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[Book] Thread 20XXAD

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Posts

  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    V1m wrote: »
    Metropolitan
    Aristoi
    Days of Atonement

    Aristoi is excellent. Hardwired is some great cyberpunk stuff.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    htmMahnmut
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Grudge wrote: »
    Almost finished with The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley. Not very good, I'm afraid. I was fooled by a 4.18 rating on Goodreads, but I'll most likely leave it at a 2.

    1. Too long - to little story for too many pages, not interesting enough. I'm all for a slow paced story, but then you really have to have an interesting plot, a fascinating world, or a cast of great characters. Unfortunately this one has neither.
    2. Many "new writer" mistakes/bad use of language, especially in the first half. You can tell that this is the writer's first book, but these should have been picked up by the editor.
    3. Lots of anachronisms - demolitions, concrete, many American expressions that the writer doesn't seem to know where they come from or what they mean.
    4. Plenty of bad fantasy clichés; violet and "firey" eyes to mark out how special certain characters are, all the good guys are beautiful and all the villains are ugly, independent elite military units with no political ambitions etc.

    Now, reading two kinda bad fantasy books back to back has put me off the genre for a while. Now I want something different, and I thought I'd read some Walter John Williams. Any recommendations where to start?

    Metropolitan
    Aristoi
    Days of Atonement

    WJW is one of my favorite and, imo, most underrated writers from the cyberpunk era. I though he kind of lost his edge starting with his Dread Empire stuff, but his work from the mid-80s to the late 90s was consistently great.

    Days of Atonement is amazing. The protagonist is a super-unsympathetic small town cop who slowly unravels when SciFi things start happening in his jurisdiction. No idea what WJW's politics are, but Loren Hawn is a disturbing achievement.

    Hardwired is awesome, too. Maybe my favorite cyberpunk book that's not Neuromancer. It will make you wonder if Neill Blomkamp read it before writing Elysium.

    Voice of the Whirlwind is a great and very intelligent combo military SF/alien contact story.

    Aristoi is good fun that, viewed from a certain angle, anticipates the Dark Enlightenment movement.

    Metropolitan is OK, but I thought it was kind of a sprawling mess. Lots of people like it much more than I do, though.

    V1m
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    Dread Empire is super on-point, IMO; just it has a different point than, e.g., Hardwired.

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
    jakobagger
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    Mahnmut wrote: »
    Dread Empire is super on-point, IMO; just it has a different point than, e.g., Hardwired.

    I'll have to reread it. It's been a while. I just remember finding it pretty simplistic compared to his earlier works. I also remember thinking that it didn't hold up very well in comparison to Scott Westerfeld's The Risen Empire, which was the same sort of plot and setting and and out at the same time.

  • jakobaggerjakobagger LO THY DREAD EMPIRE CHAOS IS RESTORED Registered User regular
    Dread Empire isn't like, revolutionary or anything, I think. It's just really good at what it does, and free of any of the crazy baggage I get the impression military SF is likely to be plagued by (eg. right wing political rants etc).

    bgg / steam / goodreads / Bnet: Bygasto#2537
    EchoV1m
  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus now arrives the hour of actionRegistered User regular
    So it turns out that "Go Set a Watchman", the sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird", has an interesting portrayal of Atticus.
    "Go Set a Watchman” is set in the 1950s, 20 years after Lee’s celebrated “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and finds Atticus hostile to the growing civil rights movement. In one particularly dramatic encounter with his now-adult daughter, Scout, the upright Alabama lawyer who famously defended a black man in “Mockingbird” condemns the NAACP as opportunists and troublemakers and labels blacks as too “backward” to “share fully in the responsibilities of citizenship.”

    Apparently Scout's the enlightened protagonist and Atticus is stuck in the past. I'm loathe to condemn a book before it comes out, but that's going to make a lot of people angry.

    Since the Washington Post is the Washington Post, there's a random quote at the end from Toni Morrison condemning To Kill a Mockingbird, which is hilarious because it hands-down tops anything she's ever put out.

    What are y'alls favorite books on race relations? Mine's Lillian Smith's Strange Fruit.

    ISIS delenda est
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    One thing to consider is that by all accounts, Harper Lee wrote Watchman first, then decided on Mockingbird to explore how Scout got where she was, and then after that book's success decided against publishing Watchman.

    Wasn't there a kerfuffle surrounding the timing of the book's announcement?

