What do you think of the GoodReads Fantasy BOTY nominations?

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by MorteTorment, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    First of all, yeah, let's get this out of the way. yeah, J.K. Rowlings is probably gonna win in a landslide like she did last year, but this is about everything that's been already been nominated, not what will win.

    Also, I wanna give a shout out to Darwin who gave me the idea to quickly preview books instead of reading reviews like I was before. It's really helped me out. Thanks buddy!

    Anyways, a lot of books from this year seem really interesting, and I'm thinking about reading the free previews for almost all of em(the ones I won't will be the sequels, and I'll try to give the first books of theirs a sequel.) and deciding from the preview whether I want to read them or not.

    And yes, I am aware that many of these books fall into a lot of the subcategories that I don't enjoy, but I feel like really being in the moment and giving things I wouldn't read otherwise a chance.

    So again, what do you all think of the books that have been nominated? Here's the list.

    https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-fantasy-books-2017

    ----

    Edit: Decided to say fuck it, I don't need anyone's permission to do this. Some people won't like it, some people will, most won't give a fuck.

    Alright, first we go tMercy Thompson 10 Silence Fallen. Jumping to book 1 since I've yet to read any of these

    Moon Called by Patricia Bridge

    Description: Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water..

    Oooh, word of darkness. Not a fan of lycans, but that doesn't mean I won't like this. Time to dig into the preview....

    Ok, read the first chapter. One on hand, I'm impressed. I really wanna read more of this. In the first chapter alone it builds up the series' werewolf society without beating me over the head with a brick with the world building that far too many books do. I like the writing style, and I like the main character. The problem however is that I usually can't get myself to read more than a few books in a series in a year, and we're up to book 10 now. And I imagine that the series isn't going to end anytime soon. That's quite intimidating to me. Still, I'll add the first book to to-read list, because I do wanna read at least the first book.

    ---

    Ok, what's next?

    The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1)


    At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

    After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

    And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

    As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


    ...

    Ok, well this...yeah, it's not something that's up my alley, but like I said, I'm giving everything here a chance with the preview

    Time to dig in...

    First of all, this definately not my kind of book. It's listed as young adult, but it comes off as very Chronicles of Narnia. I would have loved to read this right after finishing The Last Battle in Third Grade...

    ...and eve here in my 30's I still wanna read this.!It's a sequel story to one of my favorite short stories as a kid, Jack Frost. It's a story I still enjoy hearing, and I've always wanted a sequel to it. Thank yu Katherine Arden, I'll try to read this book sometime soon!

    ---

    And next we have: Age of Swords (The Legends of the First Empire #2) so I'll jump into the first book with...

    Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan


    Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

    Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.


    ...

    Um, ok..?

    Let's see what this has to offer:

    ....

    Wow, this was definately not what I expected. The main characters father is killed by a complete deuchebag who happens to be part of a race considered to be gods, and his instinct is to fight this "god." In the middle of the fight, when the "god" is about to kill the main character, his servant takes his huge rock and hits the "god" over the head with it, killing him. They run away, and they realize that they have to escape together, as they'll be wanted men. Of all the previews I've read so far, this is easily the most interesting.

    And that's enough for now, Depending on how tired I feel I'll contine either in a couple hours or tomorrow. Liking that I decided to take on this little project.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  2. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    It's not. I know what you mean though, it happens in snowy Russia, so it might remind you of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but these two couldn't be more different.

    The Bear and the Nightingale is an original modern fairy tale that draws heavily on Russian pagan mythology as well as some Russian historical figures. The setting might remind you of Narnia as I said, because it's snowy and cold, but Katherine Arden is not underhandedly out to sell any religious text under the pretext of a children's book, or in her case YA book.

    I think if you like Neil Gaiman and some of his more fairy tale books like Coraline or The Graveyard Book, you might like this as well.
    I thought it was a decent debut. I will be reading the sequel for sure.

    *gags*
    I think The Last Battle might be the worst book I have ever read.

    I thought this was just boring. It was also missing on the comedy dynamic that he had between main characters in Riyria.
    Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, but it's just a bunch of same old, same old. It's fantasy tropes galore, laughably bad villains...in short there's nothing of originality present.


