Madness

The Second Apocalypse by R. Scott Bakker

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Hey Sanderson Fans!

New here around these parts. According to r/fantasy this is one of the most populous forums on the interwebs. Congratulations ;)!

Any R. Scott Bakker fans here? The seventh book, The Unholy Consult, concluding volume of the second series, in the three series saga, is set for worldwide release on Tuesday, July 25th and Bakker has also planned a no-holds barred r/fantasy AMA on Aug 2nd.

Super exciting times!

Cheers all, well met.

Edited by Madness
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Yeah, my re-read kinda went off the rails. I've only finished The Darkness That Comes Before! 

That said, I will be purchasing The Unholy Consult tomorrow! 

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Well met, Orlion On a Cob!

Lol, but you're current in the series up until TUC at least, just hadn't reread it? It's a shame, while holding a special place in my heart, TDTCB is the slowest part. The rest of the series really takes off, as I'm sure you know ;).

Tomorrow!

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This is one of the best series out there; I put it up there close with Malazan and Stormlight Archive.  But I have not yet read the newest one, The Unholy Consult.  

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1 hour ago, Madness said:

Well met, Orlion On a Cob!

Lol, but you're current in the series up until TUC at least, just hadn't reread it? It's a shame, while holding a special place in my heart, TDTCB is the slowest part. The rest of the series really takes off, as I'm sure you know ;).

Tomorrow!

Weeellll, I haven't read White Luck Warrior or The Great Ordeal (though I own both) but that was a conscious choice to wait until The Unholy Consult was almost released. 

Looks like I have my reading list decided for the next few weeks! :)

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22 hours ago, Orlion On a Cob said:

Weeellll, I haven't read White Luck Warrior or The Great Ordeal (though I own both) but that was a conscious choice to wait until The Unholy Consult was almost released. 

Looks like I have my reading list decided for the next few weeks! :)

Lol, you may as well make the best of it and reread from TJE so that you can read all The Aspect-Emperor in one go :o?!

23 hours ago, Who Sharded? said:

This is one of the best series out there; I put it up there close with Malazan and Stormlight Archive.  But I have not yet read the newest one, The Unholy Consult.  

I've always been curious about getting into Sanderson. Is Stormlight series the place to start?

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2 hours ago, Madness said:

Lol, you may as well make the best of it and reread from TJE so that you can read all The Aspect-Emperor in one go :o?!

I've always been curious about getting into Sanderson. Is Stormlight series the place to start?

To most people I recommend starting with Mistborn, since it's easier to get into.  But to a Bakker fan I'd say Stormlight.  Keep in mind it's PG-13 compared to Bakker's R to borderline X.  Sanderson isn't as talented a writer as Bakker, but this plotting and worldbuilding are a lot of fun.

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5 hours ago, Madness said:

Lol, you may as well make the best of it and reread from TJE so that you can read all The Aspect-Emperor in one go :o?!

I've always been curious about getting into Sanderson. Is Stormlight series the place to start?

Like @Who Sharded? said, I'd recommend starting with Mistborn. I'd also recommend waiting to read SA last because then you'll have read every other Cosmere book and will be able to catch all the little hints from the other books.

In case you didn't know, all of Sanderso's fantasy books are set within the same universe.

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I would suggest Elantris first. It's most likely to be the one to disappoint you the most, so get it out of the way! 

There's also a cool reveal related to it in Way of Kings, so to experience that properly read it first! 

After that, the first Mistborn trilogy contains essential information about the Cosmere. Then Stormlight Archive. From there, well, depends! 

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@Madness It's strange seeing you outside the westeros forum. Hope you stick around and catch the Sanderson fever!

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On 2017-07-25 at 11:10 AM, Who Sharded? said:

To most people I recommend starting with Mistborn, since it's easier to get into.  But to a Bakker fan I'd say Stormlight.  Keep in mind it's PG-13 compared to Bakker's R to borderline X.  Sanderson isn't as talented a writer as Bakker, but this plotting and worldbuilding are a lot of fun.

Interesting.

22 hours ago, StrikerEZ said:

Like @Who Sharded? said, I'd recommend starting with Mistborn. I'd also recommend waiting to read SA last because then you'll have read every other Cosmere book and will be able to catch all the little hints from the other books.

In case you didn't know, all of Sanderso's fantasy books are set within the same universe.

I've only heard about The Cosmere because some film studio recently purchased rights to it, right?

And two votes for Mistborn.

22 hours ago, Orlion On a Cob said:

I would suggest Elantris first. It's most likely to be the one to disappoint you the most, so get it out of the way! 

