It's August 2020: What fantasy book are you reading?

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#1
Just finished the Demon Cycle series and I think I’m taking a break from fantasy. There are a couple sports books that I am going to read. One is an analytics book and the other more story based. I look forward to Sandersons book 4 in the Stormlight series in a few months. I may try the Ravens Blade duology as it seems people are happy with Vaelin again.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#2
I've always wanted to read Blood Song but the sequels have kept me away. Depending on how good the new series is I might push it up my TBR.

I'm 300 pages into Knife of Dreams and while it's much better than the last few books the lack of Rand is again a disappointment.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I really liked book 2 of Blood Song - Tower Lord. When I re-read it I had even more appreciation for it. Some hated the idea the Vaelin was no longer the only POV character. Some didn’t like Reva. I had no issues but I can understand being upset over the change in style. Book 3 was a big disappointment to me but I think the first two books were so good that I would still recommend the entire series no matter what. But the massive amount of side characters make that series very difficult to read unless you read the books consecutively.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#4
I finished The Songs of Distant Earth a couple of days ago. I liked it, but didn't love it. I'm generally really, really liked the Arthur C. Clarke books I've read. I know the guy wasn't big on characterisations, and was pretty heavy with exposition, but his books seem to have this ability to ignite a sense of wonder in me that I love. I think I've read that Songs is supposed to be Clarke's favourite, but I'll go ahead and disagree with the man. It was decent enough, and some wonder is to be had, but of the four books I've read (this one, Childhood's End, The City and the Stars, and Rendezvous with Rama) I would actually say this was my least favourite.

As an aside, this one also has some of the "prediction" problems that @Silvion Night had mentioned in old SF. There was one part where a character tells another that they need to get a move on to complete a project they were working on, and it would take all night as they had "many megabytes" still left. I have to admit, I LOLed at that. Funny how Clarke the Futurist, in the 1980s, thought that MB would be a large enough amount to data to give anyone trouble in even the near future, let alone people living almost 2,000 years from now, and not something that could be processed in milliseconds.

Overall, I'd give it maybe a 3.5 out of 5.

For my next reading, I'm sticking with my earlier plan of reading shorter books to rev up my reading habits. I'm going with All Systems Red, the first entry in the award-winning Murderbot series of novellas by Martha Wells.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#6
For my next reading, I'm sticking with my earlier plan of reading shorter books to rev up my reading habits. I'm going with All Systems Red, the first entry in the award-winning Murderbot series of novellas by Martha Wells.
I read the first one when it came out. Interesting concept, and since then the next two were on sale a few days ago and I'm going to get to them at some point. They seem to be very popular and well reviewed.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#7
I read the first one when it came out. Interesting concept, and since then the next two were on sale a few days ago and I'm going to get to them at some point. They seem to be very popular and well reviewed.
Yeah, I'd heard of them for a while but never went for it because I felt they were overpriced. $10-$12 for a novella? No thanks. I eventually got all 4 of them for free a couple of months ago from Tor.com.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#8
Yeah, I'd heard of them for a while but never went for it because I felt they were overpriced. $10-$12 for a novella? No thanks. I eventually got all 4 of them for free a couple of months ago from Tor.com.
You have mentioned this Tor deal thing before and I didn't follow through. Can you explain how to get these deals once more? The fourth book is an actual novel and costs $13.99 so I would like being able to get it free.

Edit: I went to the site and figured it out. Thanks for steering me to this deal.
 
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afa

Journeyed there and back again
#9
You have mentioned this Tor deal thing before and I didn't follow through. Can you explain how to get these deals once more? The fourth book is an actual novel and costs $13.99 so I would like being able to get it free.
You can't choose which book you get, it's basically whatever they decide to giveaway. They give a free ebook every month. They made all 4 novellas available just before the Murderbot novel was released. I don't think the novel itself would be available soon, it's too new. Still good PR, I think; people like me might enjoy the novellas and pay actual money for the novel.

Anyway, the process is that you sign up for their "eBook of the Month Club" (link) and they'll notify you via email every month that there is a new free ebook to download. You choose your format (MOBI or EPUB) and you're done. It's not always A+ titles available, but quite frequently they are. They've given away stuff like The Way of Kings (Sanderson), The Collapsing Empire (John Scalzi) and The Emperor's Blades (Brian Staveley), though all of these were once the books had been out for a while.

Those are just the ones that stand out to me. You're more well-versed in SFF than I am, so it's possible there are other authors who you might like who I wasn't familiar with.

