Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 53
  1. #1
    There is no tomorrow RedMage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    caught in the whirlwind of my imagination
    Posts
    1,400

    A story I can CARE about

    So I have been done very poorly on my summer reading list. Currently, I have 4 books that I have begun since the beginning of May (or so) and not one is finished. I am close on one of them, and in the middle of all the others. I can't seem to keep going.

    And I had a realization tonight on the cause of this: I simply do not Care about the characters or the stories. To clarify, I do care, I do want to read them all and complete the books. However, they are not pulling me in and demanding that I read them. I have no Need to find out what happens. But I want to. I want to read something that draws me in, grabs me and doesn't let me go and forces me to read it until it's done!

    So you know what I've been reading this summer, my current 4 books are:
    • Sourcery by Terry Pratchett--funny, but not drawing me in (I am a Pratchett fan though, so I know what I'm getting into with him)
    • Hounded by Kevin Hearn--same; funny, but not drawing me in
    • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin--almost done! but not drawing me in
    • Shadow's Son by our own Jon Sprunk--sorry Jon, I probably just haven't read enough yet for it to really draw me in


    So at the moment I have those 4. Right now, at the close of summer in the northern hemisphere, I would like to read to read something that is strong, passionate, dire, moving (progress is being made in the plot, not just character development and world building) and, possibly, epic. Stand-alones are ok, series are ok. Completed series, awesome! In progress series, I'm good with those too but would like for there to be at least 2 books out so I can run out and get the next one right away.

    Books I have read and enjoyed are:
    • The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
    • Shadow Bridge and Lord Tophet (duology) by Gregory Frost
    • First 2 books of the Mortal Coils series by Eric Nylund
    • The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
    • The Orphans of Chaos series by John C. Wright
    • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    • The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams--began slow, yes, but picked up and caught me with its alternate world


    Books I have read and won't continue their series for one reason or another:
    • A Game of Thrones by GRRM---too many characters, slow plot development
    • The Blade Itself by Abercrombie---I don't like Sword and Sorcery, I am finding
    • Spellwright by Blake Charleton (sp?)---just too slow, other issues I've seen mentioned elsewhere on this forum


    There are others for both categories, of course. So, based on those, any suggestions what might satisfy me for the moment?
    Last edited by RedMage; August 15th, 2011 at 11:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Uh, Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Posts
    3,606
    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage View Post
    [*]The Orphans of Chaos series by John C. Wright
    I recently finished this up despite thinking it was seriously flawed on many ways. Despite that, there was an entertaining core to it. One of the reasons I persisted was because I'd enjoyed his previous works - perhaps you'd care to try them? In my opinion, the earlier you go in his career the better his books get.

  3. #3
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ritzville, Washington, U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,030

    Look backward.

    Do not expect that more than a small fraction of what rolls off the presses month to month is going to be any good: Sturgeon's Law reminds us that that will never be so. Why not try, instead, skimming the cream of years gone by? There is excellent fantasy back from over 150 years ago, and one would think that 15 decades would provide quite a few shelves full of fine reading.

    There are various lists available, including my own, that run back over all those decades.

  4. #4
    Book of the Black Earth
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    788
    Blog Entries
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage View Post
    Shadow's Son by our own Jon Sprunk--sorry Jon, I probably just haven't read enough yet for it to really draw me in.
    I'm not insulted, Red. Thanks for trying it.

  5. #5
    Book of the Black Earth
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Pennsylvania
    Posts
    788
    Blog Entries
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by owlcroft View Post
    Do not expect that more than a small fraction of what rolls off the presses month to month is going to be any good: Sturgeon's Law reminds us that that will never be so.
    Good advice, Owl, except for this quote. Just because you don't enjoy a particular book doesn't mean it isn't 'good.' You know the old saying: opinions are like ....

  6. #6
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    6,233
    I would say keep trying with Jon's stuff. I think the first book clicks after a short while, so you should definitely keep going with it. It's worth reading just for Kit, in my opinion, but Caim is a brilliant protagonist nonetheless.

    I'm wondering if you're reading the right kind of books, though. You seem to have enjoyed more YA or light hearted books over the current crop of rather dark and gritty reads. I'd say you should perhaps go for Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow & Thorn series (I've not read it, but heard good things) which starts with The Dragonbone Chair, or even go for Trudi Canavan's The Black Magician Trilogy, which I'll recommend even though I thought the last book was pretty much 600 pages of utter *coughcoughsplutter*.

    Edit: Removed the Jim C. Hines recommendation - I just remembered you've read the books.
    Last edited by Loerwyn; August 16th, 2011 at 10:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Sprunk View Post
    Good advice, Owl, except for this quote. Just because you don't enjoy a particular book doesn't mean it isn't 'good.' You know the old saying: opinions are like ....
    All the armchair quarterbacks must make you chuckle Jon. Everyone has an opinion about what we think is "good" fantasy but very few of us have actually ever written a fantasy book that has been published.

