The Vagrant by Peter Newman

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#1
I did not expect anything from this book. Knew nothing of the book or the author.

I'm so glad I read it. Going to give it an 8.7

I know it is only April, but I'm going to predict this is the best debut fantasy book of the year.

Review HERE.
 
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TomTB

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Just read the blurb on Amazon - looks good! Is it a standalone do you know, or first in a series?
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#3
I think it's too soon @Jon Snow The one book I heard great buzz about is Ken Liu's The Grace of Kings, also a debut. In comparison to it I didn't hear anybody buzzing about The Vagrant. But I want to read both, and Ken Liu's book very soon!
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#4
Just read the blurb on Amazon - looks good! Is it a standalone do you know, or first in a series?
You can read it as a standalone. There isn't really a big cliffhanger ending, but it does set it up for more books.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#5
I really didn't like The Vagrant as much as Jon here. I give it a 6,5. The first half was boring as hell, the second half a lot better. The worldbuilding was lacking and everything related to the infernal and their different leaders was vague and confusing. The story had no real drive or purpose apart from we need to go from A to B. The conclusion of the story really left to be desired. I can honestly say I was disappointed.
 

Haven

Became a Faceless Man
#6
Certainly one of the more stranger books I've read.

I liked it well enough tho. 7/10
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#7
Certainly one of the more stranger books I've read.

I liked it well enough tho. 7/10
I like the strange stuff though. PSS, The Scar...
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#10
I struggled with the short, clippy prose to start with and the reader (I had this on audible) wasn't the best. He had a bit too much "Mysterious story teller" tone to his voice. I kept imagining him with wide eyes in the recording booth, staring significantly down his nose at a perplexed sound engineer.
I actually warmed to the prose structure in the second half, unlike a lot of folks who seem to have read it. I think because it does drop a little in its staccato tempo. I must admit, having met the dude, I was predisposed to like it and this may have carried me through some sort of barrier.
Either way the end result is that I agree mostly with @Reakon - ending was a bit underwhelming (like a Syndicated US TV series that wants to leave things open for another series) but the more I think about it the more I find things in it that I liked.

I'll go 8/10 -

There are some great similes in it. Solid first book with quality writing and rich set pieces.
 

btkong

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#11
Finally finished this. Loved it.

It's confusing as hell as first, but it's a story that takes about half way through before you start to understand. The story jumps back and forth between past and present in the characters' lives.

The whole setting and story reminded me of a version of King's The Dark Tower series -- especially the first book. Shades of Perdido Street Station / The Scar (with the grotesque world), and Steven King.

Quality writing (very short, very clipped, almost Hemmingway style prose) and an interesting and fascinating world. I'm surprised this book is not rated higher. I can understand people would be confused at the beginning since you are just throne into the world and exposed to characters without any introduction -- it takes half or more of the book before you start to figure stuff out. But by the last page, it all makes sense. I can't wait for the next book, which comes out in 2016.

This was, nearing the end of 2015, one of my favorite fantasy reads this year.

8.5/10

If it didn't take about half the book to get into the story and figure what the hell is going on, I'd give it a 9.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#12
Finally finished this. Loved it.

It's confusing as hell as first, but it's a story that takes about half way through before you start to understand. The story jumps back and forth between past and present in the characters' lives.

The whole setting and story reminded me of a version of King's The Dark Tower series -- especially the first book. Shades of Perdido Street Station / The Scar (with the grotesque world), and Steven King.

Quality writing (very short, very clipped, almost Hemmingway style prose) and an interesting and fascinating world. I'm surprised this book is not rated higher. I can understand people would be confused at the beginning since you are just throne into the world and exposed to characters without any introduction -- it takes half or more of the book before you start to figure stuff out. But by the last page, it all makes sense. I can't wait for the next book, which comes out in 2016.

This was, nearing the end of 2015, one of my favorite fantasy reads this year.

8.5/10

If it didn't take about half the book to get into the story and figure what the hell is going on, I'd give it a 9.
Wow, I wasn't planning on reading this book after I saw Griffin's and Danica's reviews, but now you peaked my interest again. People on GoodReads are ambiguous about this book (to say the least). Would you say it might be better to wait for book 2 to come out next year or should I go read it straightaway? I'm asking, because I've got some other great series on my TBR pile and I'm not sure if I want to put these on hold.
 

wakarimasen

Journeyed there and back again
#13
I'd say its definitely worth a read. Not least of all because the style feels a bit different, which is part of what I think people find divisive. Some folk just want pop novels of the same kind all the time.
I did it in audiobook form and that was pretty enjoyable. It has a broody quality that I enjoyed. I doubt you need to wait for number 2 as it was its the kind of story that could end where it does.
 

Silvion Night

Sir Readalot
Staff member
#14
I'd say its definitely worth a read. Not least of all because the style feels a bit different, which is part of what I think people find divisive. Some folk just want pop novels of the same kind all the time.
I did it in audiobook form and that was pretty enjoyable. It has a broody quality that I enjoyed. I doubt you need to wait for number 2 as it was its the kind of story that could end where it does.
Have you read The Road? If so, is it anything like that? It kinda sounds like it.
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#15
I'm stuck about 2/3 through. I like it. I don't mind being thrown into the world without a lot of background. If anything, I tend to dislike excessive description. I just need to find some more time for reading.
 

Jon Snow

No Power in the Verse can stop me
Staff member
#16
Muhahaha now I have the almighty @btkong to back me up on Best Debut Novel of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

btkong

Journeyed there and back again
Staff member
#17
Wow, I wasn't planning on reading this book after I saw Griffin's and Danica's reviews, but now you peaked my interest again. People on GoodReads are ambiguous about this book (to say the least). Would you say it might be better to wait for book 2 to come out next year or should I go read it straightaway? I'm asking, because I've got some other great series on my TBR pile and I'm not sure if I want to put these on hold.
Definitely give it a read. I listened to the audiobook, which was superb.

I can see why it's a polarizing book for some. It's not easy to read at the start or to figure out what's going on. You are just plopped into the middle of the story with the plot, world, and characters, their motivations, and their backstories gradually revealed. If you something where everything is explained right away, this is not that book.

But it's that very difference that makes it so intriguing. It takes about 1/3 into the book before you really start to warm up and by about half way into it, you start to really get into it.

So yes, I agree with Jon Snow -- best debut of the year, for those who are willing to work a little.

It does have that dark feeling, moody atmosphere found in McCarthy's The Road, King's The Dark Tower (The Gunslinger), and Perdido's The Scar.
 

Alucard

In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge!
Staff member
#18
Where are you guys buying this book anyway? Amazon.com doesn't sell kindle edition and kobobooks does, but it's 16$.
Or should I assume you aren't buying an ebook format, be it kindle or epub? Paperback and hardback are 20 and 23 euros on bookdepository. Fuck if I know what's going on with this book's pricing.
I'll just wait for this edition http://www.bookdepository.com/Vagrant-Peter-Newman/9780007593132
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#19
Where are you guys buying this book anyway? Amazon.com doesn't sell kindle edition and kobobooks does, but it's 16$.
Or should I assume you aren't buying an ebook format, be it kindle or epub? Paperback and hardback are 20 and 23 euros on bookdepository. Fuck if I know what's going on with this book's pricing.
I'll just wait for this edition http://www.bookdepository.com/Vagrant-Peter-Newman/9780007593132
I checked it just now
I have it available on Amazon.nl for €18,88
Pretty expensive for an ebook