Author Topic: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???  (Read 20797 times)

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Offline jammindude

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #315 on: March 29, 2018, 09:39:12 PM »
My unboxing video....

(I talk too much)

https://youtu.be/QR4GsA8zUfI
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Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #316 on: March 29, 2018, 09:54:09 PM »
I haven't gotten around to checking my mail. I bet its there, along with Ayreon Universe (hopefully).
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #317 on: March 29, 2018, 10:43:08 PM »
My unboxing video....

(I talk too much)

https://youtu.be/QR4GsA8zUfI

Great video! Hope you post one with your thoughts on the story, once you get to finish the book.

The book itself looks really cool, and I wish I ordered it, but I just couldn't justify paying that much for it.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #318 on: March 30, 2018, 08:39:28 PM »
Just found the email for the "exclusive content". It's pretty nice hearing the unused song ideas, some of them are actually neat. The Gift of Music stuff is good too, I like the Guitar and Keys only studio guide track.
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #319 on: March 31, 2018, 03:07:57 PM »
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline jammindude

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #320 on: March 31, 2018, 06:38:37 PM »
Oh wow cool!!!! Let the “get out of your mothers basement” haters begin!!!
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Offline RaiseTheKnife

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #321 on: March 31, 2018, 08:23:16 PM »
My novel arrived today, copy 609 of 750.  Looking forward to reading JP's breakdown of each song in the "bonus" content section - I like absorbing creative insight like that and exploring the deconstruction of the writing process.

Offline Lethean

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #322 on: April 01, 2018, 11:19:53 AM »
The novel is really good, I think. I enjoyed it and think it did the album justice.  The characters are more fleshed out and there are some things that surprised me.

Offline Lethean

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #323 on: April 01, 2018, 10:45:22 PM »
Also, Dave Manchester will be happy to know that his favorite character from the album does appear in the novel...

Online Kattelox

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #324 on: April 02, 2018, 07:23:01 AM »
My concern is the following: is it actually a good novel, or just good by adaptation/novelization standards? For such a price there had better be some wonderful writing, but it looks like the story isn't even that long, I think only a couple hundred pages.
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Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #325 on: April 02, 2018, 08:23:47 AM »
My concern is the following: is it actually a good novel, or just good by adaptation/novelization standards? For such a price there had better be some wonderful writing, but it looks like the story isn't even that long, I think only a couple hundred pages.

It does come with some good interviews as well. Haha at JM's after reading JP, JR and JLB.
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Offline Lethean

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #326 on: April 02, 2018, 09:22:50 AM »
I don't think you can really look at it that way.  Instead, I think it should be looked at like a special album edition package. It doesn't mean the band is saying that the album is worth $100 while most others are just worth $15.  They're presenting a package and you can decide if you want it or not. To expect the book to be the greatest writing of all time because it's so expensive is unrealistic.

I ordered the novel almost as soon as it was available.  Was it really worth that much? I don't know; I just wanted it.  I was actually expecting it to not be very good, but I wanted to read it anyway, along with the interviews.

It turns out that I really liked it a lot.  I do wish it was longer - definitely.  Some of it is probably more rushed than it needs to be.  It also has some typos.  However - I still thought it was great.  I'm interested in checking out what else he's written.

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #327 on: April 02, 2018, 09:52:04 AM »
In all fairness though, if you're charging $75, it doesn't matter what else it comes with, the meat of the presentation is the 'novel' of the same album you paid for, so I would expect some high quality writing, zero typos, and certainly not rushed sections after waiting so long. Frankly this sounds disappointing especially coming from a fan of fantasy novels. :( Guess I'll skip, but oh well. Happy that you're pleased however!
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Offline Lethean

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #328 on: April 02, 2018, 10:00:00 AM »
I'm not trying to convince you to spend $75.  If you only want the novel and nothing else, it makes sense to wait and see if they're going to offer an ebook or something. 

However, I wouldn't let a few typos discourage you if the whole package is something you might be interested in.  The writing was very good - let me put it this way.  I know how the story ends.  But I read the book the same way I would have if I didn't.  Nervous, full of anticipation, etc.

Online goo-goo

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #329 on: April 02, 2018, 10:13:22 AM »

I'm not trying to convince you to spend $75.  If you only want the novel and nothing else, it makes sense to wait and see if they're going to offer an ebook or something. 


