miri1984: Spidermod! (Mod Icon)
miri1984 ([personal profile] miri1984) wrote in [community profile] peopleofthedas2012-01-01 08:59 pm


I will FULLY admit that I'm abusing my modly powers here, but I NEED TO DISCUSS STUFF. If you've read the novel, feel free to join discussion. If not SERIOUSLY SPOILERS. SO MANY SPOILERS. SPOILERS ALL OVER THE PLACE. DO NOT GO FORTH INTO THIS BLEAK NIGHT. I MEAN IT. I EVEN MADE A SPECIAL ASUNDER SPOILER TAG FOR IT.



darkrose: (da2: sebastian's crotch)

It wasn't that bad...but lord, it wasn't good

[personal profile] darkrose 2012-01-01 11:11 am (UTC)(link)
Strongly agreed that was better than either Stolen Throne or The Calling. The problem is...that's really not saying much.

The story was predictable and formulaic. Quest. Walking, walking, Fade, walking back, surprise, nothing's what you thought it was, random romance, ending that's a setup for the next game. The conclusion was exactly what I expected from what Varric says at the end of the game: the Circles rise up and some of the templars go rogue to chase after them. For that matter, "Your precious Chantry's fallen to pieces and brought the entire world to the brink of war" pretty much sums it up.

I did like the cameos, especially Fiona (I just about died when she called out Elthina) and Shale; Wynne was the same sanctimonious biddy she's always been AFAIC. The new lore about the Tranquil was interesting, and definitely puts the Anders/Karl scene in context. And Cole was kind of interesting once it became clear that he wasn't just Abused Kid Template #27.

Unfortunately, I really didn't care about most of the other characters. Rhys was frankly boring and slightly whiny. Evangeline's about-face seemed to come out of nowhere. Adrian was a two-dimensional harpy whose betrayal was obvious from miles away. And Lambert...dear sweet Maker, could he have been more of a cardboard villain? He made Meredith look complex.

There were also a couple of WTF? moments, like Wynne's Staff of Plottiness that was there and gone with no real explanation. And I couldn't figure out why, knowing what they knew at that point, Justinia was all, "Sorry, we're making you Tranquil again." Shouldn't it have been clear by then that death is more merciful?

My take-away is that the novel format doesn't play to Gaider's strengths. His best characters rely on the dialogue-tree format; when he has to spend all of his time in their heads, they come across as kind of flat, at least to me. Same with the romances. In game, there's an interaction with the player that generates the result. In all of his novels, I find myself scratching my head wondering why the hell these people suddenly fell in love, and why I should care.

To sum up: Meh. Not the worst $9.99 I've spent by a long shot, and a reasonable way to spend the most boring day of the year at work, but I've read better fanfic.
feckless_muse: (Default)

Re: It wasn't that bad...but lord, it wasn't good

[personal profile] feckless_muse 2012-01-01 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
We have to fork out $25 here so I'm very grateful for your spoilery goodness.

I like the idea of the novels, but I'm frankly a little resentful they tie in so heavily to the games that we miss context unless we have read the books. Kinda feels like EA is double dipping.

*sigh* I shall wait until there is a second hand copy bouncing around somewhere to read the full story.
jessicajones: jessica crying (single_tear)


[personal profile] jessicajones 2012-01-01 02:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I thought this book was way better than the other two, also, although I didn't like Rhys much at all. The idea of him was awesome, I was really intrigued that Wynne's son would be a Libertarian and they would butt heads over that, but... er. He was really bland. It seemed like the only reason he joined the Libertarians was to... shag Adrian, maybe? IDEK. I liked Maric a whole lot better.

Fiona showing up at the end was kinda dumb, also. She was not particularly smart or strong, or you know, in the Circle, so why on earth would she be the Grand Enchanter?

BUT THE TRANQUIL OMG SO COOL!! Pharamond's inability to control his emotions was really tragic and I was really moved by his last few scenes. And Shale was fantastic, the Abyssal Rift was actually written well enough to be scary, and I thought Cole's "powers" were really interesting. I say powers in quotes because... I'm not even sure they existed, that was really confusing.

Cole was a demon the whole time I guess? So maybe Rhys murdered people? Or maybe he didn't? I was confused too.
darkrose: (da2: goddamnit kirkwall)


[personal profile] darkrose 2012-01-01 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Fiona showing up at the end was kinda dumb, also. She was not particularly smart or strong, or you know, in the Circle, so why on earth would she be the Grand Enchanter?

My guess was because as a Grey Warden (ex-Warden?) she was neutral, and wasn't technically affiliated with any particular Circle. And maybe she took a level in Badass since the Calling.
jessicajones: jessica crying (single_tear)


[personal profile] jessicajones 2012-01-02 02:06 am (UTC)(link)
Okay... that's not a bad explanation. It still felt really random to me but I'll take it. :)
darkrose: (da2: goddamnit kirkwall)


[personal profile] darkrose 2012-01-02 02:14 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I'm kinda reaching there, because I liked her pointing out that Elthina's attempts to please everyone ended up in disaster.
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-01 10:24 am (UTC)(link)
Not reading your comment since I literally bought this book as I was walking to a NYE party (woo kindle for iPhone!), and have yet to dig into it. I am looking forward to it, though, since I actually did enjoy his previous two books. They weren't high literature or anything (and I can name at least half a dozen fanfic writers who are outshine him, TBH), but taking them for what they were, they were fun. I mean, I don't go into a video game tie-in novel expecting to be blown away or anything. I just want to be entertained and have fun.
So, that is my hope for this book.

