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goblins
Seeker

15 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2018 :  20:26:52  Show Profile Send goblins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After I finish Crucible I may pick up the texts and dig into this a little deeper in a separate thread. Not only do I want to take a more detailed look at PoL’s theology, this series has me thinking about what “faith” means in a world where there is demonstrable evidence of the existence of deities and how that might impact religious belief for people that want to be “good” (but would normally eschew religious practice). Thanks for the discussion.
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2267 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2018 :  03:03:02  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Let us know. I won't go into much more here, as this isn't the threat of it, but I think, as far as being "good" goes, it is what Demzer said. There are few true atheists in the Realms (as the gods are a real and established fact), so "faith" is more about your faith/belief in what X god stands for (in other words, moral outlooK). And if you you strive to be good but don't have a patron deity, chances are you nevertheless acknowledge the gods in some form, so you will be taken in by the god who is best aligned with your ethics.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 29 Jun 2018 04:20:11
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2018 :  03:44:00  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I finally finished The Legend of Eli Monpress... It wasn't bad, but it was far from great -- to the point that I was getting tired of reading it (it's 1000 pages; the book is actually an omnibus of 3 books).

Part of the problem was that it wasn't what it was sold as. I found it on a list of books that said "if you like capers, read these books." And then I looked at it, and saw the blurb "Fans of Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora will be thrilled with Eli Monpress."

The Locke Lamora books were great -- I heartily recommend those. Seeing that blurb was a major selling point for this book.

There were a couple of heists, but they barely went into caper territory, and they were not the major focus.

And all Eli Monpress has in common with Locke Lamora is that he's a thief who can improvise, and has a tank for a buddy.

Also, the back cover says it's "A tale of high adventure, romance, and larceny." It has adventure and larceny -- but the promised romance never even threatened to rear its head. There are two major female characters. One spends the book trying to capture Eli Monpress and bring him to justice, the other is a demon-possessed compatriot of his. In neither case was there anything approaching romantic feelings towards anyone else. The motivations of the male characters were flashy thefts and a good swordfight, and again, nothing approaching romance (not even a roll in the hay with a friendly barmaid).

I might have liked the book more if it wasn't sold as something it wasn't... The worldbuilding was kind of interesting. Everything has intelligent spirits, whether it's a door, the wind, an animal or a tree. And wizards don't work magic -- they can communicate with spirits and get the spirits to do things for them. So a wizard can get a stone spirit to raise a stone barrier around someone, for example.

Eli Monpress is special because spirits simply want to work with him. He doesn't have to bind them like other wizards; he can just ask a spirit to do something, and it does. His buddy Josef has the Heart of War, the greatest awakened sword in existence -- and an extreme reluctance to use it. Nico is possessed by a demon that she's trying hard to contain; she gets some really nifty abilities from this, but has to fight to keep control of herself. And the last character, Miranda, is hunting for Eli because his thefts give wizards a bad name.

It had potential, but I went into it expecting a cunning caper, and the promise of romance made me think Eli was somehow going to win over Miranda. The book loses for failing to live up to its promises.

Next up, Master Assassins, another recent acquisition.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 15 Jul 2018 :  16:31:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Next up, Master Assassins, another recent acquisition.



So this one was kind of different... The story revolves around two half-brothers, their uncle, and camp follower fleeing for their lives from the army the men all served in.

The overall story was interesting, but a couple of things bugged me... One was the book being written in present tense. I'm not used to seeing that, and it's so different from pretty much everything else I read that I was constantly aware of it.

The other thing was that the author apparently loves unanswered questions. And in most cases, this works. Where is the half-brothers' father? Why was his knowledge so dangerous? Why were the half-brothers raised in separate households? What happened to the girl both brothers loved?

But then there was the lingering question of relationships with that missing girl. We know in flashbacks that she and Kandri, one of the half-brothers, were intimate... What really bothers Kandri was that his half-brother Mektu claims the same thing. Mektu is known for saying nonsensical and untrue things, but these claims bother Kandri so much that it impacts the relationship between them. Mektu knows this and seems to revel in it. This whole subplot seriously detracted from the overall story, to me.

