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

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

  1. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    So... I have finished An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I am kind of trying to decide to what extent to criticize this book. It's not crap. But it's not perfect either.

    There was a love triangle. Actually - there were two of them. Involving four people. It's a math problem, guys, really. Jokes aside - I don't hate love triangles, I like books with some romance in them, as long as it's in the moderate side of things and is somewhat realistic. When it's heavy-handed - it breaks the flow of the story for me, I don't like that. It was kind of heavy-handed here. I suppose compared to many other YA fantasy series the love triangles were well done, but the bar for that in YA is not very high, so there you go. :)

    The second thing was the ending. The whole story is very dynamic, not particually action packed, but dynamic nontheless. And when the ending comes - it's kind of rushed and not as explosive as it could've been. It's a good ending and it makes sense, but the build up through the whole book was suggesting something more exciting. Whatever...

    The good parts... the characterisation is mostly fine. The plot and worldbuilding are also fine. The way the book is written makes it a breeze through read and that certainly increases the enjoyment from the story it tells. There are many tropes, but they are handled well for the most parts. The villains were kind of too purposefully evil, but...

    Over-all as far as YA fantasy goes, I'd give this book 9/10. But as far as fantasy goes, it's probably somewhere in the range of 8/10. The book has the renaissance man kind of spirit, where it does well in most aspects, but it fails to achieve anything outstanding in any of them. Still, it's a good lighthearted read for between more serious fantasy series.
     
  2. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    Completed Plague Of Swords (Traitor Son 4 of 5). Now need to wait a year or so for book 5. I've loved this seies from the beginning. This book was good but my least favorite. Seemed like too much time spent on filler.

    Ironically, I liked this book least, despite it lacking the dreaded Deus ex machina which filled the others. In earlier books, nearly dead or dead characters are saved/revived by faeries who conveniently happen to be in the area (who make deals for souls, presumably). What next? The lovely Barbara Eden pops out of a bottle as "Jeannie" making everything so convenient and nicey nice?

    When a main character lost a body part I feared it was going to magically grow back (although, if a dragon did it I would grudgingly accept it since dragons were doing crazy stuff throughout).
    actually, a dragon DOES design a prosthetic hand which I found clever.

    Still, the series rocks. IMO the world and characters are cleverly drawn and the plot is quite good!
     
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  3. Cyphon

    Cyphon Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    Just finished The Tiger and the Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

    As I said before I had been wanting to give his work a try because I love animals and shapeshifting magic so I finally decided to give him a chance. Not much hear to write home about. The book was interesting enough but there was nothing he did particularly well so in the end all of the ideas just felt a bit amateurish. Like I don't write and am not an author but I feel like if I did attempt it I could come up with something like this.

    I don't normally care one way or the other about world building unless it stands out on either side of the equation and here it was noticeably bland. I don't really have much to add beyond that. There is no foreseeable future where I will pursue any more of his work based off of what I read.

    7/10
     
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  4. fbones24

    fbones24 Journeyed there and back again

    Have you read anything else by him? I wouldn't give up so fast. Guns of the Dawn and Children of Time were two of the better books I have read in a long while. Guns of the Dawn was an incredible novel about war. Not much fantasy going on but seriously might be the best war novel I have read.

    As for me, I'm still plugging away at The Dragonbone Chair and it is slow going. There is just enough there to keep me interested but the story is standard fare and the characters are borderline lifeless in my opinion. I think I would really be enjoying this story more if Simon was someone I cared about. I am more than half way through the novel and I have no idea who Simon is or why I should care about him. He is basically a blank face in this story with many of the side characters being more interesting.

    I'm still sticking with this in the hopes that something shifts.
     
  5. Cyphon

    Cyphon Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    No this was the first time I had given him a go. I was originally interested in his Shadows of the Apt series but never pulled the trigger. Lot of books without knowing if I liked him. I think another person here also recommended Guns of Dawn but I am not really looking for a book that is more specifically war. I am mainly looking for new fantasy and I tend to like my fantasy with more.....Fantasy lol.
     
  6. fbones24

    fbones24 Journeyed there and back again

    If you like your fantasy with fantasy then yes, avoid Guns of Dawn. I can't speak on his Shadows of the Apt but I own the first one but opted to read Dragonbone Chair instead.
     
  7. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    It was also my least favorite. I think it was just all the politics, weddings, and such, when we are used to large-scale military conflicts (which were largely absent in this book, replaced instead by small-scale skirmishes). There were interesting bits, though, and I do have hope for the sequel.
     
  8. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Agreed. The book felt a bit like pure set-up for book 5. Not bad in and of itself, but not it didn't feel as complete as the earlier works. Ironically the editing was way better in this unfinished feeling book when compared to the first 3 books.
     
