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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    I enjoy Lift in small doses but the same issues I have with Lift I have with most of the characters in Sanderson's YA books. I don't have kids and am not often around kids so I don't know whether his portrayal of teenagers and children is accurate but all of Sanderson's younger characters feel much younger-acting than they're meant to be. They also all feel very...not quite one-note, but close. They have a set of quirks and catch-phrases and they just cycle through them, basically ignoring the world changing around them until absolutely forced to engage with events intellectually. They remind me of people playing in an RPG who decide to make a 'quirky' character who has one thing they do that's nominally amusing and they just do it over and over, whether it makes sense in the situation or not because 'that's their character!'.

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  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    The reckoners felt much better developed than the Skyward kids, at least as of the first book. It felt very YA and I didn't even love the concept, whereas for the Reckoners series I was mainly dealing with just the lead characters teen stuff.

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    ShadowhopeMoridin889
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    I enjoy Lift in small doses but the same issues I have with Lift I have with most of the characters in Sanderson's YA books. I don't have kids and am not often around kids so I don't know whether his portrayal of teenagers and children is accurate but all of Sanderson's younger characters feel much younger-acting than they're meant to be. They also all feel very...not quite one-note, but close. They have a set of quirks and catch-phrases and they just cycle through them, basically ignoring the world changing around them until absolutely forced to engage with events intellectually. They remind me of people playing in an RPG who decide to make a 'quirky' character who has one thing they do that's nominally amusing and they just do it over and over, whether it makes sense in the situation or not because 'that's their character!'.

    I mean, that basically describes my toddler in most instances.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    Oh man Gideon The Ninth was SO good. One of the most cleverly written books I've read in the past five years at least. Brilliant and genius.

    I bounced hard off the audiobook several times. Much better in print. Might binge the next book this week. I am so late to the bone party.

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  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    Septus wrote: »
    The reckoners felt much better developed than the Skyward kids, at least as of the first book. It felt very YA and I didn't even love the concept, whereas for the Reckoners series I was mainly dealing with just the lead characters teen stuff.

    Really? I felt the opposite. Reckoners felt EXTREMELY YA to me, and I enjoyed Skyward a lot more.

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  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    Reckoners had the unrequited teen love angle, amidst a team of adults with big world issues. Skyward is a school full of teens with teen drama and jockeying for status, and I was not into that. For sure Reckoners was still YAish and less enjoyable than Mistborn.

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    ShadowhopeMoridin889
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Oh man Gideon The Ninth was SO good. One of the most cleverly written books I've read in the past five years at least. Brilliant and genius.

    I bounced hard off the audiobook several times. Much better in print. Might binge the next book this week. I am so late to the bone party.

    Harrow is really good too but really different

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  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Harrow just takes a lot of effort to get through to the payoff where you find out what the hell is actually going on.

    TuminBrody
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Harrow just takes a lot of effort to get through to the payoff where you find out what the hell is actually going on.

    I really enjoyed the moment-to-moment wackiness of Harrow. I didn't know exactly what was going on in relation to Gideon, but the actual plots of the book otherwise were otherwise easy to follow on their own and full of fun character moments.

    webguy20
  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    Oh man Gideon The Ninth was SO good. One of the most cleverly written books I've read in the past five years at least. Brilliant and genius.

    I bounced hard off the audiobook several times. Much better in print. Might binge the next book this week. I am so late to the bone party.

    These books strike me as really hard to translate to audio - they're such writerly works, even being so accessible.

    Which makes me think the movie adaptation starring Kristin Stewart and Margot Robbie is never going to get off the ground. =P

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Oh man Gideon The Ninth was SO good. One of the most cleverly written books I've read in the past five years at least. Brilliant and genius.

    I bounced hard off the audiobook several times. Much better in print. Might binge the next book this week. I am so late to the bone party.

    These books strike me as really hard to translate to audio - they're such writerly works, even being so accessible.

    Which makes me think the movie adaptation starring Kristin Stewart and Margot Robbie is never going to get off the ground. =P

    I'm pretty sure that series is un-filmable. None of the necromancy really seems to make any physical sense. It works in prose because you can kind of mentally gloss over what it would actually look like for a dozen skeletons to simultaneously burst out of a chip of bone the size of your fingernail, or what exactly it looks like for a human-plus-sized entity to be suddenly encased in a thick ball of human fat tissue. On film it'd be Bay Transfromers-level incomprehensible CGI skeleton-on-skeleton action.

