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November 13th, 2021, 18:44
I just wrapped up 'salem's Lot this morning, one of Kings earlier works, and just as good now as it was over forty years ago when I first read it. Not many authors nail the inner workings of small town America like this author does, like him or not it must be acknowledged that the man is an absolute master of his chosen craft. The ending is one that will stick with you for some time.

Next up for me is some Cornwell, I'm going to re-read the Fort.
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November 15th, 2021, 18:28
The Fort was an excellent re-read, it depicts the greatest American naval fiasco up until Pearl Island, the Penobscot Expedition. A small number of poor decisions and a tich of cowardice added up to a major loss for the revolutionary forces, in what should have been an easy victory. Well worth reading for either a history lesson or a tale on how to NOT conduct warfare. -p
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November 16th, 2021, 22:31
I had a book come winging in from the library that I'd requested a bit back, book one of the Dresden series, which I've not re-read in twenty years or so, and even then I only went as far as book three. This time I might venture further and see if they continue to get better, one can only hope! Right now I'm about two-thirds through book one, which is Storm Front.
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November 17th, 2021, 18:30
Storm Front was a good read, it wrapped up rather quickly at the end, for all the build up that was going beforehand. I like how minimal Butcher is on the actual world building, he really only covers things that are necessary to the current story/plot, yet I remember that changing in upcoming books. Now I'm about ten percent into the second book, Fool Moon.
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November 18th, 2021, 09:51
The Dan Shepherd series, by Stephen Leather. Ex-SAS /Police / MI5 operator, sorting out the UK jihadis, along with other assorted baddies… Every book has been well worth the reading.
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November 19th, 2021, 18:23
Fool Moon, book two of the Dresden series, was really good. It has a bit more action than the first novel, and opens up the world a little bit more, specifically in how lycanthropy works in this universe. I really enjoyed it, and you get a sense that we're going to find out a bit more about Dresden's past shortly.

Up next for me will be book four of the Starbuck series, bloody ground.
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November 19th, 2021, 21:18
I'm currently re-reading the Malazan book of the fallen series by Steven Erikson. I'm halfway the second book now and loving it (again).
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November 20th, 2021, 00:06
I'm still reading Toll the Hounds, the umpteenth book in the Malazaladingdong series. It's okay. Some really good parts (e.g. the attack on K'rul's Bar), but a lot more blather and asides than normal, and plenty of bits that could have been excised and thereby improve the flow enormously.. I've got about 100 pages to go, and I'd have to put it at the bottom of the series of the ones I've read so far.
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November 20th, 2021, 20:45
Originally Posted by Shagnak View Post
I'm still reading Toll the Hounds, the umpteenth book in the Malazaladingdong series. It's okay. Some really good parts (e.g. the attack on K'rul's Bar), but a lot more blather and asides than normal, and plenty of bits that could have been excised and thereby improve the flow enormously.. I've got about 100 pages to go, and I'd have to put it at the bottom of the series of the ones I've read so far.
Yes, I can remember that not all books are equal, but the first and second book seem shorter and less cluttered than I remember. More longer series suffer from the affect you described
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November 21st, 2021, 00:14
Originally Posted by basharran View Post
Yes, I can remember that not all books are equal, but the first and second book seem shorter and less cluttered than I remember. More longer series suffer from the affect you described
I think books 2 to 7 are all excellent, so hopefully the next couple are better, i.e. have a better balance of "cool bits" to "inconsequential bits". The first book was a bit of a difficult start to the the series, written almost like there needed to be a few volumes before the events. I wonder how it would read to me now that I'm settled into the world and background?

Have you read Ian Esslemont's ones? I thought Night of Knives and Return of the Crimson Guard had their moments, but were well below Erikson's efforts. Stoneweilder was really good, though.
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November 22nd, 2021, 04:46
This evening I finished the fourth book in the Starbuck Chronicles, the Bloody Ground. This book was published about twenty-five years ago, and stops roughly halfway through the Civil War, with Nate seriously wounded yet alive, and out to get revenge….with no further volumes released to date. I hope Cornwell does go back to this series at some point. The entire series is an excellent read, just be prepared for a semi-cliffhanger that has yet to be resolved.

And this morning book three of the Gentleman Bastards came winging in to my Kindle, so that will be up next!
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November 22nd, 2021, 09:49
Finished reading Asimov's The End of Eternity, a standalone time-travel book which finally, after many years, completes my Robots & Empire journey. It was a fairly short, yet interesting read and indeed served as a nice conclusion to the saga, even if it was not part of it. 4/5.

I'm keeping the Empire stories and Foundation prequels for later.

For my next novel I decided on One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. As I found out after researching a bit, it also seems to be about a cycle of some sort.

… which in itself is interesting, because after I made the decision I found out that The Wheel of Time was released.

Now I'm sort of waiting for my first Deja Vu.
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November 22nd, 2021, 10:28
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Finished reading Asimov's The End of Eternity, a standalone time-travel book which finally, after many years, completes my Robots & Empire journey. It was a fairly short, yet interesting read and indeed served as a nice conclusion to the saga, even if it was not part of it. 4/5.
That's actually my favourite Asimov.
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November 23rd, 2021, 10:33
Originally Posted by Shagnak View Post
I think books 2 to 7 are all excellent, so hopefully the next couple are better, i.e. have a better balance of "cool bits" to "inconsequential bits". The first book was a bit of a difficult start to the the series, written almost like there needed to be a few volumes before the events. I wonder how it would read to me now that I'm settled into the world and background?

