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  1. #1941
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    Ive read Blackout, winner of 2011 Hugo award. Nothing really fucking happens in whole book but it is very well written and compelling to read. Basically action starts around 50 pages before the end. Still I need to read the second book.
    Try her Doomsday Book, maybe. There's a fair bit more action in that one. Still pretty slow and thoughtful compared to, I dunno, a Michael Crichton book or something (I can't think of any other novel with a similar plotline off the top of my head) but if you can find a book where "nothing really fucking happens" still well-written and compelling I think you ought to be okay.

  2. #1942
    Whenever I get stressed and need a book I know I will enjoy I always turn to the Discworld stuff. Currently reading Making Money.

  3. #1943
    Lesser Hivemind Node Similar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Gunman View Post
    Whenever I get stressed and need a book I know I will enjoy I always turn to the Discworld stuff. Currently reading Making Money.
    Same here, though now I'm reading Jingo, which I thought was just sort of okay the first two or three (or five, maybe) times I read it, but this time I'm rather enjoying it. Not sure what has changed.

    Read Unseen Academicals a couple of weeks ago and thought it was kind of weak. Not bad, just not up there with the others. But perhaps that will also change when I reread it at some point.

  4. #1944
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Whenever I get stressed and need a book I know I will enjoy I always turn to the Discworld stuff. Currently reading Making Money.
    I did the exact same thing as you and the same book what a coincidence. Im enjoying it but not as much as the first book as its probably going through similar motions as that one.

  5. #1945
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Finished up Blood Song by Anthony Ryan the other night. I have to say, I really liked it and am eager for the next book in the series. I am a sucker for the framing tale of the "evil" war criminal telling the story of how he transformed from an idealistic and scared little boy into the man who murdered The Hope of a nation (thus earning the title "Hope Killer"). All in all, Vaelin was a very interesting character and I think Ryan did a good job of showing how a man can be corrupted by trying to do the right thing. He gets a bit mary sue-ish at times, but never distractingly and the character's own self-recriminations do a good job of dulling the effect.

    Also, I love stories with unreliable narrators and seeing what Vaelin kept out or changed from his story during the interludes (the majority of the book is his memory, not what he is saying) is quite interesting and, I suspect, going to paint the next book (which I assume will be in "real time") in an interesting light.

    Realized that Miles Cameron's second book got delayed (again), so I started up The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley because everyone and their mother online has been splooging over it. I am about halfway through and... it is okay. I definitely like how neither of the three viewpoint characters are Mary Sues (Kadare is a bit close, but he is grossly incompetent. Valin (HA!) is also pretty incompetent, and Adare might as well not be in the book...), but none of them are particularly gripping. I think the issue is that Stavely is trying too hard to write a multi-viewpoint book but doesn't spend enough time on any one character to make me care. Also, all of the villains are mustache twirling psychopaths (two of which are borderline rapists...), which is always a downer. And the "mysteery" that Valin is trying to solve is pretty annoying as the character is intentionally dense so as to play up the tension.

    That being said, the mythos of the world is pretty interesting: the prelude chapter is about an immortal being murdering his human daughter because she is flawed and capable of emotion and aging. And it is only halfway through the book, so hopefully most of my complaints are just a problem of having to establish the setting and get the characters in position for the real plot (Valin is almost there, and I am sure Kadare is also going to be unleashed on the world in the next few chapters).
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  6. #1946
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Realized that Miles Cameron's second book got delayed (again)
    It released in the UK on 30th January. Am reading it just now.
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    I just have an opinion different to your own. Circle jerking is good for no one, be glad somebody isn't afraid to disagree with women on the internet.
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  7. #1947
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaco View Post
    It released in the UK on 30th January. Am reading it just now.
    Oh Christ so it did. Right, guess that's my next full-price book purchase then - I've been mostly sticking to Kindle sales but The Red Knight was so astonishingly good there's no way I'm waiting around for the sequel. Seriously, God, I loved TKR. The ending felt somewhat rushed, in a Neal Stephenson sort of a way, but other than that I thought it was brilliant. Much, much better than Game of Thrones has ever been (and I like GoT a lot - just not this much).

    EDIT: Speaking of Stephenson, TKR was worlds away from the godawful tedium the second book of The Mongoliad fell into, too.

  8. #1948
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaco View Post
    It released in the UK on 30th January. Am reading it just now.
    I hate you and hope you die in a fire :p


    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Oh Christ so it did. Right, guess that's my next full-price book purchase then - I've been mostly sticking to Kindle sales but The Red Knight was so astonishingly good there's no way I'm waiting around for the sequel. Seriously, God, I loved TKR. The ending felt somewhat rushed, in a Neal Stephenson sort of a way, but other than that I thought it was brilliant. Much, much better than Game of Thrones has ever been (and I like GoT a lot - just not this much).

