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  1. #31
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    Unexpectedly i got a review copy of Malice by John Gwynne and I was quite excited and oh, what a let down as the book reads so juvenile and without any sophistication, but straight-out from the manual of how to write an epic fantasy for the pg 13 reader crowd. The beginning with a bargain with the evil, sealed by blood obtained by cutting the throat of a prisoner and ended by the villain asking timidly "what do you want for your help" and the big booboo answering ominously "I want you" was ominous indeed but at least i still had some hopes; only to be dashed in the next few pages which are pure juvenile writing; I then skimmed the book just in case and came upon pearls like:

    "I am a warrior Hal, not a nursemaid"

    yuck... A drop and never to hear of this series again

  2. #32
    Finally got around to finishing a Dance with Dragons. Not sure how I feel about this one yet. Like most people I love the first three books but the last two have dragged. I had an especially hard time with the Daenerys chapters in this book since they are the worst offender of nothing ever happening. Also the shocker at the end better not have happened the way it appeared to, or I may be done with this series. I guess I will find out in a few years.

    Reading Cronin's the twelve now.

  3. #33
    and I like to party. Seak's Avatar
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    Started listening to the second book in Tales of the Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld. Cugel the clever is such a great character and such a luscious backdrop. I guess there's a reason these have influenced so many writers.

  4. #34
    Registered User gljones's Avatar
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    Game of thrones has been beckoning on my bookshelf for a while
    Any thoughts on before I dive in?

  5. #35
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Not really. I definitely recommend you try it, but be warned that the series is pretty dry and can be hard going at times. Oh, and don't worry about not understanding who everyone is.

  6. #36
    Registered User gljones's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's the same thing my brother said. It was sort of a soap opera and he got lost in it. That's why it's still sitting on my shelf

  7. #37
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    Finished Stephen Deas 3rd and last Thief taker's apprentice, King's Assassin; very good, the best of the series and as good as anything the author has written; the characters from here will continue in the regular dragon series from now on:

    "The King's Assassin is the end of the original Thief-Taker's Apprentice series though of course characters from here will continue to appear in the next volume of the main series. The novel starts two years from the dramatic end of the last book when Berren escapes from his indenture as a "skag" on a ship in Skalda, a city on the other side of stormy oceans from his Deephaven home, because he sees his former master Syannis - presumed dead or imprisoned - on another ship in that port.

    Later Berren joins a mercenary force, gets involved with the efforts of Syannis and his brother Talon to retake their homeland Tethis, where their mentally challenged younger but legitimate step-brother Aimes "rules" as puppet of usurper Meridian, meets the warlock Kuy again and much more...

    Becoming known as "The Bloody Judge" with nine fingers off all things too, Berren is now very far in capabilities from the scared youth of the first two volumes, though inside he is as conflicted as ever. The King's Assassin contains so much stuff that I really do not want to spoil it, but it moves very well and you cannot stop turning the pages.

    There are some little logic miscues here and there - as Berren (and others) really should realize some stuff rather than act sullen for a while and later surprised at the bloody finale and the last third of the book covers a lot of time and events in a very condensed "one battle is as another" way, but the book works well and has narrative power with an ending that wraps things up while opening new avenues for the future.

    Also there are many tidbits scattered around about the author's world that add to its depth and promise a lot for further volumes and the geography of the author's universe expands considerably.

    In some ways, The King's Assassin is so different from the first two to seem as being from another series, a much darker, bloodier and more adult one; and in the author's noted style, the novel has almost no get out of jail cards, characters die and no one is safe..."

  8. #38
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Interesting, suciul. Would you recommend reading the adult series to book four, then the YA trilogy, then whatever comes next?

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    Interesting, suciul. Would you recommend reading the adult series to book four, then the YA trilogy, then whatever comes next?
    I have not read yet book 4 from the Dragon series (The Black mausoleum) though I plan to do so by year's end; i definitely recommend the Berren series as it has no connection so far with the dragon one and it is more engaging at least for me - I loved The Adamantine palace but the next 2 books in the dragon series worked less well - still enjoyed them but not as much while I really enjoyed all 3 Berren books a lot; one reason is that in the dragon series there is no clear main lead (except the dragons if you want...) after a while while this series stays focused on Berren and the people around him, most notably Syannis his "master" and Kuy the warlock

    Also the dragon books 1-4 take place in a remote and isolated part of the world where the dragons live, while the Berren books take place in a much larger area - the one connection are mysterious trader/slavers that appear in both series and who are the only one that know the way on the dangerous oceans of the world, so link these separate areas...

