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

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

 

Last night I finished reading Diana Wynn Jones' Charmed Lives. It's a kids' story, but I find her books to be about on par with J. K. Rowlings', as far as being able to enjoy them as a grown adult. Had I expected a mature, grownup novel, I might've been disappointed, but I'm well aware that she writes for a younger audience.

 

This story is about a young boy, Eric Chant, nicknamed Cat. He and his sister Gwendolen were left orphaned when the boat they were on had an accident and sank; his sister, being a witch, floated, and he clung to her. So they survived, and the town responsible for the accident saw to their upbringing.

 

The sister, Gwendolen, finds some letters amongst her parents' things, and discovers her father knew a very powerful mage named Chrestomanci. She writes to Chrestomanci, who adopts the children into his house. However, Gwendolen is convinced that Chrestomanci doesn't show her the respect she's due, throws a number of temper tantrums, and eventually vanishes off into an alternate universe, tossing her counterpart from yet another universe in to her place.

 

It's a very interesting story, because, though the story is told from Cat's perspective and he's ever the adoring little brother, the reader can see how spoiled and selfish and mean Gwendolen is.

 

Also, Chrestomanci kept reminding me of Howl, in odd ways.

 

Anyway, if you're in the mood for something light, easy and funny, pick this one up.

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

 

Just finished reading A Feast for Crows. Martin continues to do more surprising and occasionally brutal things to his characters, in the same vein as the first three books. The various religions of Westeros have more prominence in this one. Also it's easy to see how the overall story is getting away from GRRM--AFFC deals only with the south of Westeros and it's a huge book, yet it's clear from the references therein that there is at least as much, if not more, going on at the Wall and Meereen. And since there are so many POV characters, AFFC winds up leaving the reader with like a half-dozen cliffhangers... I swear if the man dies before finishing the series, I'll ****ing kill him.

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

 

The Princess Academy turned up in my mail last week, from some reseller in Indiana. The book had, by the platic cover and edge stamping, once belonged to a library in Brooklyn. There was no note.

 

It's a rather amusing young adult novel about a group of girls from a mountain village who are sent to an academy to get "cultured". It seems that the kingdom has a tradition that priests scry out a location and the prince must choose a wife from one of the girls living there. They're such a remote outpost, though, that there are no nobles, so all of the village girls of appropriate age are pulled away to be polished before the prince comes to choose...

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

 

Finished up volume one of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by reading The Lives of Christopher Chant. Interesting that the publisher bundled them out of chronological order. It was nice looking back and seeing what Christopher Chant was talking about and why we were supposed to know who these people were.

 

Now I need to go back and reread The Magicians of Caprona. Because I think I recognized someone, but I can't be sure.

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

 

Berserke Throne was completely trite and predictable. It was the Battle For The Planet of the Apes of Berserker stories, which also describes how lame the last few Berserker titles were as well. The Apes went from being the threat to the victims and finally the heroes in the seventie movie overdose and while in Berserker Throne, the death machines are not good guys, they are merely incidental to the self centered machinations of all of the human individuals and institutions involved. Suffice to say that I am no fan of existenstial, dystopia or antiheroic science fiction.

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

 

Just finished Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce.

 

While this is the first book in a tetrology, there's at least one (and I think two) tetrologies in the author's universe that precede this one, both in fantasy-world time and in real-world-date-of-being-written time. Because of that, there's some "atmosphere" stuff that is assumed that you just don't have if you're jumping into the middle (as I was). For instance, the main character is a (precocious and clever) 16-year-old girl; but when, early in the book, she has her initial communication with a god, her response is sufficiently irreverent and disrespectful that I could only conclude that gods in that world weren't anything like what I usually think of gods. Either that, or there was a huge amount of god-related backstory and/or story evolution that I was missing. Right now I expect the latter is certainly true and former is an important part of the earlier series. You can read the story without that earlier material, but I suspect you're better off if you don't jump into the middle like I did.