    Or, like, the entire end sequence of Harrow makes no sense as a thing a human eye could perceive.

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    I always imagined the skeletons erupting from a chip of bone like the black snake fireworks you get.

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  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Oh man Gideon The Ninth was SO good. One of the most cleverly written books I've read in the past five years at least. Brilliant and genius.

    I bounced hard off the audiobook several times. Much better in print. Might binge the next book this week. I am so late to the bone party.

    These books strike me as really hard to translate to audio - they're such writerly works, even being so accessible.

    Which makes me think the movie adaptation starring Kristin Stewart and Margot Robbie is never going to get off the ground. =P

    I'm pretty sure that series is un-filmable. None of the necromancy really seems to make any physical sense. It works in prose because you can kind of mentally gloss over what it would actually look like for a dozen skeletons to simultaneously burst out of a chip of bone the size of your fingernail, or what exactly it looks like for a human-plus-sized entity to be suddenly encased in a thick ball of human fat tissue. On film it'd be Bay Transfromers-level incomprehensible CGI skeleton-on-skeleton action.

    Or, like, the entire end sequence of Harrow makes no sense as a thing a human eye could perceive.

    Do the skeletons in full Harryhausen stop motion. Gideon needs to be high concept as fuck on screen to work anyway, so they should just go full camp with the effects.

    The best way to fail the book would be to shoot it as dull and gritty realism.

    DevoutlyApatheticFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Oh man Gideon The Ninth was SO good. One of the most cleverly written books I've read in the past five years at least. Brilliant and genius.

    I bounced hard off the audiobook several times. Much better in print. Might binge the next book this week. I am so late to the bone party.

    These books strike me as really hard to translate to audio - they're such writerly works, even being so accessible.

    Which makes me think the movie adaptation starring Kristin Stewart and Margot Robbie is never going to get off the ground. =P

    I'm pretty sure that series is un-filmable. None of the necromancy really seems to make any physical sense. It works in prose because you can kind of mentally gloss over what it would actually look like for a dozen skeletons to simultaneously burst out of a chip of bone the size of your fingernail, or what exactly it looks like for a human-plus-sized entity to be suddenly encased in a thick ball of human fat tissue. On film it'd be Bay Transfromers-level incomprehensible CGI skeleton-on-skeleton action.

    Or, like, the entire end sequence of Harrow makes no sense as a thing a human eye could perceive.

    Do the skeletons in full Harryhausen stop motion. Gideon needs to be high concept as fuck on screen to work anyway, so they should just go full camp with the effects.

    The best way to fail the book would be to shoot it as dull and gritty realism.

    Even with stop-motion effects (and, honestly, that's mostly how I pictured it in my head), there's a lot there that just doesn't make sense visually. Like: there are multiple references to 'boiling liquid bone'. What does that even look like?

    The Locked Tomb series works in part because Muir picks obscure words to refer to thing so that your mind's eye elides the absurd details. Like Lovecraft calling something "both squamous and rugose" so you just picture a weird, horrible thing instead of "a scaly thing except its skin is also wrinkly".

    Anyway. I liked the books a lot. I just don't think they could possibly work as movies.

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  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Man, I just started Attack Surface, and A) how long did it take him to write this, it feels like he must have written it in 2020, and B) please inject this shit into my veins.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    I actually was imagining a movie the entire time because I feel like it is almost a screenplay of sorts. I could easily see it being a fantastic standalone movie.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    I mean I thought Scott Pilgrim could never be put to screen but it was amazing.

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    Whelk
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    Oh man Gideon The Ninth was SO good. One of the most cleverly written books I've read in the past five years at least. Brilliant and genius.

    I bounced hard off the audiobook several times. Much better in print. Might binge the next book this week. I am so late to the bone party.

    These books strike me as really hard to translate to audio - they're such writerly works, even being so accessible.

