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Iskaral Pust

March 2018 reads: share your latest books read

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On 3/5/2018 at 4:21 PM, Lily Valley said:

I agree, but keep going.  The Stone Sky was incredible.  

Just finished Kameron Hurley's The Stars are Legion.  There is some HORRIBLE and DISGUSTING imagery in that book.  Mil-Sci and borderline horror.    Really liked it.

I just started The Stars Are Legion and holy shit, yeah, Not a happy feel good space opera. Reminds me so far of some of the more fucked up stuff from Banks.

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9 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I just started The Stars Are Legion and holy shit, yeah, Not a happy feel good space opera. Reminds me so far of some of the more fucked up stuff from Banks.

Yes!  :stillsick:  There is some imagery in there that is going to curl your toes.  Let me know when you're done.  I'm cursing my Hugo Ballot right now for being full.  :(

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Plowing through Matt Stover's excellent Test of Metal when time allows.

Ye gods this guy is terrific to read. Love his books and hope to see more new material from him in the future.

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Robert Graves's Goodbye to All That. A bit broader than the WW1 memoir I initially thought it was. Interesting to read about the effects of WW1 on the old order, so to speak. Also interesting  how close Graves was with other writers of the time, namely Sassoon.

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19 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

Six years later, I finally read Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. I've got nothing against grimdark or evil protagonists. I love me some Joe Abercrombie, after all. But this was... a very silly book. This was pretty apparent from the prose in chapter 1, which included this line:  “Old enough to slit you open like a fat purse,” I said, getting angry now. I don’t like to get angry. It makes me angry." But this got sillier and sillier as it went along.

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Jorg is such an unconvincing character, a fourteen year old who leads a band of ruthless killers who took over the band when he was ten who learned martial arts by reading a Japanese book who sounds like a really edgy teenager who routinely solves problems on the fly by tackling people or running into people or jumping on horses or eating necromancer hearts unexpectedly. He's both insanely evil and insanely ridiculous, and is therefore not at all compelling. Now, of course there is the really predictable twist that he's been controlled by a wizard this whole time who's been making him better at everything and more evil, and this reveal could have led Jorg in interesting directions... But it doesn't really. By the end of the book he's still insanely evil (no regrets about using a nuclear bomb, cool) and insanely ridiculous and now is just blabbering on about how he wants to be emperor instead of king.

Still, some credit: it was fast paced and parts of it were fun enough that I could turn off my brain and enjoy them. But another problem for me was that I've pretty much read this book before. This isn't fair to Lawrence, because he published his first, but Half a King by Abercrombie is a very similar book. But it has characters who develop in interesting ways, its protagonist is more plausible and compelling, it has humour, and it delivers some unexpected plot-twists. So pretty much the entire time I was reading this book I was thinking about Half a King and how much I'd rather re-read that, or maybe The Prince of Nothing trilogy if I wanted an evil ubermensch, or maybe The Book of the New Sun if I wanted a first person narrative about becoming a king... 

I know Lawrence is pretty well regarded around here- is it worth reading another book of his? I can't imagine reading the rest of this trilogy, but I'm willing to give him another try- I don't want to judge an author by their first book. 

If you didn't like PoT, I doubt you're going to like the rest of the series.  I think he really screwed himself on the age setting in PoT, where it just didn't make a whole lot of sense.  That problem pretty much disappears as he ages, but there are other issues with the other ones that if you're bothered by the ridiculous nature of the first, you probably won't be able to get over the flaws in the other two IMO.

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6 hours ago, aceluby said:

If you didn't like PoT, I doubt you're going to like the rest of the series.  I think he really screwed himself on the age setting in PoT, where it just didn't make a whole lot of sense.  That problem pretty much disappears as he ages, but there are other issues with the other ones that if you're bothered by the ridiculous nature of the first, you probably won't be able to get over the flaws in the other two IMO.

Do you think I might enjoy some of his more recent books, though? Say the Red Queen's War or Red Sister? Has he evolved as a writer?

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12 hours ago, Lily Valley said:

Yes!  :stillsick:  There is some imagery in there that is going to curl your toes.  Let me know when you're done.  I'm cursing my Hugo Ballot right now for being full.  :(

I'm only like 50 pages in and its already like, horror inducing. I forgot how good Hurley is with the alien stuff.

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Posted (edited)

Reading The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu. Took a few hundred pages to get going, but good stuff.

