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  1. #31
    Registered User QuickTidal's Avatar
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    Name of the Wind is brilliant. A really fun read, and had me in the sort of mood I was when I read Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, so that's effing good company!!

    I also read Drew Bowling's Tower of Shadows.....and I hesitate, as I have seen him post here, but I liked it at first, and then slowly it unravelled, and the ending felt very rushed IMHO. I was about 20 pages or so from the end and I realized there was no easy way to end it so abruptly....which was disheartening. I liked the characters for the most part, but some needed more fleshing out really. In the end I was dissapointed by it. I would hope the next book from him is longer (as I felt this one might have benefitted from more meat), and the characters are better fleshed out. Also, there was no need for the little side mission on the way to the tower....it was entirely tacked on.

  2. #32
    immer noch dabei Ntschotschi's Avatar
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    Lots of different worlds in the five novels I read this year that apply for 2007 releases.

    Naomi Novik, Black Powder War, takes you into a world of alternate military history where dragons are used as flying war ships. Charming little novel, at its best when the dragons interact, the human characters are a little flat.

    Juliet Marillier, The Well of Shades is situated in pre-christian neoarthurian Britain, a time where most of her novels take place. There are some slight connections to her former Light Isles series.
    Very professional writing, moving characters, a lot of romance, well constructed world, the heroes are sometimes a little too good to be true, not so much that it's annoying but makes you feel pleasingly comfortable.

    Kate Elliott, Spirit Gate takes place in Fantasyland, medieval setting, magical creatures, mystical guardians. But: There's actually no feudalistic structure in the central country of the plot, but some kind of democracy.
    Elliotts characters are modern, much more believable than Marilliers.
    A very promising beginning of her new series, the stage is well set.

    Tad Williams, Shadowplay is the most sinister world of them, part of the land lies under some kind of shadow, some kind of evil, which is still to be revealed, lurks in mysterious places. The dark atmosphere, which made the predessor of this novel so fascinating and puzzling is slightly lifting, for the sake of making things clearer to the reader. There's a lot of info input, which makes the narrative slower. Nevertheless a great novel.

    Joe Abercrombie, Before they are hanged Worldbuilding is still going on in this one, as we leave the city and get to explore the north, west and south and the ruins of the past. We get to know the extremes, cold and heat, mirrored in the wide range of characters. Excellent.

  3. #33
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    Time for some catch up in this thread. In the last few weeks I've read several 2007 releases.

    Lady Friday, Garth Nix - The fifth (of seven) in The Keys to the Kingdom suffers from the formula that's been established within the series so far by Nix, being overly predictable and lacking some of the imagination of the previous books. It feels more like the second volume of trilogy, setting things up for the finale but not offering much in the way of revolution. Despite being underwhelming compared to its predecssors it does leave the series in a good position for the final two books, which I'm hoping bring the series back to the standard to be expected from Nix.

    Un Lun Dun, China Mieville - Another YA offering (and weighty), this novel allows China Mieville to showcase his vivid imagination in an alternative version of London. Interestingly his creations here are much more surreal than what we've seen previously, although the inclination to base many of them on puns wears thin as the novel progresses. Mieville has also drawn illustrations for the book, which is an interesting addition which adds more when the drawings add to the story rather than simply represent something that's already been described in the text.
    I also missed the prose from his adult offerings - I enjoy the way he has previously coupled grandiose prose with his creative imagination.
    Overall it's entertaining, if somewhat overlong, but not a patch on his Bas-Lag books or King Rat. I'm a big fan of YA fantasy, but think Mieville's talents are better spent elsewhere.

    The Court of the Air, Stephen Hunt - Interesting debut. It's has an exciting start full of aerostats, sentient steam-powered men, underground cities, super-powered mutants and not one but two orphans destined to save the world. Unfortunately the management of secondary characters, some bizarre plotting and inconsistent characterisation detracts from some great concepts. Hunt's an author I'll keep my eye on, if he can better manage his plot and maintain his creativity he may make a name for himself.