 

Since my wife gave me the book, and I think has the rest of the stories, I'll see if I can pick them up from the outset.

 

Decent reading, but I'm withholding full opinion at this point.

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

 

1632, 1633, 1634 The Galileo whatever, RIng of Fire (short story collection) and I don't know teh details of the Grantville Gazette.

 

actually, I think the Gazette is the only thing I haven't read. Hm, that $25 gift card at Hastings I just got...

 

 

:D

 

The Gazettes are only available online right now in ebook, Word, and a few other formats.

 

There's also 2 more coming in the next few months. You can see snippets for them baen.com in the forums or compiled at this address: thefifthimperium.com

 

Archon

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

 

Just picked up Lord of Samarcand and Other Adventure Takes if the Old Orient, a collection of Robert E Howard tales. Notable for containing The Shadow of the Vulture, the one and only Red Sonya of Rogatino story! And yes, I am working on the character sheet.

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

 

Just finished Forever Odd by Dean Koontz. Psychic Odd Thomas versus Dathura, phone sex heiress, voodoo priestess wannabee, and nut. Fast and light like most of Koontz's first person books.

 

In the middle of Double Image by David Morrell. It's okay but not as compelling as other books that I have read by him. I think it suffers a little because it reads like two books in one.

CES

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Finally got the chance to read Olympos by Dan Simmons, the sequel to Ilium. Great book, moves really fast, doesn't really drag at all. Now, mind you, I'm bemused at whatever misborn concoction in Simmons' brain brewed up the story in the first place, but it's very good (although I liked the first book a smidge more).

 

Plus, there's a laugh-out-loud Aliens joke randomly thrown in. :)

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

 

Still crawling through but Double Image, but have finished Murder by Magic edited by Rosemary Edgehill. Twenty stories about murder, mayhem, psionics and magic.

 

Among the stories I liked were Dropping Hints, Dopplegangster, and Cold Case.

 

CES

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

 

Lots of reading lately (I was sick)

 

Finally got through "Carpe Jugulum" and am WOrking on "The Fifth Elephant" by Pratchett

 

Read the first 3 of the "Wheel of Time" books.

 

 

Not too bad, but the whole "recycling wheel" thing is annoying.

 

 

Might be interesting to write up some of the characters.

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

 

Finished Double Image. I'll stand by my opinion that this book could have been two books instead of one book. The revenge driven war criminal part was pretty snappy. The grand daughter using men part was slow, so slow, with an explanation right in the middle of it.

 

Reading Tears of the Furies by Golden and Sniegloski. It's going pretty fast with Nigel Gull doing everything for love, even betraying and killing comrades

to lift the curse of his one love, the Medusa.

CES

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Read the first 3 of the "Wheel of Time" books.

 

Not too bad, but the whole "recycling wheel" thing is annoying.

Oh, my. If you think it was annoying on book 3...

 

Just wait. I swear the book prior to the last one had nothing happen the entire time -- except that one of the characters finished her bath. That wheel wasn't even turning anymore.

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

 

Just picked up Sharper than A Serpent's Tooth by Simon Green, and have just started reading it. So far it has the charm of the rest of the books.

CES

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

 

******GENERIC SPOILERS - NON SPECIFIC*******

 

 

 

 

I have read the Game of Throne series, all the way up to the current one A Feast for Crows (which is really only half the book, as he split the book in half, but different then most would. He split by characters, not by first half/second half). Add my voice to those who would recommend it for reading. Excellent writing, engaging characters but be warned, when people say NO character is immune to the whims of fate, they mean it. The only other problem I have with the series is a feel of "No honorable deed goes unpunished" throughout the series. I do not mind having honorable characters pay for being honorable if there is no other way, but to do so stupidly (ie not preparing in some way for those they know have no honor to act dishonorably) really annoys me, and this happens a lot in the books.

