It's May 2018: What fantasy book are you reading?

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#1
I'm currently listening to Heroes Die by Matthew Stover. I've only got a few hours left to listen and it might just be one of my reading highlights this year.

The fantasy aspect of the book is somewhat traditional, although very well done, but the characters is where the it truly shines. I like Hari, I like the villains, the supporting characters and the interactions between them.

The dystopian/sci-fi narrative, however I might like even more than the fantasy one, especially thematically. I hope it gets more attention in the later books.

What have you been up to?
 
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Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#2
Completed The Dirty Streets Of Heaven (Book 1 of 3 in the Bobby Dollar series). It was well written as pretty much everything by Tad Williams is. But even if you don’t like Tad Williams you may like this. The action starts at page one and never stops. It is narrated from the POV of the main character only. Fans of The Dresden Files will probably love this even more. I like Dresden but I found this urban fantasy much richer and deeper. There is a lot more going on here but it keeps the same tone so it is relatively light reading but there are some dark and mysterious things going down. Bobby isn’t a wizard. He’s a low level angel and where there are angel hierarchies of course the demons mirror them. So I will definitely get the next one. The only negative is there is even more deus ex machina than there is in Dresden. Again, forget anything else you’ve read by Williams. The quality is the same but nothing like the style of his epics.If you love Harry D. I’m confident you’ll be very pleased if you give this a shot!
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#3
Currently reading Brandon Sanderson, Steelheart (Reckoners #1). It’s YA, but I’m liking it a lot so far. It's something you can expect from Sanderson; a fast paced and easy digestable read. Don't expect any complex or grey characters or an intricate plot, just a pleasant and entertaining read. It's something that works really well for me when I'm in such a mood and it seems I am ... I'm really blasting through this book, but that's often the case when I read Sanderson. Currently somewhere around page 280 ... I'll probably finish it before the weekend. I already have some theories about how it will end and in earlier Sanderson books I've often guessed correctly.
 

Kalavan

Journeyed there and back again
#4
Finished Tyrant’s Throne, a glorious final installment to one of the most enjoyable and captivating series I’ve ever read. After all of the challenges and the sufferings our hero went through in the previous installments I was wondering what the final hurdle could be, and de Castell – after a shaky start, the first 100 or so pages were the weakest of the whole series - brilliantly raised once more the stakes, putting Falcio against himself, against his own beliefs and his late king’s dream.

Betrayals and daring acts of heroism, wisecracking remarks and heart-breaking passages, The Greatcoats definitely deserves a place amongst my all-time favorite fantasy series.

I was then planning to pick up J.V. Jones’ The Book of Words, but since it seems to be kind of a prequel to her other, long-time stalled Sword of Shadows, I’ve decided to put it on hold till there are more news about her ongoing attempt to finally conclude this series. So I’m now reading her other, stand-alone book, The Barbed Coil, liking it quite a bit thus far, especially her writing.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#5
Hi guys
Haven't been here a while. Haven't been reading much either, but I am 1/3 in Bridge of Birds. It's slow in the beginning and honestly kinda boring (I don't like the writing style at all). It's looking like a 2 star reading so far. I'm a bit disappointed, it's my first reading let down in this year.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#6
Currently reading Brandon Sanderson, Steelheart (Reckoners #1). It’s YA, but I’m liking it a lot so far. It's something you can expect from Sanderson; a fast paced and easy digestable read. Don't expect any complex or grey characters or an intricate plot, just a pleasant and entertaining read. It's something that works really well for me when I'm in such a mood and it seems I am ... I'm really blasting through this book, but that's often the case when I read Sanderson. Currently somewhere around page 280 ... I'll probably finish it before the weekend. I already have some theories about how it will end and in earlier Sanderson books I've often guessed correctly.
I enjoyed Steelheart but I didn't read the next set of books although my son has read the trilogy. I found it became too YA (too much action, a little too much cheese with the foul language, and not enough plot or character development). It really reads like he's trying to get this turned into a movie. I don't find anything wrong with that but it could have been a bit deeper.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#7
Hi guys
Haven't been here a while. Haven't been reading much either, but I am 1/3 in Bridge of Birds. It's slow in the beginning and honestly kinda boring (I don't like the writing style at all). It's looking like a 2 star reading so far. I'm a bit disappointed, it's my first reading let down in this year.
I read a few pages from the sample a few months ago.. I couldn’t follow it. Reread it which didn’t help much. Gave up. I realize you found it boring but are you expperiencng the same problem I did? Just curious. I was tempted maybe to try it again but after your post the odds are remote.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#8
I read a few pages from the sample a few months ago.. I couldn’t follow it. Reread it which didn’t help much. Gave up. I realize you found it boring but are you expperiencng the same problem I did? Just curious. I was tempted maybe to try it again but after your post the odds are remote.
I can follow just fine, the problem is I don't like it. The writing and pace is all over the place. The events that happen are outrageously fantastical to the point where I start to lose my leap of faith. The characters are all quirky in the way they speak and act. I noticed a similar problem and almost identical approach to writing characters in Michael Swanwick's Chasing the Phoenix, which is also set in China (in this case apocalyptic future).
There's a good story in there somewhere, but it's sacrificed for style and quirkines & silly dialogues.

