Bad monsters written well

Discussion in 'Writing' started by RedMage, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    Oh, and thanks for the list Randy! I tried reading the Halloween Tree once a few years ago and I had a hard time getting into it as it felt very juvenile, almost an older children's book, to me. Though, I admittedly did not give it as much of a chance to grab me as I should have. I will put it on my list and do my best to get back to it.

    Of course, I'll also put the others on the list too. ;)
     
  2. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    Overall, I liked it and probably will go for the next one in the series eventually. The book has a definite ending, which was a surprising ending in some ways, but there are lots of open threads to it. The book itself is episodic -- essentially several connected novellas where the group of goblins are sent on the equivalent of different commando missions. If you're looking for a book about war, Goblin Corps is actually not it, as most of the war stuff happens off-stage. It's more a series of adventures. I think he could have trimmed some stuff, made it shorter, especially the first one where they are on sort of a deadly training mission, but the dialogue is great fun and there is a lot of sly humor. It's a less sentimental book than Nicholls' Orcs, which was also good, but goes equally over the top on the satire. The characters are very well set up -- he's invested a lot in them. But they aren't nice characters for the most part -- it's dark satire. My husband was interested in it because he likes the satiric stuff and military stuff and I told him it was sort of the t.v. series Deadwood crossed with Douglas Addams, and I think that pretty much is the atmosphere of the work. Nicholls goes much more after satirizing D&D directly, but he has the thematic understory of the orc mercenaries trying to find their homeland. The orcs essentially aren't as nasty as people think they are in that one. I haven't read the Dwarves series but they sound interesting. It's nice to have a German author's take on what is mainly a Germanic/Scandanavian legend.

    I have not read Grunts yet either. I have read the first part of Mary Gentle's Ash, since it was split up in some editions, and I didn't like it as much as other Gentle works I've read. Parts of it were really interesting and how she works the alternate history is fascinating, but the characters didn't quite grab me and I thought it dragged a bit for me. (She's good at characters in general though and really good at staging scenes.) She's a bit of a legend, is Gentle. I've been meaning to read her Ilario series. And she has a new novel coming out -- Black Opera -- which sounds exceedingly ambitious.
     
  3. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    The Halloween Tree is a children's book, and I had some problems with it, too, but Bradbury deals with Halloween and those things associated with it in ways I think it would be good to be aware of.

    The first two Gaiman books I mentioned are also YA, but I do think a bit smoother than Bradbury's. Still, the Bradbury short stories of the Elliot family are terrific.


    Randy M.
     
  4. mylinar

    mylinar Registered User

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    Zelazny's take on this

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned Roger Zelazny's 'A Night in the Lonesome October' (or maybe I missed a reference). It was his last book sad to say (he is one of my favorite authors).

    It is a satire, but it has all the elements of the horror genre and is told from the unusual perspective of Jack the Ripper's dog. I don't think it would be much help to RedMage's research but it is a very fast funny read.
     
  5. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    Randy--it's nice to know I'm not the only one who had trouble with The Halloween Tree. Still, like I said, I didn't give it as much of a chance I should have. It's still on my list and I do intend to revisit it at some point.

    Mylinar--interesting. I will look that one up. Thanks!