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  1. #16
    Same goes for me with Locke Lamora, except my problem wasn't disgust so much as sheer boredom. I've tried it three or four times and I just can't do it. It is pretty funny though.

  2. #17
    Dark Glory War is not that bad. Its a fairly average Epic Fantasy novel.

    Quote Originally Posted by swope01 View Post
    The biggest problem I have is that the main character is maybe 18 years old, out on his rite of passage quest and gets swept up in a huge saga, military campaign, and all around save the universe thing. As this untested man goes through his trials he kills untold number of bad guys. He seems to do it without fear, without a scratch as easily as I type. It just seems way too comic book like. Even experienced vets of combat get nervous and scared as hell. But, never does our young protagonist get scared. And by the middle of the book, he is famous, army-wide and becomes some kind of champion charged with taking down the 4 mythical demons who are all but unkillable. He kills them, of course. Oh, he and his two companions are the spitting image of Matt, Rand, and Perrin.
    Genre convention. Heroes don't typically display much fear. If you want an in story explanation for it just assume that Tarrant was trying to make himself look good and so didn't bother to include that stuff or that he was pressed for space. Also I don't recall him being specifically tasked with killing the Dark Lancers. Wasn't that more happenstance the first time then any sort of plan? And I recall Tarrant receiving far more than a scratch throughout the book.
    And while the four companions do have some similarities to the WoT boys they aren't spitting images. Perrin and Mat never had class issues and spent time sniping at one another, and Rand was not Mat's retainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by swope
    I can suspend a fair amount of disbelief, but towards the middle of the book I realized there was no drama. The boy was never in danger. Even if he was facing a hundred bad guys, never once did I as the reader get drawn in.

    That is my 1.5 cents worth. I didn't see Michael Stackpole in the authors section. I hope this comes across as fair. Let me know if you want my copy.
    Well, yeah we know who isn't going to die, after all the book is supposed to be him writing about what happened. Obviously he is going to live. That being said I thought this story took some surprising turns. Most of the book is very average, but the ending? The ending is one of my favorite in all of fantasy.

  3. #18
    Ranke Lidyek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Really?! I hadn't seen anywhere on these forums where you've expressed dislike for that book.
    Maybe they should devise a special punctuation mark for sarcasm... Perhaps a little bird.

    Hey, I hated the book. I wish I could fawn over it like half the people here, but it's simply not a good novel. It's one of the very few things I've read that made me regret spending the money. It's also rare that I end up rolling my eyes three or four times a page (unless I'm stuck at a doctor's office reading Cosmopolitan).

    Funny that you don't complain about the thread instead, Rob. I'd think my opinion of Lies fits within this discussion. You can always spend the next five minutes convincing me that Lynch is brilliant and that Lies is a flawless masterpiece.

    I'm sure I'll agree with your well-reasoned arguments. (Now, where is that little bird when I need him?)

  4. #19
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    Maybe they should devise a special punctuation mark for sarcasm... Perhaps a little bird.

    Hey, I hated the book. I wish I could fawn over it like half the people here, but it's simply not a good novel. It's one of the very few things I've read that made me regret spending the money. It's also rare that I end up rolling my eyes three or four times a page (unless I'm stuck at a doctor's office reading Cosmopolitan).

    Funny that you don't complain about the thread instead, Rob. I'd think my opinion of Lies fits within this discussion. You can always spend the next five minutes convincing me that Lynch is brilliant and that Lies is a flawless masterpiece.

    I'm sure I'll agree with your well-reasoned arguments. (Now, where is that little bird when I need him?)
    I think Robs little sarcasm was aimed at your somewhat disguised trolling attempt.

    I think someone said it best a few posts ago. "You can dig up a thread called Your worst reads EVER and amazingly you'll find your favourite author on someones list."

  5. #20
    Give me liberty! Ouroboros's Avatar
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    I think someone said it best a few posts ago. "You can dig up a thread called Your worst reads EVER and amazingly you'll find your favourite author on someones list."
    Yep, that's about the height of it, and why I usually take little notice if someone makes a blanket statement to the effect that something is 'just a bad book'.

    ...Albeit I'm sure I've been guilty of writing this myself at some point somewhere on the forum.

  6. #21
    Ranke Lidyek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I think Robs little sarcasm was aimed at your somewhat disguised trolling attempt.

    I think someone said it best a few posts ago. "You can dig up a thread called Your worst reads EVER and amazingly you'll find your favourite author on someones list."
    Fair enough. However, what exactly is the heading of this thread?

