Reading in September 2008

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Hobbit, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. kcf

    kcf Nobody in Particular

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    I finished The Man on the Ceiling by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem a few days ago. I've been struggling to write my review for it for days. It just didn't work for me.

    Now I'm reading Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian C. Esslemont. At 250 pages I can say that it's another good entry in the Malazan world (of which I'm a big fan), but Esslemont still has a ways to go even if this is an improvement over NOK.
     
  2. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Finished The Company by KJ Parker.

    Full proper review soon, but in short: Good. Typical dark, cynical Parker. Think of it as Lost meets The Italian Job. A little unsettling and there's some troubling ideas in there, but if you like The Engineer Trilogy, I can't see why you won't like it.

    Now reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore, due out here in the UK in January 2009. Not particularly deep but fun. Good page turner so far, but perhaps not one you're going to remember too much of afterwards. But we'll see when I've finished it properly.

    Mark / Hobbit
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  3. Astra_

    Astra_ Sony Reader PRS-650

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    What genre is it?
     
  4. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    It's a stand alone Fantasy.

    [​IMG]

    Mark / Hobbit
     
  5. Eventine

    Eventine Uh, Staff Member

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    I haven't read Parker before but The Company looked like it would really interest me. Looks like I'll have to grab it.
     
  6. Dayne

    Dayne Registered User

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    I'm reading The Steel Remains by Richard Morgan. I'm not that far in yet, but it hasn't really grabbed me yet. I still have high hopes for it though.
     
  7. Soupy11

    Soupy11 New Member

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    Just finished up Bakker's amazing Warrior-Prophet. Wow, what a great book. Love the whole Lear-like fall of Zin, very Gloucester! Next up will be the Thousandfold Thought.....
     
  8. pat5150

    pat5150 Staff

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    Just finished Glen Cook's first Black Company omnibus, Chronicles of the Black Company, and I love it!

    I now understand what Erikson meant when he said that Cook brought the story down to a human level by dispensing with the cliché fantasy archetypes. And it's obvious Cook was a huge influence behind SE's Bridgeburners.

    Perhaps not as groundbreaking today as they were when they were initially published in 1984, the three volumes contained in this omnibus are nonetheless as entertaining as anything you are likely to read this year.

    Patrick
     
  9. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    I finished Drood by Dan Simmons.

    Having been very fortunate to have an arc pass through my hands many months before publication, I want to say that Drood is a literary masterpiece that may enshrine Mr. Simmons as one of the top US writers of the present.

    The last 5 years of Charles Dickens' life as told in a secret journal by younger disciple, friend and secret rival Wilkie Collins after the tragic train accident that turned Dickens life upside down.

    Obsession, artistic creation, addiction and the dark recesses of the human mind and of London of the late 1860's are the main subjects of the book, while the two main protagonists Charles Dickens and the narrator Wilkie Collins will remain with the reader for a long time.

    There are so many details and interesting stuff in this novel to satisfy any Dickens or Collins fan, any Victoriana fan, mysteries, magic or the belief in it, underground cults, the genesis of several famous novels, the beginning of authorial public performances, the writer as a celebrity...

    Highly, highly recommended and a very engrossing though not a very easy read.
     
  10. jamieem

    jamieem weightless astronaut

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    I'm glad to hear that, as I'm very excited to read Drood early next year...

    Am currently reading 'Hyperion', having given up on Preston/ Child's 'Thunderhead' halway through.
     
  11. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm really looking forward to Drood. Pleased to see it was as good as I hope.

    Mark / Hobbit
     
  12. Justin2209

    Justin2209 Registered User

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    I'm in the middle of Naomi Novik's Temeraire Series at the moment. I just finished the second book and will be starting the third today.

    On a personal note (if I may brag a little), I had a New Years resolution/challenge with a friend to read 50 books this year and the book I just finished was my 50th! So I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now. :D
     
  13. Mithfânion

    Mithfânion Lord of the Wild Hunt

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    Suciul

    Is Drood Fantasy at all, or is this a straight up historical from Simmons? The Terror was basically historical fiction in a cool setting with the horror element of the mysterious creature thrown in. Is this similar?
     
  14. Hellions

    Hellions Felis silvestris

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    Dark Hollow by Brian Keene. This is categorized as horror but I'd label it as a (b-grade) urban fantasy. While entertaining, it was quite lacking in the chills department.

    Cast In Shadow by Michelle Sagara. Ugh the pain. The writing style is extremely choppy and just plain annoying. One or two-word sentences abound, the author will constantly state everything and its contrary ("She was so afraid. And then again not." NOTE: this is not a quote), the dialogue is atrocious and way out there, the characters are unbelievable. I had to give myself an extra push to finish it.
    I was curious about Michelle Sagara West and I guess I've learned my lesson: I'll stay away from her rather large collection of novels.
     
