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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...

 

Just finished Homeward Bound by Harry Turtledove. It is the last book that started in with the Worldwar series (so it is the eigth - 4 Worldwar, 3 Colonization, and Homeward Bound). It was really really good; but I am a fan of the series, and I did think that this one ended it well.

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

 

Just finished Ben Bova's Saturn, part of his grand tour of the solar system.

 

Not bad. Not as good (or as soapy) as his trilogy on the Asteroid Wars, but better than Jupiter. For the first time, we see the New Morality as something more than just neo-luddite power mongers.

 

Also an interesting treatise on politics and political power in an enclosed environment.

 

Venus next, I think.

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

 

Just finished March to the Sea by David Webber and John Ringo. It is an enjoyable read. The characters are extremely competent. Probably, to the point that some people won't enjoy it based on comments that I've read in this thread.

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

 

The rest of the series is as enjoyable.

 

Just finished Velocity by Dean Koontz, not really fantasy nor sci-fi but I thought I'd share anyway.

 

If you don't take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher somewhere in Napa County.

 

If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work.

 

You have six hours to decide.

The choice is yours.

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

 

Just finished Homeward Bound by Harry Turtledove. It is the last book that started in with the Worldwar series (so it is the eigth - 4 Worldwar' date=' 3 Colonization, and Homeward Bound). It was really really good; but I am a fan of the series, and I did think that this one ended it well.[/quote']

I've been wondering if this book was worth checking out. I loved the first series. I bailed on the second series fairly quickly after he got rid of most of the characters I liked from the first series and started simply making me feel sorry for The Race. Have the reptiles quit being victims by this book?

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

 

Just finished Dead Beat by Jim Butcher. I agree with the other posters that this is a cool book. A tyranosaurus going nuts in town is always good.

 

Mister Monday: A piece of a will to all creation breaks out from where it is hidden and seeks a heir. It is up to Arthur Penhalgion to make sense of the dog faced men and the key he has been given.

CES

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

 

I recently finished War of the Spider Queen II: Insurrection by Thomas Reid. Let me start off by saying I liked the first book in the series. It set up the situation well, firmly established the ensemble cast of characters, giving each of them some cool moments without letting one over shadow all the others, and the characters were suitably drowish, whatever that means. Not a fantastic book, but an enjoyable read. Book 2 failed to live up to this promising start.

 

WotSQ I was about drow head priestess Quenthel, Pharaun the wizard, Ryld the swordmaster, Faeryl of Ched Nasad, and Jeggred the draegloth, a sort of half demon. WotSQ II is all about Pharaun, everyone else is reduced to a sidekick or whipping girl for him. Pharaun gets most of the cool lines, wins the battles for the group and is treated as the important member of the group by most others. He gets a half-succubus chasing after him and getting jealous while other drow girls also seem to fall for him. Even Quenthel, supposedly the leader of the group, gets written poorly. In book 1 she's successfully defending herself from demonic attacks by the head wizard of Menzoberranzan, despite not being able to cast spells. In Book 2 she's become rather stupid, weak, and basicly seems to give up leadership to Pharaun for no better reason than the author likes Pharaun better. Reid in general seems to have issues with writing strong female characters. Despite the drow being ruled by women, they are all come poorly in this book.

 

As a stand alone this would be an ok book. The plot is decently done, good conflict, most of the drow of Ched Nasad come off as chaotic stupid but the plots are not totally unbelievable. But writing drow and writing a book that's supposed to feature a group of characters doesn't seem to play to Reid's strengths. Hopefully the third book in this series is better.

 

Books recently brought, set up to review next:

War of the Spider Queen III: Condemnation by Richard Baker

Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton

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

 

Just finished March to the Sea by David Webber and John Ringo. It is an enjoyable read. The characters are extremely competent. Probably' date=' to the point that some people won't enjoy it based on comments that I've read in this thread.[/quote']

 

There are two sequels to it out. I liked all four so far, and am looking forward to the 5th.

