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Arhu December 25th, 2015 14:32

Finished Sanderson's Words of Radiance, his second Stormlight book. 5/5.

Pretty much kept me from doing anything else.

EvilManagedCare December 25th, 2015 15:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cronis (Post 1061371071)
He is what he is. I myself have gripes about some of his writing, specifically his ability to end stories, which I think at times is poor. I doubt King himself would ever say he's the best writer of our generation. But having read every single one of his many many books I can say unequivocally when King is at his best he's the best, in my own humble opinion. And I can only speak for myself obviously, everyone else is entitled to their own opinion.

I agree at times he has difficulty ending stories well. For example, I really enjoyed Under the Dome. But the way that one was resolved was just silly. But over all, I prefer his longer novels. Like any prolific author, there are bound to be ups and downs. I, for example, didn't care much for the Gerald's Game, Delores Claireborn (sp?), Insomnia phase. I definitely consider that a down period. But I really enjoyed Mr. Mercedes, Revival (except this is another example of ending a story poorly imo), and 11/22/63. Actually I enjoyed those three much more than expected. In the latter case, the trip back to Derry was fun at first, but ultimately seemed pointless.

Spoiler – What I didn't like about Under the Dome's ending


Sure, he is not writing novels that will be featured in university Literature courses, but for what he is he's one of the best. I have tried other horror writers and none have really done it for me. But to each their own.

Thrasher December 27th, 2015 21:55

Away from the games gives me time to read. The Tower of Swallows is truly captivating me. However, it is quite dark and violent and contains a large variety of sordid and despicable characters. I think I like the first book best so far.

Carnifex December 27th, 2015 22:36

Rereading the Wild Card series for the umpteenth time. Some of the books have new chapters that weren't in the earlier editions from the eighties so that makes them even more enjoyable. If the idea of adult comic book stories intrigues you, composed by well established authors, check these out.

Carnifex January 7th, 2016 00:20

Started the Charlie Higson zombie series the other day, really enjoying the first book, The Enemy. Pretty sure I'll be getting the second book shortly! Kids and zombies, I mean, what could go wrong? =p

Thrasher January 7th, 2016 00:36

Finished Tower of Swallows and now reading the last Witcher book, Lady of the Lake.

Liking it quite a bit. This one is not so sordid as Tower of the Swallows, and finally Geralt catches up with Ciri, and it explains the Emyr connection (which I had sort of figured out on my own). :)

Though I don't understand:

Spoiler

Couchpotato January 9th, 2016 09:37

I just started reading three different historical fiction series.

David Pilling Caesar's Sword Series
Quote:

It is the year 568 AD. From his monastic refuge in Brittany, King Arthur’s aged grandson, Coel, begins to write the incredible story of his life. Now a monk, he is determined to complete his chronicle before death overtakes him. His tale begins shortly after the death of his famous grandfather at the Battle of Camlann. Britain is plunged into chaos, and Coel and his mother are forced to flee their homeland. They take with them Arthur’s famous sword, Caledfwlch, once possessed by Julius Caesar. Known to the Romans as The Red Death, it is said to possess unearthly powers. Caesar's Sword (I): The Red Death follows the adventures of a British warrior of famous descent in the glittering, lethal world of the Late Roman Empire. From the riotous streets of Constantinople, to the racetrack of the Hippodrome and the bloodstained deserts of North Africa, he must fight to recover his birthright and his pride.
Gordon Doherty Legionary Series
Quote:

The Roman Empire is crumbling, and a shadow looms in the east…376 AD: the Eastern Roman Empire is alone against the tide of barbarians swelling on her borders. Emperor Valens juggles the paltry border defences to stave off invasion from the Goths north of the Danube. Meanwhile, in Constantinople, a pact between faith and politics spawns a lethal plot that will bring the dark and massive hordes from the east crashing down on these struggling borders. The fates conspire to see Numerius Vitellius Pavo, enslaved as a boy after the death of his legionary father, thrust into the limitanei, the border legions, just before they are sent to recapture the long-lost eastern Kingdom of Bosporus. He is cast into the jaws of this plot, so twisted that the survival of the entire Roman world hangs in the balance.
Gordon Doherty The Strategos Trilogy
Quote:

In the 11th century AD, the ailing Byzantine Empire teeters on the brink of full-blown war with the Seljuk Sultanate. In the borderlands of Eastern Anatolia, a land riven with bloodshed and doubt, a dark hero rises from the ashes of the conflict. His journey will be a savage one, taking him from the snakepit of Constantinople to the blistering heart of the Seljuk realm . . . all the time leading him towards the fabled plains of Manzikert.
As you can tell I love reading historical fiction.

