It's January 2019: What fantasy book are you reading?

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#21
Well I had to put Library At Mount Char down, just too formless and scattered. Going with Redemption's Blade again. I should like this grimdark fantasy by Adrian Tchaikovsky but it's meandering too. Ravencry by Ed McDonald, same thing, not like the first so far.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#22
I'm having a blast reading Dancer's Lament. In the past I preferred Erikson's main 10 book series over Esslemont's Malazan Empire books, but Esslemont is really doing a great job with this prequel trilogy. The stories are much more contained than Erikson's sprawling epics (and I saw Esslemont struggling with this in his Return of the Crimson Guard - an attempt at a sprawling epic that really didn't suit Esslemont's style). This book is more in line with his Night of Knives.

It feels weird to say, but this one is ranking near the top of my overall Malazan favorites. Got 50 pages left in this one and I'm dying to find out how it ends.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#23
I finished Dancer's Lament. I gave it 5 GoodReads stars. I really liked the characters (some of which we'll encounter in the later books) and the contained story. It's certainly less "epic" than the Erikson books, and we don't have as many profound and philosophical introspection here, but that's fine. Esslemont isn't trying to do something here that he doesn't feel comfortable with. His best stories are these fast-paced, action-packed, shorter stories that take place in a small geographical area.

I ordered Deadhouse Landing and it'll come in the mail later today. Because I don't want to be bored during my commute I now started on Pet Sematary by Stephen King, the book that he himself thinks is his scariest (hadn't read it yet for some reason).
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#24
Taking awhile to read Six of Crows. I bought it cheap in the past and I don’t see what all the hype is about. It’s clearly YA. The fact all the characters are teenagers makes no sense to me. It’s simply unnecessary for them to be all so young and it makes it hard to believe as well. The characters are pretty one dimensional. I’m halfway through this thing and it’s been a letdown. Getting a 4.46 on Goodreads? That score rivals some of the greatest books on there. It’s not even close imo.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
#25
Taking awhile to read Six of Crows. I bought it cheap in the past and I don’t see what all the hype is about. It’s clearly YA. The fact all the characters are teenagers makes no sense to me. It’s simply unnecessary for them to be all so young and it makes it hard to believe as well. The characters are pretty one dimensional. I’m halfway through this thing and it’s been a letdown. Getting a 4.46 on Goodreads? That score rivals some of the greatest books on there. It’s not even close imo.
Audience innit. Some people like YA, some don't.


Incidentally, while Silvion is enjoying himself some Malazan, I am slowly finding there's actually some good story in Forge of Darkness once Erikson gets to the point.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#26
I'm currently reading Malazan 2 after finishing with The Night Circus and Malazan 1, I'm also reading The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan after I've finished with the first book in the series A Natural History of Dragons. I've been contemplating starting this dragons series for years now and I'm glad that I finally did it. I've also started another Stormlight re-read and I'm reading Deception( Ascendant book 3) by Craig Alanson( the story is ok, the narrator is awesome, he was the main reason for me even noticing this series, so yeah... Tim Gerard Reynolds can come and read me my shopping bills and I'd still listen with awe).

The Night Circus was exactly my type of book - excellent narration, excellent story, for the most part. I'd easily give it 9.3/10, it could've been 10/10, but the story got a little bit slower at the end. Still, the closest thing to the Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell book's tone, and to the movie The Prestige, and those are two things revolving around magic and tricks that I've really enjoyed. Erin Morgenstern has a wonderful story-telling voice and I might check her other books when I feel like it. This book was the one time when a woman fantasy author is writing a romance and it doesn't feel like a soap opera to me. I give her full marks for that. And I also give credit to the narrator for not reading the romance-heavy parts as purple prose, but as natural part of the story - that's another thing that happens very rarely and even when a romance in a YA fantasy book is written in a moderated manner, the narrators would always, always make it sound awkward.

Anyway - to A Natural History of Dragons. If you've liked Temeraire, especially the first three books, that are more mystery-heavy than the following ones, you'd really like this book as well. 8.4/10 no qustions asked. Writing a well-grounded story with dragons in it is definitely a hard job, but both Naomi Novik and Marie Brennan seems to have the knack for it. I am very sensitive about stories with dragons in that having them in a story would most of the time annoy me, because many people just cannot seem to learn to incorporate them well within a more believe-able plot. I was able to predict the ending from 10 miles away unfortunately, but I still enjoyed the story.

Malazan 1 was strange for me. I've read book 1 and some of book 2 like a dozen years back and I don't remember a thing, except a vague impression here or there, so even though I'm still in the parts I've read back then, it still feels like 98% new book to me. Which is awesome, because I don't remember it being so gritty and complex and satisfying. I remember it as daunting and interesting, but I feel like now I could really enjoy the things between the lines and the way the plots twist, meet and unfold.

