Thread: Reading in October 2008
October 10th, 2008, 01:57 PM #46
Just finished The Devil You Know by Mike Carey. I vaguely remember hearing about this book but had forgotten about it until I saw it at the store. I'm glad I picked it up. The story is set in our contemporary world where something has stirred up the dead and ghosts have become somewhat common. The main character is an exorcist for hire who makes the ghost disappear. In addition to ghosts there are demons and were-creatures. The closest I can describe the book is maybe a cross between the Dresden Files and the Joe Pitt books. If you're a fan of these books or non-romantic urban fantasy/horror, you'll probably like The Devil You Know. I can't wait to pick up Vicious Circle which is book two.
Speaking of Joe Pitt, I just today picked up Every Last Drop. Will probably devour it this weekend.
October 12th, 2008, 08:00 AM #47
In Resenting The Hero by Moira J. Moore, talented individuals known as "Shields" and "Sources" must work together to prevent natural disasters from occurring on an unstable planet. Lots of humor and a spice of romance.This was a fun, quick read and I'll be checking out the sequels.
Just finished Twilight by Stephenie Meyer to see for myself what the fuss was about. While I can understand why my 12 year old niece is raving about it, I'm suffering from a very severe sugar overdose. Pass me the salt please.
October 12th, 2008, 08:47 AM #48
Well, did get started on Ian Bank's Excession for the bookclub. Then my amazon order came through and I was flicking through a few of the new arrivals for a quick glance. 200 pages later, I'm really enjoying Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself. Lovely and twisted characters even if it takes time for the plot to get going. I'm waiting for the author to put the characters through the wringer.
October 12th, 2008, 07:39 PM #49
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Ann Arbor, MI, USA
I finished The Painted Man by P. Brett
I put my thoughts in the book's thread - excellent book, the glowing reviews are well deserved and book 2 became an asap one for me.
October 13th, 2008, 10:54 AM #50
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
Read The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas under Red Skies by Scott Lynch the first part of this month, I followed them up with Brent Weeks debute novel The Way of Shadows which I finished this weekend.
Enjoyed the setting of both, which there can be some similarities mentioned I suppose. Looking forward to reading more in both series.
I've just started His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik yesterday, and will probably finish that in the next few days as it isn't overly long and quite the light and fast read so far.
If you can't tell I'm on a bit of what I'd call a popcorn binge. I read ALL of Steven Erikson's MBotF series out to date, back to back before reading those listed above and was in dire need of something less intricate and dense.
I'll read the first few in Novik's series, if I end up liking the first one, and then will switch back to the next Night Angel book when it comes out at the end of the month.
I've also started Perdido Street Station but got distracted and haven't gotten more than 50 pages into it, I wasn't in the mood for it wanted to wait and read it when I can give it a fair shake.
October 13th, 2008, 01:50 PM #51
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
Haven't had time to post in a while. Now, what have I read:
Bitterwood by James Maxey: An interesting addition to the dragon fantasy ... subgenre? ... field? ... whatever, in which dragons rule a post-apocolyptic setting and humanity languishes in servitude. Focuses on both the hero myth and prejudicial hatred, [as represented by dragons and humans], and does a bang-up job with both, though without giving anything away the ending is a mite idealistic. The plot moves apace, which serves as a pleasant distraction from the prose which I do not remember fondly, [though I admit it's been a few weeks and I couldn't tell you why.] There are quite a large number of pov characters, which divides development time up to the point where some of the supporting players are pretty thin, but none of the characterization is offensively bad and some of the lead characters like the dragon king are quite memorable. There are also some intriguing hintings of SF, which become slightly more than hintings near the end, and I imagine this will become a fascinating spice for the setting in future installments. Oh yeah, it's the first in a series. Recommended if you like yourself some dragon action and tight plotting with an overt but certainly not Goodkindian moral emphasis, and can tough out some puce prose now and again.
