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  1. #31
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Just finished Vault of Deeds by James Barclay, a very entertaining novella about what happens when the bad guys start beating the heroes and the scribes (who record all events in books dedicated to each hero) are left hanging and waiting for the next batch of heroes to record their deeds.

    It's a great read, full of humour and pokes fun at battles, heroes and language. Highly recommended.
    Totally agree: it is very different to James' other work, but great fun. James does a great reading of it too.

    It took me a couple of hours to get through, but I really wish it were longer to enjoy such great storytelling and characters.
    There will be more later, I understand - James has been asked for more by PS Publishing.

    Mark / Hobbit
    Mark

  2. #32
    I finished "Empire in Black and Gold" by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The novel is not entirely without flaws, but I like it. I believe that Adrian Tchaikovsky made a pretty good job with his created world, with a wonderful crossing between humans and insects and with the presence of interesting machines and automatons.
    I will look forward for the next novels in the series and I hope that the world-building will be further developed, because it is interesting.

    My next read is "Bloodheir" by Brian Ruckley.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    There will be more later, I understand - James has been asked for more by PS Publishing.
    Excellent!

  4. #34
    Registered User ben1xy's Avatar
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    Based on the many stellar blog reviews out there, I've decided to start on The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon. Hope that it lives up to its hype.

    Beyond this, just finished Tom Llyod's The Stormcaller. While not really groundbreaking, i really enjoyed the book and look forward to picking up The Twilight Herald after i complete The Shadow of the Wind. Strangely, i found some parts of the book to be really slow. Probably after page 80 till 200-ish. Luckily for me, the story picked up and overall, it was good

  5. #35
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    I finished Elements of Fire by Martha Wells the first in her Ile-Rien loose series - books 3-5 are a trilogy, the other two are standalones in earlier times -which is availble free online at the author' site.

    I posted some comments in the Death of a Necromancer thread, boook that I started and will finish soon, though I intend to finish Painted Man and/or Darkland first to alternate with books with a more modern tone

    Light, funny, likable characters, clear good guys, clear bad guys, kind of obvious where it goes - typical pre-new_epic_fantasists stuff, but I enjoyed it a lot and I intend to read all 5 Ile-Rien books.

    Recommended with the caveat above - do not expect anything original or deep, but if you enjoy Ms. Wells style and you are in the mood for a romp with swords and sorcery the book is for you.

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Amaunette View Post
    I'm 2/3 of the way through Clan of the Cave Bear, and so far it seems like a well-researched and engrossing tale. [...] I plan to continue reading into the series, at least until it fulfills my fears of turning into a romance novel.
    That will, I'm afraid, be the very next book. I loved and still love Clan of the Cave Bear, but IMO it is best read as a stand-alone, because starting with Book 2, the series takes a wrenching turn off the original track and alternates between caveman porn* and plodding descriptive passages. There will be entire paragraphs devoted to describing what the characters put in their tea, entire pages devoted to the flora of the areas they pass through, and pretty much nothing happening for 65-90% of any given book except for Ayla turning into Super Mary Sue and picking up plot coupons of awesomeness (basically she is singlehandedly responsible for, or at least involved with, every technological innovation until the dawn of history. For all I know she invents writing too, and I just didn't read far enough to see it). Additionally, there's a lot of poorly disguised sociopolitical woolgathering in the later books, which is interesting at first but then just gets incredibly annoying. The fake Amazons were the worst.

    Clan of the Cave Bear is a great book, but what follows is, unfortunately, increasingly not. I finally gave up around Book 4, but by all reports it just gets worse. So my strong advice is, if you love the first book, stop there before it gets ruined. I wish I had.


    (* -- which is nasty for reasons totally apart from your tolerance for explicit, pages-long sex scenes. In a world where people use dried mammoth dung for sanitary napkins and regularly go weeks without bathing, do you really want to read about them having oral sex? I read this like 15 years ago and I'm still mentally scarred.)

  7. #37
    Mask Specialist Sonja Ravenscroft's Avatar
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    I'm reading "Ghosts Of Lake Huron" by Richard Stonehouse, more mythology and ghost stories, but it's in my neck of the woods(on in this case lake ), interesting to see the tales that have sprung about in the area.

  8. #38
    I want to be a princess sic's mom's Avatar
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    After reading some really good reviews I decided to try Joe Hill's "Heart-Shaped Box." Not that far into it, but already it is grabbing me and I think I am really going to like it. Always have to read something scary during October. Curious to see how different his writing is from his fathers'.

  9. #39
    I'd read mixed reviews of Heart-Shaped Box (mostly positive, but just enough negative that I was a little hesitant about plunging into a novel) so I got Hill's short story collection 20th-Century Ghosts instead.

    So far I've only read the first story, "Best New Horror," but it was fantastic -- funny and creepy and clever. Great concept, taut writing, manages to be genuinely unsettling even though you know exactly where it's going and it pokes fun at itself because of that on the way there... it's just a phenomenal piece of work. They should teach it in horror writing classes. I don't know if the rest of the collection is going to be as good, but even if it's not, I feel like I got my money's worth just out of the very first story.

    Which is to say: if you have any liking for fantasy or horror or just short-story writing in general, give this story a read.

  10. #40
    Re-reading asoiaf while waiting for xmas. im not allowed to purchase new books form october until january.

  11. #41
    Registered User sylverpenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sic's mom View Post
    After reading some really good reviews I decided to try Joe Hill's "Heart-Shaped Box." Not that far into it, but already it is grabbing me and I think I am really going to like it. Always have to read something scary during October. Curious to see how different his writing is from his fathers'.
    Thought you might be interested that Joe Hill is Stephen King's son. He's seems to be following in dad's footsteps.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Hill_(writer)

    Penny

  12. #42
    Have started The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. Don't really know anything about Merlin's story, so should be interesting. I believe it's the first of three.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by monty mike View Post
    Have started The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. Don't really know anything about Merlin's story, so should be interesting. I believe it's the first of three.
    There is actually a fourth book as well. I don't think its actually part of the trilogy but takes place right after. I do remember I didn't like it as much as the first three. The Stewart trilogy are my favorite Arthur books.
    Last edited by hawkwind; October 10th, 2008 at 01:22 PM.

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky Hamster View Post
    That will, I'm afraid, be the very next book. I loved and still love Clan of the Cave Bear, but IMO it is best read as a stand-alone, because starting with Book 2, the series takes a wrenching turn off the original track and alternates between caveman porn* and plodding descriptive passages...
    Um. Ewww. Thanks for the warning. Now I just really wish I could get your description of caveman porn out of my head. So far, no luck.

  15. #45
    I want to be a princess sic's mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cranky Hamster View Post
    I'd read mixed reviews of Heart-Shaped Box (mostly positive, but just enough negative that I was a little hesitant about plunging into a novel) so I got Hill's short story collection 20th-Century Ghosts instead.

    So far I've only read the first story, "Best New Horror," but it was fantastic -- funny and creepy and clever. Great concept, taut writing, manages to be genuinely unsettling even though you know exactly where it's going and it pokes fun at itself because of that on the way there... it's just a phenomenal piece of work. They should teach it in horror writing classes. I don't know if the rest of the collection is going to be as good, but even if it's not, I feel like I got my money's worth just out of the very first story.

    Which is to say: if you have any liking for fantasy or horror or just short-story writing in general, give this story a read.
    I never have been big into short stories, but I am enjoying "Heart-Shaped Box" enough that I ordered 20th Century Ghosts from the library and will read it when I am done with this one.

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