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 What are you reading? (2016 & 2017)

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Wooly Rupert Posted - 01 Jan 2016 : 22:59:08
I decided that we weren't going to continue using the 2014 reading discussion... So here's a new one for the new year!

(And since this thread has but a few pages, might as well use it for 2017, as well.)
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Taleras Posted - 26 Nov 2017 : 02:11:10
That's what I've been doing with the Drizzt series, but I was wondering if the WoT series was more compelling to plow through. I probably will end up just taking a break with another book unless I feel like I can just keep going.
Artemas Entreri Posted - 26 Nov 2017 : 01:33:57
quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Starting Path of Daggers.

I guess that I'm going finish the whole series before this year ends.



Once I catch up in the Stormlight Archive and read another FR novel I think I'm going to jump into this series...should I plan on reading it straight through or plan on taking breaks with other novels? Are they all as long as the first?



Those long series can be pretty mentally taxing even if you are enjoying them. When I read the Malazan Book of the Fallen I would read 3 Malazan books and then read a shorter book from a different series just to "reset."
Taleras Posted - 25 Nov 2017 : 16:08:03
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Starting Path of Daggers.

I guess that I'm going finish the whole series before this year ends.



Once I catch up in the Stormlight Archive and read another FR novel I think I'm going to jump into this series...should I plan on reading it straight through or plan on taking breaks with other novels? Are they all as long as the first?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 24 Nov 2017 : 04:47:20
All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault was fun. It almost, but not quite, makes my list of fave new reads of the year.

Right now I'm reading one called Jade City. It's basically about a magic kung fu mafia family, dealing with another magic kung fu mafia family. It's a world like -- but not identical to -- Earth, where jade actually has magic powers, and just having some jade on your person makes you faster, stronger, have better senses, etc. However, if you've not trained for years to handle that kind of a boost, it can cause a lot of problems -- up to and including something called the Itches, an adverse reaction that can lead to death or insanity.

After this one, I'm going to revisit one of my favorite fictitious duos: Arilyn and Danilo. It's been a while.
Zeromaru X Posted - 23 Nov 2017 : 21:55:26
Starting Path of Daggers.

I guess that I'm going finish the whole series before this year ends.
Taleras Posted - 14 Nov 2017 : 02:41:50
So before I could finish Shadowdale I decided to start The Way of Kings because I often like to have two books going at once so I can swap back and forth. Usually I have a night book and a morning book. The Way of Kings has almost completely taken over. I'm almost done with Shadowdale and I am thoroughly enjoying it, but TWoK is just so engrossing I can't put it down! Almost done with it, can't wait to start on Words of Radiance when I finish it up. I think I will finish Shadowdale before I head into WoR though.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 13 Nov 2017 : 05:20:06
So I read a book called Ice Station Nautilus -- I decided I needed a break from fantasy/sci-fi, so I read something Tom Clancy-esque. It was enjoyable. It's about a US sub and a Russian sub colliding under the Arctic ice cap; the US sub is badly damaged and the Russian one sinks. The US tries to rescue the Russians, and of course the Russians pull some serious shenanigans...

Last year, I wandered into a bookstore and discovered a book called Mechanical Failure. What caught my eye on that one was the subtitle - "Please restart your warship." It's a hilarious sci-fi military book; it made my list of favorite new reads last year.

The sequel, Communication Failure, just made the list for this year. I recommend both books.

Next up is a book that I will readily admit caught my attention purely because of the title: All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault. A title like that, you've got to see what it's about.
Madpig Posted - 01 Nov 2017 : 07:08:16
Been reading Harry Turtledoves novels a lot lately. Somehow I think Timeline-191 novels that have CSA to win Civilwar seems really plausible by me. I can highly recommend them for everyone.
Zeromaru X Posted - 31 Oct 2017 : 20:29:45
Starting Lord of Chaos (book 6 of the Wheel of Time, though its the seventh in my reading order).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Oct 2017 : 16:44:20
Right now I'm reading Dracula vs. Hitler. The title grabbed my attention, for obvious reasons.

The premise of the book is that the events of Dracula really happened -- though Bram Stoker perhaps took some liberties here and there (one of those being what happened to Dracula after his defeat). Now it's 1941, and the Nazis are brutally cracking down on Romanian resistance... So Abraham Van Helsing, a resistance leader, decides that the best response to Nazi brutality is to recruit a former local prince known for both his brutality and his determination to protect his land: Dracula.

As a fan* of the book Dracula, and as a fan of alt history, I had to read this one as soon as I saw the title. I just started it yesterday, though, so I've only gotten as far as Van Helsing reawakening the Count, and Dracula regaining his strength by feeding on a Nazi soldier.