Deception by Craig Alanson - it's not as good as the first book in the series. If it weren't for the narrator, I would've probably DNF-ed the thing by now. It's too basic and while I usually don't have problems with that, it's both basic and distracting away from its own story, if that makes sense. Too many viewpoints for a basic story, I only really care for 2 characters and I'm getting a thousand POVs that aren't them and aren't that interesting in their own rights. It's just a mess. Unless you like Tim Gerard Reynolds as one of your three favorite narrators, stay away from this series - it's a trap! :) I ever thought that Robin Hobb was the crowned queen of "Let's not have my main characters have sensible conversations like adults, because not communicating the most common-sense information could ruin my desire to really put that plot on fire" and now the soap-opera fantasy queen shall have a king to dote on - Craig Alanson. I swear - if those two ever write a book together, I'm gonna throw darts at it!

Oh yeah - I've also finished Perceplequis by Michael J. Sullivan, a re-read for me. This particular series sports the most satisfying tying of plot and sub-plots types of ending ever created. You can clearly feel that the author has published book 1 after having all 6 books written in his pocket. You can't pull an ending like this otherwise. Brandon has some of those, but nothing near that level of "Damn it but that was the most perfect ending ever". If I ever happen to have kids - that's the series I'm going to give them for learning what true friendship and love is. I am not one of those cry at the end type of guys, but this series sometimes gets me when I get to the last 3-4 chapters, they're just so relate-able and it's a mix of all that's good in fantasy in one place.
 

Bill Door

Killed a Balrog
#27
I have about 14% left of First's Lord's Fury left (when I'm reading it digital on kindle I go by % lol) in the Codex Alera Series to finish. I powered through most of the series until now. It's not that I'm not interested, but I've just been busy. I've really enjoyed the series thoroughly. I'd recommend it to people who like the idea of epic fantasy, but don't have the patience for the usual slow burn of the genre. You don't enjoy the detail or world building of other epic fantasy in this series, but there is never a dull moment either.
 
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Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#28
I know who the guy on the cover of The Stand is now! I really like how varied all the characters are, they're full of life. I think that's probably the strongest ability of King's. He knows how to write characters. The world building and the slow burn of suspense is also great in The Stand. It's a proper epic in a way, when compared to 'Salem's Lot and The Shining that I've read this year. It's more reminiscent of The Dark Tower books in a way, because it's slow burning just like TDT, and there's also this epic buildup of confrontation between good and evil in both.
I also like it when I stumble on some common thread in all of them, some fact of King's universe. It just makes everything more connected and alive.

I think I have couple of more days with The Stand, and then I decided to go for the next book he wrote, The Dead Zone. Just yesterday I discovered that there's a movie directed by David Cronenberg and staring Christopher Walken. I don't know how I never knew about it, since Walken is one of my favorite actors of all time. But I somehow missed it.
So, I'm gonna read the book first, then watch the movie.
 

Khartun

Journeyed there and back again
#29
I know who the guy on the cover of The Stand is now! I really like how varied all the characters are, they're full of life. I think that's probably the strongest ability of King's. He knows how to write characters. The world building and the slow burn of suspense is also great in The Stand. It's a proper epic in a way, when compared to 'Salem's Lot and The Shining that I've read this year. It's more reminiscent of The Dark Tower books in a way, because it's slow burning just like TDT, and there's also this epic buildup of confrontation between good and evil in both.
I also like it when I stumble on some common thread in all of them, some fact of King's universe. It just makes everything more connected and alive.

I think I have couple of more days with The Stand, and then I decided to go for the next book he wrote, The Dead Zone. Just yesterday I discovered that there's a movie directed by David Cronenberg and staring Christopher Walken. I don't know how I never knew about it, since Walken is one of my favorite actors of all time. But I somehow missed it.
So, I'm gonna read the book first, then watch the movie.
Is it Lloyd or Trash?
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#30
Like Alucard, I am also on a Stephen King journey. Just finished Pet Sematary (sic). This is a disturbing book. The very ending, like many of King's horror stories in my opinion, is weaker than 95% of the preceding page, but overall, the reading experience was amazing. I was actually disgusted and revolted pretty much throughout the entire book. A laudable feat.

If you want to be especially creeped out by this: read it when you have small kids.

In need of some light-hearted banter and engaging adventures, I've now started on Deadhouse Landing by Esslemont, the second book of a trilogy that deals with the rise of the Malazan empire and focuses on young Dancer, Kellanved, Surly and Dassem. Very entertaining so far.
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#31
I stayed away from PC when it was the next Stephen King because of the subject matter and yes I had small kids. I pretty much stopped reading him with the third book of Dark Tower.

