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  1. #61
    Uh, Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    NSW, Australia
    As high a regard as I hold Mary Gentle in, Catch 22 is one of the best novels I've ever read. The only book to make me laugh then cry within a chapter.

  2. #62
    I have just finished The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, it took me a while to read but I did enjoy it. It was slow in parts, but overall it was a good read and defintily a promising debut. I enjoyed the magic system, and by the end of the book I was definitly interested in the characters.

    Now I am reading The Star King by Jack Vance, so far I'm really enjoying it, I love his use of vocabularly, its so rich and entertaining to read.

  3. #63
    Registered User Leiali's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Norfolk, UK
    Hello all, Just thought I'd drop by to post that I'm reading 'the red wolf conspiracy' by Robert Redick and it is a very good read. Fantastic even. I don't know why I didn't read this one earlier, but I'm glad I finally got round to it.

  4. #64
    Fledgling fantasy writer aeriph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    North Yorkshire, UK

    Extreme Fantasy

    Not really sure if this counts, but I just finished The Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy. I spotted it in a bookshop in Padstow and it turned out to be really enjoyable. The stories share quite a loose definition of "fantasy" which basically seems to be "anything is possible". Not bad at all, although I feel like something a bit more substantial now.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Cardiff, UK
    I'm reading Path of Revenge, which reminding me why I both like and loath epic fantasy - lots of intriguing stuff but does it really have to take so many pages? Regardless I'm enjoying it.

  6. #66
    Inter spem metumque iacto Julian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    The Nether Lands
    Quote Originally Posted by Julian View Post

    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...
    Well, finished Bloodheir today.

    It's like Winterbirth - solid but not quite spetacular. There are some very good sections*, but certainly towards the end, the story doesn't seem to be getting anywhere. At first, I felt Ruckley was pulling alll the right strings, but gradually I began to realise he was shying away from the ensuing tangle. And ultimately, he decides to do nothing, leaving all the loose ends dangling loosely... It'll be interesting to see where he goes from here, though - I'll definitely be getting the next volume.

    Well, off to something new, now. Probably Lord Tophet, the concluding half of Gregory Frost's "stories within stories" tale.


    * MILD SPOILER -The first battle between Aewult's forces and the armies of the north is very well done.
    Last edited by Julian; September 22nd, 2008 at 10:35 AM.

  7. #67
    Registered User BrightStar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Despite having left the familiar lands of England for America this month, I've been keeping up a fairly active reading regime. Actually, I think I packed my suitcase full of more books than I did clothes.

    September started out rather badly with the first book in the Darksword series, which (though I had high hopes for it to begin with) ended up turning out to be quite a dissapointment. Having managed (barely!) to force my way through book one, and after reading the reviews for books two and three, I decided enough was enough. Best to quit before wasting any more time on that series. The Darksword series turned out to be nothing more than a massive bore for me, and I was sorry to be so let down by it.

    My reading habits followed a bit of a diversion from the norm after that. I read horror for a while, though was quite disappointed, and then shifted to sci-fi. And now I'm back to fantasy again.

    Most notable of my recent fantasy reads was Louise Cooper's (who never fails to please me) The King's Demon. This was typically satisfying of her work, though to be honest, not one of her best titles (I can't quite explain why though, it just didn't leave the same effect on me as other titles by her have).

    I tried reading James Herbert's Once, but soon ended up giving up with that. I suppose it's fantasy, though it may also be considered as horror. The premise sounded pretty interesting, and I'd been rather looking forwards to reading it, but it turned out to be a big letdown. I just never connected with the characters of the story, and I felt the writing style was far too overly descriptive for my tastes.

    I tried reading something called The Snow Walker Trilogy, but disliked this one so much that I gave up after a record two chapters. The writing made me want to cringe, the characters failed to interest me and the plot felt very cliche.

    Currently, I'm reading The Sleeping God. Another title that's struggling to hold my interest at the moment. I still have about eight books left on my to read pile here in America, but I'm beginning to get itchy for more titles. Sadly, I don't think there's all that much difference in the price between UK and US books, so it probably won't make much sense to buy many here (I'll have to get them back home, afterall). But there are apparently a couple of rather big used book stores in the local area here, so I'm hoping to get chance to check those out at some point.

  8. #68
    I finished "Night of Knives" by Ian C. Esslemont. I have to admit that it is my first encounter with the Malazan Empire, but that is because I only bought Steven Erikson's novels this year. But Ian C. Esslemont opened up my appetite for more Malazan world. I liked "Night of Knives" although some places and events are unfamiliar to me. And I will definitely read it again after I finish the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series.

  9. #69
    Next to Arch Stanton ezchaos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Maine, US
    Just finished Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. For some reason I forgot about this book and was excited when I finally picked it up. Like many, I really enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora. After finishing Red Seas I have to agree with those that were a little let down by it. At first, I really got into Red Seas, however, I had to hold back a groan when the pirate part started. After that, I had to force myself to continue reading. It felt like I was reading a Hollywood script. I really hope book 3 is better.

