Have You Read This Book?

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
Has anyone read Jim Butcher's Dresden Files? I've gotten the first book in the series (and two of the latest books) from a clearance book sale, and the premise does seemed pretty interesting.
Quite a few people here have. We have some ardent fans too (@Regula). It's one of the best ongoing series out there, IMO. Highly recommended!

The first 2-3 books are bit rough around the edges, but still quite enjoyable, however starting from book 3-4 it picks up the steam and gets better and better with each book. Small Favor (Book #11) and Skin Game (Book #15) are two of my favorite books I've ever read.

The first few have more self-contained plots, but as the series progresses, more of the bigger meta-plot is revealed. Summer Knight (#4) was where I got hooked and read the rest of the series without any breaks. If you want to listen to some of them, the audiobooks are fantastic. James Marsters brings DF to life.

I know @Alucard didn't like the books as much. Maybe she could offer some contrasting views.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
I know @Alucard didn't like the books as much. Maybe she could offer some contrasting views.
I don't dislike Dresden. I just think there's better urban fantasy out there. These are my ratings and as you can see they are pretty high for books 3&4.

Dresden has a weak start. I don't think many people can deny that. Unlikable main character (for me) and the whole thing takes itself too seriously.
Also for a highly powerful wizard Dresden gets bashed really too many times with 'near death experiences' being common. To me that detracts from any real drama or tension.
There's also a problem in some books where Butcher sets up a plot that wouldn't be there if only two characters had a 1 minute conversation. That's weak writing and a pet peeve of mine in books and movies.

I think for a lot of people Dresden is the only urban fantasy they read. Or the first urban fantasy they've read. Also, Butcher got into that subgenre really early on, so he became a frame of reference for all other western authors.
Dresden wasn't the first for me. I read Iron Druid before it, also Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko, Emma Bull (she is one of the pioneers of urban fantasy and was writing urban fantasy when it was in diapers back in 80s). I've also read Diana Rowland's White Trash Zombie series, which is amazing despite its name and R. S. Belcher's Nightwise and Brootherhood of the Wheel books.

So for me Dresden came late and I had a bigger frame of reference and sorry to say but Jim Butcher hasn't impressed me yet, although the books are getting better. A lot of the authors I have mentioned do a much better job imo. To all those names I would like to add Richard Kadrey with his amazing Sandman Slim series which I enjoy so much more than Dresden.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
There are so many things to nitpick at with the Dresden Files. And partly that's because people nitpick a lot at really big books so the flaws get that much more exposed, and partly because there's a lot of flaws.

But I love it. For some reason, to me, its the exact right mix of humour, sentiment, action and mystery.

The premise itself - it is really cool if you've never seen it before and a bit shopworn if you have. I played a bunch of White Wolf games and read Mercedes Lackey's urban fantasy before I ever reached Dresden, so it was kinda in the middle for me.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
Anyone with an opinion on Jeff Wheeler?

I've tried to start two of his series - Muirwood and Kingfountain, but I've stopped about half an hour to an hour into the opening book on both occasions. Still, the guy has lots of positive reviews on Amazon, so should I try again?

I just couldn't relate to the young characters in both cases, but maybe it just takes time or something?
 

MorteTorment

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
I can't recommend The Dresden Files enough. No seriously, it's got my highest recommendation out of any book series. Read the shit, you won't regret it, trust me!

I think for a lot of people Dresden is the only urban fantasy they read. Or the first urban fantasy they've read. Also, Butcher got into that subgenre really early on, so he became a frame of reference for all other western authors.
Dresden wasn't the first for me. I read Iron Druid before it, also Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko, Emma Bull (she is one of the pioneers of urban fantasy and was writing urban fantasy when it was in diapers back in 80s). I've also read Diana Rowland's White Trash Zombie series, which is amazing despite its name and R. S. Belcher's Nightwise and Brootherhood of the Wheel books.
Ooh! note to self: Go to Alucard for urban fantasy novel recommendations.