There are other unanswered questions, and the author leaves a lot of room for the promised sequel, which I will likely get. While I did like this book, I also found it lacking something; I hope the sequel is better.

Right now, I'm reading the newest Dresden Files anthology, Brief Cases. I'd read prolly half of the stories before, but at least a couple were new, and I don't recognize a couple others from their names.

I'm not sure what will follow that one.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2018 :  04:34:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
...And I just finished Brief Cases.

I'd originally thought it only had one short story I'd not read before, but I bought it because it was bring all those stories together -- they'd been scattered across multiple sources, and at least one of them was a royal pain in the oshiri for me to find.

But it turned out that 4 of the stores were new to me. And the last one, "Zoo Day," does something interesting: there's actually three conflicts going on there, all told from the perspective of a different character...

And one of those characters was the Temple Dog, Mouse. Mouse has been a supporting character for quite some time, but Changes was the first time we really got to see him in action. He'd done a lot before, but Changes was where we get to see the *real* Mouse. So seeing part of the story from his PoV was cool.

Also, one of the short stories is from the perspective of Waldo Butters. And the author's note before that one was interesting, too: Butters was intended to be a single-use, throwaway character. But then the author needed a supporting character for a particular role, and Butters was handy, so he wound up becoming more a part of the main story.

I really, really wish Butcher would hurry up with Peace Talks!

(Also, I'm wondering if the main baddie from "Zoo Day" was a throwaway villain, or if he's got some connection to the Black Council.)

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Varl
Learned Scribe

USA
260 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2018 :  15:44:33  Show Profile Send Varl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm far behind in my Realms novel reading, but I'm working on it. Right now, I'm reading Red Magic. No spoilers please.

"Intimidation is a weapon of the Legion. Intelligence is not." -Illidan Stormrage
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Taleras
Seeker

72 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2018 :  04:22:21  Show Profile Send Taleras a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Reading The Dragon Reborn right now. Started WoT last month and have just been cruising through, haven't taken any breaks with other books, which I normally do on long series. The Great Hunt got pretty slow at times, but really picked up at the end. Excited to watch this epic unfold.
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charger_ss24
Learned Scribe

USA
108 Posts

Posted - 28 Aug 2018 :  23:11:47  Show Profile Send charger_ss24 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Started re-reading the Legend of Drizzt, so my step-son can start reading it and talk about it like we did with the books on Erevis Cale. After blazing through the first two trilogies in the past six months, I'm taking a break and reading The Hobbit.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2018 :  03:26:03  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Huh, I've not posted in this thread for a while...

I read the Riftwar Legacy books, then took a break again by reading the first (and most likely, last) Transformers novel I ever purchased. I got it on a whim, and I'm regretting it now. It was called Transformers: Exodus and promised to describe how Cybertronian society split into the Autobots and Decepticons. It actually started off well enough, with Megatron's rise, but then went off the rails -- a little political buildup, and then a war with Decepticons kicking major backside.

I had many, many issues with this one, enough that I'll likely get rid of the book -- which is something I never do.

Some of the issues:

1) Orion Pax gets the name Optimus Prime and becomes a warrior, but there's no physical change mentioned -- so either he was always a big-ass robot even as a data clerk, or something got left out.

2) Megatron goes from angry militant wanting to overthrow a stagnating society to megalomanical "must rule the universe!" without any transition.

3) We see Optimus come up with the name "Autobot" but the name "Decepticon" just abruptly shows up, without any intro or explanation.

4) The Decepticon's aerial advantage is mentioned a couple of times. Apparently, robots who turn themselves into vehicles are somehow incapable of building any vehicles, except for spaceships, and similarly can't refit themselves or build jetpacks or anything like that.

5) Despite having every advantage, the Decepticons abruptly stopped all military operations to focus on a project that would assure the victory that was already assured. This just happened to coincide with the Autobots deciding to engage on their own massive, non-military project, giving them just enough time to pull it off (along with some utterly pointless maneuvers).