    Which makes me think the movie adaptation starring Kristin Stewart and Margot Robbie is never going to get off the ground. =P

    I'm pretty sure that series is un-filmable. None of the necromancy really seems to make any physical sense. It works in prose because you can kind of mentally gloss over what it would actually look like for a dozen skeletons to simultaneously burst out of a chip of bone the size of your fingernail, or what exactly it looks like for a human-plus-sized entity to be suddenly encased in a thick ball of human fat tissue. On film it'd be Bay Transfromers-level incomprehensible CGI skeleton-on-skeleton action.

    Or, like, the entire end sequence of Harrow makes no sense as a thing a human eye could perceive.

    Do the skeletons in full Harryhausen stop motion. Gideon needs to be high concept as fuck on screen to work anyway, so they should just go full camp with the effects.

    The best way to fail the book would be to shoot it as dull and gritty realism.

    Even with stop-motion effects (and, honestly, that's mostly how I pictured it in my head), there's a lot there that just doesn't make sense visually. Like: there are multiple references to 'boiling liquid bone'. What does that even look like?

    The Locked Tomb series works in part because Muir picks obscure words to refer to thing so that your mind's eye elides the absurd details. Like Lovecraft calling something "both squamous and rugose" so you just picture a weird, horrible thing instead of "a scaly thing except its skin is also wrinkly".

    Anyway. I liked the books a lot. I just don't think they could possibly work as movies.

    Hm I think it's all clear enough -- it just should be an anime!

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    credeiki
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    NPC is a grade A horrible book published this year that I thought might be like "bad" enjoyable but it is just unenjoyable schlock about a pastor and a scientist who figure out that the world might be one big simulation. I cannot tell if the author is 14 or perhaps 70, but one of the "young" characters says things like "bruh" and "boomer" over and over. It is not a book worth reading.

    hu54k6inlknh.png

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    The Space Between Worlds is a debut book that I really wanted to like despite itself but in the end the characterization, plot, setting, and overall polish were sorely lacking. It is a neat take on the multiverse idea and it has some great queer and BIPOC elements but ultimately it was billed as a debut masterpiece on race using sci-fi as a medium but actually there is a town called Ashtown where all the black people live and a city called Wily City where literally all the white people live and it was very over the top and didn't even try to explore any kind of white privilege or complex racial issues. Hopefully the author improves in the future.

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  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    edited December 2020
    I'd say gideon has an endgame that is pure action movie and it's not her fault special effects technology isn't there yet
    NPC is a grade A horrible book published this year that I thought might be like "bad" enjoyable but it is just unenjoyable schlock about a pastor and a scientist who figure out that the world might be one big simulation. I cannot tell if the author is 14 or perhaps 70, but one of the "young" characters says things like "bruh" and "boomer" over and over. It is not a book worth reading.

    hu54k6inlknh.png

    fun fact, these last few years NPC has been a far right wing conspiracy/worldview of being solipsists that think they're the only real people in the world and it doesn't matter what harm you do to anyone else because they're just "NPCs" and not people with autonomy... so that book name and premise is just like a giant red flag

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    I'd say gideon has an endgame that is pure action movie and it's not her fault special effects technology isn't there yet
    NPC is a grade A horrible book published this year that I thought might be like "bad" enjoyable but it is just unenjoyable schlock about a pastor and a scientist who figure out that the world might be one big simulation. I cannot tell if the author is 14 or perhaps 70, but one of the "young" characters says things like "bruh" and "boomer" over and over. It is not a book worth reading.

    hu54k6inlknh.png

    fun fact, these last few years NPC has been a far right wing conspiracy/worldview of being solipsists that think they're the only real people in the world and it doesn't matter what harm you do to anyone else because they're just "NPCs" and not people with autonomy... so that book name and premise is just like a giant red flag
    To be fair to the book, it is definitely a matrix ripoff and doesn't have any super apparent right wing fascist stuff. It is a very dumb book and perhaps way too dumb to try to be cryptofascist. But yeah, I totally forgot about that!

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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    I'm like halfway through Edgedancer and I still love Lift. Like, she's not the greatest character of all time or anything, but everyone else in Stormlight (who's a major POV character) is so damn brooding and uptight all the time. Lift is like "oooh pancakes!" And I understand it's not that simple and she's hiding from her own past and blah blah blah, but damn it, it's just nice to have a break from all these woe-is-me, too-serious-by-far people.

