January 2019 Reading Thread

HareBrain

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#82
So I ended up putting down the Bardugo (Shadows and Bone is the name) - despite enjoying the style - after hitting two occasions in ten pages where I wanted to jump into the pages and beat some sense into the characters. I honestly didn't realise it was possible to get that angry with fictional characters before.
Out of interest, as a writer, can you see why the author made the characters behave like that? Plot convenience, or something else?
 

Vertigo

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#83
I vaguely knew this name but had him somehow confused with Paul Kearney I think. I looked up this book and a few others and he sounds like someone I am definitely going to be checking out!
He did a lot of fun space opera romps like the Flandry and Pyschotechnic books but also some much more serious SF like Tau Zero (brilliant early hard SF) and Boat of a Million Years.
 

Hugh

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#84
I vaguely knew this name but had him somehow confused with Paul Kearney I think. I looked up this book and a few others and he sounds like someone I am definitely going to be checking out!
He's someone I intend to concentrate on before long, as I've read relatively little of his writing. However, while "The High Crusade" is very much a fun romp, I remember books such as "Three Hearts and Three Lions", "The Broken Sword", and "The Queen of Air and Darkness" as seriously good.
 

The Big Peat

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#85
Out of interest, as a writer, can you see why the author made the characters behave like that? Plot convenience, or something else?
I think it's being done to up the stakes and drama.

The first time I snapped was when the Darkling (great mysterious mage who's taken away young heroine who's just displayed rare magical powers) said to the heroine, post near death experience, that he was used to people trying to kill him. I'm guessing it was meant to display that he's a sinister, hard-bitten character - and it does - but it also made me realise that at no point in the preceding 55 pages had any character shown any particular insight into another's character or attempt to do so. I get the attempt to raise the drama here, but one born constantly of the sort of misunderstandings that a few sane attempts at empathy avoid isn't my cup of tea.

The second was when our heroine (Alina, I think) protested that she wasn't a Mage. This was after doing magic 2 or 3 times, a solid 30 pages and a good few days of in book time after the first. And a lot of complaints to this effect that had been answered. Again, I think this was done to raise drama - look how afraid it makes her! look how much she doesn't want it and doesn't feel like she belongs! - but just made her look really, really, really thick.
 

soulsinging

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#86
So I ended up putting down the Bardugo (Shadows and Bone is the name) - despite enjoying the style - after hitting two occasions in ten pages where I wanted to jump into the pages and beat some sense into the characters. I honestly didn't realise it was possible to get that angry with fictional characters before.
Yeah, I read her next series, which is said to have been a huge step forward. Most of the things I read said her Shadow and Bone trilogy was VERY YA-oriented and not as strong.
 

The Big Peat

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#87
Yeah, I read her next series, which is said to have been a huge step forward. Most of the things I read said her Shadow and Bone trilogy was VERY YA-oriented and not as strong.
I'm gonna give that a chance when I see them, because I do like her writing style.
 

svalbard

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#88
Devil's Day by Andrew Michael Hurley.

A really smart and intelligent chiller\horror. Hurley has a great style, he writes with a great eye for detail with the landscapes he describes coming to life as you read. The story is stark and with a terrible sense of foreboding building from the very first page.
 

Extollager

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#90
Finished Trollope's Small House at Allington and Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, now reading Robert Louis Stevenson's David Balfour (which is known in Britain as Catriona).

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It's the sequel to the wonderful Kidnapped, picking up immediately where that one left off.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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#91
A Winter's Promise (The Mirror Visitor Book 1), by Christelle Dabos, which I read in one day though it was rather long.

It was, apparently, a runaway hit in France and elsewhere, and great critical reception here, but although it looked interesting I was almost put off by mixed reader reviews, some of which made it sound like I would enjoy it, some of which made it sound too creepy and violent. But I liked the sample so I took a chance, and as it turned out it was not nearly as dark as even the publishers might like one to think. ("Dark" has clearly become a buzzword meant to mean that a fantasy is worth reading. Not for me, though. I bet I've missed out on a lot of books because publishers have tried too hard to make their books look grim and serious when they weren't so much. But I guess it's a successful tactic when trying to attract a mass audience.)

It was quirky and suspenseful and imaginative and I found it entertaining. Parts were somewhat disturbing but not in a major way.

It was one of those books where our world has been fragmented in ages past and the pieces of it are still floating around with their various populations and different cultures have developed. Not a new premise by any means (and not even the only book with that premise that I've read in the last twelve months or so), but there were more than enough original bits to keep it fresh.
 

Bick

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#92
I finished The Second Trip by Silverberg. It was pretty good, but I perhaps didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I hoped. It reads like a grim Philip K. Dick though, so if you’re a PKD fan you would probably enjoy it.

Im now starting a Penelope Fitzgerald, Human Voices, set at the BBC during WWII. This the the next in my chronological read through of all Fitzgerald’s novels. I expect I’ll comment on this one in the Fitzgerald thread in the literary fiction section.
 

dannymcg

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#93
Rosewater by Tade Thompson, my second attempt at this odd sci fi set in a future Nigeria....I got a bit lost in plot the first time I was reading it.
 

The Big Peat

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#94
I just finished Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell. Its a slow starter for me, but it really sparks and takes off towards the middle and its a great twisty book... until it decides that how I want to finish a really fun mystery book is with a giant fight that takes forever. That is most incorrect. But it didn't detract too much.

What did detract a little was the black and white nature of many characters and other elements; I ask those who've read his other stuff, is that him or is that just him writing YA?

I'm now reading Forge of Darkness by Eriksen. The style - a deliberate throw back to narrated detail heavy epic fantasy - is quite stodgy and offputting. I'd probably not be reading this if I didn't want to give Eriksen a go all the way through and my library wasn't short of the first two books of Malazan.
 

Parson

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#95
new david weber's safehold series book
I'd be interested in how you view this. I have read all of the previous Safehold books. And I swore that I would not read another if the war wasn't finally wrapped up. It was so maybe .....
 

tobl

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#97
I'm with you on this I'm afraid @Parson
well, the war ended in nº9, this is 10. lolo this is the post-war continuation book and beguinning of a new arc. same characters, new characters, etc... it's very readable. i actually like the series a lot aldo the premise is quite riddiculous
 

Vertigo

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#98
well, the war ended in nº9, this is 10. lolo this is the post-war continuation book and beguinning of a new arc. same characters, new characters, etc... it's very readable. i actually like the series a lot aldo the premise is quite riddiculous
Yes I found it readable but I also found it, at least for the last few books, to be far too drawn out. I'm afraid I've just lost the will to continue with it.
 

tobl

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#99
Yes I found it readable but I also found it, at least for the last few books, to be far too drawn out. I'm afraid I've just lost the will to continue with it.
i actually liked the last books quite a lot. the battles and description were captivating. maybe because i eard them, not read them… frankly the last honor gave more trouble than this safehold. i found it too dark and depressing
 

Parson

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i actually liked the last books quite a lot. the battles and description were captivating. maybe because i eard them, not read them… frankly the last honor gave more trouble than this safehold. i found it too dark and depressing
Bite your tongue! Here's what I thought of the last Honor book: Uncompromising Honor: The Best Honor Harrington Book? (No Spoilers) --- So you don't find the later Safehold books bloated, predictable, and filled with characters who have little to do with the main story arc?
 
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