians wanders on stage, you'll be wondering why these people didn't show up a lot earlier. Likewise, all the characters are just too stupid to be believed. If any of them ever used basic common sense, the book would end a lot quicker.

 

Of course, what was most putrid about the 'The Fifth Sorceress' was Newcomb's agressive misogyny and advocation of violence against all women. So, has the guy managed to grow up since then? Nope. If anything, the treatment of women in this new book is worse than in the original.

 

I could continue ranting about the absurdly bad writing and non-stop plagarism. But suffice to say, there is no way that any intelligent adult could look at 'Scroll' and see a valid attempt at writing a fantasy novel. This series is an insult to George R R Martin, Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, Martha Wells, Stephen Donaldson, and all the other authors who have worked so hard to make fantasy respectable. I don't know where Del Rey managed to find this woman-hating, illiterate, porn-addicted, one-man freak show, but it's about time for them to toss him back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soft core porn in Newcombes works? Sounds ok to me!!!

 

Of course, we could all follow Caddys lead and read books by her bestest author, Terry Brooks!!!  :-*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instigator.  :P  ;)

 

I don't actually HATE Brooks, I just think his original Shannara trilogy was a waste of time. It was an overly simplistic version of LotR. WoT managed to be it's own story, despite some similarities between EotW and LotR, but the Sword of Shannara fell completely flat, for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, you try writing a novel while a starving student in law school to help pay the bills and see how non-hack you can come out . . .

 

In fairness to Brooks, consider what there was around him. Most forays into fantasy were YA- there was Tolkien, Earthsea, and Moorcock for "serious" fantasy fans. And the "classics," such as Conan. In that arena, Brooks did OK- it's post-Apocalyptic, but hell, it was the 70s, everything was post-Apocalyptic.

 

Most authors have freshman books that just aren't . .all that they could be. Sword of Shannara was Brooks' first.

 

The "great" authors of today typically already have long writing histories- Jordan did, Martin does, I believe Erikson DM'ed his world for decades before writing about it . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

please stop. your making me curious. this dosent sound like a thing i want to be curious about

 

oh, that's right.  You definitely don't.  Bury your head in the sand.  Stay away.  Far away.

 

(hell, I'll admit it - I want more people to read the books, so that ripping on them together could be fun.  It's like Satan's book of the month club)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kivam, that's exactly why I'm tempted to read them. ^_^

 

BFB - Yeah, there's nothing to hate about the trio, I just found it to be dull. *shrugs*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sword of shannara is like lotr-lite.  good for younger kids who can't stick through the lengthy prose of tolkien, i think.  it has its role, and it's not as adult fiction.

 

'course, describing any fantasy as adult to anyone who doesn't read it would be abhorrent anyway, but you know what i mean.  for what the story is, and for the demographic it should be marketed to, it gets the job done. 

 

there are some ideas in the premise i like too, but i'll gladly admit that the last time i picked it up out of boredom, a couple years ago. i didn't get too far before i decided i should read something else instead.

 

and to be fair, jordan's early works, like the fallon books, had some definite failings, or at least things that didn't measure up to the wheel, anyway.

 

and while his conan novels were better than others put out over the years, it still never touched the original; he changed the character too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... :( i like terry brooks

 

ok yeh the first three are all pretty mucht the same formular and yeh very tolkienie but i think its a nice twist. and it form the basis upon which hes created a whole world form the actual apocalyse and its rising from the ashes (and amagedons children wass pretty good it though) though i do refuse to buy..er the origninal shannara series prequel book..im sure its more than elf guys gtes sword ect in the triolgy..but.already heard it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... :( i like terry brooks

 

ok yeh the first three are all pretty mucht the same formular and yeh very tolkienie but i think its a nice twist. and it form the basis upon which hes created a whole world form the actual apocalyse and its rising from the ashes (and amagedons children wass pretty good it though) though i do refuse to buy..er the origninal shannara series prequel book..im sure its more than elf guys gtes sword ect in the triolgy..but.already heard it

 

don't get me wrong man; i actually own almost all the shannara, except for the last one in the latest series, and i never got the ones that didn't specifically had the shannara tag; they're not amazing to me, but i still end up buying them....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i guess this is sort of a spoiler, so there, i said it.

 

what i've particularly enjoyed reading (5 times i had to write that word before it didn't come out as dreading hahahaa) is a summary of the final volume, where the main character's final solution to the story premise is effectively cosmic segregation.  nice, terry, nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SPOILER

 

no, that's not what i was referring to, although now that you mention it, that's another excellent example.  you're absolutely right that that was another segregation solution.

 

but no, what i mean is, richard creates a new universe to send all the people who don't agree with his philosophy. 

 

i ask you, in genuine spirit, what the hell is that!?  it's the laziest solution i've ever seen.  not to mention ludicrous

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit: SPOILER WARNING!

 

 

 

 

 

Actually for what he did it worked fairly well. I don't have any complaints about the parallel world bit, my complaints are how it took an entire chapter of talking before he finally started sending the Imperial Order there. Seriously, I think he repeated the same thing about 6 times in the same chapter. It got annoying quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but, man, like, what the hell kind of solution is that?  it sounds like something that a 12-year-old would come up with.

 

now, i'm agruing against the book, not you, so no offense intended, but that is a stupid and facile solution, that to me also has implications that he thinks that segregation is a viable solution to cultural conflict. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way he trumped up his bad guy's to be, he basically had two options, one was to segregate them, as he did, and the other was to kill them all.

 

Sure, he has no aversion to killing lots, but Richard's character would always seek a better alternative, once he was all powerful, that was the alternative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...