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Reviews of "The Quest"...[Spoilers]

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:38 am
by Lotus
And here is my opinion...

For me, this book was one big disappointment. I disliked alot about it - the storyline is just so boring. There are several mistakes in reference to facts from the previous books (like where Taita is trying to work out how old Nefer is... he remembers that he was 12 when Tamose died... but he was in fact 14). I never felt I was enthralled by the world Smith was presenting (a first for me) and I really disliked the way some characters, like Mintaka and Nefer, have been written. Even Taita, with all his new power, is just so devoid of any real "magic."

Maybe I expected too much, maybe nothing could ever compare to RG and Warlock, but either way, The Quest was, sadly, a waste of $30. I'm so peeved with the result I've put the book on eBay.

Initial thoughts and questions about The Quest...

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:28 am
by John R
wow, not the best of reviews there then! Sounds poor. I'm not a fan of Wilbur's egyptian stuff so i won't be reading this book anyway. But its interesting that his previous book (Triumph of the sun) was given poor ratings, and maybe this one is also gonna be the same. This is gonna sound horrible now but maybe Smith is getting too old and is past his best. Hope not, its early yet, perhaps everyone else who reads the Quest will love it, and i'll be wrong. Hope so

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:24 am
by Monsoon
Sorry to here you were so peeved with it Lotus, i think there is some truth in what John says and in that WS interview he did say it was difficult to come up with new story lines.
I quickly glimpsed your spoiler in readiness to look away again but to be honest there is nothing to spoil the book, just your overall opinion so that is ok.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:45 pm
by Matbow
I've attempted to split out the threads we have going on The Quest into 2 - one (this one) for our final reviews after we've finished it and another one "Initial thoughts and questions..." for anyone that wants to post anything whilst reading.


I finished the Quest earlier on today; here's my full review!


Reviews of "The Quest"...[Spoilers]

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:49 pm
by Ada
Thanks Matt. Excellent splitting too.

Thanks for creating the poll - I'm not finished yet - now at Page 324 & I must say an exciting little sequence has just taken place. I will put spoiler comments in the appropriate thread & vote when I finish.

I translate "Wow" to mean you liked (perhaps loved) it - but what score?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:35 am
by Ada
Was that you (Matt) or Lotus that gave it 6?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:46 pm
by Lotus
I gave it 4 - I wouldn have given less but the whole 'inner eye' sequence at the start has gotta earn a point. :D

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:50 am
by Monsoon
This is a very interesting poll so far!

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:08 am
by Ada
Yes isn't it. I've not finished yet - getting close though - up to page 422 now.

Lotus owned up to the 4. Who belongs to the 5 and the 6 please :?:

Matt, your review was "Wow...". Surely a 'wow' equals at least a 9 >. Are you still thinking about it or is that it "Wow..." with a 6/10? (Assuming the 6 is yours.)

Question is: I've still got 80 odd pages to go. Will I feel the same by the end? 8-[

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:48 pm
by Matbow
Ada wrote:Matt, your review was "Wow...". Surely a 'wow' equals at least a 9 >. Are you still thinking about it or is that it "Wow..." with a 6/10? (Assuming the 6 is yours.)

The six isn't mine...

I have no idea how to rate this book because I don't have a clue how I feel about it! I've been trying to let it sink in over the past couple of days but I'm still no nearer an answer! It feels so unlike a Wilbur Smith book in some ways, yet the writing style is unmistakeable (and brilliant). I found it hard to put down and really enjoyable, but I guess I'm having issues with the whole "mystical" plot and the fact it feels more like a fairy tale [spoiler]what with Lostris being reincarnated, Taita getting his "bits" back, becoming young and then getting together with Lostris [/spoiler].

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:40 pm
by Allira
Ok I belong to the 5, for the first time ever I found a WS hard to pick up and that feels like betrayal but I wanted to be honest. Realism is WS novels is everything to me, the writing style and all is still there, but the realism is lost on me. Im not connecting with charachters like I have in previous novels. So I decided to meet WS half way with a 5 . Howerver I am only 220 pages in so perhaps should have reserved my vote till I am finnished like you Mat the whole Mystical thing gets to me.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:34 pm
by Lotus
I have a little more detail to add to my previous opinion now that, like Matt, I've let it sink in...

The 2 main reasons I didn't enjoy the book are...

1. RG and Warlock enthralled me so much with the "realness" of the world that Smith presented. The books are fiction but they are written in such a way that you could almost believe them to be true. Sadly, so much of The Quest was too far-fetched, and while it would probably make a good premise for a fantasy novel, I felt like Ancient Egypt was lost.

2. I have felt strongly for many characters so far in this series. Lostris, Nefer, Mintaka... hell when Tanus died in RG I actually shed a freakin tear. But like I said earlier, I just didn't connect with any of them. And on a personal note, I was most annoyed with how Mintaka and Nefer have 'grown'. I didn't like that I didn't like them, if that makes any sense?