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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3 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Ok,The Stars Are Legion is straight up mind numbing horror. Like holy shit, some of this imagery would make Bakker jealous.

I loved the beginning of this book but didn’t think it ultimately delivered on the build up. 

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14 hours ago, Caligula_K3 said:

Do you think I might enjoy some of his more recent books, though? Say the Red Queen's War or Red Sister? Has he evolved as a writer?

I haven't read those ones yet.  I actually enjoyed Jorg's story for the most part and actually appreciated how ridiculous the trilogy is.  There are just some thing you have to kind of roll your eyes at and continue on and not really think about it.

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Finished The Dread Wyrm audiobook last night and really enjoyed it.  Thought it was the strongest of the three so far.  Will continue with book 4 this week.

Also almost done with The Fools Assassin and now that I have about 100 pages left I really like how the title fits it.  I might take a short break after this one to read a non-fiction exercise book I need for a training I'm doing; and also have Fahrenheit 451 to read before the movie comes out.  After that I'll finish up Hobb's wonderful world of elderlings.  At 16 books total, it will be the longest series I've ever finished.

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17 hours ago, unJon said:

I loved the beginning of this book but didn’t think it ultimately delivered on the build up. 

Agreed.  I enjoyed it but was left disappointed that the setting was never explained.  You can’t create a world that weird and not explain the origins. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/14/2018 at 0:57 AM, Darth Richard II said:

Ok,The Stars Are Legion is straight up mind numbing horror. Like holy shit, some of this imagery would make Bakker jealous.

LOL!  You ever been present for a birth?  It's disgusting.  She's really good at visceral and disturbing ass shit.  BLECHG!  :stillsick:

15 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Agreed.  I enjoyed it but was left disappointed that the setting was never explained.  You can’t create a world that weird and not explain the origins. 

This was the bit that I loved about it.   They didn't know the origins.  That world is OLD.  

I pulled Scalzi's Lock In.  I really want to read an Unkindness of Ghosts before the Ballot closes.  

Edited by Lily Valley

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I read Steven Barnes' Lion's Blood , an alternative history focused on slavery, but told in a world where Abyssinia, Alexander's Egypt and Islam were the preeminent cultures and religion in history having defeated Rome and settled North America, and Western Europe remained a back water and was the main source for slaves rather than Africa.   Liked it a lot, both for the world building showing the background leading to this alternative history.  It gives a pretty graphic depiction of slavery based upon the real life experiences of Africans transported to the U.S. as slaves.

Then burned through Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey, enjoyed it immensely.

Now reading The Ill-made Knight by Christian Cameron (aka Miles Cameron) historical fiction about a boy earning his spurs as a knight during the 100 Years' War.  Early into it, but loving the detail in the battles and life in the period.

 

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7 hours ago, Lily Valley said:

LOL!  You ever been present for a birth?  It's disgusting.  She's really good at visceral and disturbing ass shit.  BLECHG!  :stillsick:

This was the bit that I loved about it.   They didn't know the origins.  That world is OLD. 

Yeah I loved the whole thing, but UGGGGHHGHGHHHGH jesus christ.

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58 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Yeah I loved the whole thing, but UGGGGHHGHGHHHGH jesus christ.

THE COG WHEEL.  :stillsick:

 

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3 hours ago, Leofric said:

I read Steven Barnes' Lion's Blood , an alternative history focused on slavery, but told in a world where Abyssinia, Alexander's Egypt and Islam were the preeminent cultures and religion in history having defeated Rome and settled North America, and Western Europe remained a back water and was the main source for slaves rather than Africa.   Liked it a lot, both for the world building showing the background leading to this alternative history.  It gives a pretty graphic depiction of slavery based upon the real life experiences of Africans transported to the U.S. as slaves.

That sounds really interesting, went to Amazon to check it out, saw it was only $2.99 on kindle, and immediately purchased it.

I finished To the Bright Edge of the Worldby Eowyn Ivey awhile back, and it was a lovely book.  Sophie was a fantastic character.

Now I'm a quarter of the way through Valkyrie's Song by M.D. Lachlan.  Really enjoying this book, especially how it links with the last one (and how I'm already anticipating it will link with the final book).  It's still really early, but this might wind up being my favorite so far.

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Ok, just finished Fools Assassin and I definitely will be continuing on with that series right away.  Damn you Robin!  I have other books to read!

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