I asked this when I got the bonus digital stuff. Peter said the band was working on a possible ebook release but didn't give a time as far as when it will be available.
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Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #330 on: April 02, 2018, 10:17:12 AM »
In all fairness though, if you're charging $75, it doesn't matter what else it comes with, the meat of the presentation is the 'novel' of the same album you paid for, so I would expect some high quality writing, zero typos, and certainly not rushed sections after waiting so long. Frankly this sounds disappointing especially coming from a fan of fantasy novels. :( Guess I'll skip, but oh well. Happy that you're pleased however!

Its actually pretty good for what JP had. He could only have so much budget for this, I bet a good editor is pretty expensive. I know JP wanted to do this as best as he could do.

I agree Lethean, I was the same way I bought it once it went on sale. I'm happy with it.
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Offline jammindude

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #331 on: April 02, 2018, 07:45:09 PM »
I would suggest that people at least check out Peter’s writing and see fi they like it.

I have personally read the first two books of the Vault of Heaven series (The Unremembered and Trial of Intensions) as well as two short story collections from the same universe (The Vault of Heaven and The Sound of Broken Absolutes) and I think they are better than much of what passes for fantasy these days.   Heck...I personally think he’s better than Jordan. 

But those four books are fairly inexpensive on Amazon.   
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Offline Lethean

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #332 on: April 02, 2018, 09:47:45 PM »
I'll definitely be checking out some of his books.

What do you mean about him being better than Jordan?

Offline noxon

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #333 on: April 02, 2018, 11:42:26 PM »
I'm sure he means Robert Jordan, the pen name for James Oliver Rigney, jr who wrote a series of Conan books but is most famous for his Wheel of Time series.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 02:01:53 AM by noxon »
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Offline Lethean

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #334 on: April 03, 2018, 08:15:51 AM »
Ah, OK.  I haven't read that but have heard that a lot of people like it.

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #335 on: April 03, 2018, 08:56:45 AM »
It's soooo good. I know me and twosuitsluke are huge Wheel of Time fans. Big time investment but one of my favorite fantasy worlds ever...
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Offline jammindude

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #336 on: April 03, 2018, 12:14:41 PM »
I'm sure he means Robert Jordan, the pen name for James Oliver Rigley, jr who wrote a series of Conan books but is most famous for his Wheel of Time series.

Yes, that is what I meant.   I probably should have said his whole name, but he’s just so big that I figured that saying his name was the same as saying “Spielberg” to a group of film students.  LOL
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Offline jammindude

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #337 on: April 03, 2018, 12:33:18 PM »
This is why I love Peter’s writing.   Even more than just the narrative, I love running across passages like this.

Quote


Not all silence is awkward. Just like not all silence is heavy and sad. Some silences are beautiful. They’re filled with the ghosts of memory. They hold up a backdrop against which a whisper means everything.

Such a beautifully written line that I had to reread it just for the sake of enjoying it so much.
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Than the pride that divides when a colorful rag is unfurled." - Neil Peart

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Offline Lethean

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #338 on: April 03, 2018, 12:33:46 PM »
Well I'm not a fantasy student so... :)

I'm more of a general fiction reader, I guess you'd say.  I just like something I can get wrapped up in.   I read Tolkien as a kid and loved, and read it again as an adult.  But I never specifically looked for fantasy; I love Stephen King but don't necessarily look for horror in general (nor do I avoid it).

 I read Game of Thrones because it was at a book stand when I needed something to read, and looked like the most interesting of the bunch.  I loved it and read the whole series as a result.

Offline Lethean

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #339 on: April 03, 2018, 12:34:59 PM »
This is why I love Peter’s writing.   Even more than just the narrative, I love running across passages like this.

Quote


Not all silence is awkward. Just like not all silence is heavy and sad. Some silences are beautiful. They’re filled with the ghosts of memory. They hold up a backdrop against which a whisper means everything.

Such a beautifully written line that I had to reread it just for the sake of enjoying it so much.

+1 on that line.

Offline Logain Ablar

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #340 on: April 03, 2018, 01:49:52 PM »
It's soooo good. I know me and twosuitsluke are huge Wheel of Time fans. Big time investment but one of my favorite fantasy worlds ever...

Me three!  ;D

It is a bit of a slog at times, but definitely worth the effort. It’s the most expansive fantasy world I’ve read.

This is why I love Peter’s writing.   Even more than just the narrative, I love running across passages like this.