Blood Engines by T A Pratt: This book falls into the new crop of witch-in-big-city urban fantasies which Butcher and Carey do so well and Hamilton so ... but no, we will not go there. A fun romp with one or two wicked action scenes which, [with the exception of one rather lengthy sequence early on which while gratuitous does things to illuminate both the magic system and the plot], avoids the oversexed quality of some UF such as ... but, again, no. The central character, Marla Mason, is intriguingly hard-nosed and dedicated at the same time, and certainly appears to be a character worthy of exploration over multiple installments. The banter between Marla and the supporting cast shows some of the stiffness evident in Harry Dresden's early wisecracks only more so, and Pratt has yet to truly master the one-liner. But this awkwardness in dialogue may ease with time. Oh, and whilst the novel's the first in a series it stands completely on it's own, with only one or two wee plot points left hanging for later. The plot is tight, the characters pretty okay, and the concepts querky and engaging, with much of the tale's mythic flavouring coming from Aztec rather than European sources. Not Butcher, or Carey, or Huston, but well worth a look if you grok this kind of stuff.
Dust by Elizabeth Bear: A mix of high fantasy trappings, [there's magic swords and such], with an environment under-pinned by SF concepts and cyberpunk trimmings. And yet the whole thing blends together beautifully, with no one element feeling like it's grafted on just because the writer wants it there. The writing ranges from the stayed and arcane to the blunt and colloquial, and I somehow got the impression that Bear had written the book quite quickly, though the fact that she's got four books out this year might have something to do with this. The querks in the writing aside the thing is bloody brilliant, both as a straight-up yarn and as an examination fo fraught interpersonal relationships and the implications of assuming mantles of power. [Oh, and there's stuff about memory and things in there too. I'm sure I'm missing some of the thematic elements as it's been a while since I read the book.] Bear also eats gender taboos for breakfast, which is intriguing to watch and plays in nicely to the interpersonal elements of the story. The novel's written in such a way that intellectual engagement with what is going on is encouraged but optional. Highly recommended by this humble reader if you wanna read about some cool stuff and maybe think just a tiny bit while doing so.
Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik: This be the fifth book in Novik's Temeraire series, following directly on from the shameless cliff-hanger which ended Empire of Ivory. The novel retains the approachability of earlier installments. [Yes, the dragons are still appealing and a bit cute.] At the same time, though, it deals with heavier subject matter, -- such as the invasion of the main characters' homeland, -- and dodges providing pat answers to thorny moral dilemmas. While again the dragons are still engaging they are also more assertive and majestic this time round. I found the plot to be the tightest since Novik's first installment, and the weightier material a welcome inclusion within the context of the still very digestible story. With the possible exception of the original His Majesty's Dragon this is Novik's best book to date.
Last edited by mjolnir; April 29th, 2011 at 02:29 AM.
October 14th, 2008, 06:37 AM #52
Ehhh, I kind of went on a reading binge the past uhh 4,5 days. Read close to 10 books. Reading binges feel kind of like getting high. Kind of amazed I was able to stop reading and do work inbetween reading.
Deadhouse Gates by Erikson. I was drawn more quickly into this book than the first one. A good read. However, I found that the book was extremely depressing. The feeling of optimism I felt with Gardens of the Moon could hardly be felt here. Did the author's dog die or something? I hope Memories Of Ice is a bit more...uplifting.
Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines. I checked this book out based on a post or two in the forum saying it was good. And it is good. Very good. Whenever I read something that is as unique, fun, and enjoyable as this I am always highly satisfied. It ended so well too. I cannot wait to read the next two. Which should be arriving within a week. Hopefully. One of the best reads of the year for me.
I also read four of Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt series. Already Dead, No Dominion, Half the Blood of Brooklyn, and the best so far, Every Last Drop. The books are no 600/700 page monsters like lots of other novels, and each left me unsatisfied. I was unsatisfied because I did not see enough of the world, and I enjoy the black humor throughout the books. The most recent one was really a kicker. Now I gotta wait something like a year for the next. &*().
I picked up several of L. E. Modesitt's Corean Chronicles. I read Legacies, Darknesses, and Scepters. I was going to go to the fourth book, but it drops the main character from the first three. I think he probably should have killed it at three books. I was checking the 4th out and it seemed very similar to the others. Magic/military/semi-espionage genre. Those seem to be the stable of Modesitt. It would be nice to see some variation. Good, enjoyable books. Nothing amazing, but still good.
608+352+288+272+240+272+608+528+624= 3792 pages in total in 5 days. That's a hell of a lot of pages.