    I also thought the Horror category was a hot mess....they've put The Kill Society...9th book of Sandman Slim series there. There's nothing of horror in these books, it's an urban fantasy that actually does something very creative with Christian mythos, the whole heaven and hell, demons and angels thing. Hell and demons here are not even scary, it's more about the power struggles etc.
    There was no David Wong's newest book either in opening round. I had to write it in...thankfully it's present now in semi-final.

    In case you didn't know you can write in a book that is not on the list in opening round, if you don't like the selection. If enough people write it in, it will appear in semi-final.

    In any case I see GR awards as something they use to promote Goodreads. It's more about that, then any significant meaning or the significance of the award, so I don't take them too seriously.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  3. GiovanniDeFeo

    GiovanniDeFeo Might as well be a Malazan regular

    The bear and the nightingale!
    I knew about this book ages ago, because of a personal connection with the author, and I think it's simply outstanding (not that it has not flaws, but a book has to be alive, not perfect).

    Sorry... where is it listed as Young Adult?! Couldn't be far more from the truth...
     
  4. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    Right here
    upload_2017-11-8_12-34-8.png

    I think they categorize it as their users shelve it. But to be fair to those 200 people, the main character is underaged, it is coming of an age story and it's not graphic - does not contain sex or a lot of violence. Plus it's a fairy tale, so that sub-genre does gravitate toward younger audience.

    I would also have no problem calling this YA, but it's definitely one of the better I have read. Your friend did a great job for a debut.
     
  5. GiovanniDeFeo

    GiovanniDeFeo Might as well be a Malazan regular

    She is not a friend, we have just an acquaintance in common. But yes, I think it's a very good debut! (I know for a fact the book was not even sold like a fantasy, but entered the 'literary' slot. No YA for sure.)
     
  6. TomTB

    TomTB The Master Tweeter Staff Member

    There are a few books on the SF list that haven't even been released yet! I've no doubt they will be good (high hopes for Artemis in particular) but their inclusion is extremely presumptuous to say the least!!!
     
  7. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    Hmm, odd. the atmosphere reminds me of something like it. And not really religious text, but my point was something that I'd read in elementary school. And yeah, this is much better.

    Yeah, if I tried to read it again I'd probably feel the same way considering what people have said about it.

    Yeah, I probably don't like it as much as I like the first book in the Riyria. (Jesus Christ is that word hard to remember how to spell!) I'm just surprised how much I like it considering that it's really not my thing.

    Really? Non-horror in the horror category? that's sad. I wonder, if the award was around at the time of Twilight, would that be listed under horror? Now THAT'S scary!

    That said, I was saying that I wanted to read something abotu angels versus demons...and I'm probably gonna skip out on this one because I got enough series that have a large amount of titles in their series on my plate. Meh...

    You know, my first instinct after reading this was to slam my head on my desk until I knocked myself unconscious. Then wake up 20 minutes later, and shout "FUCK YOU GOODREADS!!!" On the other, I remembered that you love to prank me Tom. Be straight with me, is this another one of your practical jokes?

    Edit: Wait! what am I saying? You even gave an example.

    *checks*

    Jesus christ this is fucking terrible! I just lost a great deal of respect for goodreads.

    Anyways, I typed up more previews for 3 more books in notepad(yeah, I type up a rough draft of a lot of things I post on the net in notepad), but my pc crashed and I don't wanna pretend I can recreate that magic, so here's a summary.

    The Witchwood Crown (The Last King of Osten Ard #1)
    by Tad Williams

    Simply put, I was excited to give Tad Williams a shot, as I've listened and read to so many awesome reviews about The Green Angel Tower series, but the size of the books have always intimidated me. I read the first chapter of this...and it's way too smart for me.

    The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1)
    by N.K. Jemisin

    My first intinct was to really really let this book have it, and I typed up a really harsh response to what I read, then I found it way too cruel, and I decided to say something like this.

    The first chapter really drew me in for all the wrong reasons, it really felt like an old man was telling me the worlds most poorly paced infodump masquerading as a story that I've ever experienced. Terrible writing style too.

    Although I hope that it goes without saying that I don't see how you can enjoy this book, if you like this, or anything else I can't get into for that matter, no matter what it is, I'm happy for you. Glad you can get a lot of joy out of something that I can't. If you read a lot of fantasy, we probably have a lot of similar interests, as I've learned from people who praise Twilight to the high heavens that have also written really smart reviews of other books and have gotten me into other stuff.