  15. Julian

    Julian Inter spem metumque iacto

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    Well, just ploughed my way through Toll The Hounds.

    I never thought I'd say it, but this was a bit of a struggle. At first, I was exhilirated to be back with Anomander Rake, Kruppe, Mappo, Picker....

    But my word, does this one drag on... And on... And onnnnnn...

    Suffice it to say: Kruppe used to be my favourite character in the series, but I'd be happy to give his now pedantically bloated gut a very wide berth for some time to come. Really, the man should revert to his formally obtuse senses...

    Ah well.

    Next up: Brian Ruckley's Bloodheir. I liked Winterbirth, which I thought was solid and well written, but hardly spectacular. The latter may explain why I don't remember all too vividly what actually happened during that first novel (other explanations are, unfortunately, viable). Mercifullly, though, Ruckley provides a brief synopsis, so now I'm all set...
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  16. kcf

    kcf Nobody in Particular

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    I finsihed up Return of the Crimson Guard by Ian C. Esslemont. It's good and provides some fun entries in the Malazan world, but Esslemont still has some growth as an author. There are a few annoying habits there still, but it is an improvement in writing quality over Night of Knives.

    I'll be reading Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory now.
     
  17. Amaunette

    Amaunette Vicious Attack Bunny

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    I just finished quick reads of Green Rider and First Rider's Call, by Kristen Britain. I remember sitting on the bus on my last year of high school while a friend of mine devoured Green Rider, insisting that despite the cover art and the cheesy plot, it was actually quite a fun read. I think I actually rolled my eyes at her at the time. To be honest, that was before I truly got into the genre, but the covert art IS awful, and so is the plot. And the writing. But for some reason, the story enveloped me, enough so that I could roll my eyes at a turn of phrase and still enjoy the ride. I have no intention of reading High King's Tomb, given the reviews at Amazon and elsewhere, because I see no point. In the meantime, can someone spoil the book for me and tell me what happens? Especially with the king?

    After that, I went through my mental list of recommendations and picked up His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik. I know exactly what's kept me from reading it so far, and that's the fact that I have no interest in anything that sounds like it could have been written by Jane Austen. Again I am proven very wrong. What a wonderful book! I devoured most of it in one single afternoon, and quickly picked up the next two. The dragons are great, of course, but the action and character portraits are better. Unfortunately, I finished the first book at 1:30 AM last night and read the exerpt from the next book, which made me very angry. I hope Temeraire and Laurence don't get split up, because if they do, I will not read any more. I am finicky that way. In any case, I was so angry I couldn't sleep, which is why I am so very tired now. It is a rare author who can keep me up past my bedtime. I need my sleep too much to be able to afford losing it to a book, but it was worth it in this case.
     
  18. Raule

    Raule Registered User

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    Amaunette, I think you're safe to continue with the next one without banging against the wall... and I suspect you'll like all the books in the series so far. (hint, hint).

    My last fantasy read was Guy Gavriel Kay's A Song for Arbonne, which I enjoyed quite a bit, though perhaps not one of his best. In this one, he leaves us with quite a teaser of an epilogue, designed to make the reader speculate. I like that.
     
  19. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    Finished Jim Butcher Grave Peril [the third Harry Dresden] - a good read, but I still wait for the series to improve. I appreciate the humor and the pace, but I thought the way Dresden overcomes greter and greater odds a little over the top.
    Also finished K J Parker Escapement - the final book in the Engineer series. I will definitely search for other books by this author [he or she, doesn't matter if the books keep coming]. I guess I was hooked by the wealth of details,even if I think the author played around with numbers a little too much [one nation goes from a few hundred bedraggled survivors in the desert, to a 30000 strong heavy cavalry ?]. Another strong point was the ambiguity of characters - up until the final chapters they could go in unexpected directions. It wasn't a choice between good or evil - the author made it clear the point of the series is mostly all evil. Which brings me to another feat : a major series without magic pitching in at the very last moment to save the day. And a series without prophecy, although there is a deep sense of predestination, of characters moving in predetermined paths set by forces outside their control.
    After these 2 fairly interesting books, I got stuck about 150 pages into A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear. I think this is the first book I start and throw away unfinished in a very long time. I initially picked it hoping for some echoes of Fitzchivalry and his wolf, but in chapter after chapter I waited in wain to find something else beside the gay porn with wolves thrown in the mix. No worldbuilding, no plot beside educating young Isolfr in the ways of manly love. Maybe somebody who finished the book could tell me if anything else happens in this book.
    So, to wash away this experience, I searched for a book without prudish misconceptions about sexuality, but at least with some quality writing and I picked E Annie Proulx The Shipping News, which I find enchanting. I'll go back to fantasy after I finish it.
     
  20. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    the sffworld server is playing up
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008