I do hope he's gotten a bit better at his characterization of women, though. That was the one thing that bugged me in the previous books. His female characters tended to be kind of one-note. Rowan was a blank slate when compared to Maric and Loghain, for instance. Which is really odd, since he also wrote Morrigan, and she is easily one of the strongest and most well developed female NPCs in a video game that I have ever seen. (interesting that, when thinking of other memorable female NPCs in games, almost all of them are from Bioware properties- Miranda, Tali, Bastila, Imoen, Jaheira... no wonder I'm such a Bioware fangirl.)
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-04 02:12 pm (UTC)(link)
I finished it last night. Bombard away.
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-01 03:03 pm (UTC)(link)
So... there's spoilers then?

I'm half way through the book and have been distracted by the shininess that is SWTOR. Comments may follow once I surface.
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-04 07:43 pm (UTC)(link)
What server are you on?! I am playing, too.
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-04 08:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm on a European RP server at the moment. I tend to sprinkle chars all over the rp servers of MMO's though, in case I want access to one later and it's closed to new peeps.

Which one you on?
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-05 03:02 am (UTC)(link)
I'm on Dreshdae Cantina, it's PVE. Thinking of starting a char on an RP server, though. Seems like fun. Might roll healer, too, since I'm DPS with both of my characters now.

Anyone like the idea of a POT guild?
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-05 12:41 pm (UTC)(link)
We'd be up for it, although I have no idea how easy/difficult they are making char transfers.

Stick a post up and see who responds?
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-05 06:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm on European RP server, Shaltin Tunnels (Jedi side) and also have a marker on The Progenitor (Sith side) where a friend of mine is running a guild.

Dunno if you'd want to use Euro servers though as the time zone spread is much narrower than on US servers, so the busy periods are _really_ busy and the quiet periods _really_ dead.
zute: (Default)

[personal profile] zute 2012-01-01 07:41 pm (UTC)(link)
My predominant emotion was confusion. When they got to the tower with the possessed Pharamond they asked Evangeline whether she sensed demons or not and she said, "Yeah, there's at least one in there." I was all 'Cool! Templars sense demons like Grey Wardens sense darkspawn.' Then later on it seemed like templars couldn't sense demons. Otherwise they wouldn't have been randomly accusing Rhys of being a demon, right?

Cole confused me too. At the end of the book, Rhys says something about him, Rhys, being the murderer of those people. Huh? So, was he possessed by Cole?

Like in all Gaider's books, I didn't feel very close to the characters. I would have loved to have known more about Fiona and what happened to her and how she ended up back in the Circle.

Orlais falling into civil war was interesting. I got the feeling they were very united in DAO and a force to reckon with. It would have been interesting to understand a little more about why it was falling apart.

I wasn't disappointed because my expectations weren't very high to start with. Still, I utterly love the world, just not always the details of the world, this is why we write fan fiction so we can show these characters the love they deserve. Right?

I appreciate this thread. Thanks for starting it!
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-03 11:59 am (UTC)(link)
Right, I've finished it.



Gaider needs a decent editor, one who will point out when he's (a) used entirely the wrong word, which means something other than what he clearly intended and (b) will stop him repeating the same descriptors within a single paragraph. The latter was driving me nuts.

His text is flat and a little cold. I feel he pushes you through the emotions his chars are feeling too fast, so that you aren't carried along with him. I found myself (as a writer) mentally inserting sentences to make his leaps of emotional logic hang together.

The idea that if Cole was a demon then Rhys was the murderer is utterly flawed. If Cole could kill the templars, with Leliana watching and Rhys not even present, then he could kill the others too, and very likely did.

I'm curious about what 'look into my eyes' means at the end. Is Cole merely freezing Lambert in place so he can be killed, or is it the start of a possession?

Unlike everyone else, I liked Rhys. He had a measured maturity I found appealing and that I could relate to. Adrian needed a slap, regularly and often. I didn't feel Evangeline's turnaround happened too easily, it was clear from the beginning that the values she held were utterly different from those of the Seeker. In normal circumstances she would have remained a Templar, but the plot pushed her into action.

Fiona's presence didn't make a scrap of sense to me. A former Warden, of Maric and Loghain's generation, with not a scrap of corruption apparent? I know some fanfic writers have posited the theory that she escaped the Taint, but I'm surprised to see Gaider go that route without any explanation.
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-03 09:02 pm (UTC)(link)
It's ages since I read The Calling (and I don't consider it worth a re-read) so I'll have to take your word for that. As I remember, the unnaturally accelerated (plot) taint was gone, but I thought that the idea that this made her immune to the normal Calling of a Warden was fanon, not canon.
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-03 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, fair enough. I withdraw that part of my criticism then :)
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-03 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
No mage in ORLAIS has a phylactery any more. Ferelden ones were sent to Denerim, not Val Royeaux, right?
zute: (Default)

[personal profile] zute 2012-01-03 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I got the feeling they had a couple of different places in Ferelden. Let's see, in the mage origin you find Jowan's in the tower but they're going to send it to Denerim, IIRC.

