It's February 2017. What fantasy book(s) are you reading?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Silvion Night, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Currently reading some sci-fi books instead. I'm on the second book in the Red Rising trilogy. Heads up to fantasy lovers though; the books have quite the fantasy vibe to them (castles, swords and armour, horses etc).
     
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  2. Matticus Primal

    Matticus Primal Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    I'm about 1/3 of the way through The Blinding Knife and am enjoying it so far. Like the first book, which I finished up just a few days ago, it's got an interesting world/ characters/ story that leaves me wanting more. The only thing I can't stand is the asides from the author. Stuff like "Karris shot him a look. Uh-oh*." just drive me up the wall. Someone please tell me they get less prevalent as the series goes on.

    * I made that up off the top of my head, but think it's pretty indicative of what I mean.
     
  3. Peat

    Peat Became a Faceless Man

    Did a re-read of The Light Fantastic. When staring at the cracks, it feels really relevant today due to the amount of culture clash and mobs. I had to look hard for them. The meat and bones of it is just a pretty damn good fantasy story, a lot funnier than most (but sometimes not as funny as it thinks), with some nice world building and characters. Cohen is a leg end.

    Pretty fun for a Discworld reader as a revisit because there is so much here that gets revisited in later books. Colour of Magic has, basic cosmology aside, next to no details that are recognisably Discworld. You can pretty much see Sir Pterry's view of the world settle in between the two books. Which is cool.
     
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  4. ExTended

    ExTended Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I have been reading this trilogy in the last two weeks of January. Very, very solid writing and storytelling. There are some ridiculous moments and decision makings through the series, but in a much more moderate amount than many of the YA books. The worldbuilding for the most part is pretty solid too. And it was my first sci-fi read ever and I can say that the trilogy made me reconsider my views on sci-fi genre, which I was avoiding relentlessly before.

    So my readings were:

    I've finished book three of the Red Rising trilogy. I wasn't completely sold on some of its parts and aspects.

    Mainly the fact that people die like flies all over the place, but somehow the bad Empire is shit scared by a few young men and women( Darrel, Mustang, Ragnar, Several), which in turn are scared from an old woman and her glorified bodyguards, was it Aja?, and all of them, especially the good guys, are acting ridicuously cautious about The Jackal, Antonia and the other young scary bad guys. It was very strange for me how there is this background of epicly huge battles and everybody is acting as if his individual enemies are some immortal beings who cannot be killed with a pistol. But that's YA for you, I guess.

    I have finished one more book - Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. It's a YA book with a very fine premise:

    Three Black Witches are born in a glen,
    sweet little triplets
    will never be friends.

    Three Black Witches, all fair to be seen
    two to devour
    and one to be queen.


    Right! It's about three evil witches that have to kill each-other after they turn 16 so that one of them could sit on the throne. Each is trained by a faction that shares her powers and that faction rules until the new cycle - the poisoners, the elementals and the naturalists. And it's on an island, so they can't like run away or something.

    Well, the cool premise is all you get in the end. The book starts very promising, then gives you generic YA crap until the last 20% of it, which are turning out promising again.

    Originally I thought it's a standalone and that the end of the book will resolve the things, but it turns out to be a set-up book for the sequel of the duology?

    The thing is... the plot makes sense. Except most of the romance that is spread through the book and it makes you wonder are teenage girls so gulable as to think it plausible? I mean I was a teenager too, at one point of my life, I knew many, many teenage girls, none of them was that kind of stupid or had this burning hot love triangle thing going. Why do they always have to throw in annoyingly unrealistic romance, runing potentially good books with it... Oh, love, when did you stop being cruel and started to be silly instead and how have we missed it... Whatever.

    Still - the book was nice. If you view it as two books that is. The first is the interesting start and ending of the book, which are more or less revolving around the cool premise, the second is the mushy and romantic non-sense middle of the story, which is teaching us that being a YA author also involves the intricate art of new and imaginative love-triangle worldbuilding.

    I'd give it 7/10 because it still has the potential to lead to a quite interesting second book. I wouldn't bet my money on it, because I can already imagine several incoming love-pentagons, but still... there's a chance.

    A part of me being so bitter about the whole romance thing is also thanks to the second book I've started alongside the above one. It's Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - the sequel of Six of Crows, which I've liked very much. The thing is... I cannot really get going with that book - I wanted it to be a book for relaxing, but it might end up being a working book instead( an audiobook that I am listening to while working, that is - obviously I cannot pay the same attention to those that I pay to my relaxing books, which are books that I pay my full attention to, kind of). The story had started both well and dissapointing. There were already a few cool heist elements/moments introduced, but there is too much non-sense between them. Too much "she loves me, she loves me not" if you wish... YA...