There's also a cool reveal related to it in Way of Kings, so to experience that properly read it first! 

After that, the first Mistborn trilogy contains essential information about the Cosmere. Then Stormlight Archive. From there, well, depends! 

Lol, Elantris is his first book, right ;)?

22 hours ago, Ammanas said:

@Madness It's strange seeing you outside the westeros forum. Hope you stick around and catch the Sanderson fever!

Haha. I've actually primarily made my home at Second Apocalypse (but anywhere that discusses TSA, really) since shortly after WLW's release. And a couple members at Westeros got me permanently banned over a month ago ;).

It's nice to meet yet another disparate enclave of Bakker fans across the Online Realm.

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Sorry to hear about what happened; one of these days I will finish at least The Darkness that comes Before. Whenever I share my tastes in books people are shocked I don't love Bakkers's works. The thing is I have started it four times and the farthest I have gotten is pg 200 or so. I feel a little like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, but I will keep on trying. Kudos to you for trying to drum up support for what appears to be your favorite author. I hope he writes that extra book in the series that is up in the air for the moment.

Edited by Ammanas
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41 minutes ago, Ammanas said:

Sorry to hear about what happened; one of these days I will finish at least The Darkness that comes Before. Whenever I share my tastes in books people are shocked I don't love Bakkers's works. The thing is I have started it four times and the farthest I have gotten is pg 200 or so. I feel a little like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, but I will keep on trying. Kudos to you for trying to drum up support for what appears to be your favorite author. I hope he writes that extra book in the series that is up in the air for the moment.

Huh. I know sometimes I need to be in the right frame of mind to read certain books, but not becoming invested in a series after 200 pages seems to imply that it simply is not for you. 

Any specific difficulties you have with the book, plot or style? 

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9 minutes ago, Orlion On a Cob said:

Huh. I know sometimes I need to be in the right frame of mind to read certain books, but not becoming invested in a series after 200 pages seems to imply that it simply is not for you. 

Any specific difficulties you have with the book, plot or style? 

It reminds me a lot of Gene Wolf where it the prose seems flowery and the writing obscure. There also doesn't seem to be very much dialogue which I want more of. I cannot connect to any of the characters. I keep on trying bc looking at the plot summary, and hearing other people talk about it, it seems right up my alley.

Edit: many malazan fans are puzzled why I do not like the series. The difference with me is that while there are parts that are hard to get through on the first read there is always at least one storyline that propels me through the book (this is the same with other difficult books). I can't catch a similar thread with this series. 

Edited by Ammanas
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@Ammanas Flowery and obscure is a near perfect way to describe the writing style. I also love such writing, so that is one reason for our different reactions. 

As far as connecting with any of the characters... That really does not begin until Kellhus returns to the plot... about 300-350 pages in. Until then, most of the character development is focused on Achamian. 

Cnaiür is a neat if really savage character, but his development starts around where Kellhus returns to the plot. 

Believe it or not, Esmenet and Serwë are also good characters, but you have not met Serwë yet and the main event for Esmenet in this book is her interaction with the Synthese (that's the weird bird with bald human head which I'm fairly certain you have met).

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1 minute ago, Orlion On a Cob said:

@Ammanas Flowery and obscure is a near perfect way to describe the writing style. I also love such writing, so that is one reason for our different reactions. 

As far as connecting with any of the characters... That really does not begin until Kellhus returns to the plot... about 300-350 pages in. Until then, most of the character development is focused on Achamian. 

Cnaiür is a neat if really savage character, but his development starts around where Kellhus returns to the plot. 

Believe it or not, Esmenet and Serwë are also good characters, but you have not met Serwë yet and the main event for Esmenet in this book is her interaction with the Synthese (that's the weird bird with bald human head which I'm fairly certain you have met).

Thank you for the information! With this knowledge I will power through and finish on my next attempt. Honestly on my latest try, where I got to around pg 200, it got better but did not surpass ok and I got distracted by another book.

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For me the draw at the beginning of the series was the intricate world.  I always enjoy diving into a new world, and this one was especially complex with all of the different nations, schools, religions, all with their own agendas.  It was fascinating to me, watching them play off of each other, and trying to figure out how they all fit together.

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18 hours ago, Ammanas said:

Sorry to hear about what happened; one of these days I will finish at least The Darkness that comes Before. Whenever I share my tastes in books people are shocked I don't love Bakkers's works. The thing is I have started it four times and the farthest I have gotten is pg 200 or so. I feel a little like Don Quixote tilting at windmills, but I will keep on trying. Kudos to you for trying to drum up support for what appears to be your favorite author. I hope he writes that extra book in the series that is up in the air for the moment.