Arhu January 18th, 2016 14:34

Busy with Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, a "science fantasy" book split into four volumes. It takes place in a feudal society in the far future, which as I found out is a fantasy subgenre called "Dying Earth". It's about the life and journey of a boy/man from a guild of torturers.

It was tough getting into it after Sanderson's fast-paced story, because it's almost the opposite: personal point of view with a writing style that's almost as convoluted as H.P. Lovecraft's. Still, it's pretty interesting so far.

The book is supposedly full of allegory and allusion, though I'm afraid I don't get to unravel most of it as I'm normally reading just for the obvious story.

luj1 January 18th, 2016 15:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Couchpotato (Post 1061378497)
As you can tell I love reading historical fiction.

Then you should get some cult ones like Rode Orm aka Longships by Bengtsson If you hadn't already…. no offense but those you mentioned sound like typical mass-produced post-2000 afternoon-fillers my mom reads …. I finished some and usually forget I've read them after 40 days plus there are so many good old books I don't bother with them anymore…

pibbur who January 18th, 2016 16:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arhu (Post 1061380309)
Busy with Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, a "science fantasy" book split into four volumes.

One of my favourites, I've read it twice (which happens very rarely).

pibbur who takes care to avoid unknown lakes

Arhu February 20th, 2016 15:08

Finished Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice. Liked it well enough.


The recent gravitational waves discovery prompted me to move a science (history) book to the front of my reading list, so now I'm busy reading Carl Sagan's Cosmos. So far it's excellent and makes me contemplate and appreciate the universe as well as the wonderful world of science. It also makes me lament the loss of scientific progress that happened over the centuries, like the destruction of the Library of Alexandria (which was, by the way, a theme of the excellent movie Agora from 2009.)

Carnifex February 20th, 2016 20:02

Reading the seventh book and last in Higson's post apocalyptic series in which the children are the only ones left. It has been a fun read, not the best in the genre but certainly entertaining. Children can be so amusing.

frewtnewton February 21st, 2016 06:35

Just finished Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. I enjoyed it. I was going to read Seveneves, but thought Snow Crash may be better introduction, as Hurls in a previous post suggested Seveneves was pretty heavy going. Does anyone have a favourite one they can suggest?

Just started The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell. Looking forward to seeing the BBC series when i have finished it.

Hurls February 22nd, 2016 00:12

I found seveneyes very heavy going and disappointing - think Neal Stephenson channeling Kim Stanley Robinson for huge not required info dumps. I very much enjoyed Snowcrash.
Have you read Diamond Age? For me it is Stephenson's best.

frewtnewton February 22nd, 2016 01:31

Thanks Hurls, I will try Diamond Age.

Hurls February 22nd, 2016 03:09

No worries. Did you any of the others I have mentioned before?

frewtnewton February 22nd, 2016 06:22

I have the Golem and Djinni on hold at my local library. I suspect it will be available in the next couple of weeks. The rest of your suggestions have been added to my "to read list" Over 200 books on it-worst then my game backlog!! Diamond age was not in my library, (just had a look). So will have to buy this one.

Hurls February 22nd, 2016 12:28

Know the feeling - over 100 on wish list, maybe 80 to read from Amazon on iPad and over 100 waiting on my bookshelf!

Toff February 26th, 2016 15:48

Reading The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi right now.

Unfortunately for me its his worst book. Its in a similar dystopian world which he has created but his other books (I've read them all) just have a better story and characters. Its been hard for me to get interested in what is happening this time.

Thrasher February 26th, 2016 23:25

I haven't had time to read much lately. Hopefully will finish the Tower of Swallows before too long.

Arhu March 6th, 2016 22:15

Finished Cosmos. 5/5.


