It's August 2017. What fantasy books are you reading?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by kenubrion, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Buffy V Slayer

    Buffy V Slayer Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    It was you I was thinking of when I posted! I remember you talked about how much you enjoyed the series (I think you said it was one of your favourites?) so when I saw it at the bookstore I thought I'd give it a go.

    I'm already a couple chapters in and I'm liking it so far, so I'll keep you posted ;)
     
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  2. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    It's nice when my good taste rubs off on people ;)
     
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  3. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 A Poet of the Khaiem

    Finished the Fifth Season. My review.

    I would give this a 4.5/5. It's a difficult book to describe as I thought it was a fantasy book but it's more of a post apocalyptic book where the world doesn't have great technology and faces constant threats of disaster (fifth seasons which can last years) where volcanoes and tsunamis destroy things. Also, there really isn't magic but more of an x-men world where some mutants exist that can tap into the power of the earth. So it's a mix of many things.

    My two criticisms of this book are that
    1) the author throws you into the middle of this world and doesn't explain it a lot. Your knowledge unfolds as does your vocabulary since the author uses words like creche, sess, etc that are new book specific words that also require you to just go with the flow. Some may like this although I was a little confused at times.
    2) While the mystery of this world is interesting, the overall plot or point of the book doesn't appear to exist. There is no epic bad guy or huge mission to complete. It's just a story of 3 women in this era and their personal stories.

    That said the book is very interesting. These three women, what happens to them and a reveal in the second half of the book is cool. The hidden technology and reasons behind the current state of the world is also intriguing. I definitely want to read more. A very good first book.
     
  4. Hand of Fear

    Hand of Fear Journeyed there and back again

    I decided to put The Painted Man aside, and I'm not sure that I will pick it up again at this point. The book was so full of references to sex, horny men and women, leud suggestions of sex that I just had enough.

    So I opened up Before They are Hanged and I'm already enjoying it a hell of a lot more !
     
  5. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    It really does not get any better in the sequels.
     
  6. Hand of Fear

    Hand of Fear Journeyed there and back again

    I think that's more than enough for me not to want to continue with the series then.
     
  7. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    You won't be missing much. There are other problems that actually bothered me a lot more.
     
  8. Ryan W. Mueller

    Ryan W. Mueller Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    The Demon Cycle is one of those series that confuses me. Peter V. Brett can write a good story, so it baffles me that he spends so much time writing stuff that isn't that good. I really liked the first book. The next three were all disappointing, mostly because he spends his time focusing on the wrong aspects of the story (for me as a reader).
     
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  9. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Completed the finale of the Monarchies Of God series. The characters life expectancies are short and he's received criticism for that as well as for his "pessimism". It's gritty and emotionally exhausting. Lots of neat battles. Interesting characters faced with some tough choices. All 5 books together total a mere 1,500 pages.Way too ïmuch detail on ships and sailing..I really enjoyed it as a whole!
     
  10. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    There was an interview he did, I can't find the link, where he says he *could* have compressed the story into fewer books, but it wouldn't have been the book he wanted to write. I, for one, would have been much happier (and much kinder as a critic) if most of that Krasia junk was gone.
     
  11. Hand of Fear

    Hand of Fear Journeyed there and back again

    @Ryan W. Mueller @Sneaky Burrito

    From what I did read he was a very average writer, a good idea wasted on poor writing. He will be another author consigned to the 'I'm not going to read another book by them list'.
     
  12. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I've finished listening to Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher. It's a mixture of steampunk and epic fantasy - the first book of this kind I've ever read. The book gave off some vibes akin to Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive and, for some reason, a few video games I've played in the past. The book has great premise, the Cinder Spires series might grow into something good in the future. But, as of now, the book did not deliver on multiple fronts.

    The book itself is definitely YA. While there's practically no romance or angst, there's an underlying lack of depth in every aspect of the book: from plot to worldbuilding and characters. The latter of which is my biggest gripe with the book - the majority of the characters are teenagers. That wouldn't necessarily be a problem if they weren't bland archetypical models with no complexity. Even some more interesting characters, like Grimm, Albion or Calliope were disappointingly simple. The villains are poor.

    The plot was weak. Or maybe just not for me. Either way, I didn't enjoy it.

    The worldbuilding leaves a lot to be desired. While somewhat similar to Sanderson in style this time around, Butcher left the world quite static and uninspired, unfortunately so, as the there's quite a bit of promise here.