    EDIT: Speaking of Stephenson, TKR was worlds away from the godawful tedium the second book of The Mongoliad fell into, too.
    Ugh, the Mongoliad. I tried the first book and just found the entire thing to be a tedious slog.
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  9. #1949
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Ugh, the Mongoliad. I tried the first book and just found the entire thing to be a tedious slog.
    Hmmm. I'm not sure if that means you'd like the second book or hate it even more than I did, heh.

  10. #1950
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Hmmm. I'm not sure if that means you'd like the second book or hate it even more than I did, heh.
    Never even made it to the second book. The first suffered from undeveloped viewpoint character-itis (a clinical term :p) and seemed to randomly decide what should and shouldn't be effective in terms of tactics and equipment.
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  11. #1951
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Never even made it to the second book. The first suffered from undeveloped viewpoint character-itis (a clinical term :p) and seemed to randomly decide what should and shouldn't be effective in terms of tactics and equipment.
    Eh, I've never really been that bothered by exactly how historically accurate or "realistic" any of these novels are, fantasy or otherwise. Cameron may be heavily into what should or shouldn't be effective (going by his appendix to TKR he is, IIRC) but I just thought he was a much, much better writer than Stephenson's Super Friends, and had a much better grasp of putting together an evolving narrative, of writing believably human characters I cared about, and countless other things. I liked the first book of The Mongoliad because I thought it was reasonably competent and had some interestingly weird bits (action sequences, battles of wits etc.) that held my interest. But it never struck me as that much more than a solid comic-book story - too episodic, too fixated on style over substance or on beating you over the head with how much research the authors had done.

    The second volume dropped the popcorn adventure stuff almost entirely and started leaning heavily on the historical detail, and given Stephenson's crew flat-out lacked the skill to make this approach remotely interesting without anything to ground it, to make the characters seem believable or relatable, I found it so hideously dull I could barely keep my eyes open reading the thing. This lengthy discourse on the papacy in Rome at the time and competing schools of Christian thought was just the last fucking straw - pardon my French, but it seriously made me so angry seeing what felt like a fairly good premise wasted like that. It was like seeing some first-year Creative Writing student who's just discovered The Name of the Rose and thinks if they just vomit up great chunks of exposition about some random historical era they can automatically get their half-assed period piece looking like a respectable novel. Because hey, that's all Eco's doing, right?

  12. #1952
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Eh, I've never really been that bothered by exactly how historically accurate or "realistic" any of these novels are, fantasy or otherwise. Cameron may be heavily into what should or shouldn't be effective (going by his appendix to TKR he is, IIRC) but I just thought he was a much, much better writer than Stephenson's Super Friends, and had a much better grasp of putting together an evolving narrative, of writing believably human characters I cared about, and countless other things. I liked the first book of The Mongoliad because I thought it was reasonably competent and had some interestingly weird bits (action sequences, battles of wits etc.) that held my interest. But it never struck me as that much more than a solid comic-book story - too episodic, too fixated on style over substance or on beating you over the head with how much research the authors had done.

    The second volume dropped the popcorn adventure stuff almost entirely and started leaning heavily on the historical detail, and given Stephenson's crew flat-out lacked the skill to make this approach remotely interesting without anything to ground it, to make the characters seem believable or relatable, I found it so hideously dull I could barely keep my eyes open reading the thing. This lengthy discourse on the papacy in Rome at the time and competing schools of Christian thought was just the last fucking straw - pardon my French, but it seriously made me so angry seeing what felt like a fairly good premise wasted like that. It was like seeing some first-year Creative Writing student who's just discovered The Name of the Rose and thinks if they just vomit up great chunks of exposition about some random historical era they can automatically get their half-assed period piece looking like a respectable novel. Because hey, that's all Eco's doing, right?
    I actually don't give a rat's ass how accurate or realistic something is, I just need it to be consistent. Which is probably one of the reasons that I love Sanderson's approach to fantasy so much :p

    The Mongoliad seemed to have three major "rulesets" regarding effectiveness of armor and tactics. The magic girl with the Catholic Special Forces was essentially in your standard "Scouts are invisible, all heroes use swords, armor is unstoppable in the hands of a hero, and arrows never find their mark unless fired by said scout" fantasy. The pit fighter (and the Catholic Special Forces left behind) was all about flashy fighting where armor, if used, was paper. And then we have the guy in the capital where arrows are suddenly the most dangerous thing in the known universe.

    And yeah, it did read a bit too much like someone who was just a bit too proud of their research. Was actually really refreshing that Cameron managed to come across as insanely knowledgeable (in his "real" identity as Christian Cameron he IS insanely knowledgeable) but it never detracted from the story. Reading about how the protagonist gripped his sword felt like a mental exercise used to focus in battle. The politics actually seemed pertinent to the story at hand. And so forth.
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  13. #1953
    Network Hub Koobazaur's Avatar
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    Andni wrapped up Boneshaker. It was alright, had some interesting ideas. Just started Anubis Gates but already have a feeling im not gonna like it :/
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  14. #1954
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koobazaur View Post
    Andni wrapped up Boneshaker. It was alright, had some interesting ideas. Just started Anubis Gates but already have a feeling im not gonna like it :/
    Oh dear. I was the one who said Boneshaker was "all right", but... Anubis Gates, well.

