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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)
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.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 20 Sep 2017 : 18:45:10
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.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 20 Sep 2017 : 17:20:08
It wasn't so much that they were "not good" lol (I liked several characters in WotSQ, and they couldn't really be considered "good"). I don't necessarily need to relate to a character (sometimes I enjoy it more if I don't), it just took me a while to really care about them.
Markustay Posted - 20 Sep 2017 : 03:17:47
Well, it IS Thay, and 'good guys' in Thay would be slimey bastiches anywhere else. LOL

So, yeah - hard to identify with "the best of a VERY bad lot". None of them are particularly likable (except Mirror, as you've pointed out, and it starts off with HIM already dead). That wasn't a spoiler, BTW - I think you find that out on like pg. 1.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 19 Sep 2017 : 23:38:49
I also really enjoyed Blades of the Moonsea. There were a few Spellplague references, but I agree, Markustay, it felt very "Realmsian". For Haunted Lands, I just had trouble getting into it, even without the Spellplague. It just took awhile for me to really care about what was going on. Mirror was probably the only character I really liked. Aoth grew on me later, but it took time. However, the follow-up series (BotG) was quite good, imo.
Markustay Posted - 19 Sep 2017 : 23:21:11
I'd have to agree with CorellonsDevout on that one. It wasn't a seamless, "can't put it down" kind of thing. Its slow going, but it's starting to pick up momentum.

Probably in both our cases, its more of a "how can I enjoy myself when I don't like where (when) I am?" In the case of the Blades of the Moonsea - which I enjoyed - you can pretty-much ignore the Spellplague and just pretend you are in an earlier era. It feels like the Realms we know. But in this series - despite Richard's excellent writing - you have your face constantly rubbed in Spellplague... you just can't get away from it. It happens DURING a very crucial scene (pivotal battle), and everyone was like, "Mystra's dead... well that sucks". I'm simplifying it, obviously, and he does portray the sweeping changes rather well (going so far as to even mention things happening well outside Thay). So, if you can take a deep breath, you might get past 'the smell'. LOL

I'm hoping books 2 & 3 are less spellplague-focused. Its only the quality of his writing that is keeping me hanging in there.

CorellonsDevout Posted - 18 Sep 2017 : 23:50:02
It took me awhile to get in to Haunted Lands. The characters didn't really resonate with me (other than Mirror), but I got through them, and the follow-up series, Brotherhood of the Griffin, was good.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 18 Sep 2017 : 20:17:07
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I think I read all the 4e era books lol. I didn't like what had happened, but I wanted to stay on top of things, and there were some good novels in the 4th edition, even if 4e itself wasn't that great.



I initially read just 2 of the 4E novels, and found they did not work for me. These tales, though, I have heard only good things about, and I've liked other stuff by Richard Lee Byers, so I decided to try them out.

I just hope they don't turn out to be like other popular series that I wound up disliking... The War of the Spider Queen, for example, has a great many fans -- but I quite thoroughly dislike the series.
CorellonsDevout Posted - 18 Sep 2017 : 20:06:31
I think I read all the 4e era books lol. I didn't like what had happened, but I wanted to stay on top of things, and there were some good novels in the 4th edition, even if 4e itself wasn't that great.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 18 Sep 2017 : 15:40:55
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I'm finally reading the Haunted Lands trilogy, as I promised Richard Bryers I would at Gencon 2012. I got a kindle Paperwhite for my birthday, so I am finally getting back to my reading, which fell way-off when they closed all the bookstores.

So far, so good. I find a couple of things a bit weird (things changed over the course of 4e, which invalidated some of what goes on), but story-wise, its solid.



I need to read those books, myself. I got the Brotherhood of the Griffon books just last year, and less than a month ago finally laid hands on the third book of the Haunted Lands -- I got the first two when they came out, and then somehow never got the third.
Markustay Posted - 18 Sep 2017 : 15:17:07
I'm finally reading the Haunted Lands trilogy, as I promised Richard Bryers I would at Gencon 2012. I got a kindle Paperwhite for my birthday, so I am finally getting back to my reading, which fell way-off when they closed all the bookstores.

So far, so good. I find a couple of things a bit weird (things changed over the course of 4e, which invalidated some of what goes on), but story-wise, its solid.

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