Interestingly, the author is rather mimicking Stoker -- the book is told in the same epistolary format (journal entries and such), and has some similar characters. There's a British agent, Jonathan Harker (grandson of the original Jonathan and Mina Harker); another British agent whose wits were scrambled in a head injury -- who was using the code name Renfield, and who immediately, upon meeting him, proclaims Dracula to be his master; a beautiful young woman named Lucy (actually, Lucille Van Helsing, Abraham Van Helsing's daughter); and Van Helsing himself. I assume we'll get some additional characters added, filling the role of Lucy's suitors from the original book.

So this one is off to a promising start. If you do read this one, I recommend reading the original Dracula first -- it's a worthy read, either way.



*Note: So while I do like Dracula and consider him the "baseline" for what a vampire should be, I'm not a fan of vampires in general, and certainly not the sexy vampire schtick. And glittery vampires are right out.

(I'm also not a fan of the Gothic scene, which strongly influences most vampire fiction. Yeah, I get why, but I'd like vampires better if they weren't pale beautiful people in black leather, hanging out in dark mansions under perpetually stormy skies. That trope is very much played out, as far as I'm concerned)
Artemas Entreri Posted - 14 Oct 2017 : 18:37:46
quote:
Originally posted by Taleras

So I decided to pick up Shadowdale as my next novel. Really enjoying it so far, it has more of that "Realms" feel that I think is missing from RAS novels. Love the RAS novels, but they just feel different.



That's one of those old classics that always made me feel like the entire story was a D&D campaign ... which I always loved.
Taleras Posted - 14 Oct 2017 : 04:30:16
So I decided to pick up Shadowdale as my next novel. Really enjoying it so far, it has more of that "Realms" feel that I think is missing from RAS novels. Love the RAS novels, but they just feel different.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 11 Oct 2017 : 17:08:50
I just finished reading Skyfarer. It wasn't great, but I did enjoy it. It brings the anime Last Exile to mind... And one of the characters brings to mind a character from the anime Vision of Escaflowne.

Next up is Leia, Princess of Alderaan. And I've got a road trip next week (that I've been very much NOT looking forward to!), which should mean a lot of reading time... So I'm going to revisit the Yamada Monogatari books.

I also recently finished Paradox Bound, which I found very enjoyable, though not quite as much as some of the author's other stuff (which I loved). He did drop in a reference to the nastybads from 14 and The Fold, which was a nice touch.

At its heart, Paradox Bound is a road trip book -- but the road trip doesn't just crisscross the US, it also pops around in history. Not to be part of historical events - the characters are searching for a lost artifact that could be anywhere in US history.

And interestingly, the vehicles that travel thru history (the "searchers" are careful to correct the new guy, when he refers to traveling thru time) are not time machines -- the main qualification for a vehicle to be able to drive thru history is that it's American-built. The time travel takes a different approach, too -- instead of a flux capacitor or anything like that, you just have to know where the places are that time has kind of passed by, and you can use those spots to travel back and forth to different points in history. It's about knowing where to go and that it's possible, more than anything else.

The book is not historical fiction, either -- there's only two characters that have any historical prominence, and neither is a major character. One is the legendary John Henry, and the other is strongly implied to be (but not actually named) as James Dean (the book says he faked his death).

Another nice touch is favors... Time travel complicates the whole issue of personal timelines, so the searchers have worked out a way to exchange and track favors that allows them to be called in, regardless of when the people actually meet. So it is possible to meet someone for the first time in 1953, and call in a favor from them in 1887.

There are also bad guys, who are literally faceless and have their own odd relationship with time.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 30 Sep 2017 : 18:17:47
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

So, I finally finished the '1st' book of Haunted Lands, and discovered a problem... stupid Kindle gave me the second book FIRST. That would never have happened if these were physical books. So now I just started the 1st book for real... no wonder I couldn't really 'get into' the story for awhile... I missed the whole first part.

Funny thing is, Wooly, that I had actually read the 4th book for the Safehold series first, so I guess this is just 'a thing' with me. LOL
{Not that I meant to - I had gotten it for Christmas and didn't even realize it was a '4th' book until after I was done. I have since gone back and read them all in order.}

EDIT:
Awhile back I had read The Golden Compass ('Northern Lights' in non-American markets), but I never got around to the other books, even though I recall enjoying it. Has anyone read the whole His dark Materials series? How was it? Worth the read?



I read the whole trilogy back in high school (I actually found the Golden Compass in an English section of a bookstore when I was in Japan lol). It was a pretty good read, and if you've read Ursula's Le Guin's Earthsea books, you will notice some similarities.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 30 Sep 2017 : 17:46:11
I read The Golden Compass, and it simply did not work well enough for me to make me want to read more.
Markustay Posted - 30 Sep 2017 : 17:17:00
So, I finally finished the '1st' book of Haunted Lands, and discovered a problem... stupid Kindle gave me the second book FIRST. That would never have happened if these were physical books. So now I just started the 1st book for real... no wonder I couldn't really 'get into' the story for awhile... I missed the whole first part.

