July 2017: What fantasy books are you reading?

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
@Alucard - he gets a bit better. But I'm not sure he gets better enough. I'd posit that later-era Dresden is more a chauvinist who knows he is and is trying not to be so much than a "Well EXCUSE ME for trying to protect you pretty frail flowers". I also think Butcher is a bit more aware of just how annoying Harry can be when doing so. But, ultimately, Dresden's character flaw is he's a bit of an anachronistic pig who needs to get laid far more often.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
@Alucard - he gets a bit better. But I'm not sure he gets better enough. I'd posit that later-era Dresden is more a chauvinist who knows he is and is trying not to be so much than a "Well EXCUSE ME for trying to protect you pretty frail flowers". I also think Butcher is a bit more aware of just how annoying Harry can be when doing so. But, ultimately, Dresden's character flaw is he's a bit of an anachronistic pig who needs to get laid far more often.
Well shit.

I don't know if I can handle anymore of this. And it's exactly as you write. Why did Butcher write him like this ffs? I don't mind macho strong man characters ( I love Logan from First Law) but what annoys me more than anything is that Harry is written as his chauvinism is for the sake of frail innocent female characters. Fucking owning it would be 10x better. If Butcher wrote him like that because that's how Harry is I don't think it would annoy me as much. But he's only turns into an obnoxious character around good looking female characters.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
Finished The Guns of Empire by Django Wexler (book 4 in The Shadow Campaigns). This might have been my favorite so far. It's between this one and the second book. 9.5/10
Good to hear. It's one of three series currently on my TBR.


Well shit.

I don't know if I can handle anymore of this. And it's exactly as you write. Why did Butcher write him like this ffs? I don't mind macho strong man characters ( I love Logan from First Law) but what annoys me more than anything is that Harry is written as his chauvinism is for the sake of frail innocent female characters. Fucking owning it would be 10x better. If Butcher wrote him like that because that's how Harry is I don't think it would annoy me as much. But he's only turns into an obnoxious character around good looking female characters.
The eight Dresden books I've read all run together. (Only bought book 8 after getting the first seven on a deal). They struck me as formulaic and I can only remember a couple of specific incidents. I'll bet the show is great. I eould rate the books an unenthusiastic "good" but overrated. I may buy one every year in the future or none at all. I haven't noticed any changes in Harry other than him taking cold showers more frequently.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
Well shit.

I don't know if I can handle anymore of this. And it's exactly as you write. Why did Butcher write him like this ffs? I don't mind macho strong man characters ( I love Logan from First Law) but what annoys me more than anything is that Harry is written as his chauvinism is for the sake of frail innocent female characters. Fucking owning it would be 10x better. If Butcher wrote him like that because that's how Harry is I don't think it would annoy me as much. But he's only turns into an obnoxious character around good looking female characters.
Wish I knew.

I've just tried a google and that's not getting me anywhere fast. I could have sworn he's addressed it in interviews but they're not floating to the top and I can't really remember what he said.

And don't forget how pretty much all the female characters in the Dresdenverse are good looking.
 

JHBSmith

Got in a fistfight with Dresden
Really Harry? Violence of any kind is bad, but I can think of much worse than an adult female on a receiving end. Most hideous you say? Well how about kids Harry? Or old folks? Or disabled people? Surely those are much worse. But nah, adult women are the victims of the most hideous violence.

Stuff like this really spoils my enjoyment of this series. I still haven't come across a series besides Dresden where I like the story but strongly dislike the main character. Please tell me he gets better. Please.
He does. A bit. He at least starts thinking he maybe shouldn't do it as much.


Got back to Alex Verus after a little break. They're never bad books, but the plot is kind of slow. More seems to have happened in this one, but I get the feeling at least some of it is getting undone by the end. We'll see.
 

Cyphon

Journeyed there and back again
I came back to Dresden and I'm liking the story, but boy oh boy does Harry go on my nerves.
He thinks he's chivalrous but he's more like delusional and horny. All the goddamn time. The descriptions of all the female characters are as always bordering on erotica, with Harry slowly taking in all the details of their bodies from hair, boobs, buts and legs. It's so predictable by this point and so annoying.

