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  1. #1
    Nothingman ... Nothingman pennywise86's Avatar
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    Abercrombie's The First Law overrated?

    I don't understand what the hype about this series is all about. I picked up the first book about a year ago because people on here were raving about it,and I figured "ok, it must be an entertaining story". Not the case at all. Abercrombie's writing style is good and all, but his characters are some of the blandest characters I've ever read. The only other series that had worse characterization was the Malazan books, where they were only presented as cardboard cutouts with no emotional reasoning. didnt even care when some of the main characters died and stopped reading after the third book, realizing it wasn't like to get better.

    Abercrombie's characterization is slighly better, saved by Glokta and the arrogant duelist whose name i can't even remember (they're at least somewhat interesting) but the rest just seem too hollow. There's no one to cheer for in this book, not even the bad guys (think Jaime Lannister), because you never get emotionally attached to them in any way, because you hardly ever see their reasoning for their actions.

    Why can't authors understand that characterization trumps story every time! There's no unique tale left out there, so the best you can do is have unique characters, which are lacking in this series.

    I picked up the second book couple of weeks ago, thinking maybe the series gets better. I'm a few chapters in and it still seems the same. I've put it aside for the moment to read other more interesting books.

    Seriously, reading these books feels like a homework assignment. Does this series actually pick up?

  2. #2
    Jack Bauer Bastard's Avatar
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    Joe's characters are awesome. Too bad they're not to your liking.

  3. #3
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pennywise86 View Post
    Seriously, reading these books feels like a homework assignment.
    I don't want to sound harsh, but maybe they're simply not for you? As an example, I don't care how much people rant and rave about Rothfuss being the dog's nethers, but I think his series - to me - sounds like utter tripe and trash (Sorry, but saying the book picks up "after the first 200 pages" isn't going to sell me), so I simply don't read them.

    Almost every series, if not all, are overrated to someone. You might not like Abercrombie, and that's fine, and we can and will help you find other books that may be more to your liking here, but I'm not sure what else I can suggest beyond that.

  4. #4
    the Thirsty thirstyVan's Avatar
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    Is The First Law overrated?

    Nope.

    But to answer your question, I'd just stop. If you didn't like the first book, you aren't going to like the rest. It's too bad, but not everyone has the same tastes. It's not a big deal. Nor does it mean the author is "overrated".

    Except Rothfuss. That guy is overrated.

  5. #5
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thirstyVan View Post
    Except Rothfuss. That guy is overrated.
    Wait there, TV. I'm going to go and find the bullet-proof flame shields.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by pennywise86 View Post
    Seriously, reading these books feels like a homework assignment. Does this series actually pick up?
    Well, yes, the plot does pick up (or rather, speed up) in the second book. The Blade Itself does feel a little like an extended prologue, but as someone who enjoyed it hugely I didn't mind. I also felt that Joe's writing got even better in the second and third book. Since your problem isn't the pace or the writing, but rather the story and characters, I can't imagine you'll enjoy the rest of it though, so I'd also say to just accept it wasn't your cup of tea and stop.

    I personally thought all the characters were great. Couldn't even pick a favourite if I had to.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by thirstyVan View Post
    Except Rothfuss. That guy is overrated.
    I'll stand with you against the flamethrowers on this one.

  8. #8
    Wow stealth Erikson bashing thread which transitions into Abercrombie bashing. Nice start OP. The issue I see you having is that you need someone with a noble cause to root for. You fail to realize that most fantasy books are about murderers and, in the cases of spellcasters, mass murderers.

    If anything I believe that Martin is the most overrated author at the moment. Martin's characterization is his strength but the quality is all over the place. He has deep and interesting characters like Tyrion and Varys while at the same time writing cookie cutter, seen them a thousand times characters like Joffrey and Sansa. He has also completely taken out story logic. Please explain to me the success of pretty much everything Jon Snow has ever attempted and why in such a magical world with zero checks and balances the mundanes are still running things.

  9. #9
    Nothingman ... Nothingman pennywise86's Avatar
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    I dont need a noble hero to root for, iust an interesting one. oh well, guess these books are not for me, wish i could get my money back

  10. #10
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    You aren't the first person to ask if Joe's work is overrated.

    Joe Abercrombie...overrated?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Contrarius View Post
    I'll stand with you against the flamethrowers on this one.
    Add me to the list as well

  12. #12
    The plot was a bit too simple for my taste, but the characters more than made up for it. It was an enjoyable ride through and through.

  13. #13
    Eh. I don't think the First Law trilogy was overrated. Rothfuss is overrated.

  14. #14
    Analyze That
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    I've never really caught onto the Abercrombie bandwagon myself. I finished the First Law, will probably read another one at some point, but he's not much above average fare for me. At times like this, I simply say the author doesn't impress me as much as he seems to everyone else and move along. I don't call him overrated.

    Isn't calling someone overrated claiming your opinion is much more important and correct than all those people who 'rate' the author in the first place? Especially with things of a matter of taste? I'm not trying to show contempt for those who do use the term, I'm just curious if I have my definition right. To me, overrated means the author does not deserve the amount of 'hype' or 'rating' or whatever that they get, which is a ridiculous thing to say based on the fact you don't find the author as good as everyone else seems to.

    Loerwyn, have you read any of Rothfuss? It seems a bit extreme to trash an author that you haven't read. Unless you are simply stating you don't think he'll be able to hold your interest, into which I must inquire why that is.
    Full disclosure: I'm not quite 3rdI, but I think Rothfuss is fantastic. The Wise Man's Fear is considerably ahead of Dance with Dragons right now for book of the year for me. Still need to read the White Luck Warrior, which I heard is really good, but Bakker doesn't really do it for me like he does for others.

  15. #15
    Abercrombie is my favorite fantasy writer at the moment, beside Erikson, and he improves with every book. His only fault is that the world is a bit generic. The biggest difference between Abercombie and all other new fantasy authors is humor. I can't find any other series with more characters that I liked, Logen, Glokta, Whirrun, Shenkt, Shivers, Cosca ...

    Rohfuss, I've not read such a talented writer in a long time, for my tastes he needs to work more on the story and the advancement of the plot tough.

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