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RedEyedGhost

October Reading 2016 - Something Spooky?

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22 hours ago, Damelon said:

On another note, spooky-reading-wise, is Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation worthwhile? Can it be enjoyed apart from its sequels?

I would recommend it as a good spooky read even if you don't read the others.  I read it a couple years ago and enjoyed it, but haven't continued with the rest of the trilogy yet even though I want to get back to it someday.

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41 minutes ago, Winterfella said:

I would recommend it as a good spooky read even if you don't read the others.  I read it a couple years ago and enjoyed it, but haven't continued with the rest of the trilogy yet even though I want to get back to it someday.

Thanks!

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Finished A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.  It turned out to be a much different book than I thought it was going to be.  When I realized this, mid-way through, I thought it was going to prove disappointing.  Quite the opposite, I really appreciated what he did there.  Thought the writing was excellent, and even after I caught on to what was going on, there were a couple subtle misdirections that came back to punch me in the stomach.  Definitely a memorable reading experience.

It was a very interesting juxtaposition to read this directly after The Last Days of Jack Sparks.  Two novels that share some similar plot devices but do wildly different things with them.

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I finished The Suicide Motor Club by Christopher Buehlman on Saturday.  I stalled a bit in the middle, not because I wasn't enjoying it but because it has just been crazy at work lately, but the climax was pretty awesome.  I really enjoyed the characters, and it had some really nice moments of horror.  Knee jerk reaction makes me think I liked this one better than his book I read last October - Those Across the River... but it's close.

I'm now 14% through The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott - it's a creepy clown novel, and so far it completely lives up to that description.

 

9 hours ago, Winterfella said:

Finished A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.  It turned out to be a much different book than I thought it was going to be.  When I realized this, mid-way through, I thought it was going to prove disappointing.  Quite the opposite, I really appreciated what he did there.  Thought the writing was excellent, and even after I caught on to what was going on, there were a couple subtle misdirections that came back to punch me in the stomach.  Definitely a memorable reading experience.

He really nailed that ending didn't he?  My biggest worry when starting any horror novel is that the ending will be a big let down, and while this one was completely different than I could have ever expected, it was great.

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I came away pleasantly surprised after reading Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff.  I really like traditional fantasies with a female protagonist who gets in and out of trouble due to her brains and force of personality and not due to looks, or title or being a warrior.  I found the characters and relationships to be real and human which was another plus.  The only big weakness is the worldbuilding and the plot was a little predictable.

Still reading Spoils of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

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I'm trying to get my girls hooked on my old standby, Mr. RL Stein.  Jeepers it gives me the creeps just thinking king about what that guy came up with!!! 

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Finished Peadar's The Call. I really enjoyed it. I loved the premise, the book had a quick pace, well balanced. I enjoyed the plot, and the characters were pretty good, in particular Nessa and Connor. It didn't end the way I thought it would.

Spoiler

I was expecting that the Sidhe were readying their invasion because they knew that the alignment of the worlds was approaching its end, and they were not going to get another chance, but it was just one battle in a long war. 

Is there a sequel planned? And I'm really interested in understanding how the Call actually works.

 

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Has been some time since I posted in the "reading" threads last.

After the great Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin, which, while neccessarily more straightforward than the first book in the trilogy, was, nevertheless, a very strong continuation of the story, and full of new and powerful revelations, I hit a bit of a dry stretch, where I found it difficult to finish anything.

I.e.:

Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King was unexpectedly boring to me and most of the stories seemed pretty pedestrian. Biographical/explanation of intent interludes between the stories were the most interesting part. IMHO, YMMV. I quit about 60% through.

The Fireman by Joe Hill. Started well enough, but I became steadily more annoyed with the protagonists and the entirely obvious consequences of their ill-conceived choices until I bounced about 30% - 40% through.

Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress. Couldn't get into it - had problems both with the SF premise (pre-natal DNA modification that allows to dispense not only with sleep, but also with having to lie down to rest(!)) and with some characters and our library's 2-week non-extendable rental period on e-media didn't help. I'll try it again at some point, though.

Ségou by Maryse Condé - a historical novel set in XVIII's century Africa, in what is now Mali. A very interesting and intriguing setting, to say the least, but the novel is kinda dry. Still struggling with it.

At this point, I've decided that I may have become too jaded and tried to fall back on some undemanding actiony entertainment  which I thought that my cache of Baen freebies would provide. So, I finally picked Fire with Fire by Charles Gannon, which had a pretty good word of mouth and IIRC was nominated for several respected awards in a shenangian-free way when it first came out. So, you can imagine my  disappointment and "what where they thinking?" reaction, when it turned out to be utterly boring and predictable, without a single engaging character or non-obvious plot developement. It doesn't even have an interesting/original setting or engaging action scenes. At least not in the 20% that I managed to get through. But I can certainly see why the Puppies liked it - in this bright future, it just so happens that everybody with whom the protagonist interacts is male until and unless it is time to introduce sexual/romantic tension. Oh, once the objects of lust are introduced it is suddenly revealed that (gorgeous) women absolutely can be oil industry executives or military officers. It is pure chance that when protagonist's lust is not involved, everybody he interacts with is male. Ugh.