And after all the heavy stuff I've been reading recently, I needed a break and picked up a YA novel -- Cassidy Jones by Elise Stokes. It's about an average teenage girl who gets superpowers, but who's still very much down-to-earth. It was a pretty fun read actually, and had me smile a lot and remember high school life. Just the sort of diversion I was looking for.

KaosWarMonk March 14th, 2016 04:17

Bored of the Rings. Second time reading this lampoon version of LotR. Needless to say it's amusing.

Hurls March 14th, 2016 10:23

The Thousand Names by Django Wexler. Interesting take on colonial intrigue and magic. Better than I expected.

Thrasher March 14th, 2016 22:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaos_war_monk (Post 1061391011)
Bored of the Rings. Second time reading this lampoon version of LotR. Needless to say it's amusing.

I only read it once, perhaps 37 years ago? But I still remember one of the funniest descriptions, that of a hobbit town. Something to do with a series of dragon droppings… ;)

utergatuk March 14th, 2016 22:49

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher…better late than never.

KaosWarMonk March 15th, 2016 00:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thrasher (Post 1061391155)
I only read it once, perhaps 37 years ago? But I still remember one of the funniest descriptions, that of a hobbit town. Something to do with a a series of dragon droppings… ;)

Thrasher, your PM box is full.

Thrasher March 15th, 2016 00:22

Ah, thanks. I should have gotten a notice, no?

EDIT: Just got the notice. A bit delayed.

Massive delete session has made lots of room available.

Caddy March 15th, 2016 00:49

Uprooted. This is the fantasy fiction Ellen Degeneres picked up a movie deal for. The first half of the book was great, then everything fell apart. It's like the author stopped caring and plot holes appeared everywhere, the writing got worse, and even though the action picked up it got less interesting. Oh well, gotta finish it now. Hope the movie fixes the book.

It was weird, like a different author took over half way through

Jaz March 15th, 2016 07:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Caddy (Post 1061391185)
It was weird, like a different author took over half way through

Hehe, I had the same feeling when I read my very first book of a certain author all those years back … the name of the book - labeled as 'Science Fiction' which was why I read it - was 'Hell's Gate'. I had discovered it in a moldy old chest with books in the basement.
The first half was no SF at all, but there was a lot of suspense, and it finally gave me the nastiest jump-scare outside of a movie ever. I was so impressed and slept with my head under the blanket for a while …. and then, unfortunately, the SF part started, and the book turned into a totally uninspired, boring and unconvincing yawn-fest.
I shook my head and muttered: "Boy, you totally bombed that. SF is the wrong genre for you … you should write horror."

Shortly after that, I discovered that the author had actually turned to writing Horror and Suspense stuff, and quite successfully at that. His name was (and still is) Dean R. Koontz :).

ElderGnome March 27th, 2016 00:41

Oddly enough, I have never, ever read any of Brooks "Shannara" books. So I'm reading them now as fun fantasy fluff, not in chronological order but in the supposed "proper timeline" starting out with the Word and the Void… I'm midway through the second trilogy now, book is called "The Elves of Cintra" … basically it's relaxing fantasy fluff right because that's the mood I've been in.

The books are quick, easy, amusing reads. Last "good" series of books I read was either the Silo/Dust series or perhaps Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" trilogy. That's actually been a decent SyFy show adaptation, too!

KaosWarMonk April 1st, 2016 02:59

I've owned the first(?) trilogy for 20+ years, the paperbacks are in the shed. Was surprised to learn recently that the one I recall being my favourite (Elfstones) is the basis for the TV show that's been airing recently…. Not that I've seen it or read any Shannara novels for a very long time. Sounds like reason enough to read them again.

:)

Cronis April 1st, 2016 04:15

Just finished the Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan and it was tremendous. Gritty fantasy with a lot of magic, no elves, lots of action and always a page turner through out the whole trilogy. Two thumbs up if you want fantasy without the elves, dragons and stuff like that.

Arhu April 27th, 2016 09:08

I've been reading a couple of Star Trek novels (chronological run through). To my delight the story-lines of all major series have been continued in the so-called "lit-verse": Current ST novels from different authors all share a common continuity and make references to each other, which was not the case in the 80s. What this means is that what's happening in these books is plausibly important in the ST universe as a whole and matters.

