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

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
Robin Hobb was being kind then since she tends to give out higher reviews from books on GR. I think most authors hand out higher scores as they don't like to criticize their peers. Rothfuss hands out 5 stars like they are candy. I probably hand out slightly inflated scores sometimes too unless I'm really annoyed.
 
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Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
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).
Good to hear multiple people liking this. I bought it awhile back and maybe now I will get around to it sooner.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
Good to hear multiple people liking this. I bought it awhile back and maybe now I will get around to it sooner.
That's another good thing about this book: it's quite hefty (700+ ages), but it's a fast read. The prose is accessible and it's one of those page-turners that you breeze through easily. Intricate prose can be great (take Malazan for example), but sometimes it can feel a bit overbearing. Reading this work was therefore quite freshening.
 

Ryan W. Mueller

Journeyed there and back again
I don't use the official Goodreads ratings either. I rate books on a 1-10 scale and translate that into a star rating.

9-10 = 5 stars
7-8.5 = 4 stars
5-6.5 = 3 stars
3-4.5 = 2 stars
<3 = 1 star

For what it's worth, most of what I read ends up being 5 stars or 4 stars (with a few 3 stars in there). That's partially because I'm pretty lenient on the books I read and partially because I've become very good at picking books I like. Usually, I have to actively dislike reading a book to give it less than three stars, and that rarely happens.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
I'll have to think about using Goodreads rating criteria instead of my own interpretation. Either way, Goodreads could use an update on the rating system. I liked how they implemented the reread option. Maybe at some point this could be improved as well.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
Finished the second book of the Fifth Season "the Obelisk Gate" in 5 days. I think it was about 450 pages and I'm on vacation (just chilling in my home, nothing fancy although we hit Cedar Point for two days - roller coasters and water slides). I really enjoyed the book. Similar cast of characters to book 1 and I'm also used to the author's style. Part of the book (interludes) are almost written like The Office or Modern Family where it feels like the author is talking to you directly rather than through the characters. The mystery of this apocalyptic world is very interesting. We got more information and I'm looking for more answers in book 3. Really enjoyed this series so far and I still don't know if this should be classified as fantasy or scifi. On to the final book!

Edit: one thing was odd in that the second book on Kindle did not have page numbers, only location. Not sure why. And the final book is 464 pages and C $14.99. Ouch! Too new I guess as it just released this year.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
Finished up the audiobook for Clash of Kings (my third time with this book).

On my first 2 read throughs I rated this one at the bottom of the series (not including 5 which wasn't out) and I think it may still remain that way. First I will cover the good. This second book started introducing more of the magic and expanding in that direction which is always a plus for me. The overall plot was still entertaining and the writing didn't dip in quality from the first. It expanded on the world and added some interesting depth to the series. Now I will go with the things that bothered me about this one. It may seem like a lot but with a series this good you can nitpick a lot and still end up with a good read.

- CoK lacked the big moments you get from GoT. Whether you want to talk about the Ned moment, or all of the PoV endings with dragons or kings being annointed or what have you. There just seem to be a lot more wow factor in the initial book.

- POV's weren't as interesting in this one. Sansa was especially pointless. I just finished this up today and as I sit and think back to everything we got from her chapters I can't think of much that couldn't have been left out without any loss to the reader. Let's start with this though, she just isn't an interesting character. I can read an interesting character with little plot development. Anyway, most of the time she seems like a tool to show Cersei and Joffreys cruelty or their scheming or what have you and we already get that from Tyrion and could easily get more of it from him and do away with almost everything Sansa. I also found Daenerys POV a good deal more boring in this one. Admittedly even in the first book her chapters can be somewhat plodding but the story is new, the Dothraki are interesting, Viserys is a dick, we get dragons etc etc. In CoK it was almost all plod and nothing of note. The House of the Undying could have been very interesting but it wasn't explored enough or given enough weight to really make an impact when it finally got the spotlight. I wasn't much into the Theon stuff either and would prefer to maybe get some POV from a character like Varys or someone a bit more interesting.

- I would have liked to see Renley be slightly more significant after the time the book spend building him up. This isn't a major point for me but just something else to talk about. He is supposed to be incredibly likeable, have all kinds of support from a massive army, and is a spitting image of young Robert. It seems to me like a lot could have been done with that and we don't really get anything from him. The Stannis encounter and the death and then......nothing.


Luckily for this book Tyrion is a great character and even if his story meanders he is interesting enough to keep you engaged. Arya has always been a favorite of mine as well and she helped too. Jon I am not such a big fan of but I do love all things wall related and what we got from his POV's.

This one feels like an 8.5/10 to me. And I know you might be thinking I had a lot to complain about to still give it a high score but keep in mind I gave the first book a 10/10. So when you are building off of that even if you falter a little you can still offer a good read.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
Edit: one thing was odd in that the second book on Kindle did not have page numbers, only location. Not sure why. And the final book is 464 pages and C $14.99. Ouch! Too new I guess as it just released this year.
Try tapping on the bottom left corner where the location is. On my Kindle I can switch between location, percentages and percentages + time I have left in the book by tapping on the text down there.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
About 100 pages into Firebrand. It's serviceable enough so far. The main plot hasn't really kicked in yet, though.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
Try tapping on the bottom left corner where the location is. On my Kindle I can switch between location, percentages and percentages + time I have left in the book by tapping on the text down there.
I did that and page number never showed up. The first book was fine too. I will see about the third one. I can't remember the last time page number wasn't available on my Kindle.
 

fl1pper

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
It's just about still August and (with some trepidation) I'm about to start Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson.
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
It's just about still August and (with some trepidation) I'm about to start Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson.
Enjoy!!!! ... You're embarking on a huge but very exciting trip

I myself am on book 9 by now "Dust of Dreams". I've been reading the series together with the Malazan Empire books of Esslemont. I've been enjoying both series a lot over the past months
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
It's just about still August and (with some trepidation) I'm about to start Gardens of the Moon - Steven Erikson.
Ah, I see you're a reader of culture as well.
 

Maark Abbott

Journeyed there and back again
Related note: Read through issue 1 of Gakkou Gurashi! (School-Live!) through yesterday and today. If anyone is particularly interested, it's a survival horror about a group of kids who are, to their knowledge, the sole survivors of a zombie apocalypse, Resident Evil 2/3 style. It's grim as fuck. Bakker could learn something about darkness from this manga.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
Related note: Read through issue 1 of Gakkou Gurashi! (School-Live!) through yesterday and today. If anyone is particularly interested, it's a survival horror about a group of kids who are, to their knowledge, the sole survivors of a zombie apocalypse, Resident Evil 2/3 style. It's grim as fuck. Bakker could learn something about darkness from this manga.
No mangas on the slog boys! The COFFERS!

(Am I doing it right?) :p
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
Been reading my first Glenn Cook book recently, started on The Black Company.

Struggling with it a little bit to be honest, not sure what all the fuss seems to be about. Will finish It, but not sure I'll carry on with the remainder of the books in the series. We'll see...
 

fl1pper

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
Enjoy!!!! ... You're embarking on a huge but very exciting trip

I myself am on book 9 by now "Dust of Dreams". I've been reading the series together with the Malazan Empire books of Esslemont. I've been enjoying both series a lot over the past months
I've read the prologue and first chapter and I think I'm going to like it very much. It's early days but I'm not now worried about the "complexity". Having read a long, supposedly spoiler free thread on goodreads about the bit I've read, I hadn't missed anything. I am however deliberately reading it slowly, as opposed to my normal break neck speed.