    No stand outs yet so far this year I'm afraid.

  4. #34

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Asking for responses like that would mean that John would be giving a review: John doesn't do reviews.
    And yet here's what he says about Reaper's Gale:

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
    Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson
    I hesitate to utter the words "has he lost it?" because the howls of outrage will likely cause my dogs to bark and then my neighbors across the street to complain and then I'll have to go all passive-aggressive on them and refuse to sign for their packages when they get their usual haul from QVC. But this, like the last book, represented for me a bit of a slide in quality. Maybe having Esslemont enter the fray when he did was not a good thing for the overall series. But to quell those howls I did not provoke, it is not a bad book. It is not a messy rough book like the first and second in the series. And if I had to weigh carefully, I would say that I like it better than all first three combined. But not as well as four and five and six.

  5. #35
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I finished three 2007 Fantasy releases in the past week or so and each impressed me a great deal, but for different reasons.

    Revenge of the Elves by Gary Wassner
    I liked what he was doing before this book, and this one keeps the momentum going from the previous volumes. I also like to see writers grow with each book they publish, Gary did just this here.

    The Hanging Mountains by Sean Williams
    Solid entry in his Books of the Cataclysm if a bit of a breather after the first two books. I'm really looking forward to the next (and last) book in the series.

    Mistborn: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
    Brandon has something really special going in this series. Each book has been structured very nicely and the momentum grows exponentially as the pages pass.

  6. #36
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    Let me add the fantasy releases 2007 that I've read; more than usual (I've read probably about 30 2007 sf releases, so that gives a 2:1 ratio sf to f which for me is unusual, the regular ratio being about 5:1, but it seems these days there is a lot of interesting fantasy around)


    1. Before They Are Hanged by J. Abercrombie
    excellent, even better than the previous one; reread it twice

    2. Modern World by S. Swainston
    excellent, as good as the other 2 books in the series, reread it once

    3. Sharing Knife 2 Legacy by L. Bujold
    enjoyed it a lot; as good as the first half; reread it twice

    4. Name of the Wind by P. Rothfuss
    just reread it and on this second reading I enjoyed it much more than on the first one, maybe because I knew that it just stops for the next installment; that to me was such a major disappointment; a very, very good book

    5. Red Seas Under Red Skies by S. Lynch
    enjoyed it when I read it, but afterward did not feel the compulsion to reread it; maybe when book 3 appears; first one was better, fresher, this one makes you turn pages but is a bit empty at the end

    6. Bone Song by J. Meaney
    ok, but overall a disappointment compared with the Nulapeiron series; not sure if I will pick up the next one in the series

    7. The Mirador by S. Monette
    excellent, the best in the series in many respects, just that I need book 4 since the ending is like the ending in book 1, begging for the sequel; reread it once

    8. Winterbirth by B. Ruckley
    technically cheating since I have the UK 06, but I got it this year and considering that the US release is just around the corner... very, very good, awaiting anxiously the sequel, I reread it twice

    9. Renegade Magic by R. Hobb
    good, compulsive reading, but ultimately not that satisfying

    10. Lord of the Silent Kingdom by G. Cook
    good, but again while interesting enough to make me read the next book, not in my top

    11.Beyond the Gap by H. Turtledove
    easy reading especially if you like "polar expeditions" kind of stuff though fantasy; I will read the next book in the series

