Author Topic: What are you reading, part 3  (Read 115711 times)

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1680 on: March 17, 2011, 06:56:57 PM »
The "cia"s are everywhere. I gave up on Dark Mirror and now I'm trying A Million Open Doors by John Barnes.
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WriterDan

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1681 on: March 18, 2011, 07:08:43 PM »
Ending of Wolfsangel was horrendous.

Reading The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham again.  :)  Ah, goodness.
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fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1682 on: March 19, 2011, 01:15:43 PM »
Just finished Memories of Ice, Book 3 by Steven Erikson.  Wow is the first word that comes to mind.  I said before the world is massive, but this one really started to show just how much of an understatement that is (and there were hints at how much larger the world is so I'm guessing I'm not done yet).  This time the novel switches back to the Bridgeburners, or what's left of them.  I loved the cycle of Gods and how they are being forced to come together.  I loved the politics.  I really loved some of the social commentary made by Erikson.  It was nice to see the Malazan Empire through the eyes of others and realize that in many respects, here is an Empire very similar to the Roman Empire, minus the lack of morality.  The explanations of their army structure and their layers within layers that the reader is only now beginning to see is breathtaking.

Description was a lot better than the previous two books (though still lacking in parts).  Characterization was much more developed as well.  I feel that by this book Erikson no longer feels like a beginning novelist still finding his feet.  That's refreshing because the series feels like it's about to take off and I'm ready to try to keep up.

Once again, there was one plotline that seemed to me to be completely unneccessary.  The Mhybe (sp?) was hard to read and generally boring.  I understand the reason for her line (mainly to show us that Silverfox had good intentions), but I feel that this could have been shown without having to read pages and pages of endless whining. 

I said it before and I'll say it again.  I feel that Erikson would benefit from a really good editor.  I wouldn't envy them the task, because to be hypervigilant through 900+ pages is not easy.  I think that they caught 90% of the book.  Whether this was Erikson on a rewrite or the agent or the editor, I don't know.  I do know that there were occassional parts that were either sloppy, plodding, unneccessary, or not as well executed.  For most authors this wouldn't stand out, but Erikson's prose/story was so well done on this one that I picked up on it.

The ending was one long boulder rushing down a mountainside that bounced off into space and plummetted, taking my heart with it.  I wasn't prepared for the level of emotion unleashed at the end of the book.  Erikson was masterful in that moment.  Readers beware, like Martin, he's not afraid to kill off beloved main characters.  I think the main difference is that, whereas Martin does it to be realistic/gritty, Erikson's characters generally die in ways to show the best parts of humanity.

To sum up, I'll be reading the rest of the series :-)
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WriterDan

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1683 on: March 20, 2011, 07:42:34 AM »
Love to hear that, Fireflyz.  Absolutely LOVE to hear that.
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ork

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1684 on: March 21, 2011, 12:44:09 PM »
am busy reading two at a time. 'the towers of midnight' and 'the wise man's fear', before that i was busy with malazan book one. too huge not forgetting complex but sticking to it cos i loved it. and i have read most of the reviews making it worth the time.though i have to finish these pressing two first. ;D ;D
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 12:49:46 PM by ork »

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1685 on: March 21, 2011, 05:31:46 PM »
I'm reading One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde. It's a hoot. I find it especially funny that in the BookWorld, the Thursday Next books are in fantasy, whereas in the real world, I've only seen them shelved in Mystery or General Fiction.
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1686 on: March 22, 2011, 02:10:32 AM »
@fireflyz - Erikson's series is my fav.  Just be aware that the first 5 novels are essentially just setup for the last 5 books.  After the awesomeness of books 2 and 3 (which run concurrently) some readers feel the next few books are a let-down.  I never did, cause I felt Erikson became a better writer each novel, and became exceptionally good at character.  I do however agree that the novels could have done with a very heavy edit.  However, that said, from what I understand his novels actually have little to no editing to insure that they were released on a yearly basis.  I consider them incredible as is, so another 6 months of edits and drafts, in my opinion, wouldn't have made them better enough to warrant the added delays.  That's my view though.  To each his own.  Glad you are liking it though.