But aside from him being so thirsty, you get these high and mighty morality statements that aren't really logical or thought through, but just a reflection of what he perceives is his chivalric personality, when in fact Harry just comes of as desperate and chauvinistic to me.

''Call me a Neanderthal if you like, but I get real irrational about bad things happening to women. Human violence was at its most hideous when a woman was on the receiving end, and supernatural predators were even worse.''

Really Harry? Violence of any kind is bad, but I can think of much worse than an adult female on a receiving end. Most hideous you say? Well how about kids Harry? Or old folks? Or disabled people? Surely those are much worse. But nah, adult women are the victims of the most hideous violence.



Stuff like this really spoils my enjoyment of this series. I still haven't come across a series besides Dresden where I like the story but strongly dislike the main character. Please tell me he gets better. Please.
People are always saying Dresden as a story gets better, but I usually don't have a problem with the story. Sure, some books have a weak plot, but the world building is nice, I like the side characters and their humor. But it's Harry that is ruining it for me. If he stays like this throughout the series I think I might be better of looking for another urban fantasy.
Nope, that is pretty much how he is in every book and truthfully never seems to really learn any lessons. The first time I read the series it didn't bother me as much but for whatever reason the 2nd time through I started to find his anger issues and things you mentioned pretty annoying. And to add to your point about his description of women bordering on erotica, it goes beyond that and more or less every women in the series is the hottest women you have ever laid eyes on as Harry would describe them. I let some of it slide because with a lot of it we are dealing with fantasy and the supernatural so it would make sense they would be disproportianately good looking compared to muggles. Still though, it does get tedious.

I don't think I have ever NOT recommended Dresden but if it bothers you that much it isn't worth continuing.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
Well, I'm currently listening to Side Jobs by Jim Butcher. I'm pleasantly surprised thus far. It's a very enjoyable short story collection.

@Alucard In that regard Harry doesn't change that much. The only thing that changes is that he gets called out on it more and some enemies use his affections towards women against him. Like Cyphon mentioned, Harry's anger issues bothered me a lot more, but he's been dealing better with that as the series progresses.
 

Andrew.J

Journeyed there and back again
Nope, that is pretty much how he is in every book and truthfully never seems to really learn any lessons. The first time I read the series it didn't bother me as much but for whatever reason the 2nd time through I started to find his anger issues and things you mentioned pretty annoying. And to add to your point about his description of women bordering on erotica, it goes beyond that and more or less every women in the series is the hottest women you have ever laid eyes on as Harry would describe them. I let some of it slide because with a lot of it we are dealing with fantasy and the supernatural so it would make sense they would be disproportianately good looking compared to muggles. Still though, it does get tedious.

I don't think I have ever NOT recommended Dresden but if it bothers you that much it isn't worth continuing.
I think it's fair pointing out that the series is about attractive people in general. Practically all men could be perceived as attractive too, were Harry into them. I've read a short story from a female PoV (
Molly's
) and men are described almost identically to women in Harry's PoV stories. That doesn't change anything, though. If it gets on your nerves, it might be better to drop the series.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
Many people say that Kvothe is an unreliable narrator. Personally, I don't see it. Regardless, if people see Kvothe as unreliable then why have I never heard that Harry Dresden is unreliable? He claims to do many more incredible things than Kvothe. Just sayin'...
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
Many people say that Kvothe is an unreliable narrator. Personally, I don't see it. Regardless, if people see Kvothe as unreliable then why have I never heard that Harry Dresden is unreliable? He claims to do many more incredible things than Kvothe. Just sayin'...
Differences in framing device. Kvothe is narrating what he did do; Harry, for all its past tense, is narrating what's happening to him then. One invites far more room for doubt than the other. Also, I'm fairly sure authorial intent is against Harry being an unreliable narrator. Although I've no idea where Rothfuss' head is at in terms of intent there.