I mean really, if this stuff is EVEN BETTER than Dresden files, just wow!
 
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Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
Disclaimer : I don't care for urban fantasies.

However, I did enjoy Dresden. I thought it was "good". Entertaining. They pretty much all run together for me and I see them as formulaic.I got the first 7 on a deal and bought book 8 over a year later. I didn't really see them improving as most did. Maybe a bit. I never really took them too seriously. Just a nice change of pace. You always kind of know how things will turn out. A worthwhile read, IMO. I will buy book 9 at some point. Not in a hurry to do so. As far as urban fantasy, for me, it is one of the few I enjoyed.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
Disclaimer : I don't care for urban fantasies.

However, I did enjoy Dresden. I thought it was "good". Entertaining. They pretty much all run together for me and I see them as formulaic.I got the first 7 on a deal and bought book 8 over a year later. I didn't really see them improving as most did. Maybe a bit. I never really took them too seriously. Just a nice change of pace. You always kind of know how things will turn out. A worthwhile read, IMO. I will buy book 9 at some point. Not in a hurry to do so. As far as urban fantasy, for me, it is one of the few I enjoyed.
The biggest shift in quality is much more apparent in later books. With books 10, 11, 12 and 15 being the best (for me).
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
Is there somebody who has read the book "The Genie Within" by Harry Carpenter? Is that nice?
We don't usually talk about self-help books here...
 

stenney

Killed in the battle against the Mad King
The thing with Robin Hobb is that she really has a unique approach toward the genre.

When I first read The Farseer trilogy I was very dissapointed of how she handled Fitz`s fate and the story as a whole. If someone checks my BFB Forum ratings - this trilogy got 6.5 or 7/10, which was my lowest score I think. I've made a special note in my mind back then to give her the lowest number compared to my other ratings - she pissed me off that much.

But then about a year later I've find out that Fitz`s story is of the kind that grows on a person. Like a lichen or moss, as Hadrian would've said. :p After reading many, many fantasy series, I've never found an author who uses his/her words in the way Robin Hobb does, which is a very unique and beautiful way of telling a story in my opinion.

So I've decided to give her a second chance. It was worth it I think. I wasn't totally impressed with her later Fitz trilogies( well, the last one I liked more that it probably deserves tbh), but it was refreshing and relaxing to immerse myself into her books. They are so soothing for some reason.

Sometimes a person needs his guilty pleasure and mine appears to be stories told in a deliberately slower pace - like The Wheel of Time, The Dagger and the Coin, The Farseer Trilogy, ASoIaF( the first two-three books anyways, the 4th and the 5th were total crap), maybe even The Kingkiller Chronicles have its place in that particular list.

What I mean is - it's all nice and good with authors like Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, Mark Lawrence and so on who are like "action, action, action", but it's nice when you change pace with differently told stories like those or Robert Jordan, Daniel Abraham and Robin Hobb, and I am glad that there are stories like theirs out there in the open - stories which feel like fairytales for grown-ups. Even if those stories are lacking in some aspects, they are superior in many others, so if you are into the old-school fantasy ways - it evens out in the end. :)

Have you read The Long Price quartet, by Abraham? I first read tD&tC series and loved it, then went back and read tLPQ. Very different world and not tons of action, but amazingly written.
And i also think Lawrence writes very well, love his style, his books may be a bit "actiony", but very well written. I really enjoyed both the triliogies.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
Have you read The Long Price quartet, by Abraham? I first read tD&tC series and loved it, then went back and read tLPQ. Very different world and not tons of action, but amazingly written.
And i also think Lawrence writes very well, love his style, his books may be a bit "actiony", but very well written. I really enjoyed both the triliogies.
I didn't read TLPQ but I did read D&C. I felt that the series picked up steam after the first book, that it was unique, that Abraham wrote very well, and drew up really interesting characters.Especially Geder! That being said, while I am glad I read it I have no desire to read any more of his books. I need a little more action.
 

