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

fl1pper

Fought a battle in the name of the old gods
#42
I've just finished Memories of Ice and it has left me a little bit stunned by the sheer scope of what that crazy bastard Erikson has created. As a reader I struggle keeping all the characters and nested plots clear in my mind and I'm sure I'm missing a lot. God knows how someone creates that in the first place. The first three books are all great and on my first read through I rated them 2>3>1, but now I'm going to have to go with 3>2>1.

I am now into new territory with House of Chains which is awesome but it's going to have to wait until tomorrow as I've read 300 pages tonight and my eyes are knackered :) Gonna slow down now I'm reading new stuff.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#43
Finished up 2 books recently.

First was a revisit to the Rivers of London series with book 1, Midnight Riot. Decent, but probably my least favorite of the urban fantasy genre and kind of reminded me why I never really pursued continuing this series with much vigor. I don't remember which book I left off on my first time through but it gives me something to listen to on my drives and is entertaining enough. The narrator (for my money) is a perfect fit but for anyone who has listened to the audiobooks, does he sound extremely breathy to you? Like he does push ups while he is reading? Not a big deal, just something I thought was interesting.

Second was Ink and Sigil by Kevin Hearne which is the start of a new series in the Iron Druid verse. If you like Iron Druid (and I did) you will like this as it has a very similar feel to it. It is a light, mostly fun read that is quick to get through between heavier stuff. One minor complaint I have is that the magic made things a little too convenient at times so for me the tension never reached any meaningful levels. My major complaint is that there are a couple of times in the book where the author hammers us with his politics and that is 1000% not what I am looking for when I jump into a fantasy book. The whole idea is an escape from that crap. It wasn't even remotely clever or subtle which made it even worse. It didn't ruin the book but it was definitely jarring the couple of times it was in there. Like am I reading the authors Twitter feed or is this an Iron Druid book?

Last thing to note is that I have pre-ordered both Battleground by Jim Butcher and Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson. I haven't done a lot of reading this year but 2020 should be ending on a high note in that regard with these 2 coming out.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#44
@Cyphon I enjoyed Iron Druid too, and I'm also in the extreme minority in that I actually liked the ending. I wasn't planning on picking up his new book yet but perhaps you've changed my mind. I'm reading Dune now and with Rhythm of War in November as well as Paolini's new scifi behemoth that I'm planning to pick up I could use a short light read somewhere between them.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
#45
@Cyphon I enjoyed Iron Druid too, and I'm also in the extreme minority in that I actually liked the ending. I wasn't planning on picking up his new book yet but perhaps you've changed my mind. I'm reading Dune now and with Rhythm of War in November as well as Paolini's new scifi behemoth that I'm planning to pick up I could use a short light read somewhere between them.
Did you happen to try his other series not in the Iron Druid world?
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#47
New trilogy coming by Brian Stavely. I enjoyed the first one although it’s a trilogy that got worse with each book. Loved the first one though. Biggest beef was Adare in book 3.
I liked his trilogy as well, but I thought the first book was the weakest of the three. It was a bit too YA for my feeling (from what I remember)
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#48
@Cyphon If you're talking about the giants one, then no. If I remember correctly it was @Alucard's high praise for Iron Druid that got me to reading them, and Alucard really didn't like Hearne's other series, I think.

I was also in the middle of Wheel of Time when I read Iron Druid so since then I haven't read much else besides a few new releases in between.

And while Ink & Sigil sounds interesting I'm still hoping for more Atticus in the future.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#49
I liked his trilogy as well, but I thought the first book was the weakest of the three. It was a bit too YA for my feeling (from what I remember)
I’m surprised you would call it YA. There was plenty of language and adult scenes. I know the main characters start out as teens but I never considered this series YA.
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#50
I’m surprised you would call it YA. There was plenty of language and adult scenes. I know the main characters start out as teens but I never considered this series YA.
I never considered the series YA, but I thought that the first book had a bit of a YA feel. I still liked it, but I liked books 2 and 3 better.
I went to me GR profile, and it seems I prefered book 2 over book 3 (although I gave both 4 *, the first only 3*)
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#51
Let us know what you think of that one if you read it. I'm on the penultimate Wheel of Time book right now and could use a stand alone to fill in some breaks between other series I want to get to.[/SPOILER]
Coming back on an older post from @ReguIa in August

I finished Sword Of Kaigen a couple of days ago and I have to say that I liked it but it didn't live up to the raving reviews I've read on Goodreads (average score of 4.47 from 2.380 ratings + winner of the SPFBO 2019). It's definitely a good book with great characterization, an interesting world, thrilling story ... but for some reason it didn't bring that special spark to me that I had with some other books in the past. I think what mostly bothered me is that once you're over halfway, and the big climax is over, it's mostly aftermath. The story remains interesting and you still have some thrilling scenes, but the main focus lies on the characters and how they cope with consequences from earlier events. Still interesting, but not the typical build-up you'd expect in a fantasy book. I'd say 3,5 stars which I've rounded up to 4 stars.

Maybe it also wasn't the right time reading this book ... I've been reading the Expanse the past months and when I wanted a break from it, I started SoK. It's only now that I started Nemesis Games, that I see how much I wanted to continue with this.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#52
Just finished The Trouble with Peace, by Joe Abercrombie. IMO it's one of his best. Book 1 was pretty good, but this was better.
I'm looking forward to finally starting the series soon.

