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

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Star Nomad: Fallen Empire Book 1 - Lindsay Buroker

 

Probably the best novel I have read lately. The main character reminds me of an Elseworlds version of a character that ghost-angel ran in my very old Gemini Ascendant campaign. In fact, the whole novel felt like it could fit in some corner of the GA setting.

 

8.5/10

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I saw Grailknight's post and remembered I forgot to pick up The Aeronaut's Windlass! I finished it last night. Not his best effort. I thought about it all day, and I think I put my finger on it: I didn't leave with an impression of whose story it is. Dresden Files tells Harry's story, and the Codex Alera tells Tavi's, but this was more of an ensemble cast type of affair. The problem is twofold here: Butcher's really good at fleshing out all of the supporting characters and even very minor characters like henchmen or soldiers who are there only to get killed a scene later. The second part of the problem is that none of the characters on the heroes' side stood out as a main focal point; everyone got very equal "screen" time. Overall, I didn't get as invested in any of the characters or the world as in his other work. I'm going to put that down to it being a first novel in a series, but in this regard, it's far behind the first novels of his other two series.

...

But as for a rating, I'd give it a 3/5. Because it's very readable, and a decent, professionally-crafted story. It just doesn't sing.

Just finished The Aeronaut's Windlass and second this review. I enjoyed it, and will probably pick up the 2nd book when it comes out. But I didn't love it.

 

I also just finished Tricked and Trapped, by Kevin Hearne, Books 3 and 4 of his Iron Druid Chronicles. Meh. I had read the first three a couple years ago and found them unremarkable, but someone else insisted they got way better and that I had to keep reading. Still not impressed. Some neat ideas and a few clever bits, but the Stupid Ball is just too Big and Frequent for me to get past it. I mean seriously, this idiot's supposed to be 2000 years old and he regularly makes newbie mistakes that that?

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I've been reading the Mandrake Company series of Kindle e-books.  I should first of all say that they are romance novels.  Romance military science fiction.  The astronomy is awful since the setting is modeled on Firefly. Space does not work that way!   Also the author's pen name is ludicrous.  "Ruby Lionsdrake".  But once you get past that, there's a fair bit of stuff you could crib for a Traveller-style campaign and the interpersonal banter is quite passable.  

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I saw Grailknight's post and remembered I forgot to pick up The Aeronaut's Windlass! I finished it last night. Not his best effort. I thought about it all day, and I think I put my finger on it: I didn't leave with an impression of whose story it is. Dresden Files tells Harry's story, and the Codex Alera tells Tavi's, but this was more of an ensemble cast type of affair. The problem is twofold here: Butcher's really good at fleshing out all of the supporting characters and even very minor characters like henchmen or soldiers who are there only to get killed a scene later. The second part of the problem is that none of the characters on the heroes' side stood out as a main focal point; everyone got very equal "screen" time. Overall, I didn't get as invested in any of the characters or the world as in his other work. I'm going to put that down to it being a first novel in a series, but in this regard, it's far behind the first novels of his other two series.

 

 

Just finished The Aeronaut's Windlass and second this review. I enjoyed it, and will probably pick up the 2nd book when it comes out. But I didn't love it.

 

I'll add a "me too!" to that.  In fact, the lack of a "main" character to follow made the book "meh" enough for me to forget I read it.  Just didn't stick with me.  I normally like his books, so that this has reminded me, I will need to make a note to be sure to try Vol 2.

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Have done a bunch more reviews over at my blog, some of which are SF/F.

 

The most recent such is First Contact by Michael R. Hicks, the first book in the first trilogy of three of the In Her Name series.  I'd downloaded it a few years ago as a free sample when thinking of buying a Kindle.

 

It's pulpy military SF; humanity runs into the Kreelan Empire, who aren't really hostile so much as massively into honorable hand to hand combat.  The humans are the first new opponents the Kreelans have had in millenia, and the Empire isn't going to take "we come in peace" as an answer.  War ensues.

 

Most of the characters feel like they came from Central Casting, and the set up is highly dubious, but a fast read.

 

http://www.skjam.com/2016/08/06/book-review-first-contact/

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HEROINE COMPLEX by Sarah Kuhn. I bought it because the cover art jumped out at me in Barnes & Noble and picked it up to look it over (never say cover art can't help sell a book), and the description and skimming a page here and there sold me. It's the story of Evie, an Asian-American young woman, who is the long-time best friend and personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, San Francisco's only superhero (also Asian American). While technically Aveda has a superpower (extremely low-STR telekinesis), it's all but useless, so she fights demons* with her martial arts skills. She's fanatically dedicated to training, and to being a diva.

 

It's a humorous story, told in first person. There are other people with minor superpowers in San Francisco, all acquired--like Aveda's--following the first incursion into San Francisco by demons. It failed, and Aveda has been dealing with the recurring portals ever since. When she's sidelined by an injury, Evie is forced to pretend to be Aveda using a glamor provided by a sorcerous friend, and...things do not go according to plan, naturally. In some ways it's a typical urban fantasy with heavy doses of romance, but it's also explicitly superhero focused (as opposed to "people with superpowers"), and there's a great deal of social media attention paid to Aveda (or "Aveda" when Evie is masquerading as her), which is amusing and which I found entirely realistic in contemporary culture. I enjoyed it. It's billed as the first in a series of books about Asian American heroines, and I will happily buy the next one.

 

*Demonic incursions are the only source of unnatural problems in this universe, and only happen in San Francisco for whatever reason.

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The Martian by Andy Weir. I don't think I've ever seen a movie that followed the book as closely as this one did. Aside from a couple more mishaps, if you saw the film, you've read the book. A great hard SF story, if short on character development and thematic depth.

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Just finished book 13 in the Wheel of Time "Towers of Midnight" by Jordan and Sanderson.  Epic story, I was worried after Jordan died that it wouldn't feel the same, but I believe that Sanderson has done justice to the story and characters!

 

One more to go in the series...

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Just finished book 13 in the Wheel of Time "Towers of Midnight" by Jordan and Sanderson.  Epic story, I was worried after Jordan died that it wouldn't feel the same, but I believe that Sanderson has done justice to the story and characters!

 

One more to go in the series...

 

You'll like it. It's as good as 3 and 4.

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Just finished book 13 in the Wheel of Time...

 

One more to go in the series...

My only issue with the Sanderson novels is that there was a jarring change of pace from Jordan's work. It was ultimately a good thing, but I had to adjust my expectations a bit.

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Read monter hunter memoirs: Grunge by ringo and correia, monster hunter nemesis by corriea, the last adventure of constance verity by martinez, daring by elliot james.

 

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge is about Chad Grenadizer and his start with MHI and his adventures with the Flaming Warthogs in Seattle Some of it is amusing and the protag is over the top.

 

Nemesis is about Agent Franks and the reason the government is not supposed to build more agents like him

 

Constance Verity is a kim possible type heroine who is tired of adventuring. Under a spell that keeps her life adventurous, she decides to kill her fairy godmother

 

Daring is about John Charming and his efforts to join a werewolf tribe and how he exposes a plot to kill four out of five normal people

CES 

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My only issue with the Sanderson novels is that there was a jarring change of pace from Jordan's work. It was ultimately a good thing, but I had to adjust my expectations a bit.

 

I'm thinking that if Jordan had lived the series would have gone longer, Sanderson dealt with some long time storyline "issues" in a couple paragraphs...

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Read monter hunter memoirs: Grunge by ringo and correia, monster hunter nemesis by corriea, the last adventure of constance verity by martinez, daring by elliot james.

 

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge is about Chad Grenadizer and his start with MHI and his adventures with the Flaming Warthogs in Seattle Some of it is amusing and the protag is over the top.

 

Nemesis is about Agent Franks and the reason the government is not supposed to build more agents like him

 

Constance Verity is a kim possible type heroine who is tired of adventuring. Under a spell that keeps her life adventurous, she decides to kill her fairy godmother

 

Daring is about John Charming and his efforts to join a werewolf tribe and how he exposes a plot to kill four out of five normal people

CES 

I am a fan of Correia's work and just started Grunge. I was a little worried about the co-writing with Ringo, but so far still reads like an MHI book. Really loved his Grimnoir books, if you havent read them.

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I am a fan of Correia's work and just started Grunge. I was a little worried about the co-writing with Ringo, but so far still reads like an MHI book. Really loved his Grimnoir books, if you havent read them.

Corriea said in his intro he had to cut some things like all the sex scenes.

CES

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MHI: Legion

 

Correia is really starting to hit his stride. I have my complaints about his style, but they are not overwhelming the fun part of his writing.

 

One of my complaints about the genre is that it seems as if every POV character written end up being some sort of Chosen One. Bah!

 

Still, for following modern urban fantasy 101, I liked it.

 

6.5/10

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Just finished book 13 in the Wheel of Time "Towers of Midnight" by Jordan and Sanderson.  Epic story, I was worried after Jordan died that it wouldn't feel the same, but I believe that Sanderson has done justice to the story and characters!

 

One more to go in the series...

 

Dont want to spoil for anyone who has not read the final book.

 

 

What did people think of the ending? I was a bit disappointed as there was so much wrapped up in the battle and not much in the resolution. I think for the investment in so many books there needed to be something fantastic and insightful at the end. Dont feel I got that... :-(  

 

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