Quote


Not all silence is awkward. Just like not all silence is heavy and sad. Some silences are beautiful. They’re filled with the ghosts of memory. They hold up a backdrop against which a whisper means everything.

Such a beautifully written line that I had to reread it just for the sake of enjoying it so much.

That’s cool. I like that kind of style to serve as a prologue or to start off a chapter.

I’m still gonna wait for the ebook, hopefully we’ll get an announcement about that soon..

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #341 on: April 03, 2018, 01:51:21 PM »
Of course! How could I forget the guy whose username is actually one of the characters?  :metal
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Offline Logain Ablar

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #342 on: April 03, 2018, 01:57:33 PM »
 :lol

In fairness I’ve been quiet recently. Unfortunately I’ve actually had to do work, in work, rather than browse DTF for most of the day. Kind of a drag..  ;D

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #343 on: April 03, 2018, 05:06:35 PM »
It's soooo good. I know me and twosuitsluke are huge Wheel of Time fans. Big time investment but one of my favorite fantasy worlds ever...

All this time bashing it. Yet, he enjoys it.

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Offline fluojn

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #344 on: May 04, 2018, 07:41:32 AM »
Hello everyone,

Greetings from Finland. I have been a DT fan since 2002 after listening The Glass Prison. After that I've devoured everything they put out, including all albums, live DVDs, Ytsejam releases and books (including 3 different versions of the Lifting Shadows book). I'm a long time stalker on this forum, but finally reached out to become a member and post few things regarding the Astonishing novel. I actually ordered 2 by accident. One of them is 15/750 of the signed copies of the book. The other one I don't know, because I haven't opened it.

I find many people have been worried if the story of the Astonishing is good enough to produce a great novel. Don't worry, it is. Peter Orullian has fleshed out both the setting, the characters and the story itself to a point it's a very interesting read. I don't want to spoil anyone who wants to wait for e-book or paperback version of the novel so I put my five cents in the spoiler tag

[SPOILER]

Firstly, Orullian takes his time to flesh out and characterize the G.N.E.A continent and the most important cities and places and also a little bit outside of it. There is collaboration between several great Empires on different sides of earth, including Europe. But there are also many resistance movements Ravenskill Militia being only one of them.

The story begins with a scene where Xander is born in very uneasy circumstances. A fracture is generated in the bond between two brothers, Arhys and Gabriel, when the older tries to persuade the younger to resuscitate his dying wife with his song but the attempt fails. After the incident Arhys becomes this cold, calculating resistance leader who is constantly pushing Gabriel to develop his magical song to be used as a weapon in a fight against the Empire.

Also the royal family of the Great North Empire is fleshed out nicely. The funny names they have are so called ”second names” which speak to the value or attribute or capabiity of a person. Nafaruys was a way of warning  a population that they'd best be cautious under the new emperor. Arabelle is capable of seeing all sides of the argument without bias and Faythe is a royal diplomat who is settling arguments between nations. Daryus is the only one without a second name and is therefore eager to show his quality with different demonstrations of power the main one being the ”Strength Program” which can make NOMACS killing machines that demolish a human being from the inside with their music.

The novel pictures nicely how the Empire and Ravenskill Militia both have good intentions for the future, but the methods are different. Nafaruys tries to have a control over scarce resources and settle the arguments through Faythe's trancendent diplomat abilities while Arhys and the resistances try to overthrow the dictatorship.

The story unwinds like in the album to the point where two sides are supposed to have a meeting in the Heavens Cove. At this point all hell breaks loose because of Daruys' schemes and misunderstandings between factions. There begins an all out war on the Endless Isleland, the place where Ravenskill is located. This chapter is particularly nice read because you see or hear none of it in the album.

All in all the story is very well written, entertaining, moving and very nicely done considering the source material. The new and fleshed out chapters are the ones that stand out the most. My favourite one may be the scene where Arhys is hunting down the two snipers that have been threatening him during the conversation between Daruys about the fate of Xander.

If I have to nitpic, in my opinion the story may come to an end a bit too abruptly. While there are 32 chapters only the last three of them happen in the Heaven's Cove while in the album there were 10 songs dedicated to that climax moment. After reading long quiet chapters which took their time to paint scenery and characters, it feels almost rushed. And while the magical abilities of Gabriel's songs are underlined the whole story the healing of his own voice in the end is not very well explained.