    Shadowhope
  • NobodyNobody Registered User regular
    Jeremy Robinson got his major fame with the Nemesis series (Kaiju fiction) and the Chess Team series (military sci-fi/fantasy) and he has had a history of including his religion in his novels (Armageddon Machine is a very thinly veiled combination of biblical stories). That being said, I gave that book the side eye when Amazon had suggested it to me, but he hadn’t really shown any really far right beliefs in the past.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    OremLK wrote: »
    I'm like halfway through Edgedancer and I still love Lift. Like, she's not the greatest character of all time or anything, but everyone else in Stormlight (who's a major POV character) is so damn brooding and uptight all the time. Lift is like "oooh pancakes!" And I understand it's not that simple and she's hiding from her own past and blah blah blah, but damn it, it's just nice to have a break from all these woe-is-me, too-serious-by-far people.

    Yeah, and I also really liked it when she and sword hit it off right away.

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  • MalReynoldsMalReynolds The Hunter S Thompson of incredibly mild medicines Registered User regular
    I always love PoV chapters that have Kaladin but not as the main; he'll pop up, be sad, misread a situation - because his chapters are so locked into his depression its refreshing to know other people see him as stern and also goofy.

    Mainly with Oathbringer, not very far in RoW.

    "A new take on the epic fantasy genre... Darkly comic, relatable characters... twisted storyline."
    "Readers who prefer tension and romance, Maledictions: The Offering, delivers... As serious YA fiction, I’ll give it five stars out of five. As a novel? Four and a half." - Liz Ellor
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  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    The next Stormlight leatherbound kickstarter should have a backer reward tier where you get to hug Kaladin and tell him you're his friend and you appreciate him.

    There was a steam sig here. It's gone now.
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  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Just finished Attack Surface. it ended on a positive note, which was nice, since I spent the rest of the book planning on how to burn my phone, withdraw all our savings as cash, and then move to the tunnels under the Yucca mountains.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Finished Rhythm of War. It’s good compared to most books but doesn’t really compare to the first three. Sanderson is clearly setting up for the book five climax.

    CptHamiltonPailryderTofystedethjjae2123
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    I finished Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Ookorafor. It is the story of a young woman in a setting that at first I thought was a sort of fantasy modern rural africa but (as the back of the book says) is somewhat clarified to be a post-apocalyptic africa (with magic).

    It is very, very good. The writing is first person and very direct, to the point where the style might make you think you are reading YA (especially because you spend a lot of time in the protagonist's early years, although the final sequence of the book takes place in her early 20s.) However, the content makes the book not YA/not appropriate for a younger reader. The protagonist is very visibly the product of rape (there is ongoing, widespread ethnic violence) and her societal position is determined by this.

    She also has some sort of magic, and a lot of the book is about trying to figure out why and what and then trying to get anyone to give a shit, which they are inclined not to as they are actively hostile to her ethnicity and gender. It's hard to explain why this feels like a very real look at how women exist in society (and it feels pretty specific to a certain type of rural african society) and not like a 'oh no I can't become a knight because I'm a girl !!1!' (which is to be clear also a genre of book that I like. But this is not that). It's probably about the specificity of the detail and the way in which some elements are not at all black and white, and the way in which the various women both accept and reject some of the roles given to them.

    The relationships are really interesting; there's a romance that isn't at all a 'will they or won't they', it's just an ongoing loving relationship that is deeply important to the people involved. There are friendships that last through drama and friendships that break because of drama. There's a journey at the end with both very grounded elements and very mythic, almost fable-feeling elements to it.

    Really good book; highly recommend it but with the warning that some of the content is very harsh and difficult to read (the horrifying content is treated as horrifying by the characters in the book, too, to be clear).

    I will read more books by this author soon!

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  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Finished Rhythm of War. It’s good compared to most books but doesn’t really compare to the first three. Sanderson is clearly setting up for the book five climax.

    Has Sanderson given a good indication of just how self contained the first five Stormlight books will be? I think I could get myself interested in starting them if I'm not hanging on open plot threads for years until all 10 are finished.

    PSN: Kurahoshi1
    V1m
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    I finished Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Ookorafor. It is the story of a young woman in a setting that at first I thought was a sort of fantasy modern rural africa but (as the back of the book says) is somewhat clarified to be a post-apocalyptic africa (with magic).