stenney

Killed in the battle against the Mad King
I didn't read TLPQ but I did read D&C. I felt that the series picked up steam after the first book, that it was unique, that Abraham wrote very well, and drew up really interesting characters.Especially Geder! That being said, while I am glad I read it I have no desire to read any more of his books. I need a little more action.
understood. tLPQ has less action the tD&tC, but such a cool world and magic, with interesting characters, and takes place over a very long time, with decades between books, that i found it a compelling read, even though i usually prefer more "typical" fantasy.
 

subzeroking

Possibly a Darkfriend
Hi you all!
Help: I remember the story but not the name of the book nor its author!!! (an Epic Fantasy)
A few years ago, I listened to a great audio book in the genre of Epic Fantasy (my favorite). I wanted to find and listen to it again but I've forgotten its name and its author. I remember parts of the plot and some of the characters. I would be grateful if somebody helped me out.

I remember this character whose father, I think, was a God King or something. He had left his family and was trying to stay away but had to go back at the end. His dark power was symbolized by a kind of black tattoo which he had suppressed but had to tap into at the end to fight his father. He and his siblings had to complete some feats to get their powers and inherit their father's throne.

There was a dark Goddess who had been summoned (unintentionally) by this character's people and was being worshiped by them and an order of priests. I remember that for raising some creatures a large number of people had to be killed and there were these monsters which were called forth and that goddess (I remember her name was Kali or something like that) had come when they had tried to raise the ultimate monster. She was kept somewhere and her dark power could be felt in her proximity.

There was also a magical sword that could only be wielded by somebody possessing immense power.

I don't remember much else.
 

MorteTorment

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
Anyone read I'm currently reading something right now that's probably the best Urban Fantasy novel I've ever read, and I'm curious if anyonei's read it. (the) Grimnoir Chronciles Book 1: Hard Magic.

First of all, it's an eye opener of an obvious fact that I never thought about. That being that in fact not all Urban fantasy is episodic. This is actually a trilogy.(well actually sort of a quadrilogy as there's a book 3.5)

I love how the world building is very much a what would America be like if a lot of people were able to use different magical powers inherently?

That's right, you heard me, I, Morte like the world building. How is this possible? Why it's simple, it's all in the presentation. At the beginning of every chapter there's a quote from a noteworthy American figure, from Babe Ruth to Abraham Lincoln.

Here's an example.

I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball. The harder you grip the bat, the more magic power you use all at once, the more you can swing through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I’ve got, muscle and magic. So now they’re talking about banning us Actives from baseball because we’re not fair, not sporting? Hell, I hit big or I miss big. I am what I am and I live as big as I can.
—George “Babe” Ruth,
interview after hitting his
200th season home run, 1930
 

Amaryllis

Journeyed there and back again
Anyone read I'm currently reading something right now that's probably the best Urban Fantasy novel I've ever read, and I'm curious if anyonei's read it. (the) Grimnoir Chronciles Book 1: Hard Magic.
Grimnoir is great. And it gets better. I wasn't a fan of Monster Hunter (even Correia admits the first book was sloppy, it being self-published and him being new to the craft and such), but the other stuff he has written is awesome. Good, fast-paced, fun, pretty creative use of abilities his characters have, and very solid action scenes. Honestly, he might have the best 'fight scenes' of any author I know. He doesn't get enough credit. Just skip a paragraph (or two, or three) when he starts describing guns, lol.
 

MorteTorment

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
@MorteTorment

You've got online personality. That's a really good thing in my book. I can't always follow where you're going but your enthusiasm is refreshing! :cool:
Thanks man. Yeah, the book was so cool at first. Too bad The book lost its thunder 1/3 of the way through.
 

Kalavan

Ran bridges next to Kaladin
I’m considering to pick up Donaldson’s Mordant’s Need (which for no sensible reasons I have always thought was called Mordant’s Nest), any opinions?

I kinda liked Thomas Covenant's original trilogy, but not enough to pick up the following Chronicles, is Mordant’s Need somewhat similar?