    <pause for effect>

    Yeah, I thought so.

    I've done well in not saying much after my initial rant on some other thread--also pertaining to this topic, by the way. It should be of some comfort to Rob and the author that people have little regard for my opinion anyway. The book is a bestseller, after all.

    However, I don't see Rob stepping in on the Stackpole hate in this same thread. Makes one wonder...

    So, with the immortal words of Forest Gump, I leave with this statement: "That's all I have to say about that."

  7. #22
    http://is.gd/4flJX Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    It's very hard to trust someone's opinion about a book... good or bad... The thing that works best for me is to find individuals who liked and disliked the same books as I did. So, ideally ( *grinning*), we should all have a profile with a list of books and scores. And ideally (this is more of a software developer's view), the system should establish a likeliness with all the forum members' tastes. Then, one would have a better idea about how much trust one can have for such or such review ... in an ideal world of course...

  8. #23
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    However, I don't see Rob stepping in on the Stackpole hate in this same thread. Makes one wonder...
    Actually, no, it doesn't make me wonder. To my knowledge people are allowed to express their opinions freely on these boards to a certain extent. So far there has been no demeaning or belitteling (dunno if this is a word=) of Mr. Stackpole or his readers in this thread.

    There are only people who feel that certain books of his are bad expressing their opinions in a civil way without comments like "His books disgust me, make me vomit, naseuos, sick whatever" repeated over and over again.

    I don't think this has anything to do with your choice of author you are bashing more likely it's the way that you bash that offends.... Now that makes me wonder.....

  9. #24
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    The thread is fine, because it is discussing the work and opinions about Stackpole's writing, not Stackpole, as Alex notes. As is that Ranke doesn't like Lynch's book -- that's not trolling. But Rob teasing you just a bit, Ranke, that you bring up Lies every time there's a discussion of disliked books doesn't require a temper tantrum, either. (For the record, Ranke and I have been having an interesting discussion about Lies, without sniping at each other, and he's trying to give Lies a further read, and thinks Lynch is very talented as a writer.)

    But for the sake of argument, perhaps this thread could stick to Stackpole in the future.

  10. #25
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    I have read several Stackpole books. I agree that Dark Glory War was just ok. The follow-on trilogy, though, was very good and I enjoyed it a lot. I think you could read the DragonCrown War (the last 3 books of it) without spending time on DGW. After liking DragonCrown War so much, i was really looking forward to the Age of Discovery. I have to admit i was pretty disappointed, and stopped halfway through the last book in the trilogy. I am sure I will try to finish it at some point, though.

  11. #26
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranke Lidyek View Post
    However, I don't see Rob stepping in on the Stackpole hate in this same thread. Makes one wonder...
    Because I only post here at certain times of the day, your anti-Lynch post stuck out (as it seems the majority of what I see you post is anti-Lynch sentiment*), so I picked on it, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

    *I don't read every thread, so I could just be visiting those threads where your thoughts on Lynch are relevant.

    I'm not going to try to convince you that you should like Lynch's novel, just like I wouldn't expect anybody to convince me to really enjoy Goodkind or Gail Z. Martin or Karen Miller.

    As for Stackpole, I loved Talion and really enjoyed A Secret Atlas and thought his Star Wars stuff OK. I did want to give his Dark Glory War a try though.

    Why would I complain about this thread? We have enough love-fest threads, there's definitely room for it's counter thread.

  12. #27
    Ranke Lidyek
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    I suppose I could move onto Grey by John Armstrong. I could bash that crumpled pile (I would say "steaming", but amphibians are cold-blooded) of frog feces for DAYS....

    Just kidding.

    I do think Stackpole's Talion is an underappreciated novel. Once a Hero is very good as well. I was disappointed in the Secret Atlas novels. I did finish them but it seemed as if he was going through the motions, a criticism that is hard to pin down on any one thing, but I'd say that none of his characters really felt human to me, for some reason... The book lacked intimacy, I think...

    For the record, I think Lynch's prose is well-crafted. It's his excesses in terms of dialogue and lack of diversity in character's voices (and motivations) that leave me a bit wanting. Had he trimmed down on the "humor" and worked more on Locke's character I think I might enjoy the novel. Kat has said that Locke isn't intended as a clever character--indeed, from what I see, he's quite foolish and isn't very intelligent--at least by the halfway point of the story. Once I finish maybe I'll eat a few of my words... I WILL complete the book once I find it. I've looked through boxes of books but no luck so far...

