1. Something unique about it – The Chain of Dogs. The main plotline of the book is an army protecting thousands of refugees as they flee across a continent. Just a phenomenal idea, executed so well.
2. A Scene or Scenes that just stay with you- There are many, but the scene outside Aren toward the end of the novel is heart wrenching.
3. Memorable characters- Coltaine is about as memorable of a non-POV character as you will ever get. Kalam and Fiddler really come into their own in this book. We meet Mappo and Icarium and the mystery that surrounds them. And the novel, like all Erikson novels, is deep with characters that somehow stick with you.
4. Doesn’t lose you with the details – For as dense as Erikson’s writing is, my favorite thing about Malazan is that things really do move. He doesn’t waste that much time. I may not love every plot thread, but he’s not slowing things down to bog you down in detail. In fact he’s making you work to understand things.
5. Just plain fun to read- Not much to add here. This was a fun book with great actions scenes throughout the novel. And I left one character off the memorable characters section just to bring him up here…Iskaral Pust is always an incredible time.
(My Review of Deadhouse Gates is available from my top 100 SFF Novels Countdown)
My Top 5 Qualities of a 5-Star SFF Novel
1. Something unique about it
2. A Scene or Scenes that just stay with you.
3. Memorable characters
4. Doesn’t lose you with the details
5. Just plain fun to read.