I did alleviate this drought with some good to excellent short fiction writing, as I have been concurrently reading Abercrombie's lovely Sharp Ends and catching up on this year's issues of Uncanny Magazine - which, BTW, has some nicely creepy stories in issue N° 10, very fitting for October. 

 

 

 

 

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On 10/19/2016 at 1:27 PM, Corvinus said:

Finished Peadar's The Call. I really enjoyed it. I loved the premise, the book had a quick pace, well balanced. I enjoyed the plot, and the characters were pretty good, in particular Nessa and Connor. It didn't end the way I thought it would.

  Hide contents

 

Is there a sequel planned? And I'm really interested in understanding how the Call actually works.

 

Thanks, Corvinus! Yes, there will be a sequel -- just the one. Glad you enjoyed it :)

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On 10/3/2016 at 10:27 PM, Mexal said:

I'm jealous. You're in for a treat.

The Count of Monte Cristo was fantastic!  Definitely was a treat.

While I was reading Dumas I finished The Book of Mormon that I had begun at the end of July, it was an endurance to get through and that's all I'm going to say about it.

I'm on vacation through the end of the week and decided to start a book my neighbor gave me written by his brother, it's an autobiographical account of his recovery from addiction.  Not something I go far normally, but he knew I posted reviews on various sites and asked me for a favor.

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Finished The Wall of Storms and loved it.  Almost as good as The Grace of Kings

After reading a bunch of new releases I'll probably go with one or two older books I've had sitting around.  Not sure which one yet..

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4 hours ago, Peadar said:

Thanks, Corvinus! Yes, there will be a sequel -- just the one. Glad you enjoyed it :)

It makes me wish I had won your signed copy at the Worldcon raffle. ;)

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9 hours ago, Corvinus said:

It makes me wish I had won your signed copy at the Worldcon raffle. ;)

Everyone at the raffle was a winner. Sort of. :)

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I finished His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. An interesting premise (Napoleon with dragons!), but the book itself was slight on story and the MC was kinda meh. I'll keep reading the series, eventually, but it's not at the top of the list.

Now I am reading The White Tree, first book in the cycle of Arawn series. 

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Finished 'The Wise Man's Fear', by Patrick Rothfuss the other week. I'm absolutely in love with this series. 

I've started reading 'The Slow Regard of Silent Things' by Patrick Rothfuss and should be finished that this weekend since I'm home sick and trying to get better. I'm 80% through. 

Also started reading 'The Bazaar of Bad Dreams', by Stephen King because .... Halloween though really I don't need much excuse to read some scary stories.   

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Too much work for much reading time lately.  I finished The Long Earth by Baxter and Pratchett.  The SF (more fantasy than SF) world building is fun but the characters are really bland and very little happens.  It's all set up for the rest of the series. 

Now I'm halfway through The Builders, which is like Joe Abercrombie writing a Brian Jacques version of a Sergio Leone western. 

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So I'm still sick in bed and have been reading all weekend. 

I've Finished  'The Slow Regard of Silent Things' by Patrick Rothfuss. I liked this novella. I like Auri as a character but kind of hoped for a bit more.... Maybe I'm still drunk from reading King Killer Chronicles and so after that anything looks less? 

Finished 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules', by Jeff Kinney. I love reading kids books lol. But again, I was expecting a bit more to this one. 

I read a tiny bit more of  'The Bazaar of Bad Dreams', by Stephen King but I don't think I'm up for much more of it today. Only 3% through it.

I'm 68% through 'Titans of History', by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

 

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Finished Spoils of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky.  I liked some stories more than others.  I admit I spent more time trying to figure out what and where that minor character showed up in the main Shadows of Apt series rather than just enjoying the short story itself.

Now 5 chapters into Fifth Quarter by Tanya Huff.  It features completely different characters compared to Sing the Four Quarters which I loved and I am just not as enamoured with these new characters or the plot so far.

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I finished The White Tree. It was not particularly good. The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get. The MC was a little shit, character motivations were thin to nonexistent, a ton of anachronisms that made no sense in context of this fantasy world, and a total dearth of women except for the Big Bad Woman who was not particularly big or bad. blah. At least it was entertaining. I probably will continue on with the trilogy (I got the whole thing in one bundle), but I hope it improves.

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