Despite these little nitpics I'm glad I bought the book. It compliments the album and it's story beautifully adding to the lore and characters. There is also a bonus chapter which tells the story how Nafaruys abandoned his music player and became this cold hearted tyrant.

There are also an interview with all DT members. While JP and JR are these humble masters that are very involved in the story and structure of the album, JLB seems to mostly talk about his difficulties in singing and his forthcoming solo material.

It makes me uneasy to read JMX's and MM's interviews 'cause I got the feeling they were not very pleased not to be a part of the writing process. For example when asked JMX which was the most challenging part in The Astonishing he answered that it was a challenge interpreting what John and Jordan wanted to do with the album and what was going on musically. MM was most proud of being able to improvise the recording of the drums as he had no idea what the intended result of the songs was. Also when asked about advice for aspiring songwriters he said ”It depends on the job one has to do for sure. If you're hired, do what you're asked. If it is for joy and personal fun, then write music that you like to listen to and play.” It's not hard to see which one it is for him with the Astonishing O_o

Even if I love the Astonishing as an album and accomplishment I'm glad they will be back writing the next album together because I sense the frustration in those interviews.

[/SPOILER]

Bottom line, the novel of the Astonishing is very good read, for me worth the money and effort. It's a shame so few are going to read it. I'm gonna treasure it, (them) like all my DT stuff, forever :)

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #345 on: May 04, 2018, 07:50:58 AM »
The funny names they have are so called ”second names” which speak to the value or attribute or capabiity of a person. Nafaruys was a way of warning  a population that they'd best be cautious under the new emperor. Arabelle is capable of seeing all sides of the argument without bias and Faythe is a royal diplomat who is settling arguments between nations. Daryus is the only one without a second name and is therefore eager to show his quality with different demonstrations of power the main one being the ”Strength Program” which can make NOMACS killing machines that demolish a human being from the inside with their music.

Now that suddenly makes a loooot of sense! Really, if "Nafaryus" was his birth name.... the hell was wrong with his father?  ;D

If I have to nitpic, in my opinion the story may come to an end a bit too abruptly. While there are 32 chapters only the last three of them happen in the Heaven's Cove while in the album there were 10 songs dedicated to that climax moment. After reading long quiet chapters which took their time to paint scenery and characters, it feels almost rushed.

Well, one could make the counter-argument for the album, that with so many story glossed over for time constraints, the second discs spends so much time on the climatic moments. If you pretend you're watching a play with the singers acting what they're singing, you'd have Faythe laying down in agony for 10 minutes straight, that's the time it takes to go from her stabbing to Gabriel reanimating her.
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #346 on: May 04, 2018, 10:43:15 AM »
Hello everyone,

Greetings from Finland. I have been a DT fan since 2002 after listening The Glass Prison. After that I've devoured everything they put out, including all albums, live DVDs, Ytsejam releases and books (including 3 different versions of the Lifting Shadows book). I'm a long time stalker on this forum, but finally reached out to become a member and post few things regarding the Astonishing novel. I actually ordered 2 by accident. One of them is 15/750 of the signed copies of the book. The other one I don't know, because I haven't opened it.

I find many people have been worried if the story of the Astonishing is good enough to produce a great novel. Don't worry, it is. Peter Orullian has fleshed out both the setting, the characters and the story itself to a point it's a very interesting read. I don't want to spoil anyone who wants to wait for e-book or paperback version of the novel so I put my five cents in the spoiler tag

[SPOILER]

Firstly, Orullian takes his time to flesh out and characterize the G.N.E.A continent and the most important cities and places and also a little bit outside of it. There is collaboration between several great Empires on different sides of earth, including Europe. But there are also many resistance movements Ravenskill Militia being only one of them.

The story begins with a scene where Xander is born in very uneasy circumstances. A fracture is generated in the bond between two brothers, Arhys and Gabriel, when the older tries to persuade the younger to resuscitate his dying wife with his song but the attempt fails. After the incident Arhys becomes this cold, calculating resistance leader who is constantly pushing Gabriel to develop his magical song to be used as a weapon in a fight against the Empire.

Also the royal family of the Great North Empire is fleshed out nicely. The funny names they have are so called ”second names” which speak to the value or attribute or capabiity of a person. Nafaruys was a way of warning  a population that they'd best be cautious under the new emperor. Arabelle is capable of seeing all sides of the argument without bias and Faythe is a royal diplomat who is settling arguments between nations. Daryus is the only one without a second name and is therefore eager to show his quality with different demonstrations of power the main one being the ”Strength Program” which can make NOMACS killing machines that demolish a human being from the inside with their music.