    I didn't know this was a sole Stackpole "sucks" thread. I'll stick to that topic in the future.... But if someone starts a Lies thread, I'm all over it...

    Just saying... lol.
    Last edited by Ranke Lidyek; June 25th, 2008 at 01:55 AM.

  13. #28
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swope01 View Post
    The title of the book is 'Dark Glory War.' The author is Michael A. Stackpole. It is written in the first person. The gist of the story is it is narrated from an old warrior who is telling how the saga began. The second biggest problem I have with the book is that the author seems to tell the plot. I know it is supposed to be a memoir, but the description and plot are pretty much flat. The biggest problem I have is that the main character is maybe 18 years old, out on his rite of passage quest and gets swept up in a huge saga, military campaign, and all around save the universe thing. As this untested man goes through his trials he kills untold number of bad guys. He seems to do it without fear, without a scratch as easily as I type. It just seems way too comic book like. Even experienced vets of combat get nervous and scared as hell. But, never does our young protagonist get scared. And by the middle of the book, he is famous, army-wide and becomes some kind of champion charged with taking down the 4 mythical demons who are all but unkillable. He kills them, of course. Oh, he and his two companions are the spitting image of Matt, Rand, and Perrin.

    I can suspend a fair amount of disbelief, but towards the middle of the book I realized there was no drama. The boy was never in danger. Even if he was facing a hundred bad guys, never once did I as the reader get drawn in.

    That is my 1.5 cents worth. I didn't see Michael Stackpole in the authors section. I hope this comes across as fair. Let me know if you want my copy.

    Swope01
    Hi Swope, and welcome to the forum.

    I read The Dark Glory War many years ago, after hearing it highly recommended here at sffworld, and like you I was pretty disappointed. I thought it started out very well but quickly became hard to get through. It wasn't so much the plot for me that made it difficult, but the style. I didn't like Stackpole's writing style, which didn't sound like a natural first person narrative at all. And I agree with you that the main character is annoyingly perfect! Perhaps he did this on purpose, intending that the character is remembering himself in a positive light, but whatever the case it didn't work for me.

    I also remember wanting to throw down the book after a while every time he described what all the characters were wearing, down to the colour of the trim on their capes; does this stuff really matter to the story? And would this guy remember the blue trim on his friend's cape so many years later?

    All in all the book felt more to me like a video game than a novel, with all the detailed accounting of clothing, weapons, and armour, as well as the numerous bloody battles where the heros hack apart the evil monsters...

    I did however go on to read his Dragon Crown War cycle, which takes place in the same world 25 years later, and I found it to be much, much better. It's in third person, and those books contain many interesting, realistic characters and a pretty good storyline. There were still some elements of those books that felt kind of like a video game world to me (numerous strange races for example) but on the whole they were much less cookie-cutter fantasy than The Dark Glory War.

  14. #29
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Well Locke is smart in some ways, but he's an idiot in others. He comes from the crime thriller tradition. We also have the heroic tradition. Sometimes writers combine these two, sometimes they don't. I don't mind someone being a fearless , adventure hero if the author is clearly going the Beowulf hero route (as opposed to the Beowulf movie route.) And I find complaints of characters being like other characters in other stories not really of importance to me. However, I also am not so much into cape trim descriptions. I don't feel they are necessarily a sign of bad writing, just probably are not going to float my boat.

    I have, though, been very interested in Stackpole's Cartomancy series, because the idea for the stories sounded really interesting.

    What was the theme of Dark Glory War?

  15. #30
    Analyze That
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    I found this thread quite relevent to the discussions going on in the Overhyped books thread.

    We can see that a book someone proclaims as the worst book ever, other people like quite a bit. For instance, a couple people say they strongly disliked Lies of Locke Lamora. Does this make "Lies" overhyped? To those people who didn't like it, it definitely was quite overhyped and a complete waste of their time and money.

    However, this same idea goes for negative buzz (I probably have to specify between hype and buzz here or get corrected, advertizers will never say negative things about their book.) People who see all this negative press about a book they found very good (Goodkind, for instance), they will want to defend that author vehemently. This is where we get discussions that turn nasty here.

    My point is state your opinion about the book after you read. I and I'm sure many others look for overall opinion on a book when they're deciding what to buy, but it's always a bad idea to give a book an objecive, generic label of bad, good, overhyped, underrated, the best fantasy book in existence today because these are not definite rankings. As Jim Carrey says in the Grinch movie, "What's one man's trash is another's potpourri."

    (Is there any way I can connect the two threads? Or do the mods have to do that for me?)

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