    The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)
    by Erika Johansen

    I went into the first chapter determined to like this, but I can't get immersed. I don't know what it is. It's not boring, and the writing style is ok.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  8. Darwin

    Darwin Journeyed there and back again

    Oathbringer isn't out yet. One more week.

    I read the first book in that M Sullivan series and my take is basically the same as @Alucard. I never finished the previous McClellan series or the current Bennett one; in both cases I'd forgotten enough about the first book(s) that I didn't feel like I could continue when the next book came out without a re-read, and I didn't feel up for that. I really enjoyed Red Sister.
     
  9. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Knows Who John Uskglass Is

    Yeah, it's a too common theme for the nominees. It's sad.

    Well, I plan to read it. Hope that I'm disagree.

    Red Sister Got my vote actually. It's amazing! Probably the best book that I dropped and picked back up.

    Can you recommend anything from this year?

    Ok, continuing on, let's get a few short ones out of the way.

    Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning I couldn't make it past the first 3 pages because something really early on which seems to be for the sake of super cheap shock value triggered me, and it was in between an infodump, so just no!

    Innkeeper Chronicles doesn't actually have a preview, so I can't even try.

    Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence (Goodreads Author) is what I actually voted on. Go to the 2017 book reviews for a very small bit of my thoughts. It's quite good. I recommend it if you thirst to hear about a really fucking cool female assassin and her friends who are also female assassins.

    And finally...

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling has a preview that's essentially nothing.

    Now for the more expanded previews.


    Up next we have Etched in Bone (The Others #5), at least we're not going too far back this time. Let's see what we got with...

    Written in Red (The Others #1)

    As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

    Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.


    Ooh, another world of darkness fantasy. Let's see what this has to offer...


    This wasn't bad. I like the idea of A world of darkness where shape-shifters rule over humans, and a human who can see the future escapes one captor to get into a nicer one, and she seems likeable enough. Plus there's only 5 books in this series so it's not as intimidating. I'll put it on my to read list, but it's not high on my priorities.

    ---

    Up next we got The Land: Raiders (Chaos Seeds #6) yeah, another episodic yearly release series again. Let's see how this goes with...

    The Land: Founding (Chaos Seeds #1)by Aleron Kong

    You have been offered a Quest: Discover The Land. An epic journey of Gripping Action, Dark Humor and Epic World Building begins here. Start reading here, but be warned! You will lose the next seven days of your life! Please remember to eat and sleep.

    Reward: Discovery of the world you were meant to fight for!

    Penalty of Failure: Dogs and cats living together... Mass Hysteria!

    What would YOU do if you were transported into your favorite video game?
    What would YOU do if the gore, adventure and pain became real?
    What would YOU do to win?

    Richter confronted these questions while an enemy lay savaged and screaming at his feet. His lips pulled back in a blood-streaked smile. The answer was simple.

    "Absolutely anything...
    "

    Sounds like a self-insert, Oh, and the first book was made in 2015? Really? Ok..., here goes...

    Wow, that was pretty annoying. Essentially it's a trapped in a video game world book, with very boring characters saying very boring dialogue, and fighting very bland battles. It's far more addicting than actually engaging or entertaining. I see how the author was able to make 6 books in 2 years. What a bunch of mediocre crap! Dear god does this not deserve to be part of a top 20 list!

    Moving on...

    ---
    I wanna end on...well, at least something, so let's see what else we got?

    Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #1) by Brian McClellan (Goodreads Author)

    The young nation of Fatrasta is a turbulent place - a frontier destination for criminals, fortune-hunters, brave settlers, and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. Only the iron will of the lady chancellor and her secret police holds the capital city of Landfall together against the unrest of a suppressed population and the machinations of powerful empires.

    The insurrection that threatens Landfall must be purged with wile and force, a task which falls on the shoulders of a spy named Michel Bravis, convicted war hero Ben Styke, and Lady Vlora Flint, a mercenary general with a past as turbulent as Landfall's present.

    As loyalties are tested, revealed, and destroyed, a grim specter as old as time has been unearthed in this wild land, and the people of Landfall will soon discover that rebellion is the least of their worries.


    Sounds pretty cool. Let's check it out...