The novel pictures nicely how the Empire and Ravenskill Militia both have good intentions for the future, but the methods are different. Nafaruys tries to have a control over scarce resources and settle the arguments through Faythe's trancendent diplomat abilities while Arhys and the resistances try to overthrow the dictatorship.

The story unwinds like in the album to the point where two sides are supposed to have a meeting in the Heavens Cove. At this point all hell breaks loose because of Daruys' schemes and misunderstandings between factions. There begins an all out war on the Endless Isleland, the place where Ravenskill is located. This chapter is particularly nice read because you see or hear none of it in the album.

All in all the story is very well written, entertaining, moving and very nicely done considering the source material. The new and fleshed out chapters are the ones that stand out the most. My favourite one may be the scene where Arhys is hunting down the two snipers that have been threatening him during the conversation between Daruys about the fate of Xander.

If I have to nitpic, in my opinion the story may come to an end a bit too abruptly. While there are 32 chapters only the last three of them happen in the Heaven's Cove while in the album there were 10 songs dedicated to that climax moment. After reading long quiet chapters which took their time to paint scenery and characters, it feels almost rushed. And while the magical abilities of Gabriel's songs are underlined the whole story the healing of his own voice in the end is not very well explained.

Despite these little nitpics I'm glad I bought the book. It compliments the album and it's story beautifully adding to the lore and characters. There is also a bonus chapter which tells the story how Nafaruys abandoned his music player and became this cold hearted tyrant.

There are also an interview with all DT members. While JP and JR are these humble masters that are very involved in the story and structure of the album, JLB seems to mostly talk about his difficulties in singing and his forthcoming solo material.

It makes me uneasy to read JMX's and MM's interviews 'cause I got the feeling they were not very pleased not to be a part of the writing process. For example when asked JMX which was the most challenging part in The Astonishing he answered that it was a challenge interpreting what John and Jordan wanted to do with the album and what was going on musically. MM was most proud of being able to improvise the recording of the drums as he had no idea what the intended result of the songs was. Also when asked about advice for aspiring songwriters he said ”It depends on the job one has to do for sure. If you're hired, do what you're asked. If it is for joy and personal fun, then write music that you like to listen to and play.” It's not hard to see which one it is for him with the Astonishing O_o

Even if I love the Astonishing as an album and accomplishment I'm glad they will be back writing the next album together because I sense the frustration in those interviews.

[/SPOILER]

Bottom line, the novel of the Astonishing is very good read, for me worth the money and effort. It's a shame so few are going to read it. I'm gonna treasure it, (them) like all my DT stuff, forever :)

Thanks for posting! This made me want the book even more, hope they release it on digital or, at least, in a cheaper book version :D
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Online devieira73

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #347 on: May 06, 2018, 09:54:28 AM »
Cool review and resume of the book, fluojn, thanks a lot! It seems really an interesting read for those who liked the history already told in the album. But I’ll wait for a cheaper version.
Could you tell us what James said about his next solo album? Thanks!
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Offline jammindude

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Re: Now there's going to be a novel for "The Astonishing"???
« Reply #348 on: July 01, 2018, 08:08:27 PM »
Life got in the way, and I put the book down for several months, but I had a sick day in bed today and I finished it off. 

I really think Peter was the perfect guy for the job.  What he had been doing with the Vault of Heaven series so closely resembles what JP was trying to accomplish that it just seems like Peter was the right guy who just happened along at the perfect time. 

Peter has passages that are so perfect, you just want to read them over and over again.   Although in the case of The Astonishing, I have to say that the source material was a bit thin.   And while Peter did a fantastic job of fleshing out the story, the characters, and the emotions of everyone involved, it’s not as weighty as The Vault of Heaven.     And to be honest, it probably shouldn’t be, I just don’t want anyone to think that Peter’s writing is always this “short story”-ish and maybe a bit more “happy”.   His normal writing is extremely similar, but much deeper and much darker IMO.   

But the marriage of John’s story with Peter’s writing was a good one.    Now please....SOMEONE go out and get The Unremembered.   It’s a fantastic book. 
"Better the pride that resides in a citizen of the world.
Than the pride that divides when a colorful rag is unfurled." - Neil Peart

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