    I am also trying to start Nevernight, which was described as gritty and gorry Harry Potter where students can kill each-other... but I cannot get through the begining for some reason. I think it's the narration. The two things that I hate most with audiobooks - narrators who cannot do distinctive voices for the different characters and narrators who don't know it's kind of nice to pause between scenes, to give some indication for them. So amateurish - Promise of Blood have probably found a worthy contender for the crappiest narration in the world award. It would've been fun that so awful narrations are being made and sold to readers, if it wasn't pathetic instead. I mean... how hard it is to make a three second pause between scenes.

    I haven't decided yet on which fantasy series to start next. I'd probably go with something more established from any of the epic/military/grimdark/anti-hero sub-genres, to make a change from this YA slog.

    And to the people who say that Brandon Sanderson is doing an unrealistic romance in his books... well, yeah, but not exactly - go to YA fantasy... it's brutal out there. :D
     
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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  5. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    Attack on Titan 17 seemed very much a filler issue, however 18 really upped the ante and by the end of it I was craving to know what comes next.

    Currently on Mage's Blood. I've mentioned before but the similarities to some other series (names like Gurvon Gyle, sorcery being called the Gnosis), the fact that the worldbuilding is pretty much Europe vs Middle East and the 'protagonist' race are white supremacists makes it less compelling in the immediate than other things I've read. Hopefully perseverance will yield rewards.
     
  6. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 Knows the True Name of the White Rose

    Book 6 in WOT is a pretty slow start. Over 150 pages in and almost nothing has happened. Hoping it picks up.
     
  7. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    I'm on the home straight with The Company (KJ Parker). The further i get with it the less I'm liking it, but not to the extent that I don't want to finish it, which I do, it's just taking ages as I'm only reading about 20 pages at a time before getting distracted by other stuff, normally sleep. This has got 'meh' written all over it, a solid 6/10, maybe pushing a 7, unless there's some huge revelation in the last quarter.

    About halfway through Uprooted too. This has suddenly gotten quite dark, and I'm liking it more as I progress. The narrator is awful though, which is detracting from the experience a bit.
     
  8. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    Welcome to the slog of slogs, my child.
     
  9. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    New month new set of books.
    I am reading

    lost tales from tolkien
    THE color of magic
    Eternal Russia ( dry history, on the politics from 1980s through 1990s)
    Bonfire of the vanities by Tom Wolfe

    More I'll post on SF
     
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  10. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    Finishing Stormrider by David Gemmell today. Plan to read Newton's Cannon by Greg Keyes the moment the former is done. Might read the cereal box in between like I did when I was a kid. Generic brand of Raisin Bran if you must know.
     
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  11. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 Knows the True Name of the White Rose

    I know two people that quit after books 7 and 8. If I find the series slogs too much here I may take a break for a bit. I don't mind a lack of action if the character interactions are good. Through 150 pages there has been no action and very little character development. Jordan seems to start each book by introducing some new characters and outlining a new goal. The end of his books usually have a great finish and leave me happy. Hopefully that will be true here as well.
     
  12. Peat

    Peat Became a Faceless Man

    Book 6... Lord of Chaos right? I found Lord of Chaos and Crown of Swords both worth some of the "Hmm" moments at the end.
     
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  13. Theophania

    Theophania A Poet of the Khaiem

    Just started reading The Better Part of Darkness - the first Charlie Madigan book by Kelly Gay, and I'm 13% in and already I loathe the bitch. Honestly, if I was her work partner, I'd've asked to exchange, because I wouldn't put up with being treated the way she treats her partner. She's got the full range of urban-fantasy-heroine characteristics: bitchy, arrogant, aggressive, selfish, and not terribly bright.

    Why is it so difficult to write a heroine who is confident and in control without being a complete cow? Why does she have to prove what big brass balls she's got by rushing into stupid situations without thinking? Is it too much to ask to have a heroine who actually has more than one working brain cell, and uses that brain cell for something other than lusting after hot guys?

    Unfortunately, it was recommended to me - out of three, I'd already DNF'd two. I'm kind of embarrassed to give up on this one as well. But damn, I don't know how much of this bitch I can cope with...

    OK, rant over. :-(
     
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  14. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Thanks you, i will avoid.