    *Googles/Wikis*
    Wikipedia wrote:
    Some publications have called the timing of the book "suspicious," citing Lee's declining health, statements she had made over several decades that she would not write or release another novel, and the death of her sister (and caregiver) just two months before the announcement.[7][8] NPR reported on the news of her new book release, with circumstances "raising questions about whether she is being taken advantage of in her old age."[9] Some publications have even called for fans to boycott the work.[10] News sources, including NPR[9] and BBC News[11] have reported that the conditions surrounding the release of the book are unclear and posit that Lee may not have had full control of the decision. Investigators for the state of Alabama interviewed Lee in response to a suspicion of elder abuse in relation to the publication of the book.[12] However, by April 2015 the investigation had found that the claims were unfounded.[13]

    Additionally, historian and Lee's longtime friend Wayne Flynt told the Associated Press that the "narrative of senility, exploitation of this helpless little old lady is just hogwash. It's just complete bunk." Flynt said he found Lee capable of giving consent and believes no one will ever know for certain the terms of said consent.[14]

  • N1tSt4lkerN1tSt4lker Registered User regular
    Hm. Now I rather wonder if I want to read Watchman if it is indeed true that she wrote it first and then envisioned a better Atticus. I'm not sure how to feel about this.

    RMS Oceanic
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    There could well be some context to this.

    But I have lost a substantial amount of interest in the book now.

    Lh96QHG.png
    RMS OceanicN1tSt4lkerDevoutlyApathetic
  • DynagripDynagrip destroy everything you touch Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Read like 75% of The Circle by Dave Eggers over the weekend. Was not liking it at all but figured I'd go ahead and power through. Then this morning I realized I could just read a plot summary on wikipedia and be done with it.

    It seemed like what Dave Eggers wanted to say about internet/privacy/freedom had been done by page 150 but he kept going on and on and on. Strangely enough, thinking about it, some of the absurdism reminded me a little bit of Infinite Jest (I really liked Infinite Jest though).

    Anyhoo, would not recommend.

    ok98TNK.png
  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    According to Tim Powers, this is a "fairly accurate" synopsis of the new Tim Powers novel: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/07/coming-soon-medusas-web-by-tim-powers/

    Steam: Mike Danger | PSN/NNID: remadeking | 3DS: 2079-9204-4075
    oE0mva1.jpg
    A Dabble Of Thelonius
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo But do you really believe him? Registered User regular
    I finally finished The Unconsoled!

    I now understand why it was described as inventing a new genre of bad fiction.

    Sadly, since that review, Kazuo Ishiguro has written The Buried Giant. Which is the same fucking book, just set somewhere else.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Apparently China Meiville has a new short story collection out.

    Meanwhile I just got the first 2 Expanse books by James A Corey. Looking forward to seeing what the fuss is about.

    Morran
  • SummaryJudgmentSummaryJudgment Today we will paint a mountain that owes us nothing. Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    V1m wrote: »
    Apparently China Meiville has a new short story collection out.

    Meanwhile I just got the first 2 Expanse books by James A Corey. Looking forward to seeing what the fuss is about.

    Nice, that went completely under the radar for me.

    About The Expanse - for me, it really started warming up with the second book. Or rather, I read the second book first, loved it, and then went back and liked the first book but found that it didn't measure up.

    Just finished Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. I liked it!

    Looking at a Goodreads discussion about it, somebody said something to the effect of "Well, at least Vandermeer walks the walk - you can't very well say 'This is an alien intelligence that nobody can comprehend that humans don't even have the language for!' and then follow it up with 'Well, actually, it's just like this blah blah blah..."

    And I thought that kind of hit the nail on the head. It's like a really well-made found footage film rendered into book form. There's not really a lot to process after-the-fact about it because it's just a book about generating creepy feels, which it's excellent at, and then it's over.

    I absolutely love the STALKER series of games which feature a Zone similar to Area-X, I wonder if I should go hunt down the original Roadside Picnic now, although I've spoiled myself on it and I fear it hasn't aged well.

    SummaryJudgment on
    "Will you keep working on it?" asked Man.

    The Cosmic AC said, "I WILL."

    Man said, "We shall wait."
    htm
  • zakkielzakkiel Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    I finally finished The Unconsoled!

    I now understand why it was described as inventing a new genre of bad fiction.

    Sadly, since that review, Kazuo Ishiguro has written The Buried Giant. Which is the same fucking book, just set somewhere else.