  10. #40
    dw4rf thrinidir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gljones View Post
    Game of thrones has been beckoning on my bookshelf for a while
    Any thoughts on before I dive in?
    Get ready for for a ****ing rollercoaster of a ride my friend. That's the book that made me delve deeper into fantasy in the first place. High expectations usually ruin the experience of many a good book, but I hope with this one (and especially book 2 and 3) expectations can only be met or exceeded <3

  11. #41
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Unexpectedly i got a review copy of Malice by John Gwynne and I was quite excited and oh, what a let down as the book reads so juvenile and without any sophistication,
    Not to be as harsh as suciul, though I will say that now that I'm a-way into it, it is disappointing, certainly after coming after The Red Knight. It's a page turner, but the saddest thing about it is that it is undemanding. There will be some who like it, I suspect, but it'll be those who haven't read similar already (and there are many others like it.)
    Mark

  12. #42
    Felis silvestris Hellions's Avatar
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    I finished The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson, first in the Repairman Jack series (and apparently also second in a larger cycle of the author's called the Adversary). This was an interesting thriller/detective story falling under the urban fantasy umbrella. Repairman Jack is perhaps a bit too eccentric but he's a likeable character and so is his weird entourage. The author put the shifting points of view to very good use, fleshing out each character to three dimensional status. According to the foreword, the book's original title was the Rakoshi, not very grabbing indeed but The Tomb as a replacement doesn't make any sort of sense. Anyway, it's quite entertaining, full of suspense and Hindu legends.

    For seasonal reading, I chose Norman Partridge's Dark Harvest. It's short and sweet as trick or treatin' candy. It's horror on the literate side with some poetic touches. And it's an unexpected surprise. A Midwestern town is under the curse of the October Boy, a Jack O' Lantern scarecrow which rises each year on Halloween to confront the teenage population in a game of life and death, the whole event being supervised and endorsed by the adults. The setting was well crafted and the town's hopelessly stifling atmosphere chokes the reader as the tale unfolds. The author really played with his omniscient voice to good effect, always jumping artfully from one character to the next, pulling the strings and tying the knots to a satisfying conclusion.

  13. #43
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Both of those I've had recommended, Hellions, and yet I've read neither. Both not easy to get here in the UK, though I think The Tomb's been re-released. Will have to have a look.
    Mark

  14. #44
    Hey all --

    I've been listening to Song of Arbonne and really enjoying it. This is my first book by Kay. It has a quality that makes me what to know what happens next -- always a good thing. And the narrator is just WONDERFUL. He's a new one for me, too. As those of you who have read the book will know, there's lots of songs throughout the book. And the narrator actually sings them -- and with a nice voice, too! Dunno where he got the tunes to go with the printed lyrics, but they are pleasant to hear.

    I'm highly recommending both the book and the audio production if anyone is looking for something to read or listen to. :-)

    eta --

    Oh, on the not-so-good front -- I recently listened to The Daemon Prism by Berg. I still love Berg, but the main narrator for this book (it actually uses 4 different narrators) is just AWFUL. He Enunciates Everything So Carefully And Clearly And Condescendingly, he sounds like he's reading a book to 4th graders. Just really offensive. I may have to go back and READ this one to get a true impression of it. I feel bad for Berg on this one -- the first two had perfectly reasonable people narrating, but they only got relatively minor parts in this one!
    Last edited by Contrarius; November 11th, 2012 at 03:45 PM.

  15. #45
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Finished up my re-read of Winter's Heart today. While the first half or so was a bit plodding, it was great to catch up with Mat again and that last chapter was terrific. Debating whether or not to skip over Crossroads of Twilight and go to Knife of Dreams
    You might enjoy 'em a bit more the second time, or if nothing else then you can just skim-read.

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