Khartun, Silvion and I think it's someone else.

Thanks for the tip Silvion, just bought Path To Ascendency for $2.99 and I get to look forward to reading many books in the new Matalan series' as I sort of quit after Return of the Crimson Guard and want to get back to it. I have the first couple of Erickson's new Malazan books too.
 
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Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#32
Is it Lloyd or Trash?
No.
I'm thinking it's Flagg, just like Silv and kenubrioun.

The very ending, like many of King's horror stories in my opinion, is weaker than 95% of the preceding page, but overall, the reading experience was amazing.
Yeah I had the same opinion on The Shining and 'Salem's Lot, but by the end I didn't really care the endings were kind of anticlimatic and mellow, because I had a blast reading these books all the way through.
 

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
#33
I was just thinking today how prescient King was with The Stand in that it takes place in 1990 but was published in 1978. I remember the cost of gas was way off and it was anachronistic that people still listened to records rather than CDs in the story. Which was still pretty amazing all things considered.

I just now went back to look this up and it appears it takes place in either 1980/ 85/ 90 depending on which edition you have. First hardback released in 1978 was set in 1980, and the paperback released in 1980 was set in 1985. The complete, unedited version was later set in 1990.

Anyways, I didn't know that until now so thought I'd share it.
 

Bill Door

Killed a Balrog
#35
I'm taking a breather between series and reading the Garret P.I. novel Deadly Quicksilver Lies. After I finish that I'll jump into Esslemont's Path to Ascendancy trilogy...wait a minute. I thought the 3rd book was coming out next month? Says April 2nd on amazon. I'll just wait to jump into the first two in March then and read King and Straub's The Talisman and Black House next. I've been meaning to read more King, but he just keeps getting pushed down to the end of the line.
 
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Noor Al-Shanti

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#36
Anyway - to A Natural History of Dragons. If you've liked Temeraire, especially the first three books, that are more mystery-heavy than the following ones, you'd really like this book as well. 8.4/10 no qustions asked. Writing a well-grounded story with dragons in it is definitely a hard job, but both Naomi Novik and Marie Brennan seems to have the knack for it. I am very sensitive about stories with dragons in that having them in a story would most of the time annoy me, because many people just cannot seem to learn to incorporate them well within a more believe-able plot. I was able to predict the ending from 10 miles away unfortunately, but I still enjoyed the story.

Thanks! I might check this out as I did enjoy Novik's first couple of books and I do enjoy dragons when they're well written. :)

I recently read a book from Kobo's free page called Askaro of the Falcon, which was great! It was a random choice as I was in the mood to read something right away and not sure what from my TBR pile would be worth spending money on at the time so I went looking through kobo's free page and found it. It's got a pretty terrible yellow font on the cover page, but it had an airship so... totally worth it! Check it out if you'd like to read a quick steampunk adventure.

I also read a couple of short stories recently based on some twitter posts I saw and they were both pretty good:
Thoughts and Prayers by Ken Liu (which I guess is more sci-fi than fantasy) at: https://slate.com/technology/2019/01/thoughts-and-prayers-ken-liu-short-story.html

And The Beast Weeps with One Eye by Morgan Al-Moor which can be found here: http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/the-beast-weeps-with-one-eye/

And now I'm in need of another book to read!
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#37
I just finished Deadhouse Landing by Ian Esslemont. I loved the book, it's fast-paced action and the many cool "reveals" of characters that become very important in Erikson's 10 book series and Esslemont's Malazan Empire books. I can't wait until book 3 of the prequel trilogy is released (only a couple of weeks from now!!!)

In the meantime, I've now started on some non-fiction; Doughnut Economics.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#38
Finally finished Six of Crows. 3/5 stars max. Just a YA fantasy version of Oceans 11 with unrealistic and one dimensional characters. Parts of the story were fun but I won’t be reading the next book. Definitely did not live up to the hype for me.

Gonna take a break from fantasy and read a basketball book next (Can I have my jersey).
 

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#39
Finally finished Six of Crows. 3/5 stars max. Just a YA fantasy version of Oceans 11 with unrealistic and one dimensional characters. Parts of the story were fun but I won’t be reading the next book. Definitely did not live up to the hype for me.

Gonna take a break from fantasy and read a basketball book next (Can I have my jersey).
Well good for you for finishing it. I only made it about halfway. Seeing it labeled as YA does explain a lot, it's just not for me.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#40
Well good for you for finishing it. I only made it about halfway. Seeing it labeled as YA does explain a lot, it's just not for me.
My wife asked me why I kept reading lol. She's like, "If you are complaining this much just read something else". It was close at times but there were enough interesting things to push me through to the end. I paid for the book so I wanted to finish it isn't the greatest reason but it counts!
:)