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  1. #1
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Reading in Fantasy and Horror January 2015

    Welcome to 2015!

    Here's where you tell us what Fantasy and Horror you've been reading this month. Whether good or bad, we want to hear what you think.

    Mark / Hobbit
    Mark

  2. #2
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    I'm starting 2015 by diving back into The Wheel of Time, for the first time in over a decade (has it been that long? Wow...). I'm just over 30% into The Gathering Storm and am really enjoying it so far. And I've been surprised by how seamless it feels, compared to the earlier books. I haven't really noticed much of a change between Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson so far.

    I read pretty slowly these days, so I suspect it will be a few months before I finish the series. Then I plan to check out the new Robin Hobb book, as I re-read the Tawny Man trilogy a few months ago and loved it even more than the first time.

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    I always find it interesting how many people noticed little change between Jordan and Sanderson. For me, it was an obvious change (and for the better). I found Jordan's style a bit wordy and tedious. I think the similarities are more from the fact that Sanderson was able to maintain the right feel for the stories and world (though he didn't do so great with Mat).

  4. #4
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mueller View Post
    I always find it interesting how many people noticed little change between Jordan and Sanderson. For me, it was an obvious change (and for the better). I found Jordan's style a bit wordy and tedious. I think the similarities are more from the fact that Sanderson was able to maintain the right feel for the stories and world (though he didn't do so great with Mat).
    Yes, Sanderson does seem a little less wordy now that you mention it. But I guess what surprises me the most is how well he seems to be handling the story so far. I know he re-read the entire series multiple times, and probably had access to all kinds of notes, but it still seems surprising to me that anyone besides Jordan could still have a confident grasp of the world, the plot, the characters. I guess I thought it would feel like it was written by a fan, but instead it actually feels authentic.

  5. #5
    Would be writer? Sure. Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Agent View Post
    Yes, Sanderson does seem a little less wordy now that you mention it. But I guess what surprises me the most is how well he seems to be handling the story so far. I know he re-read the entire series multiple times, and probably had access to all kinds of notes, but it still seems surprising to me that anyone besides Jordan could still have a confident grasp of the world, the plot, the characters. I guess I thought it would feel like it was written by a fan, but instead it actually feels authentic.
    Sanderson is just that amazing.

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    Started Will Wight's City of Light (The Traveler's Gate Trilogy Book 3)

    Have been really (pleasantly) surprised by this series. It's a quick , fun and action heavy series similar to the likes of Brent Weeks.

  7. #7
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I have said that as much as I like Brandon as a person (and he is a lovely man) some of his writing can leave me a little cold - rather like Brent's, if I'm honest. I find the world building of the Way of Kings rather dull. Writing in other worlds may be a bonus. Strangely, I actually quite like his superhero series, starting with Steelheart, but that's more of an SF topic.

    And in the interests of full disclosure, I have said a few times on the site that, despite three or four goes, I am still stalled with the Wheel of Time series at book 5. I am determined (one day!) to complete it. Perhaps when I retire....

    I have been reading The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. It's fun and not too deep, but entertaining.
    Mark

  8. #8
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    And in the interests of full disclosure, I have said a few times on the site that, despite three or four goes, I am still stalled with the Wheel of Time series at book 5. I am determined (one day!) to complete it. Perhaps when I retire....
    That's where I stalled too, in my re-read.

    On my original read, I didn't have trouble until Book 8, or even 10. But on the 2nd read, I just couldn't get past Book 5. I wish Jordan could have condensed Books 5-11 into maybe 2 books.

  9. #9
    I like to rock the party Corporal Blues's Avatar
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    Opened my 2015 finished books account on day one today as I finished off Nnedi Okorafor's Lagoon in a post-dinner time read-a-thon.