    From the Goodreads descriptions, The Unconsoled sounds totally different. Everything that's weird in The Buried Giant has a straightforward explanation (except the boatmen, because you can't be a Serious Writer and write fantasy without sticking some magical realism in there - gotta comment on the Human Condition, ya know).

    I have to say I dislike his dialogue. Everyone sounds the same and none of them sound like people. Kind of like Gregory Maguire, but at least Maguire's produces some interesting turns of phrase.

    Account not recoverable. So long.
  • VanguardVanguard Je suis le savant au fauteuil sombre. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    recently finished:

    Rise in the Fall, Ana Božičević
    Rome, Dorothea Lasky

    reading:

    Embyoyo, Dean Young

    next:

    The Poetic Edda

  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    Looking to start a new fantasy series. Prince of Thorns, or Blood Song, or Half a King. Which is best?

    I realize I'm a month late with this but Blood Song is the only good book in that series. If you like Joe Abercrombie, well, you know what you're getting with Half a King. His writing sorta reminds me of David Gemmell. I have not read Prince of Thorns, altho I'm pretty sure it's in my Kindle.

    Shadowhope
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    Just read Shades of Milk and Honey, which someone in the SE++ thread aptly described as 'Sense and Sensibility and Spells.' Basically a very good Austen pastiche, with extra color from the womanly art of folding glamours from the ether. I liked it a lot, and will pick up the sequel after I chew through the third Chalion book by LMB. Which is to say, I'm on a surprisingly romantic reading spree the last couple months.

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    I completed my Neal Asher collection with the reprint of The Engineer, a collection of short stories from before his first novel, Gridlinked, got published. Interesting to read that early stuff - the titular The Engineer story is very solid.

    There are three short stories about the Owner, a man who has lived for ten thousand years and the planets under his protection. He later wrote the Owner trilogy, set in the near-future, dealing with how the Owner came to be.

    Two stories are tied to Spatterjay, both featuring characters that ended up in the Spatterjay trilogy. And I still recommend The Skinner very highly, it's solid scifi swashbuckling on a water-covered planet where the dominant lifeform is a leech whose bite infects its victim with a virus granting the victim regeneration and biological immortality, and the weird-ass biome depending on this virus.

    There's one story that feels a bit like fantasy, but mentions a strange and highly prized "hull metal" that sounds very much like Prador slate from the Polity universe. In the preface he mentions a fantasy trilogy he apparently wrote big chunks of but never submitted to a publisher.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    Oh, and two stories that do a really hamfisted "religion is bad and religious people are stupid" thing.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Good news summary Annihilation was just the first in the trilogy

    For money the second book Authority is even better

  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Apparently China Meiville has a new short story collection out.

    Meanwhile I just got the first 2 Expanse books by James A Corey. Looking forward to seeing what the fuss is about.

    Oh, is that out? Amazon's still looking at the 30th.

    It's...I dunno, it's Mieville. Lots of really cool, strange concepts, scattergunned across the pages. He had a serious problem with closure though. A high percentage of the stories don't so much end as they just...stop. Sometimes it feels intentional, sometimes not so much. But there's a lot of clever stuff in there, and much of it is deeply, deeply strange. It's an entertaining read, but doesn't have quite the same oomph as his long form work. Worth picking up if you're a fan already though - but maybe not the best place to start if you're not.

  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    CroakerBC wrote: »
    It's...I dunno, it's Mieville. Lots of really cool, strange concepts, scattergunned across the pages. He had a serious problem with closure though. A high percentage of the stories don't so much end as they just...stop. Sometimes it feels intentional, sometimes not so much. But there's a lot of clever stuff in there, and much of it is deeply, deeply strange. It's an entertaining read, but doesn't have quite the same oomph as his long form work. Worth picking up if you're a fan already though - but maybe not the best place to start if you're not.

    Miéville is an academic Marxist. He's written some academic stuff about the Western capitalism style of literature where the Hero gets the Girl and the Villain gets Deaded and they Ride Off into the Sunset. It's very much an intentional thing.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    I wish he would put out another Bas Lag novel. :(

    Echo
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    edited July 2015
    Googled up a 2005 interview where he talks a bit about it.
    BLVR: You tend to leave your villains unpunished and more or less intact at the end of your narratives.

