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Starkess

Reading in 2018: January Reads

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Almost done with Justin Cronin's "city of mirrors". I think it's maybe the weakest installment, largely due to overstaying it's welcome with an overly long ending (although the epiloge is great). It still has the ability to create some beautiful scenes/moments and Cronin's writing is great in places. I like how he made me hate the primary antagonist largely because he was pathetic, whiny and arrogant as i tend to appreciate "evil" being down to these flaws rather than the odd being very adept at being evil (although those characters are fun with the right execution). Granted, it took a quarter of the book to lay this down but it was a worthwhile diversion. Which is why I find the series a tough one to juge. Part of me thinks some ruthless editing would have greatly benefitted the series but at the same time I wonder whether the payoffs wouldn't have been as satisfying without them?

Also really enjoying "enemy of god" by Cornwell even though it has that frustrating "good people letting aresholes succeed due to some moral code that the antagonists clearly pay no heed to"

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S.M. Hulse's Black River was impressive, even more so considering it's a debut novel. Tone and characterization were excellent. There was a sad, striking beauty to this novel of an ex corrections officer confronting events of his past including his torture at the hands of a soon-to-be paroled inmate during a prison riot decades ago.

 

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Nearly done with Jy Yang's Black Tides of Heaven, going to order the Red Threads of Fortune.  I'm enjoying this so far.  I normally am not bothered by singular use of "They" as a gender neutral pronoun, but this story is about twins.  Took a bit longer to adjust than usual as a result.  That turned out to be a good thing as it slowed me down a little bit and this novella moves really fast.  I also just got Bolander's Only Harmless Great Thing.  Her stuff tends to be pretty dark, so I'm going to wait a bit before I tackle it.  

What's next nerds?  Still looking for the best of last year.  My ballot's a little thin.

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Started The Fifth Season. It's okay so far, although I feel like mostly it's just been worldbuilding so far. The second person present doesn't bother me as much as I feared but still not my favorite. Enjoying it, though, and will hopefully get more invested in it soon.

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I finished Hymn by Ken Scholes.  Great finish to the series.  He did manage to fit the name of the series into the text, unnecessarily.  I really enjoyed Rudolfo's final chapter.  The lack of map and appendix was very frustrating, especially as they had been in the first four books.

Now I'm 10% through To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey.  I loved her first book, The Snow Child, and so far this is living up to that.

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20 hours ago, Starkess said:

Started The Fifth Season. It's okay so far, although I feel like mostly it's just been worldbuilding so far. The second person present doesn't bother me as much as I feared but still not my favorite. Enjoying it, though, and will hopefully get more invested in it soon.

I just finished this today. I thought it was very good, and I did find I felt more invested in the story as it went along so maybe you'll feel the same. Writing some of it in second person is an odd choice, but I think Jemisin does make it work. I thought the narrative was cleverly constructed with the three different plot strands allowing a variety of perspectives on the world and all three of the plot threads were interesting in their own right. It may not be the first Dying Earth setting in fantasy but I thought it had plenty of unique elements. I did find some small flaws, there seemed to be a couple too many unlikely coincidences towards the end of Essun's portion of the story, and I felt that sometimes people didn't seem to fear the orogenes as much as they should - I can understand why they would be hated but they should also be treated with the same sort of care you would show to a walking nuclear weapon (a bit like the Poets in the Long Price Quartet).

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Finished the Dispatcher by Scalzi.  I did not realize that this was originally published as an audio book.  It was a fun read.  I'm starting An Excess Male today by Maggie Shen King.  First two pages and it's off to a great start with the most AWKWARD dinner party I can imagine.  I already kind of want to die for this poor guy.

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I recently finished The Prisoner Of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold. It was entertaining like all the others but if we're going to get this much Penric and Desdemona material I'd kind of prefer a longer book.

Now I've started reading Iron Gold by Pierce Brown which I've been looking forward to for a while.

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About half way through the last installment of the Southern Reach trilogy.  I like it, but there's too much flowery prose that doesn't move the characterization or plot.  I really don't like prose for the sake of prose.  I just saw the 30 second spot for the movie to be released later next month too starring Natalie Portman as Ghost Bird.  I think she's an excellent choice for the role.

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I finished Foundation on Monday and enjoyed it very much, there is a reason its considered a classic and I know why now.

I've started Unseen Academicals as part of my read through of Discworld, I'm 20% of the way in.

On 1/27/2018 at 7:03 PM, Astromech said:

It's a fascinating history. I had been looking for Davies two-volume history of Poland, God's Playground, but had some difficulty finding it so just picked up Zamoyski's history instead. I've also had Davies Rising '44 on my shelf for over a year, but keep putting it off for other books.

I hope you succeed finding the two-volume history, I've looked for two books in particular since 2000 and finally found them in 2016 (I was really happy when I did).

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2 hours ago, Garett Hornwood said:

 

I hope you succeed finding the two-volume history, I've looked for two books in particular since 2000 and finally found them in 2016 (I was really happy when I did).

Yeah, I have enough on TBR list to always find something, so it's really more a matter of keeping my eyes open for those hard-to-finds. I suppose purchasing them online is always and option, but my area's library system is quite good so I can usually find what I'm looking for. If not I peruse the local bookstore shelves enough to eventually find what I'm looking for.

I sped through Larry Brown's Father and Son. I love Brown's writing. No bullshit, just great characterization and translating his life experience to his novels.

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Really struggling with Blade of Tyshalle. Finally got round to Heroes Die last month and absolutely loved it. The follow-up is nothing like it though, not enough action and far too much baffling, metaphysical claptrap, and Arturo Kollberg is just one massive fucking plot hole.

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7 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

Really struggling with Blade of Tyshalle. Finally got round to Heroes Die last month and absolutely loved it. The follow-up is nothing like it though, not enough action and far too much baffling, metaphysical claptrap, and Arturo Kollberg is just one massive fucking plot hole.

It gets better but the first half is pretty much like that. I really enjoyed it though.

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3 hours ago, Mexal said:

It gets better but the first half is pretty much like that. I really enjoyed it though.

What makes it even more disappointing for me is the amount of praise I've seen heaped upon it. Led me to expect some kind of staggering work of literary genius. Am I right in thinking that this is the one most people cite as being the best in the series?

Also, what really doesn't help is Caine

Spoiler

being crippled.

Though, I don't expect this to be the case come the end of the book.

Edited by Spockydog

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22 hours ago, Spockydog said:

What makes it even more disappointing for me is the amount of praise I've seen heaped upon it. Led me to expect some kind of staggering work of literary genius. Am I right in thinking that this is the one most people cite as being the best in the series?

I’ve started this book twice and dropped it.  Once you get beyond the cliched battle school, it sank deeper and deeper into hack maudlin cliche.  I got flack around here for asking if all the recs for this book were trolling, like Goodkind, and I just hadn’t realized the joke. 

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Blade of Tyshalle is divisive.  Some people absolute love it, and others were disappointed.  It's unfortunate that you just saw those who love it.  

I like BoT and all of the Caine books, but I went in knowing it was not going to be a fast read.  Heroes Die is still my favorite, and it's certainly the least divisive.

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3 hours ago, Peadar said:

Starting Rage of Ares by Christian Cameron.

He's also the author (under the name Miles Cameron) of the Red Knight / Traitor Son Cycle fantasy series.  Having just finished that series, I've thought about trying his historical fiction too.

 

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