I finally finished Reaper's Gale (book 7 in the Malazan Book of the Fallen) a couple of weeks ago and wanted to give a brief writeup.
I must say that this one is probably my least favorite in the series so far. That's not to say I didn't like it, because I did (mostly). But I just didn't quite get into it as much as the previous books. I would even go so far as to say that there has been a little drop off for me, as I really liked the first 5 books, liked The Bonehunters a little less, and now this was another small step down.
The story is still almost as confusing to me as it has been the entire series, though I feel Erikson is doing a better job of overtly helping the reader follow some of the (seemingly) several thousand plot threads. I think there are 2 main reasons I struggled a bit with Reaper's Gale. First, at this point in the series, I feel like most of the Malazan soldiers are blurring together for me. Its getting harder and harder to really tell them apart. I'm not sure if it is due to my bad memory, the sheer number of them, or if there are just a few different character types for the soldiers. I guess it is probably a little of all 3. The other hindrance to my enjoyment is that, for the most part, it didn't heavily feature the characters I have enjoyed. I've never been a big fan of Udinaas or Karsa, unfortunately (forgive any mispellings...too lazy to look them up, and I don't have the book with me at the moment).
It seems like the last couple hundred pages were the best part, as usual for this series. I know it is impossible to maintain that pace for 1200 pages...and I love me some BFF (Big Fat Fantasy). But I find myself wishing the books had been trimmed back to maybe 800 pages or something.
While this might seem like a negative review (lacking positive feedback), I still highly enjoy this series, and (mostly) enjoyed this book. Part of the problem might be due to a bit of Malazan burn out. I would still highly recommend this series, and look forward to continuing with the next book.
In fact, I've spent the last 2 weeks trying to read Return of the Crimson Guard. But more on that tomorrow....