larrytheimp

April Reads: What, fool, are you reading?!?

159 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Triskan said:

Decided to try to find a new fantasy series to geek out on and picked up the first book in the Brent Weeks Lightbringer series.  I have very little idea about what to expect and feel like I've only occasionally seen it discussed around here.

My two word review of the first book would be: "Utter shite." 

I never read any more.

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5 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

My two word review of the first book would be: "Utter shite." 

I never read any more.

:rofl:

They seem to be a love it or hate it thing around here. I couldn't finish the first, the prose was just, uck.

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31 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

My two word review of the first book would be: "Utter shite." 

I never read any more.

 

24 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

:rofl:

They seem to be a love it or hate it thing around here. I couldn't finish the first, the prose was just, uck.

About 15 pages in there have been a few moments of prose that have made me go "ugh."  Gonna continue to give it a go though.

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Kind of given up posting in this thread over the years as I don't really have that much time for writing long book reviews. I occasionally give it a glance if I need some inspiration. That said I always have a massive TBR pile awaiting my attention. Especially now as I am trying to power through some classics prior to my 40th birthday this summer.

I'm currently suffering through A Tale of Two Cities and I swear this is the last Dickens I am going to read. I caved and read two of his novels last Autumn. Really, I should have stopped there. This one was recommended to me by a close friend who loves Dickens. I imagine him being paid by the word, there is so much filler in it. I am finding the only way to tolerate it is to speed read it. I cannot wait for it to be over. I find all the stuff about Lucie being just so angelically perfect just incredibly nauseous. She is just naturally amazing without having any character development, yeah? Revolting.

My other penance is Paradise Lost, which to be fair, is SO MUCH better than Dickens. My problems with it is that I find it hard to get into the rhythm of the text unless I either read it aloud to myself or read it in complete silence. That means I cannot take it out and read it in public, e.g. on my commute. So I'm actually reading it at a pace of two pages per night, sometimes more on weekends. If I stay on course I'll have it finished before July. :)

I completed Fingersmith yesterday which, if even possible, makes Dickens seem even more dull than he already was. To be honest I only read it ahead of going to see The Handmaiden. But I enjoyed it far more than I expected to.

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I'm reading the non-fiction book, Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, about the future of humanity. So far, nothing in here that would even mildly surprise any lover of Science Fiction, but it's very readable and I think I'll enjoy it nonetheless.

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On 16/04/2017 at 9:43 AM, polishgenius said:
  Reveal hidden contents

It was the concept that scientists, presented with results that contradict what they think they know, would (universally!) despair and start comitting suicide. It was a book about scientists by someone who never appears to have met one.

 

I could have believed that maybe some individual physicists could have been driven to despair by their chosen field being turned upside down, but it seemed to be too common to be believable.

I thought The Three Body Problem tended to be at its best when it was less involved with the scientific parts of the storyline. I thought the bits set during the Cultural Revolution did a good job of showing the oppressiveness of that time period, and I liked most of the scenes set inside the computer game, but wasn't so keen on the rest of the story.

And no, it was one of my major criticisms that it pretends to be hard-SF but really isn't.

I was willing to forgive a certain amount, I can let it slide that although the Trisolaran star system must be Alpha Centauri based on the time it takes for the signals to reach Earth it doesn't match what we know of the star system because that's necessary to make the plot work. I think it was the last section that broke my suspension of disbelief, the big chunk of exposition near the end felt like it was trying to use lots of very speculative Quantum Mechanics to try to hide that the Trisolaran technology seemed almost magical.

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On 4/13/2017 at 4:32 PM, polishgenius said:

Why did no-one tell me that Claire North has a new book out? The End of the Day. It's about Death's harbringer, Charlie. Seems like fun. Seems like less conspicuously Trying For A Claire North Concept than the previous two novels.

I'm at 31% and pretty bored to tears with it. No plot to speak of so far. 

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On 4/17/2017 at 4:39 PM, Triskan said:

Decided to try to find a new fantasy series to geek out on and picked up the first book in the Brent Weeks Lightbringer series.  I have very little idea about what to expect and feel like I've only occasionally seen it discussed around here.

I love that series. It's like candy! The series has suffered a bit from unnecessary bloat, but I believe the next book is supposed to be the last.

