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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 A Reaper's Gale by Erikson. I love his work, but this is the first one where alot of the plot threads now start to make sense. The last 300 pages had me glued to the book.

 

Now I can't wait for what other rabbits he pulls out of his hat.

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

 

The last sci-fi book I finished was David Weber's "Path of the Fury". It's about a former Imperial Drop Commando who is almost killed by the pirates who destroy her home and murder her family and friends and then makes a deal with Megarea, the last remaining Fury from Greek myth to get her revenge. Everyone thinks she's gone crazy as she works her way up the pirates' chain of command, because no-one believes Megarea exists outside Alicia's mind. Fortunately, Alicia has friends in the Navy who start running their own investigation and start coming up with their own answers, but Alicia's mind is unravelling from the Fury's influence and it becomes a race to stop her before she kills innocents in her desire to complete her revenge.

 

I thought it was a brilliant story and give it 9 out of 10.

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

 

The last sci-fi book I finished was David Weber's "Path of the Fury". It's about a former Imperial Drop Commando who is almost killed by the pirates who destroy her home and murder her family and friends and then makes a deal with Megarea, the last remaining Fury from Greek myth to get her revenge. Everyone thinks she's gone crazy as she works her way up the pirates' chain of command, because no-one believes Megarea exists outside Alicia's mind. Fortunately, Alicia has friends in the Navy who start running their own investigation and start coming up with their own answers, but Alicia's mind is unravelling from the Fury's influence and it becomes a race to stop her before she kills innocents in her desire to complete her revenge.

 

I thought it was a brilliant story and give it 9 out of 10.

 

 

 

I agree completely, but have to confess that I feel the expansions in "In Fury Born" if anything detract from the whole story.

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

 

I just finished "A Lick of Frost" by Laurell K. Hamilton.

 

OK, I admit it... her "Mary Sue the Faerie Princess" books are a guilty pleasure of mine. They remind me of the kinds of parties I used to throw back in the day, and a subculture I'm trying to rebuild. So sue me...

 

*Ahem*

Anyway... Good Book. Solid story, some action. The Faerie Porn content is down about 85%. Apparently Madame Hamilton is settling into her new lifestyle and is getting back around to little things like plots in her writing. I was pleasantly surprised, and am looking forward to the next book. I like the cast of characters she's assembled.

What can I say?

Cromm Cruiach as a fan of Film Noir tickles my fancy.

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

 

I agree completely' date=' but have to confess that I feel the expansions in "In Fury Born" if anything detract from the whole story.[/quote']

 

 

It's not as strong a narrative as Path, but I appreciated the greater character depth and universe expansion of the expanded piece. There's good things to be said for both books.

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

 

I agree completely' date=' but have to confess that I feel the expansions in "In Fury Born" if anything detract from the whole story.[/quote']

 

I have intentionally avoided getting In Fury Born. Path of the Fury was a good book. I refuse to ruin it by reading the version that Weber published after he decided he no longer needed an editor.

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

 

It's not as strong a narrative as Path' date=' [/i']but I appreciated the greater character depth and universe expansion of the expanded piece. There's good things to be said for both books.

 

That’s what additional novels set in the same universe are for. Going back to do a “revision” of a book that amounts to a total rewrite is a bad decision.

 

Keep in mind that I like Weber, or at least I have. But he’s starting to drag out the Honor Harrington series way past when he should have ended it and while I found Off Armagedon’s Reef to be a decent book and will read the next book in the series, Weber’s recycling of plot points is beginning to become wearisome to the point of actual distraction while reading.

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

 

In the last month, I got three books Tales of the King Blades by Dave Duncan:

The setting is intriguing, warriors who are bound by a mystic oath that helps make them better than most men could ever be at the sword, but it also hooks their very soul or at least mind to the protection of a ward who they will give their life to protect.

 

For both books, let me say, Duncan buckles Swash very well. There's definitely a Dumas like flavor to this stuff, but as I like that, that was all the better :)

 

Sky of Swords was good. Our heroine is a young princess who has no love for her father, and finds herself on trial for part in his murder. The blades are the only ones who seem to be on her side, but the book's story has not just her at risk, but the Blades themselves. The resolution was a bit odd, but not a Deux Ex Machina as the seeds were planted before hand. Excellent stuff overall though. The heroine is flawed, but intelligent, and I had no problem rooting for her. You can watch her mature as she goes.

 

The Gilded Chain This book is done from a Blade's perspective, in fact, THE Blade of his generation, or so it seems. A man of confidence and honor combined, he's thrust into situations that force him to become rather good at intrigue himself while still trying to hold onto his own integrity. This one is creepier (imo) than the other, but I enjoyed it more. Things that seem to be in one chapter as a 'ooo neat' throw away turn out to be crucial to the greater storyline, and I enjoyed it immensely.

 

I haven't read "Lord of the Fire Lands" yet, but hope to sometime soon, if it is as good as the other two, this set will be going into my permanent collection instead of getting traded in to the Used Book Store when I'm done

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

 

Note: I unexpectedly came into a mother load of Trek novels.

 

Worlds of Star Trek DS9 Vol. 3 - The Dominion& Ferenginar.

 

I would call it high quality fanfic. Close to professional quality, but not quite there. But, overall, it didn't suck and it didn't sing. The Ferengi story had some amusing bits, and I felt they captured Quark and Rom well, but it just a bit too sentimental (in a sappy way), and while I didn't nod off, the narrative didn't drag me with it either.

 

I thought the characterizations of Ro Laren and Nog were flat, as was most of the dialog. The plot itself was boiler-plate. The prose could have been tightened and polished to a professional level, too. It wasn't bad, but it was stylistically pedestrian. Normally, I would say good style is like good breeding - it doesn't call attention to itself. But in this case, I noticed that it wasn't doing anything for me.

 

The dominion story was much the same. Odo was handled well and the narrative was a bit tighter, but overall it was just well-written fanfic. Now, you may say: isn't that the case with all Star Trek novels? I say to thee "nay." A lot of them -even the one's I don't like - have a workmanlike, professional polish.

 

Addenda: one thing I noted were references to other books by these authors that 1) had nothing to do with the plot, and 2) came off like self-referencing fanon. Also, several of the relationships (like the Quark crush on Ro Laren) played more like contrivances to involve popular characters in the story than actual, considered character development. Just my 2 cents.

 

Summary: it doesn't suck so bad that it won't serve as a means out of absolute bordom. :hush:

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

 

That’s what additional novels set in the same universe are for. Going back to do a “revision” of a book that amounts to a total rewrite is a bad decision.

 

Keep in mind that I like Weber, or at least I have. But he’s starting to drag out the Honor Harrington series way past when he should have ended it and while I found Off Armagedon’s Reef to be a decent book and will read the next book in the series, Weber’s recycling of plot points is beginning to become wearisome to the point of actual distraction while reading.

 

To expand on point in the last post:

 

Here’s my list of recycled plot points in Off Armageddon Reef. These are only the main ones and the ones that most distracted me while reading the book. It’s hard to stay focused on what you’re reading when you keep interrupting yourself by saying: “Hey didn’t he already do this in…”

 

A small Kingdom that is disroportionaly wealthy due to its large navy and merchant marine. Check

 

Said Kingdom is run by an unusually open-minded leader. Check

 

Genocidal aliens trying to wipe out humanity. Check

 

A planet dominated by an invented religion designed to keep humanity from attracting the attention of said aliens. Check.

 

A lone hero that is chosen, without their consent, to save humanity. Check

 

Said hero is augmented far beyond human norms to help them in their goal of saving humanity. Check

 

Said hero takes on the role of one of the invented religions’ angelic beings in order to save humanity. Check

 

Said hero provides advanced technology to the small kingdom to allow them to defeat their human enemies. Check

 

Grasping, short-sighted nobles willing to bring down the kingdom in order to enrich themselves. Check

 

And that’s just off the top of my head. It’s like he took the main plot from The Apocalypse Troll, most of the plot points from the Heirs of Empire series, liberally sprinkled in parts of the Honor Harrington series and baked it for 250,000 words on the “no editor” setting.

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

 

Read the The Gods Return by David Drake. Set in the Lord of the Isles, Garric and his friends have to gather allies to fend off the return of evil gods. I think this is the last book of the set because of some of the events but I could be wrong.

 

More than halfway through Duma Key by Stephen King. Edgar Freemantle loses an arm and moves to Duma Key to recover and paint. The problem is the Key is haunted and his paintings are becoming ways for the ghost to come across.

 

Picked up Princep's Fury by Jim Butcher. Haven't started on it yet but the cover indicates a visit to the canim homeland is on.

CES

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

 

Over the break I read Phantom by Terry Goodkind, mainly because a friend lied to me and told me it was the last book in the series. The first half of the book was terrible. I actually started skimming paragraphs because it was so poorly written. He had two or three chapters dedicated to how evil the Imperial Order was, and just to drive the point home, after he finished the summary of how bad they were, he had two more chapters retelling the same story from a slightly different perspective. A recap:

 

Chapters 1 - 15:

Richard: Ah Zedd and all you other older wizards who have spent your entire lives studying magic, let me explain how I, with no formal training and no ability to actually use magic effectively, understand it much better than you.

Zedd: Richard, I think you are exaggerating.

Richard: Now let me demonstrate my brilliance.

Zedd: Okay, you're right Richard, you are smart, smarter than all of us put together.

Women of the novels: Oh Richard, you're so great, please let us have your baby.

 

Chapters 16 - 237

Richard: Tell me, what did they do to the city?

Characters from 117 novels ago: They killed every male, then raped all the women, then had the old people go to work in the fields, and brainwashed the kids, then had the brainwashed kids kill more men and rape the women, all in the name of socialism.

Zedd: bags Richard, they are evil, which we have established in the past 450 chapters, but wanted to reiterate.

Richard: Zedd, of course they are evil, but not one-dimensionally evil, tell us more.

Random Character: They raped the village

Richard: Yes we know, you told us that.

Random Character: No, you don't understand, the Emporer ordered the battering rams to be used on every door or entry into the houses, they actually raped buildings.

Zedd: Bags Richards.

Richard: Still not evil enough, we know you're holding back.

RC: Oh yeah, and when the supplies ran low they started bringing corpses to the kitchen for us to prepare

Richard: Finally, they are really, truely evil.

 

Chapter 238 - 239

Goodkind: Crap, I spend so long talking about the evils of a Socialism-like fantasy state I entirely forgot to move the plot forward at all. Umm, summarize, summarize, summarize, and publish.

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

 

Picked up by the Sword, the latest Repairman Jack book. Wilson says in the forward the series will be ending with the destruction of the Earth by the Other.

CES

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

 

At All Costs - David Weber

Harrington vs Giscard and then Tourville. I would say Haven but that might imply Haven Walkur and that would never do.

Interesting to see what he will do from here. Weber has realised that there are some threads that Honor cannot follow up so he has other people do it and they are left hanging at the end of this book which is good.

I enjoyed this.

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

 

At All Costs - David Weber

Harrington vs Giscard and then Tourville. I would say Haven but that might imply Haven Walkur and that would never do....

 

Hi, Daddy! I love you too.

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

 

Finished Duma Key. The book was low key and does tread some familiar ground but I liked it. The only thing that stood out to me was the last fifty pages except for the ending was exposition about what had gone decades before the hero and friends invaded enemy territory.

 

Reading Darkest Evening of the Year with Princep's Fury and By The Sword loading up.

 

CES

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

 

Just read Brian Ruckley's "Winterbirth" and "Bloodheir", the first two books in a series. While not a BAD read, it's sort of the endless narration/character development of Robert Jordan mixed with low-fantasy could-we-please-get-to-the-evil storylines of George RR Martin. Again, not a BAD read, but not something you plow through in a weekend.

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

 

Darkest Evening of the Year by Kontz: Bryan and Amy have secrets that will threaten their romance. Good thing they have an angel dog to help them out.

CES

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

 

Just finished reading The Sky People by S.M. Stirling. It was an alternate history type thing, where the Cold War era was more focused on the space race, and the first Soviet probe to Venus sent back pictures of jungle, cavemen, and dinosaurs. By the late 1980s, both the USSR and the US had colonies on Venus (and Mars too, which also turned out to be inhabited). The main focus of this book was a rescue mission to a downed Soviet shuttle, led by the US, since the Soviets didn't have enough airships (yeah, airships...they're fairly easy to build with native materials and therefore don't need much in the way of materials sent from Earth :thumbup:) to risk one on such a long-range mission.

 

Add in a little Cold War tension, sabotage, and few applications of Clarke's Law, and it turns out to be a pretty fun read. Very pulpy, yet with a more modern feel. I'm looking forward to picking up Stirling's Mars novel now...In the Courts of the Crimson Kings. Should be another interesting take on modernized pulp sci-fi.

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