I liked his trilogy as well, but I thought the first book was the weakest of the three. It was a bit too YA for my feeling (from what I remember)
Interesting. I actually liked the first one the most. I liked the trilogy, on the whole, but thought the last one was the weakest. What's weird, though, is that even though I gave the series a 4*, I'm actually quite ambivalent about the new trilogy.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#53
Finished All Systems Red a couple of days ago, the first book in the Murderbot series by Martha Wells.

Fun book. I had heard of the series, of course, but had long resisted it for the simple reason that I thought it cost too much. Publishers (and authors) are free to set their own price, but I just felt that paying novel-prices for novellas was not a good deal. Luckily, Tor.com were giving away all 4 novellas for free a few months ago, as PR before the release of the first actual novel in the series, and I snapped them up.

The book is written from the POV of Murderbot, the name that our android protagonist has selected for itself. Murderbot is a SecUnit, androids who are contracted out by the "company" to groups or corporations for assistance (and security) on various exploratory assignments on strange planets. Normally, SecUnits are programmed to carry out their duties according to whatever instructions they have in their governor modules, but our Murderbot hacked its module years ago (following a certain incident, which is likely also where it got the inspiration for its name) and is therefore more autonomous than people realise. It even has a personality.

And that personality is what makes the book enjoyable. Sarcastic, pessimistic, and also rather lazy, but relatable. What it would really love to do is to just sit around for hours playing episodes of the various TV shows it has downloaded into itself. But, as we inevitable learn, Murderbot also has an intrinsic sense of right and wrong, and for all its pretense at not caring, it might just.

I won't talk about the plot, because I don't think it matters here. The plot was clearly just an excuse to introduce us to Murderbot, and is fairly straight-forward and easily resolved (at least here; who knows if it comes back to bite everyone in the ass later?). The handful of other characters are fine, not really fleshed out or three-dimensional, but again, that's not the point of the novella. You're here for Murderbot.

I enjoyed the book. Murderbot is a pretty easy character to like, and the novella is quick and easy to get through. If I had a complaint, it's that the stakes in this one just didn't seem very high. Hopefully, that changes as the series progresses and we learn more about what's going on. I'd give the book a solid 4 out of 5.

I am continuing the series for now, and will be reading the next novella, Artificial Condition.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#54
Thanks for the insight @Jakyro. Hope you like Nemesis Games. I'm actually thinking about re-reading my two favorites, PR and TW. It's not something I usually do but I'm just beyond excited for the finale. It's releasing next year btw, and they're hoping to get it out before summer. The title is perfection too, ''Leviathan Falls''.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#55
Interesting. I actually liked the first one the most. I liked the trilogy, on the whole, but thought the last one was the weakest. What's weird, though, is that even though I gave the series a 4*, I'm actually quite ambivalent about the new trilogy.
Yeah, I’m ambivalent to a new trilogy. Probably because the final book disappointed me. I haven’t read Skullsworn yet as I didn’t love Pyrre. Will see about the new series.
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#56
Yeah, I’m ambivalent to a new trilogy. Probably because the final book disappointed me. I haven’t read Skullsworn yet as I didn’t love Pyrre. Will see about the new series.
I read Skullsworn after I finished the trilogy. It was ok, but nothing I'd really recommend. If you didn't like the ending of the series, and you don't like Pyrre, I wouldn't start it
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#57
I guess I should say I liked Pyrre’s character but found her religion stupid. Didn’t really make sense to follow a death cult. So a book dedicated to that seemed less interesting to me.
 

afa

Journeyed there and back again
#58
I guess I should say I liked Pyrre’s character but found her religion stupid. Didn’t really make sense to follow a death cult. So a book dedicated to that seemed less interesting to me.
I actually liked Pyrre, and found her religion weird but intriguing. But I never got around to getting Skullsworn, and much like the trilogy, I'm ambivalent about reading that, too.

I think part of the reason is simply that while I liked the books, I didn't love them, and there are so many books and authors that I want to get to but haven't had the time, that I'm hesitant to spend more time in Staveley's world. At this point, I think the only 'familiar' authors whose books I would keep reading are Abercrombie and Sanderson; other than that, I would much rather experience new series or new authors.

I will say, though, kudos to Staveley's cover designers. I think all his book covers look great, love the "whatever-this-style-is-called" style of art.
 

rudyjuly2

Journeyed there and back again
#59
Finished Wolf’s Call. The first of a new duology from the Blood Song Series. This isn’t as good as Blood Song which I loved. Not close really. It lacks the interesting story and mystery of the original. That said it was good to read about Vaelin again. The entire book is written from his POV and it’s a solid book. It is set ten years after the original and tries to carve out a new epic adventure. The first half is a bit slow but I enjoyed it. Some new characters are interesting but it was more about reconnecting with some old ones. Probably a 3.5-4.0/5 book.
 

ReguIa

Journeyed there and back again
#60
My local is unfortunately having trouble getting Battle Ground so I'm continuing with Dune. Only 200 pages in but if it's this good all the way through it might be my favorite read in 2020.