There is almost nothing more exciting for me than buying a new book by an author I really like. This is especially true if it is a book that continues on a series. It’s like getting together with old friends in familiar territory, and everybody having news to relate about what they’ve been up to since you all last met.
Then there is the process of reading. Word after word piling up to form thoughts and ideas. Such a deceptive appearance, passive, not doing much of anything but waiting for someone to read them, to bring them to life. A sword flashes, trees tower, mountains loom, clouds lower, lives are led out to their fullest, or end suddenly. I don't know about you, but when I read, I form little pictures in my head and visualize the events. From the clues the author has dropped I play out scenes, even after putting the book down. If the writer has done his or her job well, the characters live on and I continue the story in my head, or worry about how they are doing.
I'm constantly amazed by the authors who can develop layers of plot, not convolutions that confuse or show-offs who do it just to show they can, but those who build a succulent cake with icings of intrigue that keep us breathless and on the edge of our seat. Steven Erikson has accomplished just that with his The Malazan Book of the Fallen series. The sixth book of ten is due out in August, and I am already counting the days until publication.
These are not books for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach in places, because he holds no punches in describing the horrors of what men and women do to each other in times of strife); and those looking for a little light escapism should look elsewhere. The first book (Gardens of the Moon) plunges you into a maelstrom of turbulence: the schemes of Gods, men, women, wizards, and a variety of species (dead and un-dead, past, present and future) are all coming to fruition during the turbulent period in which the Empress Lasheen rules the Malazan Empire.