Author Topic: Book Thread Continued

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Goblin Shark

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2010 on: September 01, 2018, 08:35:33 PM »
A couple of chapters into Orchestra of Treacheries and liking it.  It seems like chess pieces are being moved around, but it doesn't feel like characters are just sitting around doing nothing. 

On another note, anyone here members of Pottermore?  I decided to make a Pottermore account on a whim.  Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw.  Every Sorting Hat quiz I've taken either puts me in Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, but though I think I'm a better fit in Hufflepuff, I think Ravenclaw would challenge me in a good way.

I also found my Patronus.  It's a Siberian Cat.  At first I was iffy about that choice since I'm more of a dog person and might be mildly allergic to cats.  However, the more I read about Siberian Cats, the more I can dig them.  They apparently have more doglike personalities and their saliva produces less of the compound that triggers allergies, making them a viable choice for people like me.  And looking back at the Moon Nuzlocke I chronicled for RPGFan, my Litten/Torracat (named Bam Bigelow) was an absolute warrior.  So perhaps my Patronus is he: http://www.rpgfan.com/features/Pokemon_Moon_Nuzlocke_Challenge/index.html
I could also see it being like Reginald in vol. 3 of Michael Alan Nelson's Hexed: The Harlot and the Thief comic series.  Hexed= my favorite comic series.

I've heard that a LOT of people were horribly dissatisfied with their Pottermore Patronuses.  I was a bit iffy on mine, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that as long as it protects me from Dementors, my Patronus could be a runty goldfish for all I care. 
 
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 08:44:19 PM by Dincrest »
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Jimmy

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2011 on: September 04, 2018, 05:21:56 PM »
I finished reading The Name of the Wind a couple of weeks ago (thankfully before the semester started). I honestly don't really see what the big deal about it is. Don't get me wrong, it's a good start to a fantasy series, but outside of some better than average prose for a fantasy novel, it seemed pretty generic to me. I'm still going to check out The Wise Man's Fear and The Slow Regard of Silent Things, but I probably won't get to those for a while.

Since the semester started, I'm spending most of my reading time working on homework. I am reading One Lonely Night by Mickey Spillane though since it's pulpy and fun. I have to say though that I think these books are violent to the point of satire. The violence is frankly pretty ridiculous. Anyway, it's the fourth book in the Mike Hammer series, and Mike is fighting Russian spies (it was published in the 50s).

Goblin Shark

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2012 on: September 04, 2018, 06:12:29 PM »
I tried reading In the Name of the Wind due to all the praise it got, but I just couldn't get into it.  I was not a fan of the protagonist at all. 

I'm about 6 chapters into Orchestra of Treacheries and am liking it a lot.  Yeah the series has its flaws, but I'm having a great time with it.  Chess pieces are moving, major and minor players are all trying to outfox each other in this realm's game of thrones.  In Game of Thrones (literally), Cersei Lannister says that when you play the game of thrones, you either win or your die.  There is no middle ground.  There's a new character who definitely has me intrigued.  I like her thought about how self-important men vying for power get so blinded by their arrogance that their plans always have the fatal flaw of relying on the opposition being stupid.  I also like that though things are getting set up, it doesn't feel like there's a lull in the action and characters are just sitting around doing nothing.

UPDATE: Halfway through Orchestra of Treacheries and it's really opening up.  The worldbuilding is expanding with the princess on a foreign diplomacy mission, yet back at home the power players are making more brazen moves since the meddling princess isn't around to throw a wrench in their machinations.  When the cat's away, the mice will play.  I've digging Princess Kaiya's development.  She's 18 in this book (she was 16 in book 1) and though she is noticeably more mature, she's still a believable teenage girl who's prone to flights of fancy. 

