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Bozimus

What Fantasy/Sci-Fi book have you just finished? Please rate it...

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If you reveal some juicy plot details, please make good use of the SPOILER notification to avoid ruining someone else's pleasure...

 

For me, "Something from the Nightside" by Simon R. Green stands out. Fast paced urban fantasy with interesting characters. Sequel is "Agents of Light and Darkness".

 

I give it an "8" out of 10.

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I just finished The Last World War, by Dayton Ward. Good beginning, but the change in tone and pace in the middle of the book was such that I had trouble finishing it. In the first half it did a good job of showing the reality of military life.

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I recently read The Lone Drow by RA Salvatore. Standard fare for Salvatore Companions of the Hall books. Enjoyable and fast-paced. The continual maturation of Wulfgar is pleasing. The changed roles between him and Catti-Brie are interesting. There remains though, little left to be explored it in the character of Drizzt. We revisit the 'hunter' persona. Nothing new comes out of it that wasn't seen in the Dark Elf trilogy. Building up Obould as a credible foe was good, although the ending with Bruenor was somewhat hokey. As always, the fight scenes are extremely complex and entertaining. Much of the book is a series of medium-scale battles that are pretty well done. I await the next book. :)

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Vacuum Diagrams by Stephen Baxter, a collection of short stories and excerpts from his other books that covers his Xeelee future history. Good reading, though I was a trifle annoyed with three different stories dealing with the same theme; discovering nonhuman intelligent life in the Solar System.

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Guest joen00b

A Storms Of Swords by George R. R. Martin. I give it a full 5 stars. This story finishes off rather incredibly in my opinion and the revelations blew me away. The characters that died, the way some of them got away, etc. Simply the best fantasy books I've read, and very involving and twisting.

 

I can't wait for A Feast Of Crows.

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For some reason I haven't been able to finish A Game Of Thrones. I've tried twice. Weird, because it's masterfully written.

 

I'm not one who separates supernatural horror from fantasy & SF. Given that, I just finished Crota by Owl Goingback. 4 out of 10. Cliched, mildly racist and full of dei ex machina.

 

-AA

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Honor Harrington: Field of Dishonor by David Weber. It's the fourth Honor Harrington novel, sort of military space opera with a female Horatio Hornblower. This fourth book was rather odd, because it doesn't feature a single space battle - the whole thing deals with the aftermath of the previous book and Honor's conflict with another officer. Prettty interesting, though I won't pick up the next book for a couple weeks or thereabouts.

 

Patrick J McGraw

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Guest joen00b

***SMALL SPOILER FOR A GAME OF THRONES IN THIS SOMEWHERE***

 

Yes, A Game Of Thrones starts off rather good, slows down while it sets everything up, but about 60% into the book it reaches the top of the hill for backstory and setting, then the roller coaster ride of death, debauchery, and backstabbing begins and hasn't slowed down in 2.4 books now.

 

I'll say this much: Lord Eddard (Ed, Ned he has so many names) gets murdered. And wait till you see what happens to his kids, OY VEY! And I won't even go on with the King's family and how screwed up they are and how bad it gets for them.

 

And Dany, oh boy, Dany! That girl is going shake the very foundations of the world once she crosses the sea with her armies. And her Husband is on helluva a cool character, wait till you see what happens to him, Dany's brother, her wedding, etc.

 

Martin pulls no punches and no one is safe from death in his books, which is the way it should be. I f I have to read how Driz'zt escapes one more time from the Drow, I will hunt down Salvatore and cut his hands off. I kid, of course, I think Salvatore is a cool guy, I'm just not hip to his Driz'zt stories anymore. The sheer amount of money he's made on that character is astronomical.

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Guest joen00b

Ok, will do. I was just trying to give you a small teaser to get you interested in it again. Once you get past A Game Of Thrones, you'll be hooked.

 

Trust me, you'll thank me for getting your interest piqued later. It took me almost 18 months to start and finish A Game Of Thrones with a 17 month break in between starting it, and finishing it. I think it took 2 weeks to read it at work, then about 1 week to read the other books in succession. They really are that good.

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I didn't include Game of Thrones in this thread 'cause its been a few months since I read it. I can understand how some are put off by its constantly changing character perspectives - chapter to chapter. I am used to reading 3 books at a time, so this doesn't bother me. But it bothers others...

 

I give it a "9" out of 10.

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Empire from the Ashes. Compilation of David Weber's Armageddon Inheritance trilogy.

 

I enjoyed it quite a bit.

 

It put me into a "want to read more sci-fi" mood.

 

Thinking about Game of Thrones is bad for me because I'm waiting waiting waiting for the next book. Finish writing it you evil bastard!!!

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Patience, the way of the Jedi is.

 

Last book I read was Conan: People of the Black Circle by REH. A collection of three or four stories. Classic Conan, and not nearly as racist as much of his other work.

 

Prior to that I tried to read the Gormenghast trilogy, but only got through Titus Groan (book 1). Peake is a real master of descriptive prose--but hardly anything actually happens. So it was hard going.

 

I'm now on Gardens of the Moon by Stephen Erikson. So far it's pretty good, high-magic Black Company type stuff.

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Guest joen00b

Oooh! Black Company, pretty good book! I forget the authors name, but he was into Death and mayhem too.