Then Anders thinks his is in Amaranthine for some reason.

I figured the basement of the Chantry in one of my fics... put pigs blood in it. Hee hee!

I always wondered how good their filing systems were. I bet they lose track of lots of them!
scarylady: (Default)

[personal profile] scarylady 2012-01-03 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Nah, they'd leave it to the Tranquil; I bet they have the best filing systems.

However, seeing as the Tranquil apparently have Opinions that has its own consequences, right?
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-04 07:44 pm (UTC)(link)
I think that will have SERIOUS, MAJOR conciquences. Although it also flies in the face of what we saw in game. (Well, more in Origins- the tranquil who just stood around while the tower was being ripped apart around them aren't being pragmatic, they're being utterly mindless).

That they can have an opinion, and apparently at least one has decided going against the templars was the pragmatic and correct choice, is likely to have major conciquences.
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-04 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
The thought I had, specifically, were the tranquil in the room with three shield-carrying statues who just say “thank you. That was an uncomfortable experience” after you kill all the demons, but were basically standing around motionless beforehand. Wouldn’t the logical thing to do to run or hide or really, anything but stand around?
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-05 03:04 am (UTC)(link)
They might be thralled, come to think of it.
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-05 03:46 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, exactly. since that would appear to be a form of possession- and making sure they can't get possessed is the whole reason for giving them the lyrium lobotomy!
zute: (Default)

[personal profile] zute 2012-01-03 09:22 pm (UTC)(link)
My memory is close to what you're saying. Somehow in the Calling she got rid of the taint. Apparently she also acquired substantial awesomeness to become the grand enchanter.
amhran_comhrac: (Default)

[personal profile] amhran_comhrac 2012-01-04 04:08 pm (UTC)(link)
Ok, here are my "posting from work" level thoughts...
In a technical sense his writing has improved, though I can still name several fanfic writers who are better. He needs a harsher editor. 

However, no one really grabbed me here. There was no Loghain or Duncan type character to really capture my sympathies. I just don't feel like the same depth of emotion went into Rhys. I did like him, I just didn't feel along with him. His motivations were less clear than either of them and he didn’t feel as fleshed out.  With Loghain you got to see his father and all that happened at the refugee camp, with Duncan there was the sequence in the Fade and the stories of his time on the street.  With Rhys… really, nothing.  You don’t see flashbacks or hear stories about how he might have felt being raised in a Chantry orphanage.  We’re told he has a past with Adrian, but not much about what happened, or why things changed.  Too much telling in general, without any showing to back it up.
In the end Adrian pissed me off. Probably in no small part due to the number of people who have mailed me on ffnet and such and compared her to Maggie… since, well, Adrian does bad, bad things, and I would like to think Maggie is nicer than that. At first I liked her, but as others have said, she's almost comical in her single mindedness. And that move at the end was utterly unforgivable. Gain the world but lose your soul, etc.  She could have been just as devoted to her cause without being so utterly heartless.
Unlike everyone else, I enjoyed Wynne here. I thought he did a good job showing a darkness just below her calm old lady surface.  Although WTF was up with that staff ex machina?  And what staff was it, since it clearly seemed like it should have been a specific one from Origins…  It seemed so random. 
Her response to Orlais tearing itself apart in civil war was really perfect for someone who had lived with occupation. And omg she fucked a Templar! Greagoir? Or someone we don't know... Either way, tee hee hee!!
In general she came across as someone playing a patient game of chess who is looking ten moves ahead. It made me look back at her comments in origins and see that there as well, although it may be reaching on my part.  I liked her better for it, since she seemed far less like someone who was rolling over for the Chantry, and far more like someone who biding her time for the perfect moment.
I kind of hoped for an Anders spotting at the very end, when they had the final conclave.  But then, I hope for Anders spottings everywhere…
And I was unclear as to if Cole’s intervention with the Lord Seeker would delay or prevent the Templars from marching on them. 
And Cole… seriously, wtf?  OK, my first theory was that he was, somehow, going to turn out to be the OGB.  I sort of prefer that idea to what it actually ended up being.  Rhys was the killer?  While Cole killed with only Leliana as a witness?  IIRC, Rhys had an alibi for another of the murders, too.  So how does that work?
Was Cole a demon?  A spirit?  And at the end?  What was that- he possessed the Lord Seeker?  Killed him?   I suspect we will come back to that little plot thread in DA3.    I really don’t mind a book that keeps me wondering, but I don’t like when my first thought is to set it down and say “what the everloving fuck just happened?” it goes a bit too far.  The end was simply confusing.
zute: (Default)

[personal profile] zute 2012-01-09 11:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I found This writeup on Greywarden.com to be a pretty fair assessment. It contains a plot summary.