I started reading this because it fit nicely with BFB reading challenge, being on this list, and being #1 on it, but it's a dud for me.
#8, Heroes Die is bloody amazing though, and if you haven't read that...well you should certainly remedy that :)
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#9
I can follow just fine, the problem is I don't like it. The writing and pace is all over the place. The events that happen are outrageously fantastical to the point where I start to lose my leap of faith. The characters are all quirky in the way they speak and act. I noticed a similar problem and almost identical approach to writing characters in Michael Swanwick's Chasing the Phoenix, which is also set in China (in this case apocalyptic future).
There's a good story in there somewhere, but it's sacrificed for style and quirkines & silly dialogues.

I started reading this because it fit nicely with BFB reading challenge, being on this list, and being #1 on it, but it's a dud for me.
#8, Heroes Die is bloody amazing though, and if you haven't read that...well you should certainly remedy that :)
Bridge sounds terrible. Judging by your description of the content I hate those kinds of books.

If I try to specifically to read a top 25 book/series, Under Heaven is one of two GGK books remaining on my list. He’s my favorite author so I try to spread them out as long as possible. The tough thing with the top 25 category for ME is that around 20 of 25 are series (several quite lengthy) and I’ve already read some of the five or so remaining which are standalone. I was going to read Bridge Of Birds long before the challenge. But even that is a series isn’t it? I’m at 31/52 which is already far more than I expected so my goal now is 35.That’s one of several categories where I just may need to punt.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#10
Bridge sounds terrible. Judging by your description of the content I hate those kinds of books.

If I try to specifically to read a top 25 book/series, Under Heaven is one of two GGK books remaining on my list. He’s my favorite author so I try to spread them out as long as possible. The tough thing with the top 25 category for ME is that around 20 of 25 are series (several quite lengthy) and I’ve already read some of the five or so remaining which are standalone. I was going to read Bridge Of Birds long before the challenge. But even that is a series isn’t it? I’m at 31/52 which is already far more than I expected so my goal now is 35.That’s one of several categories where I just may need to punt.
You know it's just not my cup of tea. I see on my GR that Peat for example really loved it as well as Derk of Derkholm. So it would be interesting to hear their perspective as well.

Yup, it's a trilogy.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#11
You know it's just not my cup of tea. I see on my GR that Peat for example really loved it as well as Derk of Derkholm. So it would be interesting to hear their perspective as well.

Yup, it's a trilogy.
Nah. You didn’t just give some vague opinion. You stated specific reasons. Ben thought highly of it so it obviously has a lot of strengths but the stuff you listed is some of the things I personally hate in books. I feel very comfortable going with your opinion on this. You’ve successfully instituted the Jedi mind trick on me. The Bridge of Birds are not the droids I’m seeking.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#12
Just finished Knight's Shadow by Sebastien De Castell

For about 90-95% of this book I felt like the first one was just a little better than this one. This one was great in all the same ways as the first but it didn't have that moment that really grabbed me. Going back to my review of the first book I said something like "I wasn't quite hooked until there was a man with an axe and a flashback". Well, given that I loved the first book I was already hooked for the series but I will still looking for some standout moment I was really going to remember. I got it. 1000 knights and a moment I wont soon forget. What an awesome scene.

9.5/10

Ready to start the third book and waiting for the 4th to arrive in the mail.
 