    Yeah, it didn't let me down. I'm not sure what's going on so far, but McChellan really knows how to draw me in with his atmosphere. In terms of immersion alone, it's probably the best book I've read on this project. This book is high priority for me right now.

    That's 13 books down. 7 to go, I'll likely finish tomorrow.

    Edit:

    So here's a recap of everything that I like so far, sorted by how much I wanna read em:

    Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #1) by Brian McClellan (Goodreads Author)

    The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1)

    Age of Myth

    Moon Called by Patricia Bridge

    Written in Red (The Others #1)

    Plus what I've read and loved:

    Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence (Goodreads Author)

    ---

    Ok, I forgot to finish this, so let's do this.

    to get some small ones out of the way:

    City of Stairs (The Divine Cities #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett I can't get immersed in. Not sure why.

    A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) I absolutely hate the writing style. and on a side note, I usually could care less about the cover of a book, but this one literally is painful to look at.

    Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Goodreads Author) I just find kinda boring.

    Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb I also just find kinda boring.

    And Kings of the Wyld (The Band #1) by Nicholas Eames (Goodreads Author) feels like a bunch of random words that someone put on pages, so no.

    As for the ones that I actually had something to say:

    ----

    Up next we have Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson #11) Oh god, yeah, another series which I already tried and didn't like. Ok, let's do this.

    First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1)
    by Darynda Jones (Goodreads Author)

    Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

    With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

    I can't even pretend to not find that stupid. But I'll try to give the preview some rope...

    And in the first sentence it hangs itself "Better to see dead than be dead." Yep, this is just as cringey as I remember. I want you to imagine Dead Like Me, take away its actual funny jokes, take away all of its fun little quirks, and make every single conversation awkward as possible, and add in every tired Romance movie trope in. Mix it in, and you've got yourself some pandering crap near the scale of Twilight.

    I'll give it one thing though. It's not afraid to swear, and it doesn't swear for the sake of swearing.

    ---

    So many books that aren't for me. But we got one more book left. Could it be the diamond in the rough?

    Oh boy...

    Ok, it's major go time now! I'm up to Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson (Goodreads Author)

    That's right. Brandon Sanderson. I can hear everyone who's known me on this board for the past few years screaming at me to skip this, reminding me just how heavy he is on world building, and therefore I'd hate his work. Well...I'm sticking to the project. Sure I made an exception earlier, but that was because it triggered me, and there's a difference between being triggered and glazing over.

    Anyways, back to the first book with...

    The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1) by Brandon Sanderson (Goodreads Author)

    Speak again the ancient oaths,
    Life before death.
    Strength before weakness.
    Journey before Destination.
    And return to men the Shards they once bore.
    The Knights Radiant must stand again.

    Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that shape ecology and civilization. Animals and plants retract; cities are built in shelter. In centuries since ten orders of Knights fell, their Shardblade swords and Shardplate armor still transform men into near-invincible warriors. Wars are fought for them, and won by them.

    In one such war on the ruined Shattered Plains, slave Kaladin struggles to save his men and fathom leaders who deem them expendable, in senseless wars where ten armies fight separately against one foe.

    Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Fascinated by the ancient text namedThe Way of Kings and troubled by visions of ancient times, he doubts his sanity.

    Across the ocean, Shallan trains under eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece Jasnah. Though Shallan genuinely loves learning, she plans a daring theft. Her research hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

    That actually doesn't sound too bad. Let's see where this goes...

    Oh, and one more thing...

    Hardcover, 1007 pages

    FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!

    anyways, let's do this...

    Oh my fucking god! This is one of the best first impressions a book has ever given me! I am just absolutely captivated by this man who is a slave, and when I read what a shardblade was, I was just entranced! It's like one of the coolest weapons ever! Way to fucking go Brandon Sanderson. We were wrong all along, and I can't wait to read the whole version of this book.

    Well actually, if you've read my other topic you know that I actually can wait! But I'll be reading it soon!
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  10. Alice Sabo

    Alice Sabo A Muggle

    I'll vote for Etched in Bone. I love that series. The characters are wonderful. The world is a really interesting setting where humans are lower on the totem pole than the Others.

    I love Robin Hobb but I am really angry with her about the ending of the last book. I've read everything she's written, and I'll probably read more of her stuff, but that ending just really upset me.
     

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