October 14th, 2008, 07:52 AM #53
I finished an Empire in Black and Gold and I think the book is decent. Some very imaginative ideas but at the same time the story was a bit lacking in certain parts. There were very few characters that I enjoyed reading about. The plot also is rather cliche. Of course I could have been a litle prejudiced going into the book becuase I before this one I read Toll the Hounds and Return of the Crimson Guard. I'll definately read the next book in the series.
Just started the Red Wolf Conspiracy, about 130 pages in.
October 14th, 2008, 08:35 AM #54
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
Finished Ramsey Campbell's Ancient Images. Good novel for around October and Halloween. A film historian dies after discovering a lost Karloff and Lugosi film that was never shown. A friend of the historian isn't sure whether the death was suicide or murder since the film disappears, and she goes on a quest to track down another copy.
In spite of that start, the book veers off into the territory of film different from anything by Karloff and Lugosi, but saying which might be giving away too much. Campbell does a good job of delineating character and setting the scene -- his town of Redfield is quite well drawn. There are a couple of scenes likely to raise goosebumps and one that is somewhat gory, but mainly Campbell is concerned with building tension and suspense, and realizes that the basis of a horror story is a story that holds up on inspection.
Right now I'm about half way through Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. A Hungarian Count, the Great Detective, the Good Doctor, a dog named Snuff, a cat named Graymalk, and a neighbor named Larry Talbot. What more could you want from an October read? The only relevant question left is, are you an opener or a closer? It's been so long since I read anything by him, I'd almost forgotten how how engaging Zelazny's work is.
October 14th, 2008, 12:42 PM #55
I finished up Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover last week and finally got a review up. It's a very good book and lives up to the hype that's built over the years.
I'm now reading Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan.
October 14th, 2008, 02:42 PM #56
- Join Date
- May 2008
Finished 20th Century Ghosts -- it ended up being more fantasy than horror, so not inappropriate for this thread.
It's a great collection. Joe Hill's now tied with Paolo Bacigalupi for my favorite short-story writer. The first, second, third and last stories were, IMO, the best. Some of them didn't work for me as well as others did, and a couple just seemed to fizzle out without going anywhere (I felt like they were more character studies than stories, with no real plot to speak of), but there was not a single really terrible clunker in the bunch. The prose is consistently excellent -- this is a collection that should work for genre readers and lit-fiction fans alike.
And "Best New Horror" is still perfect Halloween reading.
October 15th, 2008, 07:13 AM #57
I finished Victory of Eagles last night, which is the last of Novik's Temeraire books currently published. I think it's clear that it's not the end, although one would assume the books would have to end whenever the Napoleonic wars ended.Spoiler:Though I don't think Napoleon ever made it to Britain, so we're in an alternate universe anyway. How long can the book spossibly take?
Last edited by Amaunette; October 16th, 2008 at 10:08 AM. Reason: Wrong book name
October 15th, 2008, 01:05 PM #58
- Join Date
- May 2008
- Northern VA
Well, I was lucky enough to take a week of vacation so I have a nice list of books read so far this month. Here it is in order.
Charlaine Harris - The Southern Vampire Mysteries
All Together Dead (Book 7)
From Dead To Worse (Book 8)
Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files
Fool Moon (Book 2)
Grave Peril (Book 3)
Summer Knight (Book 4)
Death Masks (Book 5)
Blood Rites (Book 6)
Naomi Novik - Temeraire
Empire of Ivory (Book 4)
I just got Brandon Sanderson's The Hero of The Ages (Mistborn Book 3) and I'm enjoying that very much.
Last edited by Justin2209; October 15th, 2008 at 01:07 PM.
October 15th, 2008, 02:56 PM #59
Just finished Children of the Night by Dan Simmons. Definitely one of his minor works.
October 15th, 2008, 03:04 PM #60
- Join Date
- Jul 2001
- Hobbit Towers, England
- Blog Entries
You know, Children of the Night is one of the few Simmons I haven't read, and I keep meaning to.
Might make a good Halloweener?
I've forgot to mention that I've read a great dragon book: The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas, due out in 2009. (We've been talking about it HERE.)
And I'm currently reading a book called Twelve by Jasper Kent. Napoleonic history style novel, with vampires! Great stuff so far, about half way through: more when I review later.
Mark / HobbitMark
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