I read some stuff on my vacation to England.  Company Man.  Vampire Empire Book 1.  I started A Matter of Blood by Sarah Pinborough (freaking LOVING it so far).  Had lunch with Tom Lloyd and James Barclay, and also with their editor Simon Spanton.  My appreciation and respect for all of them skyrocketed. 
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hubay

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1687 on: March 22, 2011, 02:47:40 AM »
@BGuy Does that mean we'll be reading an interview with any of them sometime soon? If so, I'm looking forward to it.

I took advantage of the Borders closing nearby to stock up on all sorts of fantasy paperbacks, including the entire First Law Trilogy. That was fun. I'm having trouble feeling too upset about the bankruptcy when it's gotten me so many cheap books.
I just finished Before They are Hanged. Really enjoyed some of the character progression; I felt a lot of the characters in Book 1 were pretty static but to be honest abercrombie writes them well enough that I didn't mind. I'm putting off Last Argument until I've got my summer internship taken care of, though.

guessingo

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1688 on: March 22, 2011, 02:36:46 PM »
@bookstoreguy: Why was it so urgent to get the books out every year? Was it for income? I like it better when authors spend more time on books. Now I know Brandon gets his out fast, but he has said that he is a workaholic and he has a stockpiling of writing from before he was published.

BTW, has erickson said anything about what is next? Is he going to write in the same world. I didn't really like the first book much. However, you have praised them so much, I'll probably keep going eventually. I can't put my finger on exactly why I didn't like it. Part of it was that the arch at the end was too fast. It felt off. It also didn't quite make alot of sense. I also did not find the characters all that compelling. But as you and others have said, it is book 3 that draws you in.

Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1689 on: March 22, 2011, 03:30:33 PM »
Getting out a book a year helps maintain your fanbase and sales.  It also helps sell your series to new readers since they see your books coming out with regularity.  I for one am glad he chose his current method of getting novels out.  The Rothfuss/Martin/Lynch/Jordan (before his passing) way of doing things doesn't do it for me.  But that's just me.

I interviewed Erikson before I left for my vacation.  He talks very openly and and candidly about what he thinks of his own stuff, and talks about his next projects.  I'll publish it soon-ish.

@hubay - probably won't have another interview with them out for a while since we've had them over the past year.  When Tom's last book comes out next year will do another, and when we've caught up on all of James' stuff maybe.  These were more of social visits between friends.
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fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1690 on: March 23, 2011, 02:12:03 AM »
@Bookstore Guy

I'm okay with the novels setting up the rest.  Haha, as a huge WOT fan I've had some experience with the middle novels bridging the gap of earlier novels and setting up future ones.  As long as the world is brilliantly realized and the characters are intriguing I don't need an incredibly active plot provided it's clearly going somewhere.  Clearly, Erikson's delivered on those points.

I get what you're saying about Martin and co. To be fair, I don't think those guys are putting out books at such a slow rate due to editing though.  I think it's mainly due to not writing as fast or as often.  I get your point.  I do love authors that are prolific.  I have a lot of respect for King, Sanderson, (and now) Erikson who put out large volumes of work on a consistent basis. 

I look forward to reading the interview.  I've been busy lately and haven't had a chance to research Erikson much.  So far it's just been through his novels.
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fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1691 on: March 26, 2011, 12:46:22 PM »
Well, I finished books 4, 5, and 6.  In a week.  Which I think speaks well to Erikson's series.  And to the fact that the office was pretty much empty this week and I had a ton of free time on my hands.

Book 4 was good.  We follow a new (from his POV anyway) character for the first half of the book.  For anyone who wants to know how to make a character we hate turn into one we love, they should read this novel.  I started off disliking Karsa, but by the end I felt he had grown a lot.  The final showdown with Sha'ik was a little anticlimactic, but that's alright.

