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

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#21
Sounds really stupid perhaps, but I feel Stephen King is underrated. I mean: obviously he's been lauded as a great author, but to me it seems he's still regarded as "pulpy" by many. I must say though that in my view he's a literary genius. The ending of his books / series are not his strongest point, and yes occasionally he produces real stinkers (Cell anyone?), but he's one of the best character writers out there and his books have made a huge impression on a lot of people and played a big part in popularising the horror / thriller genre. And consider his contributions to the movie scene. The Green Mile, the Shawshank Redemption, the Shining (even though king reportedly didn't really care for the movie adaptation); all masterpieces based on king's books.

Are their greater contemporary writers out there currently? I'm not even sure.
I agree! Stephen King is fantastic. I've been a huge fan for years. When I was growing up I had pretty much everything he had written up through Eyes of the Dragon I believe. I quit reading for a long time. Now, I have a lot of books to catch up on.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#22
To be fair a lot of them were audiobooks. I breeze through audiobooks so fast.
How do you listen to audiobooks? I find that I can't listen to them during work hours, as they distract from the work. I used to listen to them mainly on my commute to and from office, but since COVID I'm not commuting so don't find the time to listen to audiobooks anymore.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#23
Sounds really stupid perhaps, but I feel Stephen King is underrated. I mean: obviously he's been lauded as a great author, but to me it seems he's still regarded as "pulpy" by many. I must say though that in my view he's a literary genius. The ending of his books / series are not his strongest point, and yes occasionally he produces real stinkers (Cell anyone?), but he's one of the best character writers out there and his books have made a huge impression on a lot of people and played a big part in popularising the horror / thriller genre. And consider his contributions to the movie scene. The Green Mile, the Shawshank Redemption, the Shining (even though king reportedly didn't really care for the movie adaptation); all masterpieces based on king's books.

Are their greater contemporary writers out there currently? I'm not even sure.
Fully agree. This is why I enjoy his work so much. He has a way with dialogue and characters and those are the reasons I love to read. Everything else, the worldbuilding, the plot, the magic system is just extra for me. I mean this in general. My reasoning is the same on whether I will like a book. I never thought, oh this King's character seems like a cardboard cut out. Never. I did think some of his endings kind of fizzle out a bit, but I'm not that bothered by that. That happened in Mr. Mercedes as well, I still enjoyed the ride.

What's great about King is that he knows how to make the characters seem like they could exist in real life, but at the same time a lot of them are characters that plenty of writers would have trouble getting right, like making them seem real.

I don't see his stuff as pulpy either. I think it's also the reason that he technically writes horror is why he got attached to that adjective, because publishing industry as well as big name media and mainstream reviews think of horror in that way. I feel like it was even more prevalent pre-internet era when he was working the most, in the 80s and 90s.

The same thing goes for Steven Erikson and Malazan. Although I do enjoy the convoluted plot and trying to piece together the puzzle, he makes his characters seem real. Great dialogues peppered with so much good humor, everything else is just extra as I said.

I find that I can't listen to them during work hours, as they distract from the work.
I just can. They don't distract me. Different strokes for different folks I guess?
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#24
Fully agree. This is why I enjoy his work so much. He has a way with dialogue and characters and those are the reasons I love to read. Everything else, the worldbuilding, the plot, the magic system is just extra for me. I mean this in general. My reasoning is the same on whether I will like a book. I never thought, oh this King's character seems like a cardboard cut out. Never. I did think some of his endings kind of fizzle out a bit, but I'm not that bothered by that. That happened in Mr. Mercedes as well, I still enjoyed the ride.

What's great about King is that he knows how to make the characters seem like they could exist in real life, but at the same time a lot of them are characters that plenty of writers would have trouble getting right, like making them seem real.

I don't see his stuff as pulpy either. I think it's also the reason that he technically writes horror is why he got attached to that adjective, because publishing industry as well as big name media and mainstream reviews think of horror in that way. I feel like it was even more prevalent pre-internet era when he was working the most, in the 80s and 90s.

The same thing goes for Steven Erikson and Malazan. Although I do enjoy the convoluted plot and trying to piece together the puzzle, he makes his characters seem real. Great dialogues peppered with so much good humor, everything else is just extra as I said.

I just can. They don't distract me. Different strokes for different folks I guess?
Well said Alucard, fully agree.

You referred to Mr Mercedes. I haven't read any new King books published after Doctor Sleep. Any recommendations?
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#25
Well said Alucard, fully agree.

You referred to Mr Mercedes. I haven't read any new King books published after Doctor Sleep. Any recommendations?
Well I would recommend Bill Hodges trilogy. Mr. Mercedes is the first book. As well as The Outsider, as it is part of the same universe with some major characters appearing in both. Bill Hodges trilogy comes before The Outsider.

I would caution that it's not the same fare as in the vain of The Stand or The Dark Tower. It leans more toward thriller and crime, although there are some standard King elements from the supernatural realm, especially in later books and in The Outsider.