*Edit* Didn't see your edit... :facepalm:
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#10
You can't choose which book you get, it's basically whatever they decide to giveaway. They give a free ebook every month. They made all 4 novellas available just before the Murderbot novel was released. I don't think the novel itself would be available soon, it's too new. Still good PR, I think; people like me might enjoy the novellas and pay actual money for the novel.

Anyway, the process is that you sign up for their "eBook of the Month Club" (link) and they'll notify you via email every month that there is a new free ebook to download. You choose your format (MOBI or EPUB) and you're done. It's not always A+ titles available, but quite frequently they are. They've given away stuff like The Way of Kings (Sanderson), The Collapsing Empire (John Scalzi) and The Emperor's Blades (Brian Staveley), though all of these were once the books had been out for a while.

Those are just the ones that stand out to me. You're more well-versed in SFF than I am, so it's possible there are other authors who you might like who I wasn't familiar with.

*Edit* Didn't see your edit... :facepalm:
Thanks for the help afa. This is great.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#12
Did some research here on the site, requested a number of Kindle Samples, now I have found my next project: have just started "Nine Princes in Amber" by Roger Zelazny.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#14
@Alucard That's quite the bump. I haven't read them myself yet but I've heard Gardens of the Moon is extremely confusing. I guess it was a better read when you had a better grasp of the world?

I'm 200 pages into The Gathering Storm. I miss Jordan's writing even though it often meant 5 chapters in a row of the same POV that could drag the story. It's better paced and edited with Sanderson that's for sure and I can already see why fans were very happy with this outcome.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#15
I'm rereading Kings of Paradise and Kings of Ash because the third book in the trilogy will drop on September 1. I don't think anyone else here has mentioned this series but it's great. Although character driven, and what strong characters they are, it goes from action scene to action scene. I have never read great prose like this mixed with page turning action. It's a stunning story and you get the message from page one. Low priced as well (thank you Richard). Try it, you will be blown away. Oh, and it's completed.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#16
That's quite the bump. I haven't read them myself yet but I've heard Gardens of the Moon is extremely confusing. I guess it was a better read when you had a better grasp of the world?
Is it? I mean it's 1 star difference. It's still not a perfect book by any means.
But yes it is very confusing. The reader is dropped in the middle of this epic, action heavy book and Erikson doesn't hold your hand or try to introduce you slowly to the characters. It's very intense and that's the part of the charm.
Second time around I figured out even more things I couldn't have realized with my first reading. I heard all of Malazan books are like this on re-reading. You learn more. I kind of get it, because when you're reading it for the first time, at least in my case, it's an effort to keep up with what is actually happening because there are so many characters and so much action. Second time around, you know the characters so you get to enjoy the plot and details more.

I heard Glen Cook's The Black Company series is similar to Malazan in a sense of being dropped in the middle of the action. I also heard The Black Company was an inspiration to Erikson, but can't say that with certainty.
In any case I had an awesome time with it and I'm enjoying Deadhouse Gates as well.

The series is well worth the read and I would recommend it to anyone who has read fantasy for a little while. It's not necessarily a good choice for newbies. But it is one of the few epic fantasy series that is finished and that's a lot in a world of GRRMs and Rothfusses.

Oh and when I was reading it the first time I was reading according to the ultimate reading order according to the Malazan Empire forum (https://www.goodreads.com/series/17...gested-by-members-of-the-malazan-empire-forum) that combines Erikson and Esselmont books which totals the series at 34 books (so far). I've read up to around 10 books and half a dozen novellas and I just kind of burned out on the series.
So this time I'll just read Erikson's core series that is 10 books and finish it. I can read Esselmont later, as well as Erikson's prequel trilogies.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#17
Is it? I mean it's 1 star difference. It's still not a perfect book by any means.
But yes it is very confusing. The reader is dropped in the middle of this epic, action heavy book and Erikson doesn't hold your hand or try to introduce you slowly to the characters. It's very intense and that's the part of the charm.
Second time around I figured out even more things I couldn't have realized with my first reading. I heard all of Malazan books are like this on re-reading. You learn more. I kind of get it, because when you're reading it for the first time, at least in my case, it's an effort to keep up with what is actually happening because there are so many characters and so much action. Second time around, you know the characters so you get to enjoy the plot and details more.

I heard Glen Cook's The Black Company series is similar to Malazan in a sense of being dropped in the middle of the action. I also heard The Black Company was an inspiration to Erikson, but can't say that with certainty.
In any case I had an awesome time with it and I'm enjoying Deadhouse Gates as well.

The series is well worth the read and I would recommend it to anyone who has read fantasy for a little while. It's not necessarily a good choice for newbies. But it is one of the few epic fantasy series that is finished and that's a lot in a world of GRRMs and Rothfusses.