6) And this one is the most glaring -- the robots acted just like organics. As a data clerk, Orion Pax sat at a computer terminal and looked at monitors. The robots all spoke to one another, and Bumblebee couldn't communicate because he'd lost his vocoder, somehow. Every single thing on Cybertron is robotic, but the inhabitants rely on their own optical and auditory sensors, rather than plugging directly into computers or communicating with each other via wifi and built-in comm units. It's also mentioned that they made a point of having atmosphere inside a space station. Yeah, I get that this is a series based on an 80's toy line, but still -- they acted just like people. Just about any example of them taking advantage of being robots would have been welcome.

Anyway... After that, I read Prince of the Blood and now I'm on The King's Buccaneer. After that, I'll take another break before getting into the Serpentwar Saga.


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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2267 Posts

Posted - 29 Aug 2018 :  04:12:53  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have been reading a lot of books lately, which is typically of me. Along with some male/male romances, I finally finished Desert Spear, book two of the Demon Cycle. The writing is good, and I enjoy the world the author has created, but most of the characters are unlikeable. Maybe that's the point, as humanity is pretty horrible in this series. But it's just hard to get into, as I can't stand most of the characters, with the exception of one or two.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2018 :  19:34:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just finished reading Lifel1k3, a book I heartily recommend. There's a hell of a lot going on in this one -- shades of Paradise Lost, a quest for identity, an examination of the implications of the Three Laws of Robotics, an interesting look at human nature...

And it's set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland; long enough after a nuclear war that people think "Kalifornya" was part of "Yousay".

Amazon lists it as a Young Adult novel, but I didn't realize that until I was a good chunk of the way into the book. I was a good chunk of the way into the story when I realized the connection to the fall of the Romanovs, too -- especially the (since disproven) tale of the lost princess Anastasia Romanov. Since this is clearly the first book of a series and leaves room for more, I'm curious to see what the author does with that angle.

Here's the official blurb:

quote:
On an island junkyard beneath a sky that glows with radiation, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap. Seventeen-year-old Eve isn't looking for trouble--she's too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she spent months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, she's on the local gangster's wanted list, and the only thing keeping her grandpa alive is the money she just lost to the bookies. Worst of all, she's discovered she can somehow destroy machines with the power of her mind, and a bunch of puritanical fanatics are building a coffin her size because of it. If she's ever had a worse day, Eve can't remember it. The problem is, Eve has had a worse day--one that lingers in her nightmares and the cybernetic implant where her memories used to be. Her discovery of a handsome android named Ezekiel--called a "Lifelike" because they resemble humans--will bring her world crashing down and make her question whether her entire life is a lie. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic sidekick Cricket in tow, Eve will trek across deserts of glass, battle unkillable bots, and infiltrate towering megacities to save the ones she loves...and learn the truth about the bloody secrets of her past.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2018 :  03:30:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just finished one called Space Opera. The write-up sounded great and it was well-reviewed... But it just didn't work for me. I feel like the author was trying very, very hard to channel Douglas Adams. And instead of getting Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams, she got Mostly Harmless Douglas Adams. She got the writing style and absurdity of the earlier Douglas Adams work, but the meandering plot and repeated near-misses of humor that marked Mostly Harmless. The tale takes forever to get to the climax, which then felt rushed and almost like an afterthought, with the denouement being even more of an "oh, yeah" addition.

I had hopes for this book. I was looking forward to reading it, and I really wanted to like it. But I found it so underwhelming I'm not sure that I'll keep my copy -- and I'm not one that gets rid of books once I buy them.

Next up is Kill The Farm Boy. Just looking at the map and the chapter headings makes me think I'm going to like this one a lot more.

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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2267 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2018 :  20:31:56  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Finally bought all the Percy Jackson books, along with the other books in the franchise, such as Kane Chronicles, Magus Chase, and [i]Trials of Apollo/i]. I have been wanting to read them for a while.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 10 Oct 2018 :  19:19:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, I really, really liked Kill the Farm Boy, enough that I'm linking to it and heartily recommending it.

They play with a lot of fantasy tropes in this one, particularly the simple farm boy who becomes the Chosen One, and the swordswoman in a chain mail bikini. The book also has a talking goat, an assassin who clearly used Intelligence as her dump stat, the Dark Lord Toby (who is really fond of cheese and artisanal crackers), a half-rabbit bard, and Grinda the Sand Witch.

