The Dreamers by David Eddings
This series was the worst David Eddings could have ever produced. Reading it felt like reading a cheap rip off of the Belgariad and Mallorean. The characters of the Dreamer series copy those of the characters in the Belgariad and Mallorean. The story lines are almost the exact same. Im not sure if having his wife help him had anything to do with the way the story was watered down and by far the most predictable story I've read since reading child stories, but this series makes Eddings, who is a VERY good writer, a laughing stock in the Fantasy Book community.
Submitted by Anonymous
The Dreamers was, as many have pointed out, somewhat of a dissapointment to me. Each of the first three books essentially ended with a climactic natural disaster that wipes out all the enemy and leads the reader to question the whole point of outland armies. Characters were charming enough but not very well developed. The gods/goddesses served practically no purpose other than as occasional messenger boy/girl, scout, or weather changer. Longbow was probably one of the few characters whose past was well defined, but dissapointingly little was done with him other than making him the quintessential badass. All the guys are in awe of him, half the goddesses wants to marry him, ok...what else you got? Being a loner might be cool at first, but makes it hard for the other characters to relate to him. He couldn't even relate to the enemy (Sparhawk/Martel). All of this made it hard for the me to genuinely like him as a (main?) character.
The author, I felt, also tried waaay too hard to be funny; letting the not-so-funny jokes get out of hand instead of relying on his characters to provide the humour as he did in the past. EVERYBODY liked Silk, even Tynian/Ulath combo got a few chuckles out of me, and it was due to their personalities, not overused punchlines like "poor baby" and "isn't that neat?"
The recurring plot got old real fast. Whenever somebody came up with a bright idea, they'd explain it 2 or 3 times before the plan gets carried out, then the results would get reported again and again. I DIDN'T need to read about the whole Spider-In-Aracia's-Temple intrigue 5 times. Also, almost NOTHING ever goes wrong for the good guys, every plan goes off w/o a hitch. Need an army? Lets just pay them with all that yellow metal that seems to be lying around. Need a fort or two? What do you know, Grade-A granite right there on the build site. Need to deceive a goddess? Just lie a little and it'll all work out (nevermind the fact that she apparently could read minds). Life was disgustingly easy for the good guys.
The editing was poorly done as well. Spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, temporal inconsistencies, and even a few cases of deja vu'esque repititions in plot line almost forced me, out of former respect for Mr Eddings, to just put the books down.
As a final word, according to Wiki (who knows all), Mrs Eddings passed away shortly after the final book was published and hints at the possiblity that she was struggling with illness during The Dreamers project. Lets cut the guy some slack? Nobody is at their best when worrying about loved ones. Personally, should Mr Eddings ever return to the fantasy arena, I would be more than willing to give him the second chance.
Submitted by Jack McRoberts
Having read the final volume of this series, my response is -- Terrible! The only good thing was that there were not gods to be disposed of or mysterious purposes to be dealt with. I am glad that I read the books via the library and did not pay any good money for volumes 2-4.
The concept of alternating sets of gods was a good one that was not handled well. The unknown friend was just too deus ex machina (see below). If written correctly (and well), the unknown friend(s) should not have been necessary.
There is a certain similarity of characters with those of other series, but with enough differences that I generally enjoyed them. The all tended to be a bit too clever as needed, although most of that was reserved for Rabbit, Keselo, and Longbow. In that regard, the characters were less consistent and more vanilla than in the Belgariad/Mallorean and Elenium/Tamuli series, which is too bad since that was the strongest point of the Eddings' works.
The books seemed padded through the use of rehashing the story through different characters' eyes. Although some of it was interesting, much of it was too redundant.
[Warning-- spoilers follow].
I view this series as the science fiction equivalent of the "Dallas" TV show's dream season that ended up with a suddenly living Bobby Ewing emerging from a shower.
First, every book has a lot of blood, sweat and tears that accomplishnothing until some overgod/overgoddess must step in to save the day. Why couldn't the mysterious friend have done so at the beginning.
Second, one of the Eddings' strengths are the characters and their personalities and interrelationships. Not only are these relationships far more simplistic but suddenly all of the friendships and personal achievements are gone... poof! with one possible exception (there
is a promise of Trenicia and Narasan getting together). I do not view the Longbow/Misty Waters resolution in the category since it never happened before. In any case, I felt cheated.
Which brings up point number three. None of the Maags, Trogites, Maalavi, etc, get to keep their promised rewards. The Amarite church does not get to keep its just desserts. There is no indication that Narasan's nephew will survive his war, which would imply Narasan ending up in the gutter again. So how will he and Trenicia meet?
Fourth, even the theology was inconsistent. In the early part, there was quite a bit written about Mother Sea and Father Earth, to the extent that Mother Sea exiled Veltan the the moon. Yet, in the final theology concerning Ara and Omago, they do not appear. There is no explanation where they came from nor how the moon could be sentient either.
I hope that the Eddings' are not planning on a new series showing what happens to these same characters in the new alternate history. That would keep them on a par with the Dallas soap opera. Instead, I would like to see some solid fantasy that does not involve gods in such an intimate way as has been done with his previous series. I think the Eddings' have pushed this shtick about at as far as they can for a while.
Submitted by Anonymous
I was extremely disappointed by the latest Eddings series. Having been a huge fan of the Garion and Sparhawk series of the past, as well as being fascinated with the Althalus stand-alone novel, I was expecting another captivating series.
The plot is repeated many, many (many!) times throughout the series and within the same book, and worst of all, it is re-told from perspectives of different characters. You'd think that these different perspectives would add to the plot, but it's nothing more than re-telling the exact same thing. There are times when you could seriously skip 40-50 pages and not missed anything. I felt that at times, Eddings was repeating the plot to simply add more pages to these books and complete the four book deal. The plot was horribly weak, yet it could have been told in two books at the most.
There is no character development because there's too many characters that share essentially the same characteristics. You don't get a chance (unlike his previous works) to see a character's dreams, fears, and quirks that made characters like Silk so memorable. Conversations are childish at best, humorous only to perhaps second graders. And why does it seem like everyone is so powerful and intelligent that they could have sat around and defeated the Vlagh on their own?
His idea to make the enemy (by the way, the word "enemies" is so overused that you'll begin to gag every time you see it as you read) into superbugs was an interesting experiment, but ultimately it killed any plot since we never get to learn about the villains. The Belgariad, Malloreon, Elenium, and Tamuli all had human villains and the reader was thus able to better understand their motives and appreciate their plots. This villain would scare only those aforementioned second graders.
Ultimately, this is the worst piece of writing by Eddings, and I was sorely disappointed and upset that I spent money to purchase the entire series (in paperback only, thankfully). I'm not sure what went wrong, whether he decided to re-use old plots and characters to put out another series for the money, or he tried to be clever with "new" elements that horribly failed, or if he actually was so daring to think that readers would enjoy a sophomoric fantasy novel based on his reputation in the past. I hope he can bounce back with his next work, whenever that may be.
Submitted by Veylon
The series started out promisingly enough, with characters gathered from around the world at the behest of the gods to combat a menace threatening the existence of mankind. Fair enough.
However, the plot gradually lost steam the heroes gained gained more and more power to the point where the evil bug-like Vlaugh was little more than a nuisance to be squashed.
As things wore on, there was little for the non-godlike characters to do but exchange witty banter and exalt their own cleverness, whilst the godlike one did the same, only at the very end doing what they could've done at the beginning: win the war.
This series is very much a case study in what can go wrong when heroes have too much power available: there's nothing for them to do.