Thanks, Ammanas! Yeah, I'm particularly compelled by strange twists of fate, no doubt.

17 hours ago, Orlion On a Cob said:

Huh. I know sometimes I need to be in the right frame of mind to read certain books, but not becoming invested in a series after 200 pages seems to imply that it simply is not for you. 

Any specific difficulties you have with the book, plot or style? 

Ammanas, I will say, pretty much everyone who reads TSA voices difficulty with the first two thirds of TDTCB. It's helpful to think of the overarching PON trilogy as one book as Bakker originally planned to write TSA - which certainly becomes clear as the third book ends about halfway through the physical volume of the book and includes thereafter an extensive glossary. This makes TDTCB majorly the first third of one book.

16 hours ago, Who Sharded? said:

For me the draw at the beginning of the series was the intricate world.  I always enjoy diving into a new world, and this one was especially complex with all of the different nations, schools, religions, all with their own agendas.  It was fascinating to me, watching them play off of each other, and trying to figure out how they all fit together.

Myself and a handful of other hardcores think TDTCB is easily one of the best in the series but for reasons that it's almost incomparable. It's an espionage/political/conspiracy wrapped fantasy, whereas pretty much every novel in the series thereafter is a war narrative - except for portions of Momemn in The Aspect-Emperor.

But I was totally hooked ;).

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Spoiler AMA for all seven books on r/fantasy today! Bakker will probably be making his thread within the next hourish! Get in there :)!

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And this topic rises again like Mog-Pharu!

Just finished The Unholy Consult. Yeah, yeah, I had to be in the right mood to start The Aspect Emperor, so that's what took me so long. 

The right mood? Apparently, getting let go from stable employment and existential dread over the future during a pandemic! Perfect mood to breeze through the first two books :lol:

I then got employed, so the final two were interspersed until I finished the final book. 

And I really liked it. It is grimdark to the nth degree, but I think that also is what's appealing about it. Apocalypses are almost never treated with the gravitas they should be in fantasy literature... mostly because they are outward manifestations of the too often YAish character having anxieties about growing up. 

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@Orlionra Glad you liked it! I’ve heard mixed things about the final book of this series. It’s still a bit of a pipe dream for me to actually read this series (only read the first 50 pages of book one). I also have the same goal for Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as well. Have you heard if he plans on writing more books in this setting? There was talk of more books when the Unholy Consult came out but it seems like book sakes weren’t as good as hoped for so I don’t know if that changed or not.

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36 minutes ago, Ammanas said:

@Orlionra Glad you liked it! I’ve heard mixed things about the final book of this series. It’s still a bit of a pipe dream for me to actually read this series (only read the first 50 pages of book one). I also have the same goal for Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as well. Have you heard if he plans on writing more books in this setting? There was talk of more books when the Unholy Consult came out but it seems like book sakes weren’t as good as hoped for so I don’t know if that changed or not.

Publishing is weird and book sales aren't as indicative of whether someone has a future or not. Also, I suspect part of that talk is because of fandom's martyrdom complex. You know, "I don't understand why this series isn't more famous" and such. 

Barring that,  Bakker has spoken of the series as consisting of three sub-series.

He's also said The Unholy Consult ends his original vision for the series. So I also don't think he's in a rush.

As far as the mixed reaction? That's a fandom quality as well and you can see it with each succeeding volume of the Stormlight Archive. The Aspect Emperor is good, you just have a bunch of armchair philosophers playing at being etymologists for years between books being somehow shocked that their less-than-amateurish attempts weren't reflected in the final product. 

It also looks like some of the lore fiends weren't happy with the copious amount of answers Bakker did provide. An odd complaint, but some folks really wanted a book full of the pov of a phallic demon from outer space, I guess *shrugs*

There are two things that will determine your enjoyment of the series. First, if you like stylistic prose. If you use the term "purple prose" as a pejorative, you won't like this series. Full stop. It's not your fault, the genre-publishing machine has punished this style of writing and encouraged a culture that overly values glorified radio dramas. 

Second, it is grimdark. That means no happy endings. Like, the best you can hope for is something like, "and the character enjoyed a lick of ice cream that wasn't the flavor he wanted before the Savior of the world smacked it into some sewage. Also that character will be tormented forever in Hell once they die like everyone else. The End."

In other words, those who don't understand why this series isn't more popular are denser than a collapsed super massive star. :P

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