There's a significant portion of King readers that don't end up liking the first book, Mr. Mercedes. I personally really liked Bill, he was so mundane in some sense and seemed real. I tend to like stories about old men and Bill is 64 and retiring detective. I don't know why but I do. Maybe because I'll never be one :hilarious:

Chances are though that if you don't end up liking Mr. Mercedes, you won't like the series either.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#26
I’m reading Rhythm of War very slowly. Only on page 250. Part of me is a little frustrated with not being able to remember things. I read recaps but they didn’t help enough. Using Wiki searches on certain characters and things as they appear in the book. Part of me feels Sanderson has tried to mimic Wheel of Time too much with the different cultures and countries and even pace of the book. I enjoyed the first two books quite a bit but the third fell flat and I’m hoping the story picks up here too. I’m not sucked into reading it at the moment.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#27
I liked Oathbringer just as much as the first two. So far I'm 65-70% into RoW and this time I'm feeling it drag slightly. It definitely has the middle book syndrome when I would have expected a bigger punch considering it's the penultimate book. Still, only 70% in.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#28
Part of what I didn't like about Oathbringer is that all the good guys seemed to be goody two shoes. And then a series with special characters and abilities suddenly has extraordinary people falling out of it's ass. Not so special anymore. The mystery of what is going on isn't there for me right now. I really do hope this book picks up because this series is headed to the over-rated list if it doesn't.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#32
@rudyjuly2 @ReguIa Same here, Kaladin and Dalinar. Though Renarin's arc is looking like it's getting interesting...
Renarin is interesting. He's just such a minor character (so far). I do like Dalinar. His Blackthorn history is probably the best part about him.

I won't say Shallan since I found her annoying early on. But I do like her split personalities lol.

I see Kaladin as the hero in this story more than anyone else. Loved his time as a bridgeboy.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#33
Renarin is interesting. He's just such a minor character (so far).
True, but I think it looks to be developing into an interesting way.
What with him being bonded to a corrupted spren and all... I wonder if that means he might turn bad?

I do like Dalinar. His Blackthorn history is probably the best part about him.
Absolutely. The reveal of why he can't remember anything about his dead wife was great.

I won't say Shallan since I found her annoying early on. But I do like her split personalities lol.
I'm torn on Shallan. I actually do like her split personality thing, but there are times when she is annoying, specially when she's trying to be funny. I don't think Sanderson has nailed that down, yet.

I see Kaladin as the hero in this story more than anyone else. Loved his time as a bridgeboy.
Kaladin is (so far) the most prototypical "heroic" character in the series. I guess I'm a sucker for tropes because I like him, anyway, but a part of me kind of wants his arc to develop in unexpected ways.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#34
Kaladin is (so far) the most prototypical "heroic" character in the series. I guess I'm a sucker for tropes because I like him, anyway, but a part of me kind of wants his arc to develop in unexpected ways.
The trope works for me because Sanderson's going so into depth about his depression. Even after WoR it isn't something that's ''over and done with''. He's easily the best part about Rhythm of War so far.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#35
I finally finished my first re-read of GotM a while back, and I absolutely adored it. It was so good to be immersed back into the world of Malazan again! Onto DG ....

I wasn't a big fan of DG when I read it the first time, but that couldn't be more different this time, I'm enjoying it so much. I think maybe the change in direction from GotM threw me off a little bit first time around. But knowing it was coming has probably changed it for me this time and I'm definitely enjoying it more than I did during my initial read!

Anyhow, Merry Xmas all, hope you all have a wonderful time with your loved ones :)
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#36
Is this confirmed? Last I heard they were hoping to have it out by the summer at least..
I didn't find a confirmation from the authors, but this is the date that's mentioned on Goodreads. Amazon has the 26th October 2021 as delivery date for Kindle. If it's earlier, all the better :)
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#38
Went on a bit of a tear and finished Iron Gold by Pierce Brown over the past few days.

Expectations are always an interesting thing. The first time I read this it was of course after having read and love the original trilogy so expectations were through the roof. Dive into the book and find out this one isn't all Darrow and immediately there is disappointment because that is the POV I fell in love with. Puts the other characters behind the 8 Ball because I already don't like them before I know them because they are taking the spotlight.

Anyway, this 2nd time through with different expectations it read much differently. It was still a little slow convincing me to enjoy the story because it is hard coming from the rising to being thrust into the other side when society is overthrown. That being said, all of the POV's had their moments and while it was hard to match the overall enjoyment of the original (which was a high bar) all of the ingredients were still there for a good story.

Now I move on to Dark Age which I never finished the first time because I had forgotten a lot of the characters and was mostly checked out of the story. So my process of going back to the original to re-build the excitement worked and now I can't wait to jump into the "new" book.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#39
Yeah I loved Red Rising and I think I read a preview of Iron Gold and it didn’t hook me. I haven’t tried reading the new trilogy. Maybe give it another shot down the road.

Finished Act 1 on Rhythm of War. The preludes offer other POV like Syl. I wish Brandon would do that more during the meat of the book. Taravangian is interesting. His other characters need more time imo.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#40
@rudyjuly2 I finished it yesterday. Probably my least favorite of the 4 so far, but still a book I enjoyed immensely. Looking forward to hearing what you think once you've finished it.

I'm also debating if I should continue on with The Witcher or give Red Rising a try. Depends on when the next book in his second series is being released.

And Merry Xmas everyone.