It is March 2018: What Fantasy book are you reading?

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#21
Finished Jingo 7/10 and The Fifth Elephant 10/10 both reviews in the Great Discworld thread

Also Finished The Streams of Silver ~ RA Salvatore

Bob still hasn't found his Thesaurus, as everyone seems to be "as agile as a cat" word for word.

to avoid complication I'm going to give an summary of the book exactly, but replace the nouns where appropriate or rather EXACT COPIES, then finish the review.

So Drizzt and Brunor Legolas and Gimli are heading to the the Mines of Moria while being pursued by a Ride in Black. whom is really after the Jewerly carried by their Halfling Companion. Along the way they end up in Lothlorien where Galadriel meets them outside the main populated area so their pursuer doesn't know where they are (yes this is where she met them in LoTR) and she gives them gifts, and knowledge of how they can continue their quest. the reach Moria, but have to figure out how to open the door. When they do they find dead bodies of Dwarves in pitched battle with invaders, including King relative of Gimli. They are pursued by the minions in the mine and head towards the Bridge at Khaz a Dhum where they are destined to meet up with the shadow and fire monster that currently is top dog in the mines. a member of the group falls into gorge while fighting this Balrog. (lets hope he doesn't become Brunor the white)

Okay there are some bits that aren't quite LOTR.

Bad.
Drizzt is still two dimensional, but now there is a bad guy who is an exact copy of Drizzt, but evil.

The best most flushed out three dimensional Character in the first book, has now dropped 100IQ (now int 5) and become a cardboard cutout of the worst and most cliché Barbarian paint by numbers. I expect any minute now we will be describing his loincloth.

The dice rolls are VERY audible (my god, did that sentence essentially just say he readied an action?) complete with skillchecks.

The Sky Ponies is one of the worst scenes I have ever read. to make matters worse, some hack D&D module writer jammed that scene word for word into a unrelated published module I played for Living City. it was awful then too. (and everyone was so excited for me playing the barbarian that I got to experience it. all I could say, "man that was lame" to the audible noise of jaws dropping.... losers how obsess over bad writing, are losers who obsess over bad writing)

Harples are also lame. the Harples are 90% of what the Fools guild in Discworld is making fun of. theres nothing less funny or sadder than a Harple (or a discworld clown) excepting of course people who get a kick out of these bad joke.

How is this still part of the Icewind dale trilogy. we start there, and we end there. but 250 of 333 pages are dedicated to NOT, (unless you count the storms and cold coming from)

I can't spend all day listing the bad, I'd end up with more words than the book itself.

Good.
I do like the warmth and depth Brunor has. He really gets flushed out here, and he is constantly getting emotional towards "rumblebelly" and his adopted daughter and the cardboard antihero. If Bob stopped trying to make his characters as badass as he can (dragon Ball Z syndrome) and focus on writing like this, he'd be really okay.

OKay there is a reason the assassin is a carbon copy of Drizzt (the cardboard antihero) its so we can get a "your not so different you and me" speech followed by growth in the character that is the 2-dimensional scimitar wielder. Drizzt is overcoming his ancestrial heritage and proving to himself and the world, he isn't the color of his skin.

the Trollmoors are very well written, but only action ....constant action. (I mean actual action, Halfing lazily drifting on his log is an action)


If this is a portent of books to come, I might take the rest of the books on my shelf from this series and sell them now, not read them finally and then sell them... this was awful.

3/10
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
#22
@Bierschneeman

I've read six of the Drizzt books. The quality of the writing stays about the same. I don't know if it improves after that. At some point, I may get around to reading more in the series, but there are a lot of books ahead of them.

They're the kind of books that are enjoyable if I turn off my inner editor, but they're not the kind that I'm going to go around recommending to others.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#23
So, I've recently finished with:

1. Blackwing by Ed McDonald - well-deserved hype, solid 8.0/10 book, great world-building and plot-development. The book very strongly reminded me of Low Town by Daniel Polanski, so if you've liked the latter, you'd probably like the former as well, and probably a lot more too, since it's a more complex story.

2, Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron, the fifth and last book in her Urban Fantasy series called The Heartstrikers. This series is what UF should be like. Strong and multi-layered plots, interesting characters, well-developing story thorough the series, but each book with its own very satisfying self-contained story structure. 9.0/10 Extremely well-done from start to finish, the world-building is very Rachel Aaron-ly( i.e. she seems to be fascinated about the idea of sentient magic, magical creatures like dragons, spirits of the land, spirits representing humanity's concepts/fear/dreams/emotions, etc.) It's a slightly guilty-pleasure kind of fantasy, since it has its feel good vibe to it, but that only enhances the experience from the books, so there's that. And the audiobooks are a treat! Vikas Adams is one damn good narrator and his way of representing the story makes it like twice as good, so if you are an audiobooks fan, go for it, you won't regret your decision at all. :) As far as audiobooks go, Vikan Adams' work with this series is certainly a 10/10 one.

A couple of years ago I read Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. After reading your post I searched my memory and remembered it as a “feel good book”. And thought I’d probably rated it.a “3” of “5” stars.

