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

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I feel much the same way.

 

 

The final book was just one extended battle scene with a little bit of character stuff before and after. It felt rushed and altogether uninspired. I got the feeling that Brandon Sanderson just wanted to get it done so he could move on to personal projects. The actual ending of the ending was all sorts of dumb. If that was the scene that Robert Jordan based the entire series around, I think he put too much personal investment in it. I was not impressed.

 

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Just finished Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter. I have enjoyed her Jane Yellowrock (though I have felt the last couple in the series have felt more and more like setup fillers) series and started this one. I enjoyed it and Hunter pulled off something I would have thought almost impossible. The main character is apparently a Dryad or something similar, though she doesn't know for sure. She was raised in her early childhood by the Church of St. Cloud - a patriarchal polygamist cult, only escaping due to the intervention of another member and one of his wives (much more to the story, but it is integral to the book). She is hired by Psyled agent Rick LaFleur (introduced in Jane's book) to help them find a radical USA born terrorist group they believe is hiding on church lands. The story is well done. A great deal of the book is Nell coming our of her shell with the Psyled team and also her interactions with her former family of the church (also non family members).

The thing I said was impressive is that she wrote about the cult and its members as individuals and church members and was able to do it without setting a moral judgement, other then the perspective of the characters of the book. It is hard to explain, but I think she did a great job of not making the whole cult and their way of life come across as insane.

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Burned by Benedict Jacka.

Whatever Alex Verus did he was going to get stuffed but a certain light mage has a big come uppence headed their way.

 

Gestapo Mars by Victor Gischler. An agent is awoken from cyro sleep and sent to find and kill a woman. This proves easier said than done with alien invasions and faction fighting prevalent. Also there are some awful jokes. Readable. 

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Finished Going Rogue, by Drew Hayes; the third in the Spells, Swords, and Stealth series. (NPCs, Split the Party being the other two)

 

The series deals with what the world we Table Top gamers play in does when we're not watching.

 

These are a light read and while the first was more concerned with setting up the PCs are different from the rest of the people of the world and peppering inside jokes for Gamers - the second book started to care more for our nascent adventuring party of fakers and another group of players in the "Real" world. 

 

The third book gives us a bit more background, introduces yet another inscrutable elven (or half-elven) woman and then kicks the stakes into high gear as the party finally tastes what the rewards of adventuring can be. 

Many traditional fantasy tropes with a few interesting (to me at least) twists (even if some were rather telegraphed). And for once, I am terribly fond of a story that seems to be avoiding romance, 

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After hearing alot of good things about it, I purchased and read Monster Hunters International. 

 

Positives:

The author put some nice twists into his world. I have always liked monster hunter campaigns and movies, so this was really enjoyable.

No good guy characters in the book were really invulnerable and everyone took a beating

Some of the situations had me thinking "Holy crap, how the hell are they going to get out of this????

 

Not so Positives...

I'm sure I'm going to get some flak for this, but Owen is a Mary Sue... I just can't get past this.  Maybe it's because of the first person way the story is told, or the forced, weird feeling romance that was shoved in, but yeah, Mary Sue.  I honestly feel that if the Owen character was replaced by someone else, I would have enjoyed the book more.

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After hearing alot of good things about it, I purchased and read Monster Hunters International. 

 

Not so Positives...

I'm sure I'm going to get some flak for this, but Owen is a Mary Sue... I just can't get past this.  Maybe it's because of the first person way the story is told, or the forced, weird feeling romance that was shoved in, but yeah, Mary Sue.  I honestly feel that if the Owen character was replaced by someone else, I would have enjoyed the book more.

 

Owen is my least favorite character in the whole series. He is very obviously an author insertion character. Besides that he has the whole "rebel without a clue" and "loudmouth so Conservative that he makes Conservatives as a class look bad" thing going. Hell, I prefer the thinly veiled Wolverine knock-off that is Harbinger. Turns out my favorite character is painted as an almost bad guy in the first few books (Franks). 

 

I have enjoyed the series but there have been many things that have just made me sign in weak exasperation.

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Owen is my least favorite character in the whole series. He is very obviously an author insertion character. Besides that he has the whole "rebel without a clue" and "loudmouth so Conservative that he makes Conservatives as a class look bad" thing going. Hell, I prefer the thinly veiled Wolverine knock-off that is Harbinger. Turns out my favorite character is painted as an almost bad guy in the first few books (Franks). 

 

I have enjoyed the series but there have been many things that have just made me sign in weak exasperation.

 

Does it get any better in the next few books?

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Yeah, the combination of Author Insertion, Mary Sue and LET ME BEAT YOU ABOUT THE HEAD WITH MY POLITICAL VIEWS! was too much for me.