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

 

Running with the Demon, by Terry Brooks

 

It's an 'urban fantasy,' taking place in a modern small town, complete with magic, demons, Sylvans, and a Knight of the Word. I have no objection to the setting, but I simply can't recommend this one. Clumsy is the best word I can use to describe it. For example, the main character's best friend is a Sylvan, a small twiglike fairy responsible for "enforcing the balance." Problem is the two don't talk to each other like best friends and he's somewhat useless as an enforcer of any kind. The shocking revelation isn't shocking or even very logical. The best thing I can say is "I've read worse."

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

 

I just finished The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. I'm honor-bound to preface my review by stating up front that Scott is an internet buddy of mine. We've never had the opportunity to meet, but we have known each other online for four or five years. That having been said, he's being published by Bantam Spectra and was assigned the same editor as George R. R. Martin, so that should say something about his publisher's opinion of his work.

 

I really enjoyed this one. It's an urban fantasy, much closer in tone to Brust's Vlad Taltos novels or Leiber's Lankhmar stories than Tolkien or Howard or Jordan. It's set entirely within the confines of a single city, Camorr, which is somewhat very analogous to 17th/18th century Venice, but built on the ruins of a much older race. The title character, Locke Lamora is the leader of The Gentlemen Bastards, a crew of sharp, sophisticated con artists who prey on the city's dandified nobility. The plot is very much in the spirit of a caper film like "Ocean's Eleven," with crosses, double-crosses, and triple-crosses. Like such films, you never doubt the hero is going to pull off whatever he's trying; watching him do it is where the fun lies.

 

Plus it's got gals who bullfight sharks. Really. It's cooler than it sounds and it sounds hella cool to me.

 

It's also self-contained. There will be sequels (the second is due out in March, I think, and the third manuscript is nearly finished), but there aren't any huge dangling plot threads of cliffhangers left unresolved at the end.

 

It is quite gritty and violent in places. There's also lots of coarse language, about the same as you'd encounter in an episode of "Deadwood" or "The Sopranos." Considering that most of the book's characters are criminals of one stripe or another, this shouldn't be entirely surprising. There are a couple of kind of obvious set-up bits in the book, but far more "Wow, didn't see that coming, but now it all makes sense" moments.

 

As first novels go, it's a gem.

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

 

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There are two sequels to it out. I liked all four so far' date=' and am looking forward to the 5th.[/quote']

 

According to Amazon.com We Few, the fourth book, is the last in the series. I was hoping it was correct. I like the series very much, and I hope it doesn't fall in to the problem that so many other series have: going on past the point it should.

 

I would have been just as happy if they had skipped the coup story line, and ended March to the Stars with the confrontation between Roger and his mother. Since they are doing the coup storyline, I do not want to see its resolution go beyond two books.

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

 

According to Amazon.com We Few, the fourth book, is the last in the series. I was hoping it was correct. I like the series very much, and I hope it doesn't fall in to the problem that so many other series have: going on past the point it should.

 

Weber has stated in an online post that the series is planned for 7 books.

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

 

Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn by Robert Holdstock, the latest in the Ryhope Wood series. This is the kind of book that people who like this kind of book will like, if you know what I mean. :D

 

Me, I loved it, especially the way it fills in the background of the Christopher Huxley character, so that you get to see him before he was a total bastiche.

 

cheers, Mark

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

 

Just finished Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton.

 

I've been following the series from the begining, through all the changes it's gone through. And again it seems to be evolving. Or perhaps devolving. The series began as murder mysteries with some sexual tension. Soap opera elements were added liberally. Then sex. Then a harem of men. Along the way the actual crime solving has gotten pushed to the side. But this is the first book I've read where there was not at least a pretense there was a crime to solve. No appearances by anyone at Animator's Inc. No RPIT. Just a day in the life of Anita Blake with a vague backstory that master vampires from other US cities are visiting to see a vampire ballet group JC has invited.

