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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...

 

Changes I believe.

 

That's odd... everyone one up to now has been a two word title.

 

(**Checks in the back of the Turn Coat paperback he just bought**)

 

Hunh... Changes it is.

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

 

Solar Kill by Charles Ingrid. (Book one in The Sand Wars series.) Jack Storm is a Knight in powered armor, a soldier of the Dominion sent