    CM: The whole good-versus-bad morality thing, you have to be very careful or else you end up sounding incredibly trite. People have criticized me for being too morally simplistic and for depicting the government as wholly evil and my goodies as wholly good. I don’t think it’s fair to say that my goodies are wholly good. As for the government being wholly evil, I can see that there’s maybe a sort of pantomime element to some of the government in, say, Perdido Street Station. I don’t think it’s the case with The Scar or Iron Council. Particularly with the figure of Weather Wrightby, but also with the figure of the Lovers in The Scar, there’s an attempt to say this is not about this person being a bastard, this is about this person being a representation of social forces that for the purposes of this book represent the enemy of the protagonist.

    [...]

    In all the books, there is some kind of moral or political resolution, but it always comes at a cost. The story is not about the good getting their rewards and the bad getting punished. The story is about something different from that. I remember someone saying once that they really hated my books because they weren’t “inspiring,” but I just can’t get with this idea that literature is a twelve-step program. If someone wants to read a book to feel better, and the way they want to feel better is to see that the good people get rewarded and the bad people get punished, that’s fine, but essentially what they want then is a fairy tale. I don’t mean this in really kind of a denigrating fashion, but I don’t think that’s what fiction should necessarily be about. This is in part my reaction against a tendency that has been reasonably strong in fantasy, which is precisely the attempt to depict narratives like fairy tales. Abstract morality has had a fairly strong position in genre fantasy, and so there is still a certain necessity to react against that, and to say that things don’t all necessarily work out well, and the attempt to create a more realistic, more nuanced world is precisely manifested in a world in which you can’t take nice moral lessens for granted.

    BLVR: One of my favorite aspects of Perdido Street Station is the fact that Mr. Motley is left intact and in place.

    CM: Well, quite. Pinochet is very likely to die in his bed surrounded by a grieving family. That’s not fair. Pinochet should be held to account. Kissinger should not be able to eat pâté de foie gras. You know, the worst thing that seems to have happened to Kissinger in the last few years is that his travel plans have become a little bit more complicated because he’s worried about being tried, but the fact is he’s likely to die in his bed. This is not a fair, moral world. Sometimes the guilty do get punished and the good do get rewarded, and that’s fantastic and I’m always delighted when that happens, but I do want to try to make Bas Lag as socially realistic a world as I can and as morally realistic a world as I can. And the fact that I reject abstract morality doesn’t mean that I’m immoral or amoral—I feel very moral—but it means that the morality is concrete and is related to politics rather than being a kind of schema that you slap on top of the world and then judge the world according to. I should say that I feel there is a danger in all this, in that I think there is sometimes a cheap gravitas to be accrued by being cruel to your characters. That there is a certain tendency in some kinds of fiction to say, “Look, I haven’t rewarded the good and I haven’t punished the bad. This must be gritty, realistic hard fiction.” In fact, it can degenerate into a kind of aesthetic sadism. I am mindful that there is a line to be walked between really, really pat and fairytale and trite, and being sadistic and willfully unpleasant to your characters, and I don’t want to get into a position of being spiteful to the characters just to appear to be unflinching.

    Echo on
    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Echo wrote: »
    CroakerBC wrote: »
    It's...I dunno, it's Mieville. Lots of really cool, strange concepts, scattergunned across the pages. He had a serious problem with closure though. A high percentage of the stories don't so much end as they just...stop. Sometimes it feels intentional, sometimes not so much. But there's a lot of clever stuff in there, and much of it is deeply, deeply strange. It's an entertaining read, but doesn't have quite the same oomph as his long form work. Worth picking up if you're a fan already though - but maybe not the best place to start if you're not.

    Miéville is an academic Marxist. He's written some academic stuff about the Western capitalism style of literature where the Hero gets the Girl and the Villain gets Deaded and they Ride Off into the Sunset. It's very much an intentional thing.

    Up to a point I think that's true. And there are certainly narratives inside of the collection where you can see that, and enjoy it. But others actually feel truncated, or abrupt. It's not an issue of narrative closure so much. Less that, for example, that the hypothetical villain is still alive at the close of the story, and more that the hypothetical prince hasn't got around to visiting the villain yet, and is busy queuing up in the supermarket for a pint of milk when the story ends.

    Up to a point you can allow for it, because where a narrative starts and finishes doesn't need to be structurally informed by the standard tropes in order to work, but some of them feel like they were halfway written, and then stopped because the author got bored.

    Probably half the time, that's intentional too, but it's something to keep in mind, nonetheless. This isn't a book that's unafraid of exploring things, including narrative form, but sometimes even with that in mind, it can feel abrupt.

