Fantasy Book of the Month May 2011: The Keep by F. Paul Wilson

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Hobbit, May 1, 2011.

  1. Corporal Blues

    Corporal Blues I like to rock the party

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    Just started this one yesterday. About 100 pages in so far and liking it. I'm interested to learn more about the red-haired man, and the girl Magda.
     
  2. Corporal Blues

    Corporal Blues I like to rock the party

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    Well, now I'm a tad over 300 pages in and still liking it. I'm getting a bit impatient waiting to see what "Glenn" is all about. He charged in on a galloping steed about 150 pages ago and all he's done since then is shag Magda.

    So far, the love tryst between him and Magda was pretty predictable and not that interesting.
    I'm interested to see how the alliance between Molasar and Cuza plays out.
     
  3. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    For those who have finished, I have a question about Molasar...
    The true nature of Molasar was ambiguous and I liked that. I like that FPW played with the Vampire legend and left hints that Molasar could indeed be a vampire. What pleased me the most however, is that Molasar wasn't a vampire in the Dracula sense and rather something else. An Elder race so to speak.

    Were others here pleased or disappointed that Molasar was NOT really a vampire?
     
  4. ColdSun

    ColdSun The Enigmatic Paradox

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    @Rob

    I was very pleased to find out that he was not a vampire. Indeed, you have to go further in Adversary Cycle and Repairman Jack to learn about Rasalom, which is his real name. What you learned in The Keep just barely scratches the surface of the history between Glaeken and Rasalom, and The Keep itself is seen quite a few times as well. Keep in mind that the timeline for the Repairman Jack books basically takes place over the full timeline of The Adversary Cycle. I would recommend that you read The Adversary Cycle first, if you plan to continue, BUT do not read Nightworld (final Adversary Cycle book) until after you have read the last Repairman Jack book. FPW is going to re-release a new version of Nightworld very soon that has more content and better integration between the two series. By the time you have read all those other books, if you do, the new version of Nightworld should be out. I actually read The Adversary Cycle first, including Nightworld, so I sort of know everything that is going to happen in the end.
     
  5. Corporal Blues

    Corporal Blues I like to rock the party

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    Well, I finished The Keep back on Tuesday, but I haven't had a chance to get over here and talk about it. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I felt like it all ended a bit too clean for my tastes. It sort of had that hollywood ending where things wrapped up all pretty and the guy got the girl too, or vice versa in this case I guess.

    I was also a bit disappointed with the fact that Rasalom was this extremely evil being, but was held at bay by a magical cross/sword grip.

    I think the reason I'm disappointed was that this novel started out as anything but standard fantasy/horror fare. Wilson put steadfast baddies, Nazi's in a position where you could sorta sometimes feel a bit sympathetic towards them, then he centered the narrative around a woman who wasn't just some damsel in distress all the time, but in the end it was the ultimately evil guy getting destroyed by a magical sword.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book for what it was, but I guess my expectations for the pay-off didn't match the potential I foresaw.
     
  6. Sipwood

    Sipwood Registered User

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    This is pretty much exactly how I felt about the book. Not that it was a bad book, but just that it started out so well that I was dissapponted by the ending.
     
  7. Corporal Blues

    Corporal Blues I like to rock the party

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    Glad to hear I'm not the only one who was slightly underwhelmed.
     
  8. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    I realize I popped in here and there in this discussion, but haven't made a proper post yet.

    I didn't know what to expect with this one, so I approached it as a totally blank slate. I generally enjoyed it, but I'm usually less picky about quicky reads like this one. I did find the writing to be a bit thin and workmanlike. It didn't do a lot to conjure images or set moods, something I thought the book could use more of.

    I quite liked the opening of the book with the mysterious messages from inside the keep and then a flashback to when the German's first arrived. This was maybe my favorite section, and had he continued on with or fleshed out this aspect of the book a little more, I may have liked it overall a bit more. Instead we moved into something a little more common and predictable with the old historian and his loving but put-upon daughter.

    As to the vampire, something else, ancient evil thing. I'm not totally against vampires, so if that was well-done I'd have been okay with it. I really liked phase two where he was just something else feeding on dark energies (sort of a source for the vampire legends). Phase three isn't uninteresting, but the reveal was done in such a bland way that I didn't much care for it.

    Other than the opening segment and a few other bits here and there, the whole thing did feel fairly paint-by-numbers throughout. I'd be willing to try some more Wilson if I can get my hands on it for cheap.
     
  9. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    Just finished, and Erf and Corporal Blues have pretty similar views. Everything goes downhill once the nightly killings stop.
    More later after I've had a sleep.
     
  10. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    OK, some more coherent thoughts now that I've had a sleep.
    The opening is great: the mystery of something killing the men, then tension between the two commanders and the panic of not being able to do anything to stop it.
    Once Theodor and his daughter arrive though, the tension dissipates. We're instantly given a reveal (with waaaay too much exposition) of the bad guy who we weren't even sure was anything other than an it prior; the killing stops and the clunky romance starts.
    By the time we move on to the last act with magic swords (and hilts), even more infodumps ("we must hurry and stop them before the world ends, but first let me spend several pages explaining my back story") and, gasp, a timeless battle between order and chaos, I was lost.
    The book transformed from a horror novel with great atmosphere to a rather bland fantasy novel.

    Sorry, just recalled one interesting note in the middle: When Theodor starts to doubt his faith because of the reaction of Molasar to the crucifix and Jewish prayer. Could've been interesting, but didn't really go anywhere.