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

 

Just picked up Sharper than A Serpent's Tooth by Simon Green, and have just started reading it. So far it has the charm of the rest of the books.

CES

I recommend all books by Simon R. Green. Love his writing and this series is very fun and cool. He is on my short list of Authors that I will pick up almost anything they write:

Simon R. Green

Tad Williams (Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and the Outland series sold him to me)

Steven Brust (the Vlad Taltos series is excellent for anyone looking for a fun series to read)

Terry Pratchett's Discworld (great fantasy writing with the humor of the first Douglas Adams Hitchikers guide, and he gets better as time goes on)

 

Last series I will recommend is one i just finished on Audible. The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. Cool concept, odd characters and just serious enough to keep you reading.

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

 

Read "On Basilisk Station", the first Honor Harrington novel out of curiosity. Not bad, not great, not going to read any more of the series.

 

Rob

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

 

Read "On Basilisk Station", the first Honor Harrington novel out of curiosity. Not bad, not great, not going to read any more of the series.

 

Rob

 

See, now you've gone and done it. Folks are going to jump in and try to convince you to read other books in the series because the other books are better or whatever.

 

Admittedly, seeing the RMN get it's *** handed to it was...interesting.

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

 

See, now you've gone and done it. Folks are going to jump in and try to convince you to read other books in the series because the other books are better or whatever.

 

Admittedly, seeing the RMN get it's *** handed to it was...interesting.

Unfortunately the series lost me. The author's political bent comes out a little too strongly in the series. You can tell who the good guys are and who are the bad guys by what political views they have. Also the lead has too many Mary Sue tendencies for my tastes.

 

Just finished "Sharper than a Serpent's Tooth", the latest of the Nightside novels by Simon Green. I'm rather curious as to whether there will be any new Nightside books. He's certainly left things open. Still, it was a nice conclusion to the primary story arc.

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

 

Python Men of the Lost City, a Capatain Hazzard Adventure on modernpulp.com's website. Actually, I just had a great email conversation with the author (or at least the fellow who did the touchup work on it since the original was a bona fide 30s pulp, the touchup author will be writing more of this pulpy goodness in the future). I also just finished Brother Grimm by the same author (Ron Fortier), a nice pulp supernatural collection of shortstories; the original characters are featured on the Supernatural Crime website (there are at least one or two of them on the site for free download if you surf around a bit over there). He gets to a rocky start in Grimm, but I think that he finds his voice a few stories in. Both started off in pdf form, but I printed and spiral bound them for less than the print format would have cost me. If you like pulp, as I do, I would recommend them for the mere fact that pulp isn't being written these days and we readers who like pulp need to cultivate pulp authors and stories if we want to see them at all in the future. I think I paid about five or six bucks for Brother Grimm pdf from lulu, which I consider my contribution to the genre.

 

I am reading, taking my time reading, Kolchak: The Night Stalker Chronicles which I have discussed here already. Another anothology of short stories. Excellent, highly recommended.

 

I have also recently completed "The Occult Detectives of CJ Henderson", yet another collection of anthologies. These were all quite good if you like a little Lovecraftian goodness (badness?).

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

 

For those enjoying the Nightside books by Simon Green; if you havent yet, you should read Shadows Fall and Drinking Midnight Wine, which have the same sort of feel (ie the world between worlds).

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

 

Doctor Who: The Monster Inside by Stephen Cole.

Not as good as the other 9th Doctor books. In fact, it's a bit haphazard and chaotic.

Currently it's a toss-up between A Clockwise Man and The Deviant Strain as to my favourite 9th Doctor book.

 

I am now halfway through Only Human by Gareth Roberts - which has won huge kudos just for mentioning Farscape and Deadwood in the same sentence :)

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

 

Just finished Kushiel's Dart by Jacquleine Clay. The hero is a masochistic prostitute who uses spy skills to save her country (France) from the Skaldi (Germans). It is a fascinating read. But for mature readers as the masochism might put people off.

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