 

Micah and Richard are as annoying as ever. If both went away I would not mind at all. Anita levels up again, as do some other vampires. The cast is getting so crowded there really isn't room for everyone. And more people keep being added. Really, not a bad book as long as you accept it has pretty much nothing to do with the early Anita Blake books.

 

One minor annoyance. LKH is embracing MM sexual situations with the enthusiasm of a Yaoi fangirl, which is fine. But it makes it even more glaringly obvious that every female bisexual or lesbian character is evil/alien/bad. This book is no exception.

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

 

Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff, urban fantasy that isn't doing detective novel or soft core porn a delightful change of pace. There is a definite romance storyline going on, but it has always remainded secondary to the primary plot.

 

This is part of a series that is a squel to the Victory Nelson Investigation. The protagonist is former street kid Tony Foster, who moved to Vancouver with the vampire Henry Fitzroy. Since Tony is not detective like Vicki, his stories have been more action/adventure oriented than mystery.

 

Tanya Huff has become my favorite queer author. She seems to have hit a nice balance with her writing. Tony's sexuality really only seems to come across as much as any character's sexuality does when romantic subplots are involved.

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

 

Proven Guilty- Harry Dresden versus fear monsters from Fairie. It's a good thing the books are separated by a year or more, because he gets the crap kicked out of him all the time.

 

And he finally tells Michael about picking up the demon coin, but Mike knew already. So he wasted a couple of years over worry about how his friend would react.

CES

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

 

Ben Bova’s Precipice: I enjoyed its good old fashioned good guy, bad guy, right wrong space opera/hard sci-fi feel. I’m planning on reading more of his grand tour novels.

I also just read Jerry Pournells Falkenburgs Legion. Good hard core military SF with a dose of really nasty politics. The Codominium in its fall is just plain nasty.

I think I’ll crack open Alas Babylon to warm me up to Jericho when it premiers on TV soon. I hope its good and not cheesy moralist pabulum or old Hollywood cliché…

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

 

Raven: Swordmistress of Chaos

 

Possibly one of the most poorly written novels I've ever seen. It wasn't particularly interesting, didn't move well, had poor action scenes, uninteresting characters... Robert E Howard could do more to set a scene in a single sentence than the writer of this could in a whole paragraph.

 

And apparently, there's five books in the series....?

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

 

Raven: Swordmistress of Chaos

 

Possibly one of the most poorly written novels I've ever seen. It wasn't particularly interesting, didn't move well, had poor action scenes, uninteresting characters... Robert E Howard could do more to set a scene in a single sentence than the writer of this could in a whole paragraph.

 

And apparently, there's five books in the series....?

 

Hot chick with a sword. Once upon a time it was a novel concept. Also the original releases had Chris Achileos covers.

 

I read one, but the plot completely escapes me now because after reading it, my "bad book memory obliterator" kicked in so I could use the brain cells for something more useful.

 

cheers, Mark

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

 

Hot chick with a sword. Once upon a time it was a novel concept. Also the original releases had Chris Achileos covers.

 

I read one, but the plot completely escapes me now because after reading it, my "bad book memory obliterator" kicked in so I could use the brain cells for something more useful.

 

I think there was an attempt to be "different" by including frequent sex scenes... which were also dull. And no, I have no real idea of the plot. And this is yet another fantasy novel where names like "Raven," "Spellbinder," "The Wastes," The south hills, the northern mountains, and so on are considered good naming conventions. REH may have cloned real world places and JRRT may have invented all of his based on Old English and Norse roots but at least they sounded like somewhere real.

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

 

I recently finished Stardust by Neil Gaiman' date=' in plenty of time for the movie. I enjoyed it a lot.[/quote']

 

I liked it as well. Along with American Gods and Neverwhere. Which needs a better budgeted film adaptation.

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