Book 5 was...interesting.  I didn't realize the entire book would be Trull Sengar's story.  I can see why it was neccessary, the Crippled God's push for power is vast and sweeping.  I finished book 5 and remember my head hurting.  Why?  Because Erikson's world is so vast and the cast of characters has grown so large that tracking them all made me feel like my brain was being forced to expand.  Haha, not a bad thing in and of itself.

Book 6 was a return to some of the plots from the earlier books.  It was refreshing after spending over a thousand pages away from them.  The ending was amazing (as his endings usually are).  It had me holding my breath, wondering what the fate of the 14th would be.  I can't truly believe that the Empress is this big of an idiot, but if she is I hope her death is slow.  She's earned it a hundred times over.

I love the social commentary that's made.  There's some original Marxian thoughts, comments on civilization, on the cyclical nature of history, etc.  Many of his thoughts mirror my own which might be why I like them so much, but he does it in a way that never comes across as preachy.  That was one of Goodkind's many problems.  Erikson introduces you to an idea from both perspectives and depending on who the POV is from we see what they think is the correct one.  There's no blugdeoning over the head though and for that I'm thankful.

My complaints are few and the usual.  Erikson's publishing speeds are incredible.  Especially because the prose is good, the ideas are good, the characters are good.  Rothfuss could take some lessons in building and maintaining tension from him (IMHO his second novel has little tension throughout).  For all of that, the man is in desperate need of editing.  Why?  Because the man's books are good with great plots.  They could be great.  They could eclipse everything in fantasy today (perhaps not Sanderson...it's too early to tell, but if Stormlight Archive series gets better than WOK then they would rival each other).  Even Jordan, and as a long time WOT fan I never thought I'd say that.  Unfortunately, I don't think they will attain those heights.  They are epic and breathtaking in scope.  Sometimes the writing is almost Shakespearean in nature.  Having said that, they are places where he overwhelms with exposition.  Places where he indulges in something that's an obvious interest of his but does little to further character or plot.  There are story arcs that take up dozens of chapters to deliver a small piece of the plot.  I feel that in a way, his success is a curse.  I'm sure the publishing companies are allowing him to do whatever he pleases.  But sometimes you do have to kill your darlings.  And sometimes there is too much of a good thing. 

I'm moving onto the next one and am really beginning to wonder.  Erikson's done a good job of convincing the reader that this world is doomed and the heroes are unlikely to save the day.  Let's hope we're wrong :-)
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1692 on: March 28, 2011, 04:10:03 PM »
Now that you are at this point in the series, you should read the first two Esslemont novels.  Night of Knives will take you just a couple of hours, and its a prequel to the Erikson stuff.  But the you get to read Return of the Crimson Guard which is awesome, and it picks up on the Empress storyline.  Then you can get back to the Erikson stuff.
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WriterDan

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1693 on: March 30, 2011, 09:48:21 PM »
Reading Black Halo, by Sam Sykes.  Sequel to Tome of the Undergates.  Pretty good so far.  And he even has a storyline starting up that's not on "the boat".  Whadd'ya know.

Reading Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull to my kids as well.  Starting off slow and way too many big words for them, but it's coming along.
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1694 on: March 31, 2011, 04:28:20 PM »
Finishing off the King of Plagues right now--love it. 

Also finishing off Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett--shockingly good.  The alternate history in it is fascinating, and though the pacing is very slow, I love the guy's writing.

I'm also half-way through A Matter of Blood by Sarah Pinborough.  Import  only at the moment, but it makes me think of R Scott Bakker had he actually done one of his thrillers right.

After that?
New Tchaikovsky
New Pevel
Barclay
New Pohl--All the Live He Led
New Valente
the latest Jasper Kent
More Larry Correia

I'm busy for a while.
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