    (Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun with Three Moments of an Explosion, but it's definitely higher on the weird spectrum than almost any of the rest of Mieville's work, and the vignette format exacerbates this, intentionally or otherwise. It largely worked for me, but YMMV)

    ETA: And unsurprisingly, there's no Bas-Lag shorts in there either, sorry @Iolo

    CroakerBC on
  • HandgimpHandgimp R+L=J Family PhotoRegistered User regular
    According to Tim Powers, this is a "fairly accurate" synopsis of the new Tim Powers novel: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/07/coming-soon-medusas-web-by-tim-powers/

    MOAR TIM POWERS GIMME GIMME GIMME!

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    htmMike Dangerjakobagger
  • IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    China Mieville and David Foster Wallace often sound a lot a alike when interviewed. They are both absurdly smart and super, super aware of all of the genre conventions in their medium. They are aware of both audience expectations and critical expectations and haven't rejected them entirely. But not wanting to deliver pat, color-by-numbers narratives gives them a kind of constant struggle with meta-ness, so to speak, when asked to articulate some aspect of their thought process.

    ShadowhopetapeslingerEchoAntoshkajakobagger
  • AstharielAsthariel The Book Eater Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Im reading Sharps by K.J. Parker, 70 %, and so far i am so pleased by what i read, that i think this may be THE BEST single fantasy book not being part of any series, although i only call that fantasy because the plot is about ficional world and countries, no magic whatsoever. Seriously, i like pretty much everything, this book may as well be written specifically for me. Im afraid of ending, as the author is generally known for writing depressing books, but by now, i have faith that my heart won't be broken.

    Asthariel on
    "So in the Second Season of Prison Break, They're Already Broken Out of Prison, But the Name Works Once You Realize That Society Is a Prison."

    Steam Profile
  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    Asthariel wrote: »
    Im reading Sharps by K.J. Parker, 70 %, and so far i am so pleased by what i read, that i think this may be THE BEST single fantasy book not being part of any series, although i only call that fantasy because the plot is about ficional world and countries, no magic whatsoever. Seriously, i like pretty much everything, this book may as well be written specifically for me. Im afraid of ending, as the author is generally known for writing depressing books, but by now, i have faith that my heart won't be broken.

    If you like Sharps, Parkers 'The Folding Knife' may also be for you. I make no promises WRT heartbreak either way, mind you.

  • AstharielAsthariel The Book Eater Registered User regular
    I already read The Folding Knife, but as i admit that it's very good book, and i enjoyed reading it, i don't think i want to read that ever again (tragedy, and all of that). In fact, this and the Hammer are the only two Parker's books published in my country, and i read Sharps in english (not my native language). BUT, if Sharps won't be ever translated, i think it would be a terrible injustice.

    "So in the Second Season of Prison Break, They're Already Broken Out of Prison, But the Name Works Once You Realize That Society Is a Prison."

    Steam Profile
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    As for the government being wholly evil, I can see that there’s maybe a sort of pantomime element to some of the government in, say, Perdido Street Station.

    The government certainly was evil in PSS, but I thought that one of the things that PSS did well was to show that the government was also powerless in the face of city's commercial class. There's the obvious things, like...
    the strike suppression and union busting

    but also...
    the fact that the government was forced to divert resources from hunting the Slake Moths in order to instead chase after Isaac (because his eternal motion machine would so seriously disrupt the controlling commercial interests of the city).

    The government was evil but fairly competent, but even so, it had its hands thoroughly tied by the city's donor class. That seems more like reality than pantomime.

    That being said...
    It's heavily implied that the Mayor was the Eye Spy Killer, which was totally over-the-top pantomime for making him into a moustache-twirling villain. I thought that was unfortunate, because it didn't make any sense in the context of the world-building and it was a missed opportunity to further detail how truly horrific criminal justice system of New Crobuzon was. If the Mayor needed fresh eyeballs, he could have just ordered a batch from the city jail, where they'd have been plucked from the convicts in the process of being Remade.

    EchoIolo
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    I need to do a re-read of the Bas-Lag novels some time soon.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    skippydumptruck
  • htmhtm Registered User regular
    edited July 2015
    htm wrote: »
    Mahnmut wrote: »
    Dread Empire is super on-point, IMO; just it has a different point than, e.g., Hardwired.

    I'll have to reread it. It's been a while. I just remember finding it pretty simplistic compared to his earlier works. I also remember thinking that it didn't hold up very well in comparison to Scott Westerfeld's The Risen Empire, which was the same sort of plot and setting and and out at the same time.

