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RedEyedGhost

May - Reading 2018 - Have another?

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9 hours ago, aceluby said:

I felt the same way.  The first book was tightly written, while books 2 & 3 meander a lot more.  Also, don't expect it to really go anywhere, it doesn't conclude all that well, though the ride is.... interesting.

I finally finished The Black Prism and all I can say is.... BOLLOCKS!!! :lol: I actually may read the next one eventually when I'm in a Sanderson'esque mood, but good lord, going in thinking this would have anything close to good writing was a mistake. 

Agreed completely on The Black Prism, But you got further than me. I couldn’t finish that tripe

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Burning through some YA that also features talking cats.  The Lazy Girl's Guide to Magic series by Helen Harper, thank you @kairparavel. Finished book I and II, III is a rougher read.  May go back to the adventures of Mr. Marmee after this.  I've also got a Delaney on my backlog, but my brain hurts from grading right now.  The fluff is a nice break.  Kitteeeeez.

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11 hours ago, aceluby said:

I finally finished The Black Prism and all I can say is.... BOLLOCKS!!! :lol: I actually may read the next one eventually when I'm in a Sanderson'esque mood, but good lord, going in thinking this would have anything close to good writing was a mistake. 

Awesome.  And I see that DRII is on board, but this spoiler is only for aceluby.

 

I picked that comment out because it just so doesn't fit with everything else and I seriously want to ask Weeks WTF he was thinking.  The rest of the dialogue is pretty much simple contemporary American English as far as I can tell.  But there are probably other comparable examples.

I thought Kip was one of the worst protagonists I can remember which feels like a crime on Weeks' part because I really do think the intent was for that character to be full protagonist.  

 

Edited by Triskele

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All done with Borges’ Ficciones. For those who haven’t heard of Borges, he’s widely considered the greatest figure in South American and Argentinian literature, and even a leading one in Spanish literature more broadly. This collection of short stories is probably his most famous work and from the very first story you can easily see why. It’s like nothing I’ve read before – covering an enormous breadth of thematic and philosophical content, employing an inventive style that uniquely combines elements of fantasy, history, biography and literary criticism. He manages to tackle incredibly complex themes (dreams, literature, philosophy, and religion) in so few pages – it’s really amazing stuff. Even if you don’t enjoy every story, Borges certainly gets you thinking. If interested, I recommend at least giving Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius and The Library of Babel a go, both from Ficciones.

I also finished Nemisin’s The Fifth Season. I am a bit late to the party on this one, so I’ll spare you guys a long review. Overall, I enjoyed it quite a bit (especially the climax) and I appreciated the originality of the setting, characters and structure. It was very much a set-up novel though, so I feel that I’ll have to continue with the series for this read to really pay off. I had no problem with the second person tense – I barely noticed it – though perhaps it didn’t add much to the reading experience. As a literary device, I thought the structural interplay between the three strands of the story was much more interesting and ultimately worthwhile. 

I am now starting a Harry Potter re-read with some friends, also continuing with Vaughan’s Saga series. Then I’ll check out Chabon’s Moonglow

Edited by Paxter

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14 hours ago, Triskele said:

Awesome.  And I see that DRII is on board, but this spoiler is only for aceluby.

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I picked that comment out because it just so doesn't fit with everything else and I seriously want to ask Weeks WTF he was thinking.  The rest of the dialogue is pretty much simple contemporary American English as far as I can tell.  But there are probably other comparable examples.

I thought Kip was one of the worst protagonists I can remember which feels like a crime on Weeks' part because I really do think the intent was for that character to be full protagonist.  

 

 

Spoiler

He was SOOOOO bad.  Like I actually disliked him as a character.  I felt more sympathy towards his fucking rapist father and cold-blood murdering uncle.  He's one of those guys that pities himself because he can't get/keep a girlfriend even though he's a "nice guy", when he's actually just a huge douche who thinks he's better than everyone else.  I think he's one of my least favorite characters I've read in years.  The only reason I might continue is because I want to see how Dazen and Gavin turn out, and figure out how Karris' kid figures into the whole thing.  Maybe next year I'll give book 2 a shot.

Edited by aceluby

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10 hours ago, aceluby said:

 

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He was SOOOOO bad.  Like I actually disliked him as a character.  I felt more sympathy towards his fucking rapist father and cold-blood murdering uncle.  He's one of those guys that pities himself because he can't get/keep a girlfriend even though he's a "nice guy", when he's actually just a huge douche who thinks he's better than everyone else.  I think he's one of my least favorite characters I've read in years.  The only reason I might continue is because I want to see how Dazen and Gavin turn out, and figure out how Karris' kid figures into the whole thing.  Maybe next year I'll give book 2 a shot.

I felt like the Gavin/Dazin element was quite well done.  That was a good core plot element, and I give Weeks credit for that.  But that's about it.  Not great world-building, didn't care for the magic system (it had potential but rarely seemed to matter in the story) hated most characters with Kip as the greatest offense...felt like the late introduction of Lord Omnidouche was weird.  Perhaps that was supposed to get us interested in the next book, but the Gavin/Dazin thing is the only thing I'd really want to read on for.

Another complaint:  if you look at the appendix it looked like Weeks put a lot of work in...but all of that stuff in the appendix rarely mattered or was even present in a significant way...at least it felt that way to me on one read.

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Just read and reviewed L. E. Modesitt, jr.'s Outcasts of Order. The author's Recluce story arcs usually follow a 2-volume format, but Beltur's story was too big and was split into 3 installments. Sadly, this one suffers from middle book syndrome and is not as compelling at the others. Sets the stage nicely for the final book, but it doesn't stand that well on its own. 