    Reminds me of an English Lit professor I had all those many moons ago back in college. By every academic measure he was certain he was correct in his position. He had that high brow air of assumed superiority. Yet he had published nothing of note. I argued tooth and nail and then dropped the class in a week. No time for people like that. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the very next semester I had a new professor teaching the class and he was absolutely outstanding. Could it be an age thing? The 2nd professor was just recently out of grad school and extremely open minded about literature. Food for thought.

    Like you said, opinions are like....

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage View Post
    So I have been done very poorly on my summer reading list. Currently, I have 4 books that I have begun since the beginning of May (or so) and not one is finished. I am close on one of them, and in the middle of all the others. I can't seem to keep going.

    And I had a realization tonight on the cause of this: I simply do not Care about the characters or the stories. To clarify, I do care, I do want to read them all and complete the books. However, they are not pulling me in and demanding that I read them. I have no Need to find out what happens. But I want to. I want to read something that draws me in, grabs me and doesn't let me go and forces me to read it until it's done!

    So you know what I've been reading this summer, my current 4 books are:
    • Sourcery by Terry Pratchett--funny, but not drawing me in (I am a Pratchett fan though, so I know what I'm getting into with him)
    • Hounded by Kevin Hearn--same; funny, but not drawing me in
    • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin--almost done! but not drawing me in
    • Shadow's Son by our own Jon Sprunk--sorry Jon, I probably just haven't read enough yet for it to really draw me in


    So at the moment I have those 4. Right now, at the close of summer in the northern hemisphere, I would like to read to read something that is strong, passionate, dire, moving (progress is being made in the plot, not just character development and world building) and, possibly, epic. Stand-alones are ok, series are ok. Completed series, awesome! In progress series, I'm good with those too but would like for there to be at least 2 books out so I can run out and get the next one right away.

    Books I have read and enjoyed are:
    • The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
    • Shadow Bridge and Lord Tophet (duology) by Gregory Frost
    • First 2 books of the Mortal Coils series by Eric Nylund
    • The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
    • The Orphans of Chaos series by John C. Wright
    • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    • The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams--began slow, yes, but picked up and caught me with its alternate world


    Books I have read and won't continue their series for one reason or another:
    • A Game of Thrones by GRRM---too many characters, slow plot development
    • The Blade Itself by Abercrombie---I don't like Sword and Sorcery, I am finding
    • Spellwright by Blake Charleton (sp?)---just too slow, other issues I've seen mentioned elsewhere on this forum


    There are others for both categories, of course. So, based on those, any suggestions what might satisfy me for the moment?
    Look forward. Don't waste your time wading through the murky, dated, and unimaginative world of magical realism.

    Lots of really good authors out there putting out some very creative stuff. Patrick Rothfuss is one of the best. Bakker's Second Apocalypse is also superbly written. Anything by China Mieville is recommended, although do yourself a favor and start with Perdido Street Station.

  9. #9
    I suspect you would like Robin Hobb. Liveship Traders Trilogy, Assassin's Apprentice Trilogy, Tawny Man Trilogy, Soilder's Son Trilogy. All are heavy on emotion and relationships. Doesn't work for me but you might enjoy it.
    Last edited by 3rdI; August 16th, 2011 at 01:19 PM.

  10. #10
    Kay is worth reading if you can stomach the romance and love of country slant. You might enjoy The Finovar Tapestry.
    Last edited by 3rdI; August 16th, 2011 at 11:36 AM.

  11. #11
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    6,233
    Anyway, I'd like to throw an odd one into the mix. How about Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay? It's a very highly rated book as far as I'm aware, and it might be what you're looking for.
    Last edited by Loerwyn; August 16th, 2011 at 10:50 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    Anyway, I'd like to throw an odd one into the mix. How about Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay? It's a very highly rated book as far as I'm aware, and it might be what you're looking for.
    That was actually the first title i was thinking of when I read the OP.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage
    I would like to read to read something that is strong, passionate, dire, moving
    Err...Best Served Cold (Joe Abercrombie) fits the bill admirably - but the fact that you didn't enjoy The Blade Itself doesn't bode well But still....

    As for Williams: i'd recommend going with his Otherland series, I found the characters much more 'real' and engaging than MST's. Also highly recommended, and very likely more to your liking than Best Served Cold: Riddle-Master trilogy by Patricia McKillip.

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.

  13. #13
    Way Too Human
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    Posts
    124
    Well, let me put this out there, and hope I don't get too pummeled for it.

    Mordant's Need, a two part series by Stephen R. Donaldson.

    I ready it several (or more) years ago and was completely surprised how it drew me in. It is still amongst my favorite stories with some of my favorite characters.

  14. #14
    sapper-in-chief Whiskeyjack's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Western Honduras
    Posts
    324
    Let me recommend Fiona Mcintosh's Myrren's Gift (first book in her series The Quickening), which I think fits your criteria. It reads quickly, has several interesting elements, and touches issues of loyalty, honor, and courage in the face of personal setbacks.

  15. #15
    Sean Russell's Swan's War Trilogy is very good and very underrated.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •