Author Topic: What are you reading, part 3  (Read 96957 times)

maxonennis

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1695 on: March 31, 2011, 06:24:11 PM »
Just started Daniel Abraham's The Dragon's Path and Adrian Tchaikovsky's Empire in Black and Gold yesterday.

Counting The Fade by Chris Wooding, and The Way of Kings that makes four books in one year that strongly feature human offshoot species. Seems like a new-ish fad in epic fantasy.
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fireflyz

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1696 on: April 02, 2011, 01:07:44 AM »
Well I read Reaper's Gale and Toll the Hounds from Erikson this week.  I liked them both, but for different reasons. 

Reaper's Gale was very well told.  It included some of my favorite characters.  One thing that Erikson does very well, which I think is rare in fantasy, is capture the movements of armies over an entire campaign.  He does this without bogging down, or being boring.  I loved the story of the Marines in Reaper's Gale.  There was a lot of nail biting moments.  I liked that Erikson went out of his way to demonstrate that in many ways, the Malazans were much further advanced.  Their magic was different, their weapons and armor superior, and their technology was superior.  Still, there were a few times that he sliced through Gordion knots that didn't have to be cut in such an abrupt manner.  Mainly, I'm looking at Karsa's duel with the Emperor.  I thought it was more than a little anticlimatic.

Toll the Hounds was hard to get through.  It's strange, because I saved several quotations throughout this novel on my kindle.  I did so, because Erikson had some very profound thoughts on grief, faith, and several other things.  The further destruction of the Bridgeburners was heartbreaking.  Cutter's personal growth was nice to see.  The ending was very well done.  Very poignant.  Unfortunately, I found several portions in the middle that ran on and on, seemingly going nowhere.  Also, the beginning was hard to sink my teeth into because it felt like we jumped from one POV/plot line to another to another to another.  After a few hundred pages and you've only come back to a few plot lines twice, it gets old.  So this novel, while hard to get through, was well paid off in the end.

Finally, I read Dan Wells's latest in the series.  "I Don't Want to Kill You."  I found his first novel intriguing.  Almost like a teenage Dexter.  (Yes I know, the comparison's been made many times before).  I knew going in about the supernatural aspect (and yes, as Dan's addressed before, it's not set up well and kind of pulls the reader out of the book when it first occurs).  Still, I wanted to read the second one.  Mr. Monster was disturbing.  I've experienced a lot in my life.  Overseas, my experiences have been well outside the realm of the average person.  Even so, this novel was upsetting.  You see, Dan does a good job of making us think that there's more to John Cleaver.  Perhaps, he isn't a sociopath.  Perhaps there's hope.  Mr. Monster dashes those hopes away.  Even while we see John start dating and began to become more normal.  We know it can't last...and it doesn't.

Which brings me to his latest novel.  It's a fast read.  I found myself wondering where John was going to go in this novel.  Dan starts us off similarly to the first two.  There is a murder.  There's sufficient evidence to indicate it's a serial killer.  What I loved about this novel, is that it threw out the rule book.  John seemed more in control of his tendencies, but we got to see that he was indeed falliable.  What made this novel for me though, was the interaction between John and those around him.  I'm not quite convinced that a girl like Marci would exist in the real world.  It would take a hell of a personality for a girl to be the hottest girl in school and still have the confidence to go for an unpopular guy.  Not only to go for that unpopular guy, but to appreciate him for who and what he is.  And ultimately, that level of maturity is increasingly rare in our society.  I'm not convinced that Marci exists, but I hope she does.  And Dan clearly hopes so as well.  For once, John isn't alone.  Dan did a very good job here.  He made me forget that thus far, this series has not been a happy one.  The happiest ending was the first book and it's only grown darker since.  I won't give anything away, but I was reading the book at work  (I'm blessed with free time occassionally) and had I known what was coming, I would've put the book down and waited until I got home.  It packs a punch.  One that leaves the reader gasping.

I've never been a huge fan of YA.  Too many times it's like high school all over again.  The only people that look back with fondness on high school are either old enough to forget what it was like or else were part of the reason why high school was not the best years of our lives.  I'm suspicious of those that espouse it to be the best years.  Dan Wells does a good job of weaving roses in amongst the thorns and reminding the reader that there were rays of sunshine.  And enjoy those rays, because he doesn't let them last long.  Thanks for the read, Dan!


@Bookstore Guy, I'll probably give those two books a read this weekend if I have time.  I need to take a breath before the plunge of the final two :-)
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guessingo

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1697 on: April 05, 2011, 02:36:53 PM »
The Big Short by Michael Lewis. It is about the guys who saw through the mortgage bond fraud on wall street and bet against it years before anyone else. They actually created the Credit Default Swap industry. These Swaps are insurance on mortgage bonds. By buying these bonds they were betting that the mortgage bonds industry would completely collapse and since they held insurance on these bonds, they would get paid when the bonds failed. The whole industry was a complete fraud. Wall Street took garbage sub-prime mortgages, then gamed the models that the rating agencies used to rate them to give them ratings that meant almost not chance to fail. These are mortgages that start at 2% interest and jump to 15% after 2 years. Wall Street even made up fancy names for parts of the bonds called Tranches and Mezzanine levels. They actually ran out of mortgages to sell. So they took the worst mortgages in the worst bonds and then repackaged them again into what they called Collaterized Debt Obligations and then got those rated high. The book is about the small number of people who actually read the bonds materials and realized "this is complete garbage". They did it years in advance. Absolutely fascinating. Michael Lewis is the guy who wrote The Blind Side. It is very easy to read. I actually listened to it on audio. You do not need any background in finance to follow it. He provides enough where you can look up more wikipedia.


Canticle by Ken Scholes: I like this book, but not as much as the Elitist Book review. His writing improved in the 2nd book. In the first book there is this huge catastrophe at the beginning. He plays lip service to how horrible this is, but does not give a real good sense of loss. I like how he wrote Vlad Li Tams voice in this book. However, the story was a bit contrived. Everything is going bad then one of the heroes by chance happens on something and then is able to save the day. (well sort of. More bad things happened later). Also, though I like that the book is short (under 400 pages) which is contrast to a lot of fantasy. He seems to bite off more than he can chew in 400 pages. I don't get the sense of depth I get from other authors. All that being said. The world is very interesting. He mixes magic and robots which is neat. I am now on Antiphon and will keep going. His writing seems to improve with each book. The world is extremely original.
Another thing I really like about Scholes is that he is very efficient in his writing. Stuff happens. He gets to the point quickly. He really makes every sentence count.

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1698 on: April 05, 2011, 11:02:00 PM »
I finally finished A Million Open Doors by John Barnes which was interesting if rather plotless.  I'm sick, so I also flew through River Marked by Patricia Briggs, whose books I always find delightful. Now I'm reading The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells, which I'm sure will be interesting like all her books.
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1699 on: April 07, 2011, 04:02:03 PM »
Finished A MATTER OF BLOOD by Sarah Pinborough.  It may be one of my favorite horror novels ever.  It was a recommendation from James Barclay when I was in England.  So awesome.
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WriterDan

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1700 on: April 07, 2011, 09:30:49 PM »
@Guessingo:  I wasn't a very big fan of Lamentation, for most of the very same reasons that you mentioned having with Canticle, plus a few more.  If you're a fan of efficient prose though, you should check out my review of Dragon's Path, Daniel Abraham's new book, up on EBR as of yesterday.  That book was solid and very well-done.
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guessingo

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1701 on: April 11, 2011, 01:44:32 PM »
I have a Daniel Abraham book sitting on my couch. Going to read it when I finish Antiphon. I think the one you mentioned is the one I have. A lot of people have been praising him. I don't do as much as reading as the rest of you. I actually audio far more books than I read. I also want to go back through this list and read some more Peter's book reviews. I have a hunch, I'll like books he recommends.

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1702 on: April 11, 2011, 04:50:33 PM »
Of course, as my taste is impeccable. For starters, see my sig.
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mtbikemom

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1703 on: April 11, 2011, 09:11:44 PM »
I think I like everything that both Peter and Nessa like.  What does it meeeeeean?

Bookstore Guy

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1704 on: April 11, 2011, 09:42:49 PM »
I think I like everything that both Peter and Nessa like.  What does it meeeeeean?

That you're a cylon.
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Nessa

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1705 on: April 11, 2011, 11:29:04 PM »
I think I like everything that both Peter and Nessa like.  What does it meeeeeean?

That you're a cylon.

Do I get to be the blonde one? /leaves to buy sexy red dress
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guessingo

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1706 on: April 12, 2011, 02:27:47 PM »
Of course, as my taste is impeccable. For starters, see my sig.

What a way to take a compliment. I laughed when I read this.

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1707 on: April 13, 2011, 02:01:38 AM »
Well, I did mean it to be humorous.
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mtbikemom

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1708 on: April 13, 2011, 02:39:29 AM »
I think I like everything that both Peter and Nessa like.  What does it meeeeeean?

That you're a cylon.

Do I get to be the blonde one? /leaves to buy sexy red dress

I'd rather be the kick-butt Asian cylon, anyway.  Always wanted to fly a space ship.  Which one would Peter be?

Back on subject, reading Memory by Bujold because I forgot I bought it and read Komar just before.  Both excellent.  She is such a good writer.  I decided not to read any more Alan Campbell after all.  The Amazon review sez he drops all the characters I cared about in book two.  Not worth the dark content for me.

Sigyn

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Re: What are you reading, part 3
« Reply #1709 on: April 13, 2011, 06:05:27 PM »
I'm almost done with The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier, and I am really enjoying it.
If I had any clue, would I be here?