  9. Tragoidia

    Tragoidia Got in a fistfight with Dresden

    I finished The Lies of Locke Lamora. Holy Shitballs was it good! It's so unique and beautifully written. The world building and pacing were masterfully done. I felt like Lynch really hit the sweet spot with the background work and descriptive sequences. Some authors (Jordan, for example) tend to be overly descriptive to the point where it gets boring. I don't need to know every minutia regarding the clothing style and building design of every locale. Lynch really painted a good picture here where I felt immersed, but not drowning in detail.

    I thought the characters and story were perfect. The way he built your love of the individuals through the flashback interludes really worked for me. You felt their joy and sorrow so personally. And I loved that they were all unique and flawed.

    He had such great foreshadowing and payoffs. I felt like I knew something was important or going to be relevant later on without being able to really see what was coming. The reveals and twists were spot on. It was, at times, a stressful read. This is due to how invested I was with what was transpiring in the book, not with the writing.

    Taking a brief fantasy respite for the time being. Picked up Kevin Hearne's Heir to the Jedi for some light, popcorn Star Wars fun. Just over 50 pages in to it so far, and I'm enjoying it.
     
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  10. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    I'm on Reign of Iron by Angus Watson but honestly, I set it down for a week. Loved book one, liked parts of book two, but book three seems to mostly be the parts of book two I wasn't as interested in.
     
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  11. Cyphon

    Cyphon Ran bridges next to Kaladin

    I have a few series that need finishing so I am going to jump into The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence next. This is a series that has been very middle of the road for me and I am hoping for but not expecting a strong conclusion. Despite some minor intrigue in the plot it is never something that fully gripped me and at times seems to drag. I do find the characters more on the entertaining side which helps get through those slogs.

    I think regardless of the conclusion it would be difficult for me to pick up his new book coming out this year.
     
  12. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    Just finished this now. I think the time it took me to read it is a reflection of how I found it. Didn't care too much for the Roman scenes (which was about half the book) and with regards your spoiler, that thoroughly pissed me off ... he's been the best character of the first two books.

    I still thought it was brilliantly written and overall it was a good story, just not a patch on the first one.
     
  13. Sneaky Burrito

    Sneaky Burrito Crazy Cat Lady Staff Member

    Well I am warning you now you are probably not going to be much into book 3, since it seems we liked and didn't like the same sorts of things in books 1 and 2.
     
  14. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    I've kind of figured that out already, although I'm still invested enough in the overarching story (Lowa and Spring specifically) to carry on. It's such a shame when this kind of thing happens .. if only all authors could take the Chris Wooding approach and write sequels that continually improve on the former book!
     
  15. Maark Abbott

    Maark Abbott Journeyed there and back again

    Got and blitzed through AOT20 yesterday.

    RIP Armband. Though I imagine he's about to become a Titan Shifter based on the first half of the issue.

    Carrying on with The Broken Eye. We're about halfway through it now.
     
  16. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Journeyed there and back again

    Not sure if this is really fantasy, but that's where I'm putting it.

    Just finished American Folklore and Legend~ Reader's Digest

    I know better now, but I thought seeing how Neil Gaimon just did a Norse mythology book, that the topics in this book would be the focus of "American Gods" . So when a coworker lent me this (after saving it from shredding at his weekly recycled cardboard deposit) I decided I'll read this and then follow up with American gods.

    It's a good book, but often I find it would have been better named "Tall Tales and Superstitions from America " but not always . It starts with going through a few of the legends of the colonial period, focusing first on Massachusetts colony, then New Amsterdam, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and slave lore, then French colonies and iroquois, and Spanish colonies.

    You may have noticed I was reading quite a bit of things from this period, that's because some of the pieces were really just excerpts from a larger book, so I skipped it, and just read the book.

    It then moves through the ages gathering legendary characters, tall tales from boasters, superstitions, and folklore into collected sections. There's a large one on 1776, one on piracy, a section on sailor lore from 1800s, and cotton rituals. It continues through immigration ww1 and ww2 and finishes off with a small chapter on alien abduction, bigfoot and other unsolved mysteries, followed by a short story from Isaac Asimov with a fear of the rise of the machines.

    I'd give it... 7/10
     
  17. Derk of Derkholm

    Derk of Derkholm Journeyed there and back again

    Have - for no special reason at all - felt the urge to re-read The Dresden Files. Currently on #3, "Grave Peril"
    So I am now hoping that by the time I am finished with the available 15 books, #16, "Peace Talks", is a bit closer to publication :)
     
  18. kenubrion

    kenubrion Journeyed there and back again

    I'm going back and forth between The Fifth Season and Crashing Heaven, both of which are quite satisfyingly unique and interesting.
     
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  19. rudyjuly2

    rudyjuly2 A Poet of the Khaiem

    Halfway through book 8 of WOT and I don't care that much about Rand anymore. At the beginning he was my favourite but he's so grumpy and his story is overly political right now. I don't think he's in my top 3 when looking forward to the next perspective. With Min or Avienda the dialogue gets interesting but outside that it is stuck in the muck.
     
  20. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Soldier on. I had the same thing with Rand. Then right around book 10 or 11 he once again became one of my favorites.
     
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