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Wolf View Post
    I finished "Night of Knives" by Ian C. Esslemont. I have to admit that it is my first encounter with the Malazan Empire, but that is because I only bought Steven Erikson's novels this year. But Ian C. Esslemont opened up my appetite for more Malazan world. I liked "Night of Knives" although some places and events are unfamiliar to me. And I will definitely read it again after I finish the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series.
    Technically, NoK is the first book chronologically in the series. Although reading it after a few of the Erikson's books allows the reader to get to know some of the characters.

  11. #71
    Just finished Brent Weeks' debut, The Way of Shadows.

    This book piqued my curiosity when I was told that it was similar in style to Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. And yet, though Brent Weeks' fantasy debut does bear some resemblance with Lynch's, The Way of Shadows has a lot more in common with R. A. Salvatore's Drizzt novels. Indeed, it is very similar in style and tone to Salvatore's The Legacy, Starless Night, and Siege of Darkness.

    I reckon it's meant to be another dark and gritty fantasy epic, but it clearly doesn't fall into GRRM's "school of hard knocks" category. Although The Way of Shadows explores some very mature themes such as child and sexual abuse, the overall tone of the narrative is definitely YA. The resulting work makes for an uneven read, as the author tackles themes you'll never see in a YA work, yet the narrative appears to be aimed at a more adolescent readership. I have a feeling that Weeks might have been too ambitious to a certain extent, and thus he failed to deliver the emotional impact that would have made some scenes truly powerful.


  12. #72
    Cranky old broad AuntiePam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    I started Midnight Tides last night, got about 50 pages in and remembered that I read it a year ago. It's weird. I remembered stuff as I was reading it -- it was like turning lights on as you proceed down a dark hallway. I debated whether or not to just re-read it but decided to start The Bonehunters instead.

  13. #73
    Felix Apathy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Near Books
    Sunday and Monday I read EE Knights Vampire Earth books 4-7. He is getting better at writing, but the quality is extremely uneven throughout the books. The best books so far have been Valentine's Rising and Valentine's Resolve.

    I do not really remember 1-3 well (since I read them a long time ago), but I have to say Tale of the Thunderbolt is by far the worst of the bunch. Everything about it just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason.

    Valentine's Rising is the best of the bunch, lots of tense action and the main guy kicking ass.

    Valentine's Exile has an interesting beginning, but it quickly becomes almost boring. There is a little action at the end.

    Valentine's Resolve is almost on par with Valentine's Rising, BUT EE Knight loves to show boring background on some other characters. He has something like a 75-ish page part with an airman that has no action and is just pretty damn boring.

    Fall with Honor is pretty consistent, but it did not have a lot of what I like seeing, Valentine kicking butt. It had Valentine doing interesting things, but I want more violence, brought about By Valentine, and ended by Valentine.

    I have some complaints about the series however. Why does every single book have to have a different woman in it?
    Why does Valentine not just kill everything (Fall of Honor, Valentine's Exile, Tale of the Thunderbolt)?
    Why does he not hurry the hell up and kill something (Fall of Honor, Valentine's Exile, Tale of the Thunderbolt)?
    I think the story should include Blake more, I mean comon! Being what Blake is it should be Valentine's sidekick or something...(for those who do not know Blake, do not worry about it).
    I dislike how the book does not dwell on pain. I mean the author mentions some things, but once the protogonist is injured, it is like a footnote, where the pain from a wound does not really interfere with anything, and is soon forgotten.
    But by far my biggest complaint is that Valentine needs to kill more. He should be a fighting killing machine wading through hundreds of bodies spilling blood and guts everywhere screaming "BLOOD AND SOULS FOR MY LORD ARIOCH!!!". Well maybe not hundreds, pure hack/slash'ms tend to be boring (not to mention the screaming part is the catchphrase of a certain albino...). But there definitely needs to be more killing. Definitely. VALENTINE killing.

    I would rate the series about a 4 out of 5. Weirdly some sections in the books deserve 5/5 stars, and other deserve 1/5 stars. So, as I said, it is very uneven.
    Last edited by Apathy; September 23rd, 2008 at 08:30 PM.

  14. #74
    Read interesting books
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    Dec 2005
    Ada, MI, USA
    I finished Fire Study by M. Snyder the last book in the Study trilogy and it was a good finale to the series.

    The first book was superb and unusual, the second an ok, standard romantic fantasy though the voice of Yelena the narrator kept it interesting enough for me to finish it, while here in the grand finale all the threads are brought together, the ultimate villains are faced - though I was surprised that none of our heroes including Yelena or the astute Valek figured out on their own who the real villain was though it was obvious from chapter one or so, only painting villain on the face could have made it more obvious so to speak - the nature of magic is explored further, Yelena finds her destiny...

    Enjoyable and keeping me interested in further novels by Ms. Snyder, though I still miss the freshness of Poison Study.


  15. #75
    Still finishing up a re-read of Gardens of the Moon. Wow this is a fantastic book. Just at Raest's part now and loving it! What great powerful creatures that Erikson brings to life...just awesome.

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