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about to wrap up Wolfe's "The Knight" and dive right on into "The Wizard"

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19 hours ago, Starkess said:

I love that series. It's like candy! The series has suffered a bit from unnecessary bloat, but I believe the next book is supposed to be the last.

I liked the first one, it wasn't notably well written or original but it was fun. It's gone downhill from there and I really didn't like some of the religious stuff in the third book. I haven't read the latest one yet.

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On 4/19/2017 at 6:10 AM, Starkess said:

I love that series. It's like candy!

Well,there's good candy and then there's bad candy! :P

The first book was entertaining, if one ignores the bad prose.I managed to finish book 2 but the first signs that the series was going downhill were already apparent.I could not manage to finish book 3 and gave up on the series.

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I just finished Dichronauts by Greg Egan. The world it is set in is even more difficult to comprehend the setting of his last series.

If this trend continues I doubt that I will be able to read his next book...

But I enjoyed this book a lot even if it was rather difficult to visualize the world it was set in. 

 

 

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Finally finished The Dragonbone Chair.  Good, but I was a bit exhausted with it by the end.  I liked the first 150 or so pages the best given the bit of Gormenghast influence going on there.  A shame I didn't first read this fifteen or twenty years ago. Probably would've blown me away back then.     

Need something breezier next.  So probably more Cornwell. 

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On 19/04/2017 at 0:23 AM, unJon said:

I'm at 31% and pretty bored to tears with it. No plot to speak of so far. 



I finished it, and while I wasn't bored, it ended up being a let-down tbh. I don't mind vague and meandering plots if they're well written (and I'm especially not averse to books constructed out of a series of vignettes, which is what this essentially is), but I do like them to come to something in the end, and this really just doesn't. Just when it seems like it might be building to something, it stops.

It feels like it might be something quite personal that NorthGrifWebb needed to get off her chest, although I may just be projecting there. Either way it's an interesting experiment but doesn't work very well as a novel.

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I liked The Dark Forest a lot more than The Three Body Problem, though neither is really close to being hard SF (certainly not if the science in question is physics, anyway).  I still haven't decided if I want to read Death's End though.

7 hours ago, Wolfgang I said:

I just finished Dichronauts by Greg Egan.

Looking forward to this -- I really liked Orthogonal.

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Finished Greenwell's debut novel What Belongs To You. I'm not sure this quite lived up to the hype, but I enjoyed the unique setting (modern day Sofia), the insights into a culture I know little about and the beautiful prose, especially the lyrical descriptions of post-Soviet Bulgaria.

I also finished the latest volume of Saga.

Now turning to some local fiction: Hannah Kent's Burial Rites (written by an Australian, set in 19th Century Iceland!)

Edited by Paxter

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I finished The Stars Are Legion, another good rec from these threads.  It's a space opera that is significantly improved by some unusual world-building plus some intrigue maintained by an amnesiac primary POV.  My only gripes would be that the world-building of the Legion is never expalained -- we never get the origin story or explanation -- and too much emo angst in general and from the secondary POV in particular, who is supposed to be a ruthlessly cold manipulator and politicker.  If this expands to a series rather than a standalone, I doubt I would read further, even to satisfy my curiosity for the origin story. 

Now reading vol 2 of Hinges Of History non-fiction series by Thomas Cahill.  I'm enjoying this one too.  A great blend of top quality writing and insight. 

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Finished The Tiger and the Wolf.  Pretty good start to an interesting new series.  Loved the UK cover and was intrigued by Tchaikovsky's take on shape-shifting.  One question about Asmander's Champion form:

Spoiler

It's a dinosaur, right?  I've been imagining it as a larger version of the velociraptors from Jurassic Park. 

After that I picked up The Weight of the World by Tom Toner, sequel to The Promise of the Child, which I quite liked.  Got about 50 pages into it before I started skimming.  I did get through it, but didn't fully read of it.  Just not in the mood I guess.  May have to come back to it at some point.

Next up is The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Taste of Honey for my Hugo reading. 

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25 minutes ago, beniowa said:

Finished The Tiger and the Wolf.  Pretty good start to an interesting new series.  Loved the UK cover and was intrigued by Tchaikovsky's take on shape-shifting.  One question about Asmander's Champion form:

  Hide contents

It's a dinosaur, right?  I've been imagining it as a larger version of the velociraptors from Jurassic Park. 

 

It is a great cover. I was thinking the same thing as you for what the Champion looks like.

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