    12. Shriek An Afterword by J. Vandermeer (tpb)
    interesting, but not in my top either

    13. Acacia by D. Durham
    excellent book, reread it once and waiting anxiously for the sequel

    14 Logorrhea by J. Klima editor
    excellent collection of fantastic stories

    15. Maledicte by L. Robbins
    ok, expected better, maybe just first novel jitters;

  7. #37
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I just posted my review of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn: Well of Ascension. I liked this one very much and can see why Tor is getting behind him in a big way. So far, he’s cranked out three books in three years, so he delivers regularly. More importantly he delivers quality in spades.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob's Review
    How does the writer who so successfully played out a new twist in the fantasy genre follow-up a great sequence opening novel? Though the answer is simple (he writes a book called Mistborn: Well of Ascension), reading the intricate book is proof that it was the effort of a skilled practitioner of the words. In The Final Empire, Brandon showed how the revolution defeated the Dark Lord, the being many thought was Hero of the Ages transformed. Here, he tries to answer another very often unanswered question: What happens when the Dark Lord is overthrown? This question is the launching point for The Well of Ascension.



    The novel starts one year after the events of The Final Empire with the Lord Ruler deposed and the Final Empire is thrown into chaos Elend Venture, Vin’s romantic interest from the previous volume, has assumed control the throne of Luthadel, capital city of the disheveled land. Not all agree with him being on the throne, in fact, many of his former peers see him as a very temporary and idealistic ruler. Not the least of which is his father, who left the city in the revolution at the close of the previous volume. By setting this story a year after the events of the previous volume, Sanderson is able to show a raised sense of tension in the city of Luthadel, especially through Vin and Venture’s eyes.

  8. #38
    immer noch dabei Ntschotschi's Avatar
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    Thieves play a crucial part in most of the novels I read in 2007 so far.
    In "Red Seas under Red Skies" by Scott Lynch The Thorn of Camorr turns pirate and provides us with colorful detailed description of sea battles and sailing adventures, as well as some excursions on land, which somehow end with the protagonists drenched in blood most of the time. His actual big coup takes only a minor part of the novel and so Locke Lamorr rightly earned his fate in the end. More concentration next time please.

    Thieves turn members of gouvernment in Brandon Sanderson's "The Well of Ascension" and they' re doing an excellent job, same as the author. I never saw the ending coming. Grizzly, mysteriuos, funny, intrigue, romance, Sanderson is improving with every book.

    Thieving doesn't turn out to make a good living for refugee diviner Valen in "Flesh and Spirit" by Carol Berg so he has to seek shelter in a seemingly peaceful monastery. It's not really a surprise that this peace is treasurous. Events start rolling form this beginning and gaining speed till the end. The first book Berg published since her brilliant Rai-Kirah series which can approximately reach the same level.

    A theft stands at the beginning of Michelle Sagara's novel "Cast in Secret", which will bring about the destruction of the world unless solved by Corporal Kaylin Neya. Quite avarage read, but I'm a fan of Michelle West so I will read everything she publishes anyway.

    One thing is certain in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling, the heroes have to steal something. What and where stays vague thoughout most of the book, horcruxes if I rember correctly at first, deathly hallows later, which the protagonists manage by sitting around in a tent most of the time, till it is the end of the schoolyear and time for the traditional showdown.

    Stealing holy land from the natives stands at the root of the conflict in "Renegade's Magic" by Robin Hobb. The way Hobb solved this conflict in the end of last book of the series made me dizzy. She's always pressing her heroes hard but Nevarre's had it so bad, I didn't think she could unknit it. Respect.

    The alleged theft of the possessions and murder of a royal guard is usually punished by death in "The Heart of Stars" by Kate Forsyth. Fortunately Rhiannon has a flying horse and friends among the nobility who can help her out. A well written new installment of this charming, traditional fantasy series with an appealing celtic background.

    No thieving in Patrick Rothfuss' debut "The Name of the Wind" besides hours of my sleeping time I spent reading instead of sleeping. The novel seems nothing very special and quite traditional at first glance but it has a fascinating power to draw the reader very near to the protagonist and into the story. I don't know how he does it really, a very fine novel imo and a grand debut.

    "The Reaper's Gale" by Steven Erikson of course features thefts, from thrones, to fingerbones to rotting fish. The storylines seemed more coherent than in his last book, which is good, but it's lost a bit on the side of crazy things happening. Still one of my favorites.

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