Oh and when I was reading it the first time I was reading according to the ultimate reading order according to the Malazan Empire forum (https://www.goodreads.com/series/17...gested-by-members-of-the-malazan-empire-forum) that combines Erikson and Esselmont books which totals the series at 34 books (so far). I've read up to around 10 books and half a dozen novellas and I just kind of burned out on the series.
So this time I'll just read Erikson's core series that is 10 books and finish it. I can read Esselmont later, as well as Erikson's prequel trilogies.
I've read them all (except the Kharkanas books, never read those) in the order of publication and must say I'm happy I did. In my view both writers grow along with the series, which makes for -in my eyes- a progressively better reading experience.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#18
I've just finished the Foundation Trilogy by Asimov. In the end, I really enjoyed it. The trilogy gets better the further along you are, where the third book is superior to the second, which is in turn superior to the first book (which leaves much to be desired to be honest).

I have to retract my earlier comment where I said that women are pretty much absent from the series, as the second book has a female protagonist, who comes across as a well fleshed out character, in no means less capable than the male characters. If you consider that this book was written in the 50's, it is actually very, very progressive. The third book also has a female protagonist, but she is 14 years of age, and although quite smart, she's obviously written as a stubborn and flighty teenager.

The story is actually quite smart and had me make some double takes in the end.

The only real down sides are the use of by now obsolete technology -which sometimes makes the books seem a bit silly- and the old-timey language ("gosh mister! By Space, I meant no harm by it!"). Both also has its charms though.

I gave the trilogy 4 GR stars.

I'm now reading a self-help book, written by an old friend/colleague of mine. It's very New Age hippy stuff (fine if you're into that of course, but I'm certainly not). Difficult to get through, as the book is quite self-centred. She links her '7 lessons to live a lighter life' to her personal experiences, but it comes across as quite conceited. Only reading it out of curiosity, but it's hard going when the most prevalent word in the book is a variation of "I", "me" or "myself".
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Is it? I mean it's 1 star difference. It's still not a perfect book by any means.
But yes it is very confusing. The reader is dropped in the middle of this epic, action heavy book and Erikson doesn't hold your hand or try to introduce you slowly to the characters. It's very intense and that's the part of the charm.
Second time around I figured out even more things I couldn't have realized with my first reading. I heard all of Malazan books are like this on re-reading. You learn more. I kind of get it, because when you're reading it for the first time, at least in my case, it's an effort to keep up with what is actually happening because there are so many characters and so much action. Second time around, you know the characters so you get to enjoy the plot and details more.

I heard Glen Cook's The Black Company series is similar to Malazan in a sense of being dropped in the middle of the action. I also heard The Black Company was an inspiration to Erikson, but can't say that with certainty.
In any case I had an awesome time with it and I'm enjoying Deadhouse Gates as well.

The series is well worth the read and I would recommend it to anyone who has read fantasy for a little while. It's not necessarily a good choice for newbies. But it is one of the few epic fantasy series that is finished and that's a lot in a world of GRRMs and Rothfusses.

Oh and when I was reading it the first time I was reading according to the ultimate reading order according to the Malazan Empire forum (https://www.goodreads.com/series/17...gested-by-members-of-the-malazan-empire-forum) that combines Erikson and Esselmont books which totals the series at 34 books (so far). I've read up to around 10 books and half a dozen novellas and I just kind of burned out on the series.
So this time I'll just read Erikson's core series that is 10 books and finish it. I can read Esselmont later, as well as Erikson's prequel trilogies.
I read the first 10 Erikson books then started on the Esselmont books. I don't regret doing it that way at all. I actually still have two Esselmont books to read and the Kharkanas series. I'm really looking forward to the Karsa Orlong series.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#20
The series is well worth the read and I would recommend it to anyone who has read fantasy for a little while. It's not necessarily a good choice for newbies. But it is one of the few epic fantasy series that is finished and that's a lot in a world of GRRMs and Rothfusses.
I haven't read the series, but I found the rate of publication to be quite impressive. The main Erikson sequence is 10 books, and from everything I've heard it's quite complex and deep, and yet he managed to publish all 10 books in a 12-year span (from 1999 to 2011). Not bad at all.

So this time I'll just read Erikson's core series that is 10 books and finish it. I can read Esselmont later, as well as Erikson's prequel trilogies.
There are apparently some benefits to be had by mixing some of then. Here's a link from The Wertzone about his suggested reading order (with his rationale) that is quite different from what you linked. Have a look, for what it's worth.