Upon checking I had surprisingly given it a 5/5. So I must have found some magic in it. I still have no desire to continue. I would place it firmly in the YA category myself based on the protagonist abd the writing style. Anyhow, it is interesting to hear someone else’s assessment of the book and good to hear you’re enjoying it.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#24
A couple of years ago I read Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. After reading your post I searched my memory and remembered it as a “feel good book”. And thought I’d probably rated it.a “3” of “5” stars.

Upon checking I had surprisingly given it a 5/5. So I must have found some magic in it. I still have no desire to continue. I would place it firmly in the YA category myself based on the protagonist abd the writing style. Anyhow, it is interesting to hear someone else’s assessment of the book and good to hear you’re enjoying it.
Yeah, you could say that I am somewhat flexible with my standards if a book manages to pleasantly surprise me, even it said book has some flaws or more simplistic elements than what I would have liked.

Basically I am prone to raising of my ratings a bit for either books which manage to impress me with something they're doing almost perfect( characterization, world-building, mostly tone and narrative), or if they are a great re-read material for some reason, which The Heartstriker series certainly is, because of the likable characters( at least likable to me) and the decently executed world-building. Or when books like Kings of the Wyld and The Greatcoats series are throwing every possible fantasy trope at you, but it's done with a purpose in mind, and that purpose is to keep you wildly entertained.

If an author sets to write a certain type of book, even if this book fail to become the next Game of Thrones, I am ready to enjoy it, as long as there's this feeling that the author went and wrote the best possible book with his current level of writing skills. I don't mind books which are excelling or delivering in a limited parts of their structure, as long as the person who wrote the thing was clever enough to play on his strengths and avoid getting too deep into his weaknesses, if that makes any sense to you.

I like honest, simplistic and unpretentious books, when they are written by competent people and are executed with some care. :) Nothing wrong with knowing your limits and doing great stuff outside of the heavy-weight category, so to speak.

On a side note I've finished Nevernight. I can distinguish the world-building and the self-aware humor by the narrator and the protagonist. I feel bad saying this, but the young-adult female badass protagonists need more male fantasy authors n their corner, because authors like Sarah J. Maas and like over 50% of the well-known female fantasy authors aren't doing justice to the trope at all. I am certainly somewhat outside of the target audience of the sub-genre, but I know that many female fans feel the same - the purple prose and love-triangles are killing most of the stuff there for the wider audience, and that's a bit of a shame for people like me, who like delving into different sub-genres, but don't like romance books with a fantasy touch or two on them. Fortunately, Jay Kristoff didn't fall into the badass Mary Sue trap.

So yeah - a very solid book. I am trying to decide between 8.5/10 and 9.5/10 for this one. It has some YA pet peeves in it, but they're at a surprisingly low level, low enough I'd say. The world-building is just outstandingly beautiful in a very wrong kind of way - noir atmosphere similar to Bloodbourne( in general feel), but it also has some Harry Potter elements in itself, although with much more macabre undertones. I am a bit hesitant to say Jorg Ancrath meets Assassin's Creed( the Rome one ) meets Harry Potter, because there are certain similarities, but the tone is an idea or two more YA-ish. Still, you shouldn't go into it with too big expectations, better dive into the book with the hope of being pleasantly surprised.

I'd strongly advise going the audiobook route with this one. I don't know why they've chosen a male narrator for a female POV book, but Holter Graham has performed splendidly in this one. I am pretty sure that my higher marks for this book are partially his 'fault' - he channels the complexity of the main character through and through, from the first to the last page. A 9.7/10 narration job if there ever has been one.
 
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ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#25
Read quite a few books in the recent weeks (mostly very short ones, though) but the highlight was definitely The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland. Here's what I wrote on GR:

Partly fantasy (witches, magic), partly SF (time travel, quantum mechanics), partly historical fiction, partly satire, and all-round brilliant story.

2 bonus points:
1. As anyone who read something by Stephenson knows, he is a superb storyteller but has a tendency to infodump in spades, so it's not unusual to find 30 straight pages of orbital mechanics or renaissance architecture in his books, however this time there was none of it! No exposition whatsoever! Felt great, though strange enough to request the weather forcast in hell.

2. Once in a couple of years I encounter a scene which is so absurd that it sticks to memory (e.g the cat in the cockpit in Ketty Jay or the undead dinosaur in Dresden). This book added another one. Don't want to spoil anything so I'll sum it up in 3 words: Vikings in Walmart.

So if it wasn't clear so far, highly recommended.

BTW @Alucard Low Town is not Urban fantasy. I would categorize it as Non-Epic Grimdark with detective noir elements. The series was one of my highlights last year.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#26
BTW @Alucard Low Town is not Urban fantasy. I would categorize it as Non-Epic Grimdark with detective noir elements. The series was one of my highlights last year.
To be honest the reason I think that is that GR readers got it categorized as UF (it's how most people shelved it, right after fantasy genre)
Also the description mentions police and criminal elements, something that's very common in UF.

