Looking back over the list of books I've read, there are very few examples where I started reading a series and got stuck into it pretty deep, and then ended up not finishing the entire series.
This is going to be one of those examples. The books are laborious and the story is definitely not that spellbinding or gripping. There are a few good heroes, but even they pale in comparison to the heroes I had the privilege of meeting in other fantasy series. The world of the Malazan empire is vast, the mythology rich and battles bloody and real. Gods abound, epic struggles spanning continents and worlds... sounds like a great recipe? Well, it would have been if the author had the ability to serve all of this up as a good "story teller". I guess that is where this entire series falls flat for me - I don't think the author is a good "story teller".
I have a lot of respect for Erikson and I think he is probably an extremely intelligent person, but he lacks that special *something* in his delivery of the story. He doesn't awaken in me that wide-eyed little boy sitting around the camp fire hanging on every word the story teller has to offer. This whole Malazan experience has felt more like sitting through a lecture on a topic I love, delivered by a lecturer that doesn't connect with his audience - or even loses them from time to time because he is so enamored by the technical aspects of the material.
I know Mr Erikson has a very big following and there are readers who adore his work. For me, I think I will spoil this series for myself for good by reading the Wikipedia entries and plot summaries on the remaining books.
Fare thee well Malazan heroes and gods...