Funny thing is, Wooly, that I had actually read the 4th book for the Safehold series first, so I guess this is just 'a thing' with me. LOL
{Not that I meant to - I had gotten it for Christmas and didn't even realize it was a '4th' book until after I was done. I have since gone back and read them all in order.}

EDIT:
Awhile back I had read The Golden Compass ('Northern Lights' in non-American markets), but I never got around to the other books, even though I recall enjoying it. Has anyone read the whole His dark Materials series? How was it? Worth the read?
Wooly Rupert Posted - 24 Sep 2017 : 16:23:35
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Or 'filler' (something thats just a placeholder, sort of). Sometimes even a great name can fall flat (like Tarabithia - MAN, was that name wasted on that movie).


That was actually a book, first.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I'll steer clear of that one, Wooly. Right now I have to catch up on my FR reading (anything pertaining to the Spellplague because of the geographic changes). Also awaiting the next safehold novel by David Weber.



I really enjoyed that one, myself.
Markustay Posted - 24 Sep 2017 : 06:40:08
Or 'filler' (something thats just a placeholder, sort of). Sometimes even a great name can fall flat (like Tarabithia - MAN, was that name wasted on that movie).

I'll steer clear of that one, Wooly. Right now I have to catch up on my FR reading (anything pertaining to the Spellplague because of the geographic changes). Also awaiting the next safehold novel by David Weber.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 21 Sep 2017 : 20:39:04
Sounds almost like the author was trying to put a creative spin on the world "Faerie", but didn't really succeed.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 21 Sep 2017 : 18:50:45
I finished The Magicians and was rather disappointed. I'm rather glad I didn't go ahead and spring for the other books; I had considered it, before starting the book.

The main character is rather unlikable. He's perpetually miserable, and has some moments of being a real jerk. He can be a decent dude, most of the time (when he's not being miserable), but he's otherwise lacking in anything redeeming or interesting. A lot of the other characters are rather one-note types, and are similarly just not interesting or appealing.

Most of the book is the buildup to the main character and his friends going to the world of Fillory -- a world they'd all read about as kids, thinking it was fiction. The book takes forever to get to that point, though, and it's not as much a buildup as an aimless, meandering traipse that only points to Fillory about 2/3rds of the way into the book.

And Fillory itself is Narnia with the serial numbers filed off. There are minor differences, but those differences seem to be more for the sake of appearance than making it something truly different.

It does pick up, considerably, once they get to Fillory, but it isn't enough to save the book from being ultimately unsatisfying.

It is not one that I recommend, and I am not likely to read it again. I may not even keep the book.

Also, the name "Fillory" just bugs me. For some reason, it strikes me as one of the worst names I've seen for a fantasy world.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 21 Sep 2017 : 04:48:54
Still reading the m/m romance/fantasy/horror Whyborne and Griffin series. The m/m genre is a guilty pleasure of mine, and this serise is one of my favorites.

I have also acquired some more Pathfinder novels that are on my to-read list. I started reading on of the PF novels called Skinwalkers
Taleras Posted - 21 Sep 2017 : 03:48:12
Onto The Two Swords now! I think I'll be taking a break from the Drizzt story line after finishing this book and will either start the WoT series or possibly venture into some other Realms novels. I have a few waiting on my bookshelf. Like Silverfall, Shadowdale, and The Parched Sea to name a few that I've had for a while, but haven't dove into yet.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 21 Sep 2017 : 01:42:03
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't need my novel characters to be good, so long as there is still something likable about them and they're not Chaotic Stupid. This only applied to one of the WotSQ characters, IMO.

I forget the name of the character, but there was one slaadi in the Erevis Cale books that I really liked -- the one that was very concerned with his attire.



Azriim. I loved him, too. He made me laugh.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Sep 2017 : 20:53:51
quote:
Originally posted by Artemas Entreri

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't need my novel characters to be good, so long as there is still something likable about them and they're not Chaotic Stupid. This only applied to one of the WotSQ characters, IMO.




Drives me crazy when authors have their "evil" characters perish because of stupid decisions.



That was part of why I didn't like the WotSQ -- the characters were Chaotic Stupid, and rather unlikable.
Artemas Entreri Posted - 20 Sep 2017 : 19:43:25
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't need my novel characters to be good, so long as there is still something likable about them and they're not Chaotic Stupid. This only applied to one of the WotSQ characters, IMO.




Drives me crazy when authors have their "evil" characters perish because of stupid decisions.

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