Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Jon Snow, Jun 13, 2009.
Even I do a sadface when people bash Mistborn.
I wasn't supposed to read Emperor's Blades, it wasn't on my 2017 reading list, but a friend more or less peer pressured me into giving it a try. I am having a blast: it is a good mix of several things I love. My major criticism for it is how inconsistent the author is about his character's age. He seems to contradict himself every chapter... but this is just a minor irritation. Another reader might not even notice.
I apologize for trashing Codex Alera... I'll admit I got overly irritated with it somewhere around book 5. I would also state there are times when we read books which do not fit our current mind frame and it causes us to be harsher on them then we would have been had be read them at another time. I personally feel I would have appreciated the series, and perhaps praise it even, had I read it when I was younger. I think it would work well as an "introduction to fantasy" series: it is long enough to be classify as epic fantasy, but it isn't so long it discouraged readers from even starting reading. It also is narrated in a very classical way, playing with fantasy's best known tropes.
Unfortunately, I also think it is precisely the kind of story readers end up tiring of because it has been told one time too many. I read something, somewhere, about how the "chosen boy" and the "farmboy" tropes work really well on young readers, but tend to lose their appeal as they get older. Mind, everyone is different. I know several grown-ups who do enjoy teenage-oriented books because it gives them a feel good, happy comforting vibe, even if they read similar stories a hundred times over.
As for Mistborn, I would say any popular book ends up being trashed more often than not. Sanderson gets a lot of hype these days, he is becoming more and more popular/famous. Of course, whenever this happens, you also end up with those who pick up the books, because they are popular, and they get disappointed when they don't turn out being as exciting as they thought they would be based on the numerous praise. Mistborn gets a lot of hype, but it also was Sanderson's first completed series and it shows. I get the feeling readers pick it up expecting for... more, hence the disappointment.
I heard about Kushiel... I gets often recommended for readers looking for a good romance sub arc within their fantasy story as apparently it does it quite well. It is also listed as one of the series featuring LGBT relationships. I have been curious about it: not really knowing if it was fantasy or romance fantasy. I have never been sure if I should give it a try or not. It gets a lot of praise though, so come back and give your impressions. I might give it try too.
It was the other way around for me. I loved Mistborn for how nascent it was, but his later output left me cold.
You mean you prefer the first trilogy to the second one?
Maark's referring to Stormlight (or as he would call it Stormshite). He really hated The Way of Kings.
Alright. Thanks for the context. As I said, everyone's appreciation of a book is subjective: he isn't the first individual I come across who strongly disliked WoK. While very popular, Samderson's writing style and story telling isn't for everyone.
Yes, but Maark is their Lord Ruler.
I don't think anyone EVER needs to apologise for not liking/loving/trashing a book. I'm not implying anyone is doing it in this discussion but if you aren't the author or authors mom, why in the world would anyone take it personally or even care.
My thoughts are that if somebody likes a book I like that's cool. If they don't that's cool too. I have no "Feelings" about it either way. It says nothing about ME. If they give specifics that is fair game. I learn a lot from people who catch things I missed. It does NOT ever change my love or hatred for a book/series. We are all wired differently and have different life experiences.
The only thing I "feel" a little bad about is when I recommend a book and somebody doesn't like it. . I shouldn't but I see it like I misjudged their tastes and wasted their time. Once I recommended WOT to somebody and they LOVED it. (That was before I read
books 7-10). In turn they recommended Thomas Covenant. I read the first book and HATED it and told her so in no uncertain terms. Result: She never spoke to me again. WTH?? I see this everywhere. No exceptions. I think people are foolish, immature, and egocentric when they do this. I don't care if a book is a classic or NY times bestseller I can still hate it. Don't tell me WTF I SHOULD like or hate. Tell me the characters are flat, the world isn't developed, the map sucked, the plot was recycled, whatever.I may agree with you on some of those points whethervI recognized it before or after you pointed it out. Does NOT change how I feel about the book or the person.
There is only ONE time I will not PUBLICLY say express my OPINION about a book. I have had terrible luck with indie books. I plan to try a couple of the books where the authors are members here. If I love the book I will sing its praises.If any book is average or below, IMHO, you will never hear a word from me. I root for every single one and would never hurt their feeling or criticize their efforts. Any other author or book is fair game. If you don't like it...bite me!
Indie authors need feedback to grow as well Darth - arguably they need it more than the established guys. Maybe don't stick it up in public but, at the very least, I'd suggest PMing and asking if they want feedback. I know that as an author I appreciate every bit of polite feedback I get, even if I am simultaneously wondering whether they actually read what I wrote
Personally I'm happy to read all book criticism that can be engaged with, no matter how much I loved the book. Or is funny.
And since its come up, I think Mistborn is quite overrated and, separate although probably linked, I really can't get on with Sanderson's authorial voice.
I apologized because I didn't want to sound rude, offending and/or as someone trying to have his/her own opinion pass as the One Truth. I got often accused, in the past, of coming across as harsh, too decisive and not open-minded enough: I have thus become self-conscious as what others may feel whenever I write my rants.
I didn't mean to say it is wrong to love this series, I meant to say I understand why there are those who didn't like it as I felt it had several flaws. I also meant to say those flaws were often nor regarded nor brought up front in other book discussions I have been engaged into which crated me. I feel all books are in dire need of criticism, even those I personally love. I will also never put an author so high on a pedestal I would automatically read any word he/she might write as liquid gold: simply because you wrote a few good books does not mean the next one will be amazing.
And I love to rant...
I agree it sucks if someone refuses to speak to you simply because you don't agree on a book suggestion. Also, I agree criticism revolving around "I hated it, it was the worst piece of trash I ever read" aren't worth spending time reading.
My intent was to fully support you. I didn't feel it was right (that as I perceived it) you felt that you were placed in a position where you needed to apologize for expressing your honest opinion on a book. An apology, IMO, is only needed when an "attack" is personal. Anyone has the right not to like a book someone else loves or love a book someone hates (in my experience the former is the one holding the greater potential for hissy fits). Unfortunately, a small minority of people, no matter where you go, take ownership of those comments and get defensive. I don't know why people feel that way. As I said, I would never publicly criticize a book from an author here (haven't read any YET...with the exception of one chapter out of curiosity) because I think that would just be uncalled for.
Glad to know: I will try not to apologize for having an opinion in the future. I think it interesting to be able to trade various opinions on books without fearing others taking it for a personal attack. I personally find it harder to hate a book someone else's love than to love a book someone else's hate because I feel I am trashing down a beloved book. I once wrote a very negative critic of Firefight and I got a hefty negative backslash: I felt I was being fair though I was quite firm in my dislike. Again, I love to rant, so whenever I rant, I might push on a few buttons harsher than required.
Negatively criticizing the work of an author participating on a regular basis as an individual on any given forum would be hard. I would never beta read work from a friend because I fear I wouldn't be able to state it if I dislike the story.
I'm completely the opposite. If a book gets a lot of praise I go in with really high expectations / set the bar high, and am more often than not completely let down. There's a load of fantasy books which have received rave reviews in this forum over the last few years which I've felt have been average at best. I fully appreciate I'm well in the minority with most of these (some I'm not, everyone else is clearly wrong!), but like has been said already, tastes differ!
Tastes differ . . . don't they just!
I also have picked up a lot of stuff over the last few years that has been very well reviewed in various places (mostly Goodreads) that has turned out, in my opinion, to be . . . . insert suitable word, use your own imagination.
I have taken care not to review these works - I don't see any point making enemies, particularly on this site - but I am thinking about publishing a list from a couple of shelves on my Kindle. The shelves are:-
"Crap bought by accident" (50 shades is a leading item, but it is not alone!)
"Did Not Finish" (implicit - don't intend to try again!) Nastragull and Corpalism are in here for starters - but again, they are not alone!). Some of the people on here who write and/or enjoy the Grimdark genre will not be happy if I ever get round to publishing my list!
High expectations can ruin a book for any reader which is why I fear for Sanderson's next installment: I have had such high hopes for it, I fear there are no ways I won't be disappointed.
For other books, I try not to approach any with too many of them (expectations). I recalled I had many of those for the First Law, it came so highly recommended, so many people rate it as one of the absolute best piece of fantasy: I was sorely disappointed. I realize the book, despite being a crowd pleaser, wasn't within my personal tastes. I love characters, hence when a book comes across with none I feel any level of sympathy and/or interest, I disengage myself. It might also be the grim dark trend isn't my personal cup of tea: it might prefer sitting somewhere in between, where hope exists.
Did you actually read the book? If so, then I am amazed. I only saw the movie............... I wasn't impressed, worst, I was disgusted. I'd be curious to see what else is on the "crap bought by accident" list......
How do you buy a book on accident? Nuomer, what were you expecting?
I think I'm with Tom on high expectations being more of a problem than hearing excessive amounts of criticism, but both can weigh. I like to think I do a reasonable job of shrugging them aside to make my own judgement but no one is ever quite free of bias.
Yeah. A PM to the author or another member is much different in my book. I'm not saying it is wrong to put it out there in public but it is wrong for me. But I'm about as subtle as a brick through a window. Maybe someone else could pull it off with tact and grace.
Which is sad that you feel the need to do that because it sometimes happens. Why would anyone get butt hurt because somebody doesn't share their love for a book? I get it with religion and politics which is why I believe it is off limits here and on many other forums. But a bloody book? Really? Although, speaking of religion, I DO believe right in between "Thou Shalt not murder" and Thou shalt not commit adultery" you'll find "Thou Shalt not dislike another persons favorite book series". Then again, it's been a while since I've brushed up on my Eleven Commandments...
About 40 pages. I bought it before its reputation was widely known - I thought it was a vampire thing, which also isn't my normal choice, but I thought I needed to keep up with current trends. How wrong can you be?
Sad, isn't it . . . but I have (somewhere) records of an assault case where an inadequate author spent a lot of time and effort tracking a girl who had written a bad review, then spent a lot of money traveling to her workplace, then followed her to a supermarket, took a bottle off the shelves, and hit her with it - from behind, no warning. He's in jail, of course - should be in psychiatric hospital.
In another case, an old friend (YA author) refused to review one of my books because 'some people get a bit strange if you criticise their work'.
So I have two cases that demonstrate people do get a bit 'precious' about their work. Not everyone is decent, honest, and sane. And I might want them to do me a review some time.
I love this: buying 50 Shades thinking it is a vampire story just so one could keep up to date with the current trends only to find out it is about sado-masochism disguised as "love at first sight".
I must really, really be out of date with current trends as I have kept myself well away from the whole paranormal romance genre... Vampires used to awesome, back when Ann Rice wrote them. They were interesting in True Blood (the series, not the books), but Twilight ruined them for me. I have lost all interest with super-natural creatures somewhere in between the first Twilight movie and now.
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