ExTended

Journeyed there and back again
#13
Wow... the Greatcoats bandwagon is really picking up steam in the forum. The series certainly deserve it. :)

I went through a full re-read of The Dagger and the Coin last month, then Farseer trillogy 1 and 2,re-read and since book 3 is such a soap opera, I've opted towards continuing with a Blood Song re-read instead. I almost hate Anthony Ryan for not doing better by his own trilogy after the great start it had with Blood Song.

I am still going through Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie and A Darken Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. The former I am quite enjoying, although it's a bit heavy with misfortunes and the ugliness of human nature, but that's a significant part of its charm, so I am rationing it. A Darker Shade of Magic is as of now not as interesting as I expected it to be. The plot and the characterization are kind of condescending, but most of all the villains... those happen to be as 2D as they get. I just cannot take the book and its conflict seriously... And that's not cool at all.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#14
I'm reading two books by Jodi Taylor at the moment:

An Argumentation of Historians, the 9th book in the St Mary's Chronicles series .. which is just as great as previous instalments, so far.

White Silence, the 1st book in her Elizabeth Cage series, and this is superb. Only an hour and a half into the 9ish hour audiobook, and I'm a huge fan of the MC already.

I think she's becoming one of my favourite authors :)
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#15
I've just finished Heroes Die (Acts of Caine #1) by Matthew Stover. I liked it quite a bit. It has great plot, setting, complex characters and an interesting blend of sci-fi and fantasy narratives. There's some violence and gore too, but it wasn't excessive, or, rather, it didn't cheapen the book, like it wont to do, IMO. Most memorable chapters have probably been from Bearn's PoV, there're so many things wrong with him, it's disturbing in a oddly fascinating way. I liked how Stover explored his character in those few chapters he had.

My only gripe with the book is that it's somewhat out of my depth with regard to Hari and Shanna's situation. I sympathised, but wasn't able to connect with the characters as well as some other people may have. Rereading the book later years down line could be interesting.

Either way, Heroes Die is too good to be so underrated. I highly recommend it to those who haven't read it yet.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#16
There's some violence and gore too, but it wasn't excessive, or, rather, it didn't cheapen the book, like it wont to do, IMO.
The torture (dissection) scene was quite hard for me even though I'm accustomed to grimdark (I love the genre). It honestly made me queasy.

My only gripe with the book is that it's somewhat out of my depth with regard to Hari and Shanna's situation. I sympathised, but wasn't able to connect with the characters as well as some other people may have.
Same. I find 'unconditional love' a hard to swallow pill in literature. Harry's character is very consistent except for the love sick puppy part.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
#17
The torture (dissection) scene was quite hard for me even though I'm accustomed to grimdark (I love the genre). It honestly made me queasy.
Physical violence didn't affect much, although this particular scene was very graphic. Especially the still pulsing human bits (the intestines, I think it was). It was Bearn that made me uneasy:
At first how he almost raped Lamorak, then getting aroused by the thought of 'f**king' Caine's corpse, killing the prostitute, etc., etc. Every chapter with him made it creepier.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#18
Physical violence didn't affect much, although this particular scene was very graphic. Especially the still pulsing human bits (the intestines, I think it was). It was Bearn that made me uneasy:
At first how he almost raped Lamorak, then getting aroused by the thought of 'f**king' Caine's corpse, killing the prostitute, etc., etc. Every chapter with him made it creepier.
Oh yeah Bern is disturbing in every sense of the word. He wasn't the first character that I've come across that's like that, but he's certainly of the high magnitude.
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, a classic sci-fi features a similar character, only in protagonist role. To be fair Gully Foyle doesn't get off on his own perversion like Bern does, but he still does some pretty heinous things.
 

Sparrow

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Hi guys
Haven't been here a while. Haven't been reading much either, but I am 1/3 in Bridge of Birds. It's slow in the beginning and honestly kinda boring (I don't like the writing style at all). It's looking like a 2 star reading so far. I'm a bit disappointed, it's my first reading let down in this year.
Slow... ponderous, and aimless more like. For some reason I thought about The Princess Bride before I finally gave up on Bridge of Birds. I felt as though Bridge of Birds was trying desperately be that quirky, touching fable you read and never forget. Unfortunately it fails miserably in every regard. I've tried to like fantasy stories set in the Orient, but alas, another one bites the dust.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#20
I felt as though Bridge of Birds was trying desperately be that quirky, touching fable you read and never forget. Unfortunately it fails miserably in every regard.
That's a good way to frame it and pretty much in line with how I'm feeling about it.