"The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin, 3rd in the Inheritance Trilogy.
"The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin, 3rd in the Inheritance Trilogy.
I'm back to my trudging-through of A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin as I feel like I've got little else worth reading at the moment. I read a couple of chapters last night, broke past the halfway mark and I'm kind of getting into it. 'snot perfect, though, I'm finding it very long-winded for what it is.
I started off making an observation, and it turned into a mini-review!
I just finished reading Joe Abercrombie's Red Country. Overall I enjoyed it, there were plenty of laughs, cheers, a coupled of parts where I was almost teary eyed. :)
But I feel that it was just a little disappointing. Granted, I had unreasonably high expectations based on his previous books, and based on what I'd been hearing about this one. It also didn't help that I did a really stupid thing when I bought Red Country: I flipped to the end of the book just to see the final page-count, and caught a glimpse of two words that spolied part of the ending. I was really mad at myself for that.
Each one of his previous five novels had six perspective characters, usually three major ones and three who are a bit more secondary (with the exception of a couple of chapters in The Heroes where he head hops through the perspectives of minor characters for two or three pages at a time.) This allowed for much more story, more events to take place and more paths to cross. I made the mistake of presuming he'd do the same with his sixth book.
In Red Country there were only three perspective characters who carried the story along, two of which did the mass majority of the carrying, and those two followed the same path almost throughout the entire book. Again, there is the exception of a few chapters where he puts you in the heads of minor character's for two or three pages at a time, like in The Heroes.
But I feel like this 'downsizing' of perspectives hurt the pacing of the book a fair bit. The first two hundred pages were a little too uneventful, I found myself somewhat annoyed from reading consecutive chapters about the same two individuals. I know this was supposed to be a western, and Joe introduces that western element into his world perfectly. But the part with his characters trudging across this fontier by horse and wagon, getting attacked by what are essentially natives, didn't really feel like it was doing much to progress the story, at least not in comparison to his previous books. I almost feel that in trying so hard to make this like a western, he negated a bit of his usual style.
I still really liked it, I think it's a great addition to his already awesome body of work, but it just wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be.
I'm currently reading Joe Abercrombie's Red Country and nearing the halfway mark. I'm really enjoying it.
I'm a huge fan of Abercrombie's work but so far his latest hasn't impressed me as much as Best Served Cold and The Heroes. However I'm not going to make and pronounce my final opinion until I turn the last page.
I just received Red Country and plan to get to it very soon, but I have a few ARCs I need to get to and so I am going to start my reading of John Mackie's Hazardous Goods. It sounds promising. A little UF with humor thrown in as a slacker takes on the business of paranormal delivery service.
Finished Blood Song by Anthony Ryan, loved it. It follows the hero from childhood (10y.o.) through military commando training at a monastery, early internal campaigns against rebels and outcast in his northern kingdom, and later through a war against a major Empire across the sea. The epic ends with the Raven in his early 30's, solves enough plot threads for the book to function as a standalone, and leaves the door open for more complications in the future. For all its bulk, the story didn't feel padded, and it packs a lot of action sequences and plot twists, interesting secondary characters and worldbuilding on a huge scale. A lot of fantasy tropes are included : the Chosen One, the spunky princess, the animal companion, the Dark One working in the shadows for world domination, but the story feels modern (post GRRM) with no safety guaranteed for any of the characters, tons of shades of grey, credible political maneuvering, and magic that is rare, mostly hidden and mysterious. The stakes are high for the second book in the series, with the potential for Raven's Song to become one of my top epics.
That's great to hear about Anthony Ryan's book. It's been sitting on my Kindle waiting to get read and I am doing my best to get to it, may have to bump it up even closer with your review.
Finished Hazardous Goods this evening and I really enjoyed it. Didn't start Red country just yet. Instead, I went with A Guile of Dragons by James Enge. Wanted another quick read.
I have finished A Feast for Crows. The last 2-300 pages are pretty darned good. Now to move onto A Dance With Dragons I: Dreams & Dust.
About a quarter way through The Wise Man's Fear. Not overly engaging but the writing is top-notch.
Just finished The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks. Excellent sequel. Can't wait to see where he goes with it. I'll also second Anthony Ryan's Blood Song (Or is that third? Fourth? Thousandth?). Finished it before starting The Blinding Knife. Two great books in a row. I want to keep the streak alive. I'm debating between Prince of Thorns, Red Country, or either of Sanderson's books I haven't read yet...Alloy of Law or Way of Kings. Any thoughts?
I'm glad you liked Blood Song, I first heard about it here at sffworld. I'm not much of a fan of Brent Weeks, but Abercrombie is usually a safe bet. I found The Way of Kings interesting and a fast read, but bloated and repetitive in some places.
Myself, I finished The Tainted City by Courtney Schaeffer, and after a slower start, I got my groove back and enjoyed it most of the time. A good choice for readers who like magic intensive settings. I'm starting now the last Adrian Tchaikovsky insect kinden epic: The Air War. I'm already a fan of the series, so I guess I'll be good for the next two weeks.
I finished The Night of the Swarm by R. Redick and the one thing I want to emphasize for now is that the ending may be the best ever to a fantasy series I've read. It just resonates so well that one will think about it for a long time.
The book itself moves well and *a lot* happens - would not do to spoil as there are a ton of wow moments, however its general theme of heroes having to prevent the doom time gives it a bit too much predictability as the big picture goes, with the Alifros conflicts that seem so important being of course all subsumed in the race to prevent The Night Swarm sterilizing the planet, so all those (where many of the characters participate) are secondary until close to the end and hence lose a lot of tension and power.
The main thread following the group that chased Arunis (Pazel, Thasha and the rest) is also predictable to a large extent though the local events have flavor; this "box in" prevents the book to be as superb as the previous three until the last part where as mentioned the ending is indeed awesome and with that the book raises itself to a special place.
Damn you suciul! You've added another series near the top of my virtual Mount Toberead!