Anyway, in the end I still have RG and W, which I will read many more times in my life. I'll be forever thankful to Smith for giving me those incredible stories.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:03 am
by Alysha
Im really a little bit upset so far with quest, and just wanted to ask whether anyone has heard of the theory that w.s is not writing his own novels anymore?? i have no idea, but maybe it would explain certain things that im sure are mistakes (found a few and im only 100 odd pages in!).... maybe its just my memory, [spoiler][spoiler]but im certain that the baby name of lostris was lanata, not fenn?? and lord aquer was sent on a quest, yeah, but not into the swamps, it was into the desert to find a route back to the first cataract right?? and he didnt die, i think he actually fought in that big war against the Hyksos at the end of r.g, and became quite respected.. and taita was Most Definately not a virgin (not up to the mention of the opposite to that yet, have just read spoilers :) )...[/spoiler] and there are other i being paranoid? this book just really doesnt feel right - w.s is my all time fave and im usually loving his books...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:55 pm
by Chaos
[spoiler]Taitas just finnished off with Eos and[/spoiler] so far its been brilliant :D I'v enjoyed this more then warlock (which btw I loved ) and I would say that its just as enjoyable as River God if not more because of the knowledge I have of the characters from previous books!
btw I think its great [spoiler]that Taita gets his man parts back again[/spoiler] LOL

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:03 pm
by Chaos
Just read some of the posts

I'd like to say that well fair enough its not as realistic as the first novel but then again with fantasy fiction you do have to suspend your disbelief, if you cant do that then you wont really enjoy it ;)

I personaly loved the fantasy route that it had taken I'd like to read more Wilbur Smith novels like it.
Its also given us a chance to see Meren, he had been introduced in Warlocke but he didnt really say or do much, this time around we've got to see more character development from him!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:02 am
by Serket
I was very disappointed with the book. River God was one of my favourite books.

[spoiler]The reasons I were disappointed were the fact I knew that Fenn was not what Lostris' name had been, and so I kept expecting her to actually be a trick from Eos. When that didn't happen, I was well a bit shocked that I could remember something that the author did not. I also thought all the magic etc. was very far fetched, and particularly found the bit where Taita/Meren have parts regrown ridiculous. Taita becoming 'immortal' was also just a bit too far fetched for me. [/spoiler]

I loved River God and it got me really interested in the Ancient Egyptians. This however was just a fantasy story, which I wouldn't mind reading except for the fact it contained characters I loved from a completely different genre. A bit of fantasy is fine for me in these books, especially if it is written in a way where I can think they 'really believed' that was happening even if it was something else completely.
[spoiler]e.g in the Quest when there is the eclipse of the moon, or Lostris' star explodes, I have no problem with Taita interpretting it the way he did. However, suddenly going from an old man to a young man is not something that can be explained in this way and really spoilt it for me[/spoiler]

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:59 am
by Chaos
just finnished reading it and the ending was great ^_^

I hope there is another book, Taita is one of my favourate characters ever! I'm pretty glad that he has finnaly achieved all the good things that he has deserved for a long time!!!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:27 am
by Kate4Tanus
I just finished it! I gave it a 6 - I don't really know exactly how I feel about the whole book! I enjoyed a great deal of it (a lot of it felt a bit like RG)- and it gets bonus points just coz I love Meren and thought he was great. The downside for me was that I really didnt like Nefer or Mintaka in this - and I LOVED them in Warlock. Their wonderful personalities from WL just sort of seemed lost you know?

The other thing that was a downside for me was the number of inconsistencies there were with the other books (I'll put them under a spoiler thingy just to be safe)

[spoiler]1. Lanata was Lostris's baby name! I got annoyed every time I read her name. It SPECIFICALLY states in RG. I mean that is why Tanus named his bow that. that leads into no. 2

2. Tanus wasn't even mentioned! Okay, once - just as the army commander. Taita loved him and it's not like he just wouldn't mention or think about him! And besides isnt Fenn curious about who fathered her children in another life?

3. Taita wasn't a virgin! It says in one of them I'm sure that he had 'already known the joys of a woman's body' or something along those lines. So I was confused about that.

4. I think this is the last one - Taita NEVER called Nefer Mem! (In the bit where Taita is telling Nefer something only the two of them would know). Em (iheartnefie) and I specifically looked all through Warlock and he never called him anything except Nefer or Prince Nefer. huh?!

oh and in RG 'Lord Aquer was spelt Aqer!!!

5. OH and OMG Lostris/Fenn doesn't have blonde hair!!! It SPECIFICALLY says her hair was the colour of the wing of a black eagle in RG.

Am I being REALLY nitpickey?

That isn't to say I didn't enjoy it though - I did! I liked a lot of the bits about the journey and the battles and stuff (and any bit with Meren just because he amuses me - a LOT like Kratas).

Some of my fave bits were
[spoiler] When Meren and Nakonto were going to rush to Taita and Fenn because he was convinced they were in trouble. Ah, Meren.... I loved how he was just clueless about the whole thing (a lot like Jim in Blue Horizon about Zama :D)
Also when Meren was overdoing the whole 'i am a son without a father' thing, sobbing into the tunic. I giggled so much :lol:
Man - all my bits are about Meren but I just loved Taita's little remarks about how Meren was just so dumb and that stuff was 'rare insight'. :D

I originally didn't like Fenn cause I was convinced she was evil - but she really grew on me. I ended up liking her a lot and wanted her and Meren to get together originally haha - thats just coz he reminded me a bit of Tanus and I always loved Tanus and Lostris.
I liked Sidudu even though I don't like the name.
OOh and the 'opening of the inner eye' scene was just so grossly awesome. Em was sitting next to me when I was reading and i was like writhing but laughing haha. [/spoiler]

Wow that was really long. I guess I had a lot more to say than I thought!
So I guess that is my little (shambolic) review!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:38 am
by Monsoon
Kate wrote:
So I guess that is my little (shambolic) review!

Not at all, in fact it was very enlightening especially from someone who writes good stories around these 'subjects'. :)

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:10 pm
by i_heart_nefie
Kate, I finished it too! I know we already went over all the inconsistencies on the phone and all but they still make me angry...


[spoiler]1. Fenn instead of Lanata
2. Blonde hair instead of dark hair
3. No Tanus, Nefie or Mintie to love[/spoiler]

But yeah, I still liked it! And I don't think it left it completely closed at the end :wink: