Having finished Matter last week, I found myself somewhat underwhelmed by the ending despite enjoying the rest of the book. Indeed, I'm not sure what books I've read lately that had really good endings. The end doesn't lack action, but really doesn't provide a lot else. There's a conflict that comes to a climax and then bam! it's over. Then four pages of epilogue that focuses on a single character. I don't require a Return of the King beginning of the end, middle of the end, beginning of the end of the end sub-saga, but I find this abruptness quite disappointing. I had hoped for some degree of revelation into the motivations of the major players: What did the Oct think they were doing and what was the point in their grand subterfuge? Why was tyl Loesp such a bastard and what were his dealings with the Oct? Did the Aultridia have any actual goals or plans of their own? And who was supposed to have put the thing buried in the Nameless City there in the first place?
I'm not sure what I expect from an ending, but I think part of it is that I take certain things as promises of future explanation, and if they are left unresolved I feel cheated: either the author knows the explanation and chooses not to tell us, or worse, the author hasn't a clue and maybe things are completely inexplicable.
I can't help but feel there's something more subtle that I'm missing here. I'm sure I've read stories that were deliberately ambiguous and not felt the same sense of disappointment. Perhaps it's the difference between something that presents itself as an enigma and something that feels like a cut corner. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about?