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Thread: Reading in September 2008
September 8th, 2008, 02:02 PM #31
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- Hobbit Towers, England
- Blog Entries
I'm really looking forward to Drood. Pleased to see it was as good as I hope.
Mark / HobbitMark
September 9th, 2008, 01:45 AM #32
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Northern VA
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.
September 9th, 2008, 02:06 PM #33
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?
September 9th, 2008, 02:12 PM #34
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.
September 9th, 2008, 02:16 PM #35
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...
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 by Julian; September 9th, 2008 at 02:23 PM.
September 9th, 2008, 05:12 PM #36
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.
September 9th, 2008, 05:58 PM #37
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.
September 9th, 2008, 07:20 PM #38
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.
September 10th, 2008, 12:11 AM #39
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.
September 10th, 2008, 12:20 AM #40
the sffworld server is playing up
Last edited by algernoninc; September 10th, 2008 at 12:24 AM. Reason: double post... server way to slow to respond
September 10th, 2008, 08:24 AM #41
September 11th, 2008, 05:26 AM #42
I have just started on A Feast of Crows, it's plot is rather meandering compared to the previous volumes and I kinda miss the Tyrion chapters. Nice to see what Dorne and Braavos is like though.
September 13th, 2008, 10:24 AM #43
Finished Hard to Be a God by Strugatsky brothers.
So and so. Too much political rumbling and next to zero of action.
Then I read Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny.
Just OK. Probably if I read it when I was 16-18 I would be more excited, however, at 34, just OK at the best.
I am starting The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Let's see whether it lives up to the hype around it.
September 13th, 2008, 10:03 PM #44
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Ada, MI, USA
I finished The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti. While it has some associational elements to fantasy it is a straight historical mainstream book so I put my mini review in the Current Non-Genre Reading - link below. I think it's a little gem of a novel and I expect to reread it several times.
September 14th, 2008, 06:52 PM #45
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Ada, MI, USA
I finished The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry which has a bit more fantastic elements than The Good Thief so I include my comments here. The book takes place in present day Salem, Ma of the witch hunt notoriety and it was at first independently published but then generating buzz it was picked up by a major publisher for a 6 figure advance and it shot to high places on the NYT bestseller list.
This is one of the few books that I thought I would love a lot based on a superb excerpt but I quickly got bored with it and fast read to the end rather than abandoning it just because of the narrator who was reasonably interesting - it slowly transforms itself into a run of the mill atmospheric mystery with a touch of the fantastic with nothing special to distinguish it from the many similar books published all the time these days after the sales success of several such.
Mediocre prose, banal story, and a big disappointment overall based on what I heard about it.
Maybe if I would not have read recently similar but way superior books like The Good Thief or The Monsters of Templeton I would have enjoyed this more. An ok beginner try but no more