On another note, I think The Dragon Songs Saga series could adapt well to movies.  Visually stunning settings, storylines that are both intriguing yet easy enough to follow, cool characters, and slick martial arts action.  It's Game of Thrones meets Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.  And with Hollywood codifying/fetishizing Asians as its current "hey, look at me!  Diversity" flavor of the month, this could become a thing.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 06:29:34 PM by Dincrest »
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Goblin Shark

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2013 on: September 29, 2018, 06:47:55 PM »
I just finished Orchestra of Treacheries and am looking forward to the third Dragon Songs Saga book.  It feels like I'm now in the part of the JRPG where the party gets split up and you play through their quests before they meet up again.  It also seems the author just released a book that takes place during the 2-year gap between books 1 and 2.  I may read that one eventually.  What can I say?  I'm invested in this series and the intriguing world it's created... warts and all.  I say that because the writing does have some noticeable flaws, some of which have made me shelve books in the past.  I could nitpick those flaws till I'm purple, but none of that matters because these books make me happily want to keep reading.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 05:36:15 PM by Dincrest »
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Der Jermeister

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2014 on: September 29, 2018, 09:36:23 PM »
Right now I'm dividing my time among The Chronicles of Narnia, the Eve of Redemption series by Joe Jackson, and The Wheel of Time saga. I'm going through Narnia chronologically and finished off The Magician's Nephew; not sure if it could be adapted well to film unless they included tons of filler, but it was still a good origin story. Eve of Redemption centers around anthropomorphic dragon characters, and while I'm intrigued, I have a bit of a hard time remember what the characters actually look like. I'm through The Fires of Heaven in WoT and actually understood
Spoiler: show
when Moiraine dies
, and am liking them more than I did previously.

Goblin Shark

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2015 on: October 06, 2018, 08:07:54 PM »
12 chapters into Dances of Deception (book 3 in The Dragon Songs Saga) and I'm loving it.  The first book was good, the second book was even better since the scope widened a bit and the characters matured.  And now the third book is opening up even more and getting into more globalized Game of Thrones style political intrigues. 

Oh, and I just finished Mark Waid's Archie vol. 3.  I enjoyed it, though I can see why many fans wouldn't, since it focused a lot on Cheryl Blossom's catfight with Veronica and didn't flesh out the Sayid/Betty arc, though it's easy enough to fill in the blanks.  Still, it had some good Archie/Jughead moments, gave some spotlight to Moose and Dilton, and it deepened Veronica's character. 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 08:20:39 PM by Dincrest »
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ironmage

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2016 on: October 08, 2018, 08:59:42 AM »
The Fionavar Tapestry (Guy Gavriel Kay):  I quite enjoyed Kay's "Under Heaven", which was set in a fictionalized version of Imperial China, so I was curious to see his take on High Fantasy.

Unfortunately, Fionavar was written over twenty years before Heaven, and it is clear he wasn't nearly as mature as an author at the time.  His critical failure here is that he didn't prune his ideas; it feels like he put every single idea he ever had into this book, and it's too much.

This book has light elves, dark elves, dwarves, giants, King Arthur, gods, half-gods, demons, nomadic horse riders, a Dark Lord, a High King, princesses, high priestesses, wizards, Dave, seers, sea monsters, tavern wenches, dragons, unicorns, spirit animals, ancient evil, isekai, magic tiaras, magic rings, magic daggers, magic stones, magic forests, force fields, ghost ships, the Wild Hunt, cursed lands, exiles, necromancy, resurrection, telepathy, teleportation, drought, and endless winter.

That's just off the top of my head.  I probably missed a few.  The book was 774 pages.

I wouldn't say this book was particularly bad, but it was often a slog to get through, and I can't say I recommend it.

I should have checked the rear cover of this book before I picked it up.  I have a rule:  Don't read a book with Tolkien's name anywhere on the cover, unless the book was actually written by Tolkien.  Oops.

Jimmy

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2017 on: October 08, 2018, 03:45:50 PM »
I've kind of given up on One Lonely Night for the time being. Outside of an explosive beginning it has been pretty dull for me. I imagine it will pick up, but I'll get back to it when I have more time.

So I'm reading other stuff. It may have been a mistake (because of my lack of time) but I started reading The Way of Kings. I'm a little more than 100 pages in, and I'm liking it so far even though it really feels like this is an extended prologue in a way.

I also started reading Forsaken Soul by Priscilla Royal, the fifth book in the Medieval Mysteries series. I'm not sure if I've talked about this series before on the boards, but it's set in 13th century England and is about a couple of nuns and a monk with a secret solving murder mysteries. It's not dissimilar to the Brother Cadfael mysteries, if you're familiar with those. I started reading the series while I was doing an internship with the publisher in 2012, and, though it can be a bit hit and miss, I've really enjoyed the series. Good characters, fun mysteries, and just well-written overall.