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I finished Dave Hutchinson's Europe at Midnight. After two books I'm not quite sure what to make of this series. It's often compelling, has some fascinating ideas and interesting characters but it can also be a bit frustrating at times. It often feels like the characters we are following are at the periphery of the huge events that are occurring and some of the more interesting events in the story seem to happen off-screen. I think to some extent this may be a deliberate attempt to show the futility of individuals trying to fight the system, but it can leave the story feeling a bit unsatisfying.

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Mike Rapport's 1848: Year of Revolution. It covers the major revolutions in France, Italy, Hungary and Austria in 400 pages, so it is a bit broader than deeper, but informative as to the major events and patterns of that turbulent year.

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18 hours ago, Teng Ai Hui said:

After your first post, I was guessing that you were maybe reading something by Nancy C. Davis.

THEY'RE ALL ON Kindle Unlimited!  WHY DID I NOT GET THESE AS SUGGESTIONS?  MY ALEXA IS DEFINITELY BROKEN!!!!  THANK YOU!  "Meow or Later"  LOLOLOL!

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On 5/2/2018 at 12:41 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

After that I read The Thousand Names by Django Wexler.  Wow that was fantastic.  Predominantly told in two PsOV as an army makes it way back to a city they had fled after a revolution overthrew the nation's prince (who is a non-factor member of the army's wagon train) and a new, clever colonel has arrived with (very green) reinforcements from across the sea.  One of the POV characters is a captain of "low birth" but from a rich merchant family that all died 19 years early in a fire which caused him to seek out this post across the sea to get as far from those memories as possible (most of his fellow captains earned their spots in this army because of failures on their home continent), and the other is a "ranker" (private - and for the first chapter only) who bought her spot in the army as she was fleeing from a "bordering" school that was set to marry her off (sell her) to a farmer in need of wife as they had just done to her lover - the army is males only so she's living a lie and is under constant worry/threat of her secret being discovered.  It all sounds a little clichéd as I type this out, but I never once felt that as I was reading it.  Highly recommended - especially for fans of Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson.

I then did something I haven't done in a very, very long time - I immediately started the second book in the series - The Shadow Throne.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I went straight into a subsequent book of a series; I love to hop around genres/authors/series.  Loving this second book too.  It does kind of make the first book feel like an extended prologue, and that's not a bad things.  Especially with the introduction of a third primary POV (each book has one antagonist POV that we did into at the start of each "part").  

The quality of the series is maintained throughout and it ends very well. Great series.

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I finished Raising Steam on Friday and it was alright mainly because the humor was lacking.

My next read was Acts of War by Jeff Rovin, which is the fourth book in Tom Clancy's Op-Center series from the 90s through the early 00s.  Once again a pretty good idea the book is based on, but badly executed.  The stuff you don't notice when your in high school when you first read the book.

I completed Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson yesterday, I was basically a chapter a day for almost a month at home.  Just like another book by Lawson, it was a hilarious read.

I'll be starting City of God by St. Augustine tomorrow.

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2 hours ago, Mexal said:

The quality of the series is maintained throughout and it ends very well. Great series.

2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I just started book 3, so that's good to know.

I just started book 3 myself, The Price of Valor, and it definitely exhibits one of the reasons I don't often read books in the same series back to back - the voice at the start of the book feels just a little bit off.  My most and least favorite example of this is the opening scene of Serenity as Mal is walking through  the ship "introducing" the audience to the cast, it just feels forced and wrong relative to  everything Firefly we'd had up to that point.  I have enjoyed the plot setup that I've read so far

Maurisk is a dick!  I'm surprised Marcus was left in the capital, but I guess Janus expected something like this to happen

;)

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I felt like the Gavin/Dazin element was quite well done.  That was a good core plot element, and I give Weeks credit for that.  But that's about it.  Not great world-building, didn't care for the magic system (it had potential but rarely seemed to matter in the story) hated most characters with Kip as the greatest offense...felt like the late introduction of Lord Omnidouche was weird.  Perhaps that was supposed to get us interested in the next book, but the Gavin/Dazin thing is the only thing I'd really want to read on for.

Another complaint:  if you look at the appendix it looked like Weeks put a lot of work in...but all of that stuff in the appendix rarely mattered or was even present in a significant way...at least it felt that way to me on one read.

 

 

 

 

 

I like the Gavin/Dazen thing, but thought it was SO stupid that they were just 'similar' looking and a similar looking, taller, brother was able to pass as the other brother for 16 years with basically nobody knowing.  It was a cool dichotomy, sure, but it would have been 100% more believable if they were twins with different visible birthmarks or cowlicks.

Ok, enough hating for now.  Just thought that was kind of a stupid plot point that even someone very simple minded in the story figured out, but not many others.  I thought those characters were the most engaging, which was a shame for how poorly thought out that part seemed to be.

 

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I've just started reading Roger Zelazny's short story collection The Last Defender Of Camelot. I've read the first four stories today, I thought For A Breath I Tarry was the highlight so far.

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I am still working my way through Hobb, having just finished Fool's Errand.  The series continues to be excellent, as everyone already knows.

But I have a conundrum.  I can either go on with Golden Fool, which seems like an excellent idea.

But luck has given me early access to Foundryside, the newest novel from Robert Jackson Bennett, and I really do like Bennett.

I am pretty sure I am going to jump right into Golden Fool, but damn it is tempting.  But finishing Tawny Man seems the prudent course.

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