    Overall, very good book. The pace is blistering, and the book is packed with vivid, taut scenes. Okorafor mixes in sea-monsters, modern day Lagosians, and all the cultural aspects that makes the city such a vibrant and incredible setting for this story. Alongside all this is the overarching first-contact story, and somehow Okorafor squeezes it all into a fairly slim (less than 300 pgs) book. Despite that, it didn't feel cramped for space each scene carries a strong impact. The one draw back for me was that I thought the characters suffered a bit, as they didn't seem as fleshed out/well developed as they could be. That being said, I think it'll be a tough book to top for me because it stands out for being so unique and so damn engaging.

  10. #10
    Registered User Luke_B's Avatar
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    Starting the year by reading Last Call by Tim Powers. This is a book that swirls with mysticism and everyday superstition, particularly the Tarot and Carl Jung's archetypes, and the Arthurian mythos.

    The books starts with the premise that Bugsy Siegel built Las Vegas in order to become a living avatar of the Fisher King, but that he was prevented by doing this when a French mystic named Georges Leon assassinated him. Leon assumes the mantle of Fisher King and sets about turning his sons into mindless soldiers in his mystic army by conducting dark rituals involving a handpainted Tarot deck.

    One of Leon's sons -- Scott -- survives, though he loses his eye escaping his father. He is found by a professional gambler, Ozzie Crane, who raises Scott as his foster son, and later adopts another girl, Diana, and raises her as his foster sister. From Ozzie, Scott learns of the gambler's superstitions. Twenty years later, Scott -- now a professional gambler -- ignores Ozzie's pleas to stay clear of a game played on a houseboat on Lake Mead and finds himself playing a queer card game with 13 players and a deck of Tarot cards...

  11. #11
    Goblin Princess Teresa Edgerton's Avatar
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    I really liked Last Call. Tim Powers has a wonderful ability to find the magical within the perfectly ordinary. (James Blaylock is another.) I love the way he brought so many unexpected elements together into one story and it all fits perfectly without any of the seams showing. Wasn't there a scene where someone used a standard pack of cards to perform a magical protection when they were driving, or am I remembering incorrectly? It's been years since I read it.

    ____

    I recently finished The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff. After reading her Fiendish a couple of weeks ago, I was eager to read more, and wasn't disappointed. YA novel with a modern take on fairies and changelings.

  12. #12
    Initiate Avi_stetto's Avatar
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    I just re-read Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Actually, I listened to it as an audio book. I only ever got through the first trilogy, but that was 5 or 10 years ago. I'd like to get through the Liveship Trader & the Tawny Man Trilogies in the same world this year, but I thought it'd be a good idea to re-engage from the beginning. Who knows -- maybe I'll start the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy, too.

  13. #13
    Registered User Luke_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton View Post
    I really liked Last Call. Tim Powers has a wonderful ability to find the magical within the perfectly ordinary. (James Blaylock is another.) I love the way he brought so many unexpected elements together into one story and it all fits perfectly without any of the seams showing. Wasn't there a scene where someone used a standard pack of cards to perform a magical protection when they were driving, or am I remembering incorrectly? It's been years since I read it.
    yes, he's very good at researching and bringing disparate elements together in a very well written story. I'm only a fifth of the way in, so not sure about that scene. You may be thinking of an early scene in which Scott and Ozzie are driving around being guided by three coins being shaken in a box.

  14. #14
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
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    Don't know if it's SF or Fantasy/Horror -- The Annihilation Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer. As I did with Station Eleven, I've avoided reviews and descriptions -- didn't even read the entire dust jacket blurb. All I knew when I started was there had been an "event" and that people were exploring a mysterious Area X.

    I'm getting all kinds of vibes from this -- reminders of other novels -- The Foghorn (of course), Martian Chronicles, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, one by Simon Clark in a similar setting (forgot the title), The Ruins. The story doesn't feel derivative, but even if it did, Vandermeer's writing is so engrossing, I wouldn't care. I'm about halfway through the first book in the trilogy. I think. The copy I have contains all three books.

  15. #15
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    Finished The Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle. This was another good entry in the trilogy, and I really enjoyed it. Fast-paced with well-drawn characters and an interesting alternate history.

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