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RedEyedGhost

October Reading 2016 - Something Spooky?

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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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Still mourning the fact that I finished the Ancillary novels, because they were THE BEST. I cannot put in words how much I loved them and my heart will forever be a fish.

Eying up my copy of Kay's Tigana but it's such a brick and I don't know if I have the energy. Also, did I mention I am still depressed about the Ancillary books. I wish there were a hundred of them, at least.

I got the first part of Leigh Bardugo's Grisha series as well, so maybe that would be the perfect antidote to the Ancillary Sorrow. I just need a few more days to get over my urgent lack of Justice of Toren.

 

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Finished Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams, which, to my  surprise and disappointment, shared a lot of issues I had with Gannon's Fire with Fire, and have detailed in my previous post. It is better written and has a decent mystery, so I finished the book, but felt meh about it, and after scanning the sequels in the library, have decided not to continue with the trilogy. I don't care about any of these characters, who are all flat clichés anyway, on-going plot(s) are sub-par and the worldbuilding, while potentially interesting, doesn't make up for it.  I have loved or liked all of Williams' work until now, too. Hopefully, this is not an indication for the quality of the upcoming Osten Ard books.

Also finished This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp, which I grabbed on a whim because it is (until 27th) on Overdrive's "Big Library Read" and is, apparently, a lauded bestseller. It is a YA novel about a (fictious) school shooting. It is certainly very engrossing and affecting, though how much is simply due to the subject matter is unclear to me. There are a few things that seem jarring and implausible:

a certain family's background rang false, IMHO, and unnecessarily so. The same end could have been achieved much more believably and organically.

are handguns really so effective?

certain character's actions in the end made no sense and seemed to be there just for the sake of upping the pathos, etc. YMMV.

But on the whole it was a good read.

Now reading The Narnian by Alan Jacobs - an interesting take on biography of C.S. Lewis. Delightful so far, if one isn't put off by the author's obviously pro-Christian stance, which I am OK with. Not that I find his, or Lewis's arguments on the subject presuasive...

 

 

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Finally got around to finishing Harbour, by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Honestly, this is what happens when an author falls in love with a setting and atmosphere, but doesn't provide enough meaty story to justify the book's length - those 500 pages could, I think, have been condensed into 200 without doing violence to the story. As it was, it felt like Stephen King had decided to try his hand at a Magical Realist novel set in Sweden, with the various pluses and minuses, and finishing it became a chore.

To re-cap my reads for this month:

  • The Werewolf of Paris, by Guy Endore
  • The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James
  • Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty
  • Harbour, by John Ajvide Lindqvist 

Next up is The Influence, by Ramsey Campbell.

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On 17/10/2016 at 4:53 PM, 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.

So I read Annihilation today. Enjoyed it, although I'd expected a bit more.

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