    It is very, very good. The writing is first person and very direct, to the point where the style might make you think you are reading YA (especially because you spend a lot of time in the protagonist's early years, although the final sequence of the book takes place in her early 20s.) However, the content makes the book not YA/not appropriate for a younger reader. The protagonist is very visibly the product of rape (there is ongoing, widespread ethnic violence) and her societal position is determined by this.

    She also has some sort of magic, and a lot of the book is about trying to figure out why and what and then trying to get anyone to give a shit, which they are inclined not to as they are actively hostile to her ethnicity and gender. It's hard to explain why this feels like a very real look at how women exist in society (and it feels pretty specific to a certain type of rural african society) and not like a 'oh no I can't become a knight because I'm a girl !!1!' (which is to be clear also a genre of book that I like. But this is not that). It's probably about the specificity of the detail and the way in which some elements are not at all black and white, and the way in which the various women both accept and reject some of the roles given to them.

    The relationships are really interesting; there's a romance that isn't at all a 'will they or won't they', it's just an ongoing loving relationship that is deeply important to the people involved. There are friendships that last through drama and friendships that break because of drama. There's a journey at the end with both very grounded elements and very mythic, almost fable-feeling elements to it.

    Really good book; highly recommend it but with the warning that some of the content is very harsh and difficult to read (the horrifying content is treated as horrifying by the characters in the book, too, to be clear).

    I will read more books by this author soon!
    I really enjoyed Lagoon. It's not her most well known book but it was super good.

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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    Binti is next from her on my reading list. Got very good reviews.

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  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    John le Carre has died. At 89, you can't say he didn't have a good innings, and he leaves behind a fine body of work. Smiley will go on in the public consciousness for a long time, for the screen adaptations as much as anything else, but if those draw people to the books then so much the better. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy remains the best thing of his I've read: a book about people talking obliquely in rooms, it is utterly compelling, fascinating and convincing.

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    One of the best writers I ever had the fortune to read something by

    Really he was something else. The man could write a story about a man going to the shops to pick up a bottle of milk and you'd be engrossed.

    V1m
  • Redcoat-13Redcoat-13 Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    John le Carre has died. At 89, you can't say he didn't have a good innings, and he leaves behind a fine body of work. Smiley will go on in the public consciousness for a long time, for the screen adaptations as much as anything else, but if those draw people to the books then so much the better. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy remains the best thing of his I've read: a book about people talking obliquely in rooms, it is utterly compelling, fascinating and convincing.

    The Tinker Tailor series in my opinion, is his best work, I believe because of how closely it matched what he came across when working as an intelligence officer himself.

    It must have been partly inspired by the Cambridge Five spy ring, but having watched a documentary on this, Kim Philby et al. seemed to get away with things for so long because those higher up refused to believe an Oxbridge graduate could possibly be a spy. A rather depressing reason really, and a lesson not really learned considering who the UK currently has leading the country (I'm not suggesting that Johnson is a spy, merely that the political "elite" are completely useless yet seem to get jobs because they got a degree in Classics from Oxford who then give out other jobs to their chums).

    Anyway, I love Tinker Tailor and Smiley's People. I try to read them at least once a year. They're incredible.

    I feel obliged to point out that Le Carre has a son, Nick Harkaway, and he has written some fantastic books; The Gone Away World, Angelmaker and Tigerman. He seems to have a similar talent when it comes to writing.

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    V1m
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Bogart wrote: »
    John le Carre has died. At 89, you can't say he didn't have a good innings, and he leaves behind a fine body of work. Smiley will go on in the public consciousness for a long time, for the screen adaptations as much as anything else, but if those draw people to the books then so much the better. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy remains the best thing of his I've read: a book about people talking obliquely in rooms, it is utterly compelling, fascinating and convincing.

    Really the only one of the "doorstopper political thriller" writers worth a damn. Hell of a writer

  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    edited December 2020
    Septus wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Finished Rhythm of War. It’s good compared to most books but doesn’t really compare to the first three. Sanderson is clearly setting up for the book five climax.

    Has Sanderson given a good indication of just how self contained the first five Stormlight books will be? I think I could get myself interested in starting them if I'm not hanging on open plot threads for years until all 10 are finished.