    I just re-read my own comment and was reminded that old Scott Westerfeld was amazing.

    These days, he's an extremely bestselling YA writer. The last thing I remember that he wrote was a YA steampunk romance that was sadly conventional. However... at the start of his SF-writing career, he was way far out on the transgressive end of the space opera/cyberpunk spectrum:

    Polymorph
    Fine Prey
    Evolution's Darling

    (Evolution's Darling in particular is a work of perverted genius. The fact that the author of that book went on to make his real fortune writing YA stuff is hilarious. In fact, if you check out his bibliography on Good Reads, none of his earlier adult-themed books are even listed. I hope that at least a few of the teens who grew up reading his YA stuff are making the effort to hunt down Evolution's Darling. It will, umm... expand their horizons.)

    After that, he went on to write The Risen Empire and a sequel to it that were possibly the best large-scale space opera of their time.

    TL;DR: go check out some old-school R-rated Scott Westerfeld. It's a damn shame he didn't make it big on the strength of his early works.

    htm on
  • vamenvamen Registered User regular
    Cabezone wrote: »
    Looking to start a new fantasy series. Prince of Thorns, or Blood Song, or Half a King. Which is best?

    I realize I'm a month late with this but Blood Song is the only good book in that series. If you like Joe Abercrombie, well, you know what you're getting with Half a King. His writing sorta reminds me of David Gemmell. I have not read Prince of Thorns, altho I'm pretty sure it's in my Kindle.

    @Cabezone - I would suggest "Prince of Thorns" myself, but I say that as someone who didn't much care for Abercrombe's "First Law" series. I liked it, but I was glad to be done with it. "Prince of Thorns" I loved, on the otherhand. I usually have a hard time enjoying books that have younger characters as the main protagonist, and books where the protagonist is unlikable/despicable/etc, which partly explains why I struggled with 'First Law". This series has both of those (though to be fair you don't ever get the feel Jorg is that young except when it's mentioned) but I somehow loved them during this series. Jorg is still a very terrible person, but he was written in such a way that, while I knew he was awful, I at the same time felt a bit of admiration for him in a strange way. I liked his whole attitude of if he wants to accomplish something, he's going to find a way to make it happen. I don't agree with his methods but I still appreciated his drive.

    I just finished up the second book in his second series in the same world, "The Liar's Key" and enjoyed it immensely, though the new books are a very different tone.

    That said, I've recommended "Broken Empire" to three people and not a single one of them liked it the way I did, so this may possibly be a situation of it not being a great series but I love it anyway.

    PA Fitocracy Group: Join us to try & be healthier so we can all game for many years to come.
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  • chuck steakchuck steak Registered User regular
    Cabezone wrote: »
    Looking to start a new fantasy series. Prince of Thorns, or Blood Song, or Half a King. Which is best?

    I realize I'm a month late with this but Blood Song is the only good book in that series. If you like Joe Abercrombie, well, you know what you're getting with Half a King. His writing sorta reminds me of David Gemmell. I have not read Prince of Thorns, altho I'm pretty sure it's in my Kindle.

    Well that's a bit disappointing, since I went with Blood Song. Does it at least wrap up satisfyingly, or does it leave a bunch of loose ends and cliffhangers?

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  • AstharielAsthariel The Book Eater Registered User regular
    Blood Song is really good book, if you ignore everything about plot that foreshadows next parts of the series. Honestly, it just works much better, it seems like a complete story of main character, and then you realise that there is a few loose ends that should be ended somewhere.

    But no, don't read more books than the first one. People consider The Tower Lord MUCH weaker than Blood Song, and THEN they consider Queen of Fire MUCH weaker than Tower Lord.

    I mean, what the hell even happened here? Does the author got silently replaced?

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  • pyromaniac221pyromaniac221 this just might be an interestin YTRegistered User regular
    Quarter of the way through Ken Liu's Grace of Kings and so far it's not really grabbing me. The world is cool and some of the characters are endearing, but a lot of the prose is...rough. And too many of the scenes are short and formulaic, like he's just checking boxes on a list. I've heard that he busts the plot wide open about halfway through so I'm holding out for that, but right now I can't help but feel a little disappointed.

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  • BogartBogart I Will Cure You Registered User, Moderator mod
    Michael Marshall's We Are Here was OK I guess. Prose as readable as ever, but it felt insubstantial compared to, say, the glories of his early short stories and novels.

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