The series related "reboot" books pick up where the series left off (although there can still be tie-in novels). Effectively the series all got another season. And then of course there are spinoff-series, too.

I really like the chronological reading order, which I intersperse with TV episodes and the movies. For example, I read the first chapter of a book that briefly describes what happened in the aftermath of WWIII with mentions of Zephram Cochrane, then watch "First Contact" in which we see him in action, which is later referenced in Enterprise, and so on.


I also finished reading Erikson's Malazan book #8, Toll the Hounds. It was dragging a bit compared to previous books, but the incredible ending made up for it. Epic, as usual. And I'll always think of Malazan when I read the word "convergence." I have only two books left in the series, but since this is another one that I'm reading in chronological order, I have two of Esslemont's books ahead of me, before I get to Erikson's finale.

wolfing April 27th, 2016 14:15

Was about to read Ready Player One, but then I learned Steven Spielberg will make a movie of it, so I'll wait. I'm one of the weird people who prefers watching an adaptation of a book before reading the book.

Arhu May 1st, 2016 15:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfing (Post 1061397556)
I'm one of the weird people who prefers watching an adaptation of a book before reading the book.

That is weird. I'm the opposite: now I want to read the book before the movie is out.


Also, I have decided on reading some classics. Back in school I disliked so-called literature as I read for pleasure, not for over-analyzing. Anyway, there's a top 100 list of world literature from 2002 in no particular order, which was reposted on Goodreads to be voted on by the general public. So the higher on the list the more well-known and popular a title is. Having no idea where to start, I picked the top. Which was …

Pride & Prejudice.
I'm fairly sure at least 90% of those who voted were women. And I'll be honest: the plot itself didn't interest me at all, at first. While I had previously often seen the title mentioned, I'm positive that I never read or watched anything that told me what it was about. Well, on the surface it seemed like one giant matchmaking book.. who marries whom, who earns more, who behaves virtuously, how do people look on this person and that person.
However, I found myself turning page after page. The characters were pretty funny, the language lofty but easy to understand. And the story even lingered in my mind when I put the book down. So, all in all I daresay I liked it.


Next on the list is 1984, but I'm tempted to read Ready Player One first, which I've seen mentioned in various places recently.

Alrik Fassbauer May 1st, 2016 20:08

1984 is a dark book. Imho. We had that at school when we were Teenagers.

Currently I'm reading this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeneid

It is very well written, but so full of imperial roman propaganda it makes me hard to read it.

Dez May 1st, 2016 23:07

1984 is an excellent book. One of the most shocking and thought provoking books i've read. It is for a reason a timeless classic. And I second what Alrik said, the subject matter is quite dark.

frewtnewton May 2nd, 2016 03:42

I just finished The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker. It was suggested by Hurls on the post. It is very good. It reminded me of A Winters Tale by Mark Helprin. It is a slow burn, but the characters and the city of New York, the melting pot of the time is beuatifully rendered. The ending is such a surprise. Well worth it!

Hurls May 2nd, 2016 10:52

@frewtnewton - glad you enjoyed it!! Books I have read and thought good so far this year include:
- Gene Mapper - Taiyo Fujii
- The Chimes - Anna Smaill
- Windswept - Adam Rakunas
- Planetfall - Emma Newman (ending is week but still very much worth reading)
- Meeting Infinity excellent collection edited by Jonathan Strahan

Any suggestions from what you've been reading??

Sacred_Path May 2nd, 2016 12:53

I'm still doing my roundup of old TSR novels. Right now I'm alternating between The Prism Pentad and Ravenloft books.

I'm very fond of Heart of Midnight by J. Robert King, of the ones I've read so far it's the one that best captures the bleakness of Ravenloft, and the seeming futility of fighting against it. I'm looking forward to reading Carnival of Fear.

Dance of the Dead by Christie Golden is a horribly generic and boring book, which surprised me because I saw I, Strahd lauded so much. I haven't read the latter yet (apparently there's a reprint but Amazon has delayed this delivery since January), but I'm curious about this discrepancy.


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