    He's said there's a time skip and characters will shuffle importance. So main characters from the first arc will be secondary in the second arc, and vice versa. It sounds like it'll be fairly self-contained, but with some loose ends. At the very least, I'm sure the immediate conflict we've seen so far will be resolved. Then the big bad might be defeated (and replaced for arc 2) or, more likely, arc 2 is his second fiendish plot.

    Edit: Also, keeping in mind that the whole Cosmere universe has a lot of interconnections. So even if arc 1 is a self-contained story on its own, you'll get more out of it by reading the other books as well. Doesn't mean you'll have to wait until all of Stormlight is finished to enjoy arc 1, but something to keep in mind.

    Solomaxwell6 on
    PailryderQuid
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited December 2020
    Septus wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Finished Rhythm of War. It’s good compared to most books but doesn’t really compare to the first three. Sanderson is clearly setting up for the book five climax.

    Has Sanderson given a good indication of just how self contained the first five Stormlight books will be? I think I could get myself interested in starting them if I'm not hanging on open plot threads for years until all 10 are finished.

    I don’t believe so but he seems to be treating it similar to Mistborn which is still going, but the first era is entirely self contained. Like Solomaxwell speculates with the fifth book, that series has its loose ends when it finishes but no cliff hangers. If you didn’t know there was a new Mistborn series after you’d just think it was leaving some bits for the reader’s imagination.

    Also FWIW, reading the other books in his universe gets to be incredibly rewarding. Yeah it sucks to wait for the next SA book but on the other hand another 2nd era Mistborn book will be released in about a year and the series universe as a whole is starting to make its way to his imagined fantasy space opera.

    Quid on
    Kreutz
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    I read the second Malazan book (Deadhouse Gates). Definitely a major improvement on the first. The prose itself was kinda weak in the first novel in my opinion, but improved noticeably for the second. And my other major gripe with the first - the jarring frequency with which it switched from character to character - was also ameliorated. It still followed several arcs simultaneously, but spent a bit more time in each before moving to another viewpoint, which allowed me to get into each sub-story and setting more.

    Erickson really does need to stop overusing a few specific phrases and words, though. Everybody "hisses through their teeth" when they're surprised or experiencing a sudden negative reaction to something. They always "hug themselves" when they're sad or scared or what have you. He thankfully toned down the grunting a bit from the absurd grunt levels in the first book, though it was still frequent enough. Scowling also seems to be the most frequent expression on people's faces in this universe. A minor complaint overall, but it's the biggest or at least most blatant flaw with otherwise decent prose.

    On the plot (spoilered on the offchance that someone else hasn't read the series and someday might) :
    Coltaine's Chain of Dogs was by far the highlight of the story. Duiker is a great character and I enjoyed his internal monologues, the Wickans and the 7th were badass, the horror of the long march is conveyed well, and the battles are suitably epic and fun to read.

    Felisin and Heboric's long and arduous journey was also great. Both characters were well written, in my opinion, and their interaction was darkly entertaining.

    Fiddler/Mappo/Icarium/etc.'s quest into Tremorlor was a bit less interesting for me, though still enjoyable enough to read. I found the Mappo/Icarium pity party to grow a bit tiresome after a while. Iskaral Pust was amusing, but as far as comic relief goes is far outdone by Kruppe (absent from this book). Fiddler is alright but sort of a generic cynical soldier. And something about their journey through Raraku and Tremorlor felt a bit too much like part of one of Erickson's RPG campaigns to make for great reading.

    Lastly, the assassin Kalam is the most boring character ever and his chapters were a chore to get through. Maybe his lack of personality is to some degree intentional, but at no point was I at all interested in reading his thoughts on his situation, and by the end I was just hoping the guy's boat would sink and I'd be done with him.

    About 1/4th into the third book (Memories of Ice) now. It's quite different in pacing than the previous two. While Gardens opened with an over the top sorcery battle and Deadhouse Gates throws you into the adventures right off the bat, MoI's beginning is basically a 150 page info-dump without a lot of actual plot progression happening. I've enjoyed reading it nonetheless, but it sort of feels like the author felt like he had to jam a lot of set-up into the beginning of this book in order to make events fit his developing grand narrative.

    MayabirdSolar
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