Arvis

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2018 on: October 08, 2018, 03:49:07 PM »
I also started reading Forsaken Soul by Priscilla Royal, the fifth book in the Medieval Mysteries series. I'm not sure if I've talked about this series before on the boards, but it's set in 13th century England and is about a couple of nuns and a monk with a secret solving murder mysteries. It's not dissimilar to the Brother Cadfael mysteries, if you're familiar with those. I started reading the series while I was doing an internship with the publisher in 2012, and, though it can be a bit hit and miss, I've really enjoyed the series. Good characters, fun mysteries, and just well-written overall.

This seems like a really neat concept for detective fiction.  How "realistic" is the setting?
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Jimmy

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2019 on: October 08, 2018, 04:10:37 PM »
I also started reading Forsaken Soul by Priscilla Royal, the fifth book in the Medieval Mysteries series. I'm not sure if I've talked about this series before on the boards, but it's set in 13th century England and is about a couple of nuns and a monk with a secret solving murder mysteries. It's not dissimilar to the Brother Cadfael mysteries, if you're familiar with those. I started reading the series while I was doing an internship with the publisher in 2012, and, though it can be a bit hit and miss, I've really enjoyed the series. Good characters, fun mysteries, and just well-written overall.

This seems like a really neat concept for detective fiction.  How "realistic" is the setting?

Very. It takes place mostly in and near a monastery on the eastern coast of England (though they sometimes travel to different locations in some books in the series). The author is a medievalist professor so she knows her stuff about it, and always includes an afterward about her research and what was going on in the time period and how that influenced her writing for each particular book. It's also a very character-driven series. The mysteries themselves are usually secondary to the characters and their own personal struggles, which I actually like a lot.

Anyway, I highly recommend the series. They're fun, but also short, almost pulpy in their own way, so they're actually not a huge commitment despite the series being fourteen books currently (book fifteen comes out in February). The first book is called Wine of Violence. The highlight in the series so far, in my opinion is the third book, Sorrow Without End. I first read the eighth book in the series, A Killing Season, and that's what got me hooked.

They're published by an independent publisher of mysteries called Poisoned Pen Press, which is based in Arizona. They actually have a pretty good selection of mysteries, and they are the original publisher of the book Drive, by James Sallis (probably better known for its movie adaptation starring Ryan Gosling). They publish everything from cozies, comedic mysteries, and noir. I'd say check out their website, but it's currently down, so...

Goblin Shark

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2020 on: October 21, 2018, 08:23:54 AM »
Although I'm 26-ish chapters into Dances of Deception and am absolutely loving it, I'm reporting about something else I read yesterday: Archie vol. 4 by Mark Waid and my reaction to it is OMGWTF?!?!?!?!  in a good way.  That cliffhanger at the end... whew!  I simply cannot get over how good this series is.  Here's the crazy part- this series is making me question life itself.  I know that's hyperbole, but I've always been firmly "Team Betty" my entire life, but this series is making me rethink that.  Veronica is totally growing on me.

Last Wednesday, I got the comic I preordered: The Source #1.  It's a new series from Scout Comics.  I felt like a lot of whirlwind events happened with no time to explain what the hell is going on (much like how the protagonist is feeling), so I'm left with more questions and no answers.  Despite some shaky storytelling and what seem to be a couple of mistakes that weren't caught in the editing/proofreading phase, I'm interested enough to both see what happens next and hopefully get some exposition.  So, yeah, I preordered the next two issues at my local comic book store, because I think this series will get its sea-legs over time.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 08:01:51 PM by Dincrest »
You can brag about your 5000+ friends on social media all you want, but riddle me this: how many of them would help you move?

Goblin Shark

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #2021 on: November 10, 2018, 07:39:34 AM »
I finished Dances of Deception a couple of days ago and now look forward to reading Symphony of Fates to see how Kaiya's harrowing saga ends before heading into Masters of Deception (which takes place between books 1 and 2 and stars a couple of the cooler side characters in Kaiya's story).  Man, those last few chapters of Dances of Deception were INTENSE!  Whew!  And it looks like book 4 will be an absolute barnburner.  I'm not even sure how I randomly stumbled onto this series, but I am so glad I did.
You can brag about your 5000+ friends on social media all you want, but riddle me this: how many of them would help you move?