This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
The Reading Canary: a Reminder
Series of novels – especially in fantasy and SF, but distressingly frequently on other genres as well – have a nasty tendency to turn sour partway through. The Reading Canary is your guide to precisely how far into a particular sequence you should read, and which side-passages you should explore, before the noxious gases become too much and you should turn back.
Little Stevie, What’s Got Into You?
I never intended to do a full Reading Canary review of Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen, simply because I read the first five books long before Ferretbrain started and I didn’t want to have to re-read them to refresh my memory. However, my experience reading (or rather, attempting to read) the sixth book in the series has led to the realisation that Erikson has utterly lost the plot. I therefore consider it my duty to alert readers to the fact that the books have jumped the shark, fallen down a hole, and drowned in the sewer. The whole point of the Reading Canary is to let me say “Go ye this far, but no further!”, after all.