Have you read Ian Esslemont's ones? I thought Night of Knives and Return of the Crimson Guard had their moments, but were well below Erikson's efforts. Stoneweilder was really good, though.
I'm not quite sure I did, I might have… I will add them to my reading backlog, thanks for mentioning them!
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November 23rd, 2021, 18:52
Those are all excellent reads from Asimov, honestly the man never wrote a bad book, as they are all well worth checking out.
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November 27th, 2021, 22:30
This morning I completed the last book in the Gentlemen Bastard series, the Republic of Thieves. This novel bounces back and forth rather fluidly and gives a bit more insight on how GB's comported themselves in younger days, and how the lads left things (for the most part) with Sabetha. All of that turns out to be quite important as she turns out to be their opposition later in the book, and what a match that proved to be. Should there ever be more books created in this world I'll likely check them out!!

Up next is book three of the Dresden series, I'm already twenty percent in and loving it.
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November 29th, 2021, 17:06
I've read all the prequel books and stories that are taking place prior to Dune (11 books and some stories). I've also read Dune to see what role these prequel books play with repect to the story of Dune.

TLDR; I can say that you need none of those books to enjoy Dune. It's been over 40 years since I read Dune and I forgot a lot about it, but now that I've read it again, I can say that what the prequel books do is that they give context to a lot of things that are happening in Dune, which might not be so clear in first instance. That said, they might also take away a bit of the surprise you might have every now and then if you did not read the prequel books.
For me personally, I like to have the background information and context, so it is a win.

The long story.
Let me share something on those prequel books in the order of time, in which they take place.

The Butlerian Jihad
The first 3 books take place during the Butlerian Jihad, when mankind was fighting the machine. In this case a big computer that controlled everything and enslaved a large part of human kind.
These 3 books explain why the impact of this era was so big that it is still felt 10.000 years later, when Dune takes place. It also tells many other stories, such as the first Artreides, the Harkonnens, who were friends with the Artreides, the invention of folding space, why Tio Holtzman was not such a big inventor after all, the origin of the Freman, the start of the Sisterhood, the first mentat, the first Suk doctor, the forming of the empire and at the end how a feud between the Harkonnen and Artreides started. This feud is carried through all the prequel stories, but there is no information of an actual feud between them in Dune.
The books cover a lot of topics (more than listed above) and are written quite well in my opinion, with each of these soties intertwining with other stories at times. It is a bit too long though. It would have been better to turn them into two books. The whole jihad part feels like it goes on too long with not much happening, but the side stories give a good idea on how things started.

The Great Schools
The next trilogy gives more information on the rise of the different "schools", such as the Bene Gesserit (just called The Sisterhood at the time), the mentats, the navigators and the Suk doctors. It takes place some 80 years after the first trilogy and also covers how the first Freman rode a worm, more Harkonnen/Artreides trouble and a big clash between rationality and emotions. This last part is also the main story and makes for the boring part of these books. The two sides are written as such extremes that it becomes impossible to relate to any of the sides. This made the books a bit of a chore for me. The side stories are more interesting, but the Harkonnen/Artreides feud feels a bit forced. Not the best trilogy of the sequels.

The Houses
The third trilogy takes place much later and focuses on Leto, the father of Paul and at a later stage also Jessica, Duncan Idaho, Guerney Hallack and Tufir Hawat. Next to that there are also side stories about the Harkonnen, how Shaddam became emperor and the role of Fenring in this. Also Rabban and at a later stage Feyd-Rautha play a role. You also learn about Pardot Kynes, who was sent to Arrakis by the emperor and his son Liet and how they worked on the plan to make Arrakis more hospitable.
Again there is a wealth of information tied together in a main story with all kinds of side stories crossing and intertwining with that main story, but the main focus is on Leto, how he became Duke, found his place and the birth of his son Paul at the end of the third book.
I liked this series the best actually as for me it gives the background information that was most useful when reading Dune.

The last trilogy is only two books at the moment as the third book will be released in a year from now. It is a book that focuses on Leto, Paul and Jessica and takes place the year before Dune. The books are not covering as many side stories as the previous trilogies. You do get to learn a lot about Paul. There is a main story arc that ties everything together, which isn't that great actually. It all feels a bit far fetched to be honest. Probably in the third book more explanation as to why the Artreides had to leave Caladan for Arrakis is provided. I'm going to read it for completeness next year.

After this I will read the rest of the Dune books, the remaining 5 books in the Dune series, the 4 additional books and some additional stories. As I only read some before I go to bed, it will probably be summer when I finish all of them
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Last edited by Myrthos; November 29th, 2021 at 23:19. Reason: Typo
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November 29th, 2021, 18:27
Agreed, Myrthos. I've not re-read the entire Dune series in quite a while, I'm going to have to do that in the near future.
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November 30th, 2021, 11:06
I am currently reading through the series as well (just wrapped up Dune and started Messiah), but was only going to stick to the ones written by Frank Herbert himself (of which there are 6). The others seemed more… "derivative", though it'd be nice to get some background on the Butlerian Jihad and the Bene Gesserit and such.
You'd recommend then, @Myrthos?
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November 30th, 2021, 12:33
As always, I respect your fortitude Myrthos.

By the third novel by Herbert, I was pretty non-plussed by his series, and stopped there. Loved the first book though.
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