 

Sad thing is I consider myself a Conservative and a gun nut and both things were way overdone in the books. I never got the obsessive quotation of firearm stats and nomenclature, read off like they're the stats of Miss July. But hey, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the books enough to buy all five (so far) so they aren't all bad.

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Sad thing is I consider myself a Conservative and a gun nut and both things were way overdone in the books. I never got the obsessive quotation of firearm stats and nomenclature, read off like they're the stats of Miss July. But hey, I can honestly say that I enjoyed the books enough to buy all five (so far) so they aren't all bad.

 

I"m a gun lover as well, but it seems like most of the gun facts and data were on the level of Olympic caliber target shooters.  After a paragrapgh on all the facts about the weapon all I would gather is that the gun was "better than average"

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IIRC, in the foreward of the first book (or maybe in the Grim Noir books) the author states outright that the reason his antagonists tend to be big guys who like guns is because he is a big guy who likes guns. So the fact that both Owen and Jake are Mary Sue characters doesn't surprise me at all. I like both series and will continue to read them.

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IIRC, in the foreward of the first book (or maybe in the Grim Noir books) the author states outright that the reason his antagonists tend to be big guys who like guns is because he is a big guy who likes guns. So the fact that both Owen and Jake are Mary Sue characters doesn't surprise me at all. I like both series and will continue to read them.

 

Yeah, there is a certain element of fun to the stories. Like I said, I wouldn't have read all of the (so far) published novels if there wasn't something to them. I don't read a lot like that anymore so they were enjoyable enough. I have not read any of the short stories nor the ones written by another author.

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Read MHI, picked it up at an airport while attending a conference. I won't be reading any more of the series.

 

So as not to antagonize those who enjoy the series, my opinion is spoilered.

 

 

Ugh. Neo-con fantasy, gun nut, anti-gubmint, and incredibly laughably predictable. Can't believe I wasted an afternoon on that. The depiction of the "government agents" actually was such a caricature I chuckled in disbelief. The protagonist managed to be both grating, unlikable, and a complete author self insertion/Mary Stew. I will not be bothering to continue the series.

 

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The Fireman, by Joe Hill

It was excellent. This is a book that aspiring writers should study to learn about pacing, about making plot points that are surprising, yet make total sense in the end. To learn about giving different characters different voices, conflicting goals, and depth. To learn how to foreshadow and build tension.

 

The book is somewhere between Plague-post apocalyptic and Urban Fantasy. People get a fungus that makes them get black and gold lines on their skin. Eventually, it makes them spontaneously combust. The book follows one nurse who gets it and then finds out she's pregnant.

She has to run away, and finds a quasi-cult that has stopped burning to death by placating the fungus. They just have to have an oxytocin-releasing bonding experience, and then the fungus thinks the host is a safe place to chill. It then promotes social bonding behavior, resulting in extreme groupthink and mob mentality. Basically trading death for mental illness if you aren't careful. And if you aren't careful the other way, cortisol releases will still trigger the fungus to burn you alive so your infected ash can spread it around.  Oh, and the real urban fantasy comes in when you get skilled at being infected and working with the fungus. Advanced people can be pyromancers, shooting fire from their hands, and even creating fire elementals vested with a little bit of their mind.

 

 

I will admit to not being entirely satisfied with the end.

The fireman himself died, but I thought he'd die at the same time his girlfriend died the rest of the way. The author kept making Romeo and Juliet references, and I thought they'd go out together, spectacular and romantic.  Instead he went a few weeks after.  Actually, the whole last few chapters just felt like 'more of the same'. It didn't feel like the main character really achieved anything.

 

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Read MHI, picked it up at an airport while attending a conference. I won't be reading any more of the series.

 

So as not to antagonize those who enjoy the series, my opinion is spoilered.

 

 

Ugh. Neo-con fantasy, gun nut, anti-gubmint, and incredibly laughably predictable. Can't believe I wasted an afternoon on that. The depiction of the "government agents" actually was such a caricature I chuckled in disbelief. The protagonist managed to be both grating, unlikable, and a complete author self insertion/Mary Stew. I will not be bothering to continue the series.

 

Can't say as I blame you. I almost didn't finish it myself. They get better, but a lot of the same attitude, that seems to have bothered you, remains.

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Delta Green: Denied to the Enemy by Dennis Detwiller

 

This is Cthulhu Mythos fiction set during the Second World War. The American and British anti-Mythos busters don't really trust each other which helps. The book is written in short chapters so while it is not great literature it flows nicely. The book touches on the activities of the Deep Ones but is more concerned with what the Great Race are up to and that is what works best.

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