    Let's just say it's one of my favourite novels ever and that I think Tim Powers is a genius and one of the most under-appreciated authors working today and leave it at that, eh?

    (Seriously, I don't understand how anyone can't enjoy that book. ;_; )

  15. #1955
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    Not a book per se, but given the amount of Discworld lovers here: http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/02/08/sa...discworld-mud/

    (I'd buy a book of Richard Cobbett's articles, though)

  16. #1956
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Oh dear. I was the one who said Boneshaker was "all right", but... Anubis Gates, well.

    Let's just say it's one of my favourite novels ever and that I think Tim Powers is a genius and one of the most under-appreciated authors working today and leave it at that, eh?

    (Seriously, I don't understand how anyone can't enjoy that book. ;_; )
    I'm not huge on Egyptian mythos or time travel ideas. And tbh I'm finding the writing style a little convoluted...
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  17. #1957
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    I started on S by Doug Dorst and JJ Abrams and, so far, I haven't worked out a great deal about it. It's a book by an unknown, fictional author, translated by someone and being read and annotated by two readers who are trying to identify the author.

    The author may or may not be hiding something (or be someone else entirely), the translator may be leaving hidden messages and appears to be lying and the readers have left notes over what seems like a number of years, with some colour coding to help distinguish time periods. The readers have also stuffed the book with postcards, letters, notes and other miscellaneous bits that presumably will help unravel the mystery of who the author is, though I haven't looked at those closely yet.

    The Ship of Theseus story (the one written by Straka, the fictional author) is an odd tale of a man with amnesia on an adventure of sorts, with many strange coincidences and otherworldly elements - very JJ Abrams mystery. I haven't started reading the annotations yet so I don't know about the overall story of the author and the readers' investigation into him.

    As a physical book, it's a wonderful thing. It's made to look like an old library book with all the appropriate marks and aging. The handwriting for the notes is consistently excellent and the inserts aren't simple bits of paper - a map drawn on a real napkin, old photos on real photographic paper, copies of documents and postcards about birdwatching in Brazil (probably not birdwatching).

    In many ways, it reminds me of House of Leaves. It doesn't have the same presentation but the concept of the story of the book mixed with the story of the readers feels very similar. Deciding how to read it took a little while as the story of the readers isn't simply front to back and needs to be pieced together. It even comes with a code wheel! I don't know what the overall mystery will be like but it's worthwhile simply for the physical book.

    I won't spam the thread with images but a quick Google gives a decent idea of what you're getting.

  18. #1958
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    So I finished Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson. It was fine, not his best work I don't think. Of course he writes good action scenes and that hasn't changed, but the story felt a little short. I read it in 2 sittings, but it felt like the whole thing happened too quickly. The characters were fine, in the main, but it feels like despite everything that happened in the story, like it was just setting everything up. It was no Alloy of Law.

    Now I think I'm onto finishing up The Revolution Trade by Charles Stross, the last of the merchant princes omnibusses. I've been reading through them quite slowly, and after a fairly unconvincing start I feel they've found their footing, and I'm enjoying them whenever I do read them, they just haven't grabbed me in the same way something like Neptune's Brood or Iron Sunrise did.

    After that, gods, I don't know. Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett probably, and then I'm kind of out of ideas. April brings the last of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, and at some point in the misty nebulous darkness of the future I'll have a third book in the Wall of Night series by Helen Lowe to read, but that's a way off yet methinks. I'd give some spare teeth to get The Thorn of Emberlain into my greedy grasp, but I was at the bookshop yesterday and after poring over their selection I was finding nothing new really grabbing my attention - I'm all hype for upcoming authors that I already like, but I'm finding it tough to find new ones to branch out to. There's a new surge of hard bitten down on their luck grimdark male thieves/ex soldiers/traumatic past characters that I just find so unbelievably tiresome and I can't wait for it to pass, honestly. Which is hypocritical of me, because I was won over by Joe Abercrombie - though admittedly more for characters like Cosca than Logan. (who I only liked come Red Country, because that's when I finally feel he had a character I gave the slightest shit about).

    So, that's my whining. Anybody got anything I should read? I'm all about sci-fi and fantasy, but character driven, not world driven. Clashes of armies are dull. People being confronted with tests of their character, growing and failing and struggling, that's my jam.

  19. #1959
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    I'd like to recommend The Painted Man (Warded Man in the US) series which is ongoing at the moment but honestly the third book was such a let down and a hurdle jump backwards that I don't think I can.
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  20. #1960
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    I'd like to recommend The Painted Man (Warded Man in the US) series which is ongoing at the moment but honestly the third book was such a let down and a hurdle jump backwards that I don't think I can.
    Ah, I got about half way through the first one and it was just not really appealing to me super much. I kind of wanted all the humans to die was the problem. Their culture seemed pretty abysmal across the board. To an extent I could embrace it as a crapsack world, to an extent I couldn't. I struggled.

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