    Sounds like it's worse than female characters in pier Anthony books, or joss Whedan, or the 80s 90s and 00s Marvel heroines (there's actually a map online connecting all the super heroines just by including who they slept with...it's appalling)
     
  15. ExTended

    ExTended Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I'm pretty sure you'd like the heroine of Heartsriker series by Rachel Aaron. I don't remember if she has POV chapters in the first or second book( I think that she does, but don't take my word on it), but she has some very nice chapters in the third one. There is a duo lead of character - one male, who is the MC - a young dragon who is forced by his mother to be in his human form, because he isn't nasty enough, so he has to learn to be. And his sidekick, who is a female mage consultant trying to make a name for herself. And the dragons aren't the most bad-ass creatures that roam the world, so there's that.

    The first two books are kind of a mystery fantasy type of plot. They are something like headhunters in the first book and then in the second book they have to deal with different kind of impending dangers while they are figuring out who is responsible for them and what their next move might be. The third book is more political intrigue kind of thingy. So all in all - quite diverse books. Kind of YA-dultish too, although the two leads are 20 something years old they read slightly younger. The romance is moderate. There are also times where the character interactions are kind of "OK, be more serious if you please", but it's in the forgivable side of the pendulum. Also the humor is quite nice. All in all a series that doesn't try to be more than it is and the whole tone Rachel Aaron is using is "There were one or two silly moments in the book, but it was fun, right?".

    I like books that are content to be what they are, instead of trying to be something else unsuccesfuly. So kudos to Rachel Aaron for writing some of those. :)
     
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  16. Theophania

    Theophania A Poet of the Khaiem

    I vaguely remember Piers Anthony - when I was a kid, the library had a lot of his Xanth books. I read a lot of them until I figured out that all the stories were based on bad puns, and that gets old after a while. But yeah, looking back, his female characters were a bit limp. And didn't he have a book called The Colour of her Panties?

    I've never been into comics, so can't comment on Marvel... but Joss Whedon surprises me. Isn't he the Buffy guy? I think I watched an episode of Buffy once, and it was fairly entertaining.

    I've seen those - I'm too much of a bitch myself to relate to nice, happy people (this is how I recognise bitchiness in others...). But I've encountered Rachel Aaron before, and she does sound like the kind of person who knows she isn't writing great literature, but doesn't care as long as she's having fun and so are her readers. I like that in an author. :)

    Mind you, at some point, I might feel like some sunshine and rainbows, so I'll keep the Heartstriker series in mind - I'd actually discounted them as standard paranormal romance, so I'll sort of dis-discount them.

    I've now given up on Charlie Madigan and started on Jill Kismet. Let's see how that goes... :)
     
  17. Khartun

    Khartun Journeyed there and back again

    Just finished The Abject God.

    Today I'm starting Wrath by John Gwynne, the final book of The Faithful and the Fallen series.
     
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  18. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    Anthony's female characters are pretty bad, they are Actually on a few feminist websites ban books list. There,are a few ( I hear) of his books featuring graphic rape scenes followed by consensual sex with their rescuer.

    Joss Whedan s characters can be moved around from series to series and replace any main character in any other main character without people even noticing. He is a master of one liners, but you can easily hand over a one liner to another character and still can see it as in character. This is even worse with the females, who only come in one cardboard cutout variety. Over and over. The males all have distinctive qualities to their character, the females do not. People often hail him as a good female writer because they are always strong don't need a man types. But they could easily have been played by men because there isn't anything distinctive about them at all.
     
  19. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    I would say it's worth slogging through the middle of the series to get to the ones Ole Sandy takes over at. The first is somewhat shaky, the next is solid, the last one... Ohhhhh shit. Book 14 made everything else that came before worth it.
     
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  20. Theophania

    Theophania A Poet of the Khaiem

    Of course, this sort of thing is why I generally ignore today's feminists. They always seem to be telling women what they are or aren't allowed to do, and what they should and shouldn't read or wear. The irony is, as they say, enough to make a cat laugh.

    Joss Whedon - to be honest, I'd prefer 'strong, don't-need-a-man types' to so many of the urban fantasy heroines we get who are supposed to be 'strong' but disintegrate into a wet mess as soon as a hot alpha male comes along. Or are strangely incapable of performing activities of daily living, like cooking for themselves. Or have gone way past 'strong' and into total-bitch territory. Strength is not about making every single interpersonal interaction into some kind of pissing contest.

    However, I do see your point. :)

    OK, stepping away from the soapbox now.
     

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