Heh. Maybe Lawrence will one day reveal that Jorg was a lifelong virgin and coward who liked to make himself sound really important :p

Speaking of Kvothe, if I wasn't so bloody curious as to what all the fuss is about now I've picked it up, his story would be going back to the charity shop. So many pretty words to so little effect.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
Differences in framing device. Kvothe is narrating what he did do; Harry, for all its past tense, is narrating what's happening to him then. One invites far more room for doubt than the other. Also, I'm fairly sure authorial intent is against Harry being an unreliable narrator. Although I've no idea where Rothfuss' head is at in terms of intent there.

Heh. Maybe Lawrence will one day reveal that Jorg was a lifelong virgin and coward who liked to make himself sound really important :p

Speaking of Kvothe, if I wasn't so bloody curious as to what all the fuss is about now I've picked it up, his story would be going back to the charity shop. So many pretty words to so little effect.

I'm not sure anyone claims Kvothe intentionally fabricated his life story. I think it was more like saying he misinterpreted events. Harry could be doing the same even though it is present tense. I think both are accurate in their accounts and we don't know Rothfuss' intent any more than Butchers. I personally believe that content > setting.
 

Peat

Journeyed there and back again
I'm not sure anyone claims Kvothe intentionally fabricated his life story. I think it was more like saying he misinterpreted events. Harry could be doing the same even though it is present tense. I think both are accurate in their accounts and we don't know Rothfuss' intent any more than Butchers. I personally believe that content > setting.
Oh well, yes. I think I get what you're getting at now. All first person narrators make mistakes from time to time. Particularly when they're detectives. Very hard to do first person detective fiction if the narrator doesn't make an absolute hash of it at times.

I generally take unreliable narrator to mean one that might not be telling the truth about what they've been doing rather than one who makes mistakes about what others have been doing though.
 

TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
Completed On Stanger Tides (Tim Powers). Fantasy, seas, pirates, sword fights. All stuff I love. So why was I bored? I didn't care about any of the characters. There wasn't any depth to them and they had no real personalities. Unbelievable for the modt part. Sometimes I found myself lost in his descriptions and logic. It became more interesting in the second half of the book but you pretty much knew where it was headed. Didn't seem very creative. It is part horror with lots of voodoo and the undead. I had planned to read The Anubis Gates (which is probably better) once the ridiculous price dropped. I was eager to be done with it. The Anubis Gates is now off my TBR. I gave it 3 stars out of 5. IMO, there are much better fantasy standalones out there.
Completely agree. It's the only Powers book I've read and it's put me off reading anymore! Don't think I rated it as highly as you though.
 

MorteTorment

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
Completely agree. It's the only Powers book I've read and it's put me off reading anymore! Don't think I rated it as highly as you though.
Tom! How's it going buddy? Missed you! :D
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
Thank you all for responding. I'm going to finish Blood Rites. The story is ok and I like Thomas, and hopefully I can overcome Harry's annoying personality enough to enjoy the story. But after that I think I'm going to try this instead of Dresden.

The Devil You Know
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
You read Tim Powers' weakest book and decide not to read his best ones because of that. Oh sure that makes sense.
Sometimes a bad egg can leave a bad taste for a long time or you stop eating eggs all together. N. K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms has really put me off from reading more of her. It's her first book and imo it sucks. She probably improved in the meantime, but every time I see her new title come out, all I can think of is that godawful book.

But I do agree with you it's silly and not logical at all. Imo, Tim Powers is a great writer (I base this on Anubis Gate's, so not a lot), but at the same time sometimes you just can't be bothered and you just wanna read something you like.
 

MorteTorment

Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune
Sometimes a bad egg can leave a bad taste for a long time or you stop eating eggs all together. N. K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms has really put me off from reading more of her. It's her first book and imo it sucks. She probably improved in the meantime, but every time I see her new title come out, all I can think of is that godawful book.
Dear god can I relate!