    Overall, Aeronaut's Windlass is decent and will probably appeal to some. Especially if they're looking for something lighter and quick to read. For me, however, it didn't work. 3 *** stars.
     
  13. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Wow, I really expected a 1 or 2 star for that one. Do you always give 3 stars to books you don't like (don't mean to be snarly, I'm genuinely curious)?
     
  14. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    I finished Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky some days ago.

    This was quite a good book with some very interesting characters and an original setting. It combines elements from real-world history (mostly the Napoleonic Wars) with fantasy. On the one hand you have muskets and cannons, on the other hand you've got Warlocks and Swamp Fearies/Gnomes. This seems to be a theme in this book (and I heard that's the case in all of Tchaikovsky's works): the battle/contradiction between magic and technology.

    This book is carried by the characters though. The dialogue is reminiscent of Jane Austen's best in Pride and Prejudice (to be honest the book loans or steals a lot from that book). The special thing about the characters though is that they evolve in the story. The lead character for example, Emily, has a remarkable character arc. She starts of as a somewhat naive girl from the lower gentle class and she slowly evolves into a cynical war-hero. Very interesting to read.

    Another cool thing about this book is that it is a standalone (for now, the world does lend itself to follow-up books). That means the book provides a finished story, which is very rare in the fantasy world nowadays where everything seems to be part of a never-ending series (which is sometimes good, but sometimes seems like just a cash grab).

    I rate this book with 8.0/10 (4 GoodReads Stars).
     
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  15. Andrew.J

    Andrew.J Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I have no problem dropping books mid-way if I don't like them at all. It's more common for me to DNF than to give it 1-2 stars. Aeronaut's Windlass is not that bad, it's decent fun, like a B-grade film. It wasn't a slog to go through. Coming from Dresden Files, however, I'd expected a lot more than that, so I might've been overly critical. Either way, I still stand by my comments.

    I haven't decided how to use Goodreads stars, though. 3* stars there mean 'I liked it' and 2* stars 'it was OK'. Coming from a country with a 1-10 grading system (which, I think, is better than 5 point system), 3* stars convert to 5-6, which is bad already. 2 stars is quite shit.

    Aeronaut's Windlass is about a 5,5/10 for me. :)
     
  16. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Yeah, that makes more sense. I too tend to rate my books on a scale from 1 to 10 and it's always a challenge to see how that translates to GoodReads Stars.
     
  17. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Problem with GR is that within those 5 stars you only get one negative rating - 1 star - did not like it, and other 4 stars are all positive statements.
    2 stars - it was ok
    3 stars - i liked it
    4 stars - really liked it
    5 stars - it was amazing

    So it's pretty unbalanced in that sense. If we had 2 negative statements (1 and 2 stars), 1 neutral (3 stars) and 2 positive (4 and 5 stars) that would be much better.
    But because the statements are worded that way, GR ratings tend to be over inflated with higher score.


    I also rate with 10 point system here on BFB, but when I'm using GR I stick to their system, so I will rate something with 1 star because they give me no choice, since all other ratings have positive meanings attached to them.
    In my country we grade kids with 1-5 grades in primary school and high school, and let me tell you nobody is under impression that 1 & 2 and for that matter even 3 are good grades. 1 is actually a failing grade and you have to repeat a year if you finish a year with that in any subject.
     
  18. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 A Poet of the Khaiem

    I tend to ignore the definition of ratings for the most part. I don't like those goodread definitions. I take a score out of ten and just cut it in half. My biggest issue is if I round up or down. For me 7/10 is average and I go from there.
     
  19. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    2 GoodReads Stars for me equals a 4/10, which means I disliked the book, but didn't hate it. 3 Stars is a 6/10 which means it's mediocre. 4 is good and 5 is excellent. 1 is abysmal. I think a lot of people use the rating system on GoodReads this way, but I also think a lot of people follow the official definition. Like Alucard says, the official rating system doesn't make much sense as it is illogical and restrictive. This results in a system where the rating system as a whole is useless. That's why I look at individual ratings from people I know (mostly from this site).
     
  20. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    I remember reading one comment by Robin Hobb on GR, where she defended herself for giving some book 2 stars. She was basically saying: what? 2 stars is 'it was ok', it's not a bad book - basically something along those lines.
    So yeah, some people use the system the way it is presented to them. I tend to do the same, and not superimpose my standards/meaning to something that is already defined and has clearly stated parameters. Problem is those parameters suck in GR's case.
     

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