Also mentioned but never actually appearing in the book is the Dread Necromancer Steve; he's an ex-boyfriend of the swordswoman and a friend of the fur loincloth-clad prince named Konnan that later appears as a minor character.

In addition to playing with tropes, they also make liberal use of puns and double entendres. The latter, in particular, gets used a lot when they visit the elven forest of Morningwood.

Overall, the conflict revolves around Grinda, a former advisor to the king, and Löcher, the current advisor to the king, who keeps the king thoroughly drunk and befuddled (a container of particularly fine wine appears as a plot device; it is a cask of Amon Tiyado). There's also the machinations of a warty, flatulent pixie, named Staph.

Oh, and the farm boy is named Worstley. His late older brother was Bestley.

I'm not sure what I'm going to be reading next.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 10 Oct 2018 19:24:17
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2018 :  18:31:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished Heroine's Journey, the third book of a trilogy I'm rather sure was written for a slightly different target audience -- the main characters of the trilogy are young (20ish) Asian American women. It's a fun series. The characters are all super-powered, though they're not quite comic book superheroes. The action is set in San Francisco, and all of the super-types got their powers when a portal to the demon realm opened up, and demons came thru in the form of bodiless spirits that can animate inanimate options (including cupcakes!).

All three books follow the same group of women, with each book being told from the PoV of a different one of them. Despite the superhero premise, all three books are really about the women discovering who they really are and how it affects their group dynamic.

Despite the fact that I'm sure I'm not the intended audience, I still found all three books quite enjoyable. Heroine Complex, Heroine Worship, and Heroine's Journey, all by Sarah Kuhn. Check them out.

I just started Roar of Sky, by my friend Beth Cato. It's the third book of her Blood of Earth trilogy, an alt history involving steampunk elements, earth magic, and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. I've rather enjoyed all of her other stuff, and I've been looking forward to this one.

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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2267 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2018 :  19:43:31  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been reading a lot of YA fantasy lately. I read the first arc in the Percy Jackson-verse books, and then read the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. She has some other books set in that world (the Grishaverse), so I read the Shadow and Bone trilogy. She has a new book set in the Grishaverse coming out in January, so I figured I should read all the books, since the new one will feature a character from Shadow and Bone. Six of Crows was fantastic.

I went back to the Percy-verse books, starting the Kane Chronicles trilogy, which focuses on the Egyptian gods, but then decided to read some "classic" FR novels, as it has been a while since I read an FR novel (other than Timeless). So I bought the Knights of Myth Drannor on my Kindle. I'm on Sword of Dragonfire right now. To be honest, though, I'm not really into them. I feel like the scenes are choppy, many of them feeling quite random, and the constant references to sex and women gets old. Not Ed's best work, IHMHO, but I will finish reading them. I also ordered The Parched Sea and The Veiled Dragon.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31595 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2018 :  00:54:54  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I've been reading a lot of YA fantasy lately. I read the first arc in the Percy Jackson-verse books, and then read the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. She has some other books set in that world (the Grishaverse), so I read the Shadow and Bone trilogy. She has a new book set in the Grishaverse coming out in January, so I figured I should read all the books, since the new one will feature a character from Shadow and Bone. Six of Crows was fantastic.


I read Six of Crows, but it didn't work as well for me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I was expecting, and I didn't really warm to any of the characters.

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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2267 Posts

Posted - 02 Nov 2018 :  00:59:47  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I've been reading a lot of YA fantasy lately. I read the first arc in the Percy Jackson-verse books, and then read the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. She has some other books set in that world (the Grishaverse), so I read the Shadow and Bone trilogy. She has a new book set in the Grishaverse coming out in January, so I figured I should read all the books, since the new one will feature a character from Shadow and Bone. Six of Crows was fantastic.


I read Six of Crows, but it didn't work as well for me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I was expecting, and I didn't really warm to any of the characters.



I loved it. I like angsty characters and asassin/thief stories, and it was inclusive, which I have come to look for in fantasy. I thought it was well done. But to each their own

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 02 Nov 2018 01:15:18
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