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Originally posted by Lord Mhoram

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin.

 

9 out of 10.

 

Amazing characterizations. Nice plot, with a few unexpected turns, which is nice. The story is fine, but the characters are totally engrossing, which is what i love.

I concur. Bran is my hero. :)

 

Island in the Sea of Time, by S.M. Stirling (and its sequels)

~The island of Nantucket goes back in time to the bronze age (pre-Trojan war). What sets it apart from most books of its type is that thousands of people go back...the entire island in fact. Good characters, good knowledge of history.

 

I read a bunch of books, but recommend few.

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Originally posted by Bozimus

I can understand how some are put off by its constantly changing character perspectives - chapter to chapter. I am used to reading 3 books at a time, so this doesn't bother me. But it bothers others...

 

I don't have a problem keeping the characters straight while I'm reading the book. My problem is that, having set the book down 2/3 of the way through, I am daunted to pick it up again. I don't want to read from the beginning yet again, but I have little hope of remembering the 1,001 plot threads. It's easier for me to pick up a new book altogether.

 

(I do have a confession to make, and a terrible one for a published writer: I don't read that much fiction. I'm not a fast reader. For me a 500+ page book is a commitment of many weeks and probably months. In the past I could pound through a long book in a week or two, but many years have passed since those days. So if I remark about how strange it is that people read books they don't like, even when they know they won't like them, bear in mind the context.)

 

-AA

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Guest Worldmaker

Callahan's Con by Spider Robinson. While I love the Callahan's stories, I think its time for Spider to permanently retire the setting and characters. Each of the last couple of stories has been progressively weaker.

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Originally posted by Lightray

Glen Cook.

 

Who didn't come out with a new Black Company book this year. :(

I tend to think the Black Company series is more or less over. The last book had a feeling of finality to it, much as the Silver Spike more or less resolved all of the fates of those who didn't go south.

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The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian a collection of short stories by REH, and illustrated throughout. I enjoyed reading the original Conan stories and the illustrations were a nice touch (though according to the illustrations the women worked hard to not spend too much money on clothing). Howard's writing style fits very will with writing about Conan who does not wish to fully understand or integrate into 'civilized' society. Being a collection of short stories it makes for a nice read and allows frequent points for taking a break. Overall, 8 of 10.

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george R.R. Martin's novels are frustrating and ultimately pointless

 

Yes, _A Game of Thrones_ and the sequel _A Clash of Kings_ were technically well-written. The grammar was good, the mechanics were excellent. But Martin should be aware that he isn't writing real world _history_! By the end of the first book, I was very weary of the way that NOTHING EVER ENDED. Martin seems to think he can simply retell real world European history, with all its ambiguities and unanswered questions, and that will make an adequate story. He sets up elaborate situations, but rather than resolving them, he "buries" them under the rush of other events. He seems to think that this makes a good story...well, he's wrong.

 

Not only are there no resolutions in either book, but none of the characters ever grow, develop or become greater than themselves. Throughout wildly changing circumstances, the characters continue to do the same foolish, disagreeable or ignorant things. They don't learn. As a fantasy novel reader, I _live_ for characters that finally, heroically become more than they ever have been before...as the commercial says, "Be all that you can be." And Martin's characters never do. Martin is telling his characters--and his readers--that he won't have any change and growth of characters, because it would only detract from his amazing sweeping plots.

 

So, I would recommend _against_ starting Martin's multi-book epic. If you do, you'll regret it...and be left resentful, frustrated and out the time and money it took to acquire and read the damn thing.

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Guest joen00b

Re: george R.R. Martin's novels are frustrating and ultimately pointless

 

Originally posted by Haven Walkur

Yes, _A Game of Thrones_ and the sequel _A Clash of Kings_ were technically well-written. The grammar was good, the mechanics were excellent. But Martin should be aware that he isn't writing real world _history_! By the end of the first book, I was very weary of the way that NOTHING EVER ENDED. Martin seems to think he can simply retell real world European history, with all its ambiguities and unanswered questions, and that will make an adequate story. He sets up elaborate situations, but rather than resolving them, he "buries" them under the rush of other events. He seems to think that this makes a good story...well, he's wrong.

 

Not only are there no resolutions in either book, but none of the characters ever grow, develop or become greater than themselves. Throughout wildly changing circumstances, the characters continue to do the same foolish, disagreeable or ignorant things. They don't learn. As a fantasy novel reader, I _live_ for characters that finally, heroically become more than they ever have been before...as the commercial says, "Be all that you can be." And Martin's characters never do. Martin is telling his characters--and his readers--that he won't have any change and growth of characters, because it would only detract from his amazing sweeping plots.

 

So, I would recommend _against_ starting Martin's multi-book epic. If you do, you'll regret it...and be left resentful, frustrated and out the time and money it took to acquire and read the damn thing.

 

Funny, this is how I would describe the Wheel Of Time series, except with one dimensional women written from a mysoginstic point of view.

 

I think there was growth in the characters, and the first three books took place over the course of only a few months, ehll, Winter was just starting at the beginning on A Game Of Thrones and it had yet to snow in the lower lands yet.

 

The next book is supposed to be taking place during a 5 year lull in the war. We'll see what happens with growth there.

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