However this is a very superficial impression. Good to hear 2 strong endorsements for it. Might have to bump it up my reading list.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#27
Am reading “Uprooted” by Naomi Novik and am enjoying it very much!
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#28
Am reading “Uprooted” by Naomi Novik and am enjoying it very much!
I am waiting for it to be a Kindle special. It’s been marked down significantly in the past but I didn’t know about it at the time. I have heard very good things about it from people here. This is another positive recommendation I think @Alucard said I would probably like it based on my personal tastes. If you cannot trust a backwards vampire who CAN you trust? ;)

I like the advice I get from people here. I find it it’s more helpful and accurate than other places. If somebody recommends something and I am not crazy about the book it’s just a personal thing not that the book is bad. Kudos!!

So Uprooted is a dark fairy tale, right?
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#29
I would say it is a nice - somehow darkish - fairy tale with a delightful Eastern European feel to it ...
a young village girl finding out that she is adept at the kind of wild magic Baba Yaga was famous for, much to the exasperation of the classically trained wizard who is trying to bring out her talent by making her memorize classical spells she feels are not compatible with her style ...
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#32
I really liked Uprooted.

Retelling fairy tales is quite popular currently, especially with female fantasy authors. At least that's what I've been noticing lately.
But Uprooted is not a retelling of any fairy tale, it's an original. And Novik has inputted just enough of Slavic myth to make it relatable, to me anyway, but she managed to keep it original.
She's said she's was inspired by her grandmother's tales she told her when she was a little girl. I totally get it. I can imagine Novik's Polish babushka filling her head with all kinds scary fairy tales. I don't know if this is slavic mentality, but I've experienced the same when I was a little girl. The fairy tales I've been told were always a bit more darker and scarier than their western counterpart.

This year she has a new fairy tale book coming out. This time it's actually a retelling and it's not in the same universe as Uprooted. It's about Rumpelstiltskin and its called "Spinning Silver" - due 10th of July.

@Darth Tater if and when I see Uprooted on sale, I'll let you know immediately ;)
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#33
@Bierschneeman

I've read six of the Drizzt books. The quality of the writing stays about the same. I don't know if it improves after that. At some point, I may get around to reading more in the series, but there are a lot of books ahead of them.

They're the kind of books that are enjoyable if I turn off my inner editor, but they're not the kind that I'm going to go around recommending to others.
there's closer to 20 drizzt books. but point taken I'm just going to sell.
 

Bierschneeman

Journeyed there and back again
#34
finished , Carpe jugulum, Maskaraade and lords and ladies. reviews found in the Great discworld thread.

just finished The Halfling Gem~ R A Salvatore.

meh
much better than part two, and ole bob finally found his thesaurus (does not seem to want to use it too often) , but I'm not really getting all that out of reading someone else's D&D campaign. I can hear the dice roll and the descriptions are all in skill check lingo. I will not lie it's good writing....for a D&D module. If I were to play again I will definitely play if he were my dungeon master, but as a book writer. meh

This book is still not in icewind dale. we are after the villain from last book who captured the Halfling. I do like watching three nimble ships chase each other. then we end up in a town run by the thieves guild and it gets as exciting as it gets dull and trite. wulfgar and cattybriagh have a nice romance.

wererats, and demon dimensions, Bob likes using his monster manual .

5/10 I think I'm being generous

DNF a thousand orcs ~ R A Salvatore added it to selling pile
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#36
Just finished Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

Fantastic from start to finish. The characters were a blast to follow, the premise and plot were intriguing from page 1, it had monsters, madness, and mayhem and is one of the few books I have ever found laugh out loud funny. Eames found the perfect balance of emotional moments and complete foolishness and wrapped it all up into one of the best books I have read in a long time. I can't remember an occasion before this where it felt like the author had such a blast writing his own book. Not to say authors don't enjoy their work but this just felt different. If I can list one small complaint it is that Eames did take the time early on and somewhat frequently to point out just how ragtag and over the hill this bunch was only to have them blaze a path of glory through the entire book. Seemed somewhat easy for a group that was supposed to be past their prime. In the end though I could only shrug and say "who cares?" because it was just so damned fun to read.

The worst part of the experience? Now I don't feel like reading anything else because I am not sure it is going to be what I am looking for after this joyride.

10/10
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#37
100 pages into the Black Prism by Brent Weeks. I like the characters. Magic system is different. Good so far.

The series gets much better with each book so I recommend you don’t give up even if you find book one good but not great. Your timing is good because the fifth and final book comes out later this year.


I’ll be starting The Only Begotten Daughter (James Morrow) tomorrow which I found on Ben’s award winning list. I guess it is a religious satire. I haven’t heard any forum member mention it before.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#38
The series gets much better with each book so I recommend you don’t give up even if you find book one good but not great. Your timing is good because the fifth and final book comes out later this year.
Gotta disagree a little. Newest book was the worst by far. Great series though.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#39
Kings of the Wyld is a really fun book. I don't think it's possible to read it and be bored. It's classic fantasy adventure with a slight tweek of having middle aged men as protagonists instead of young group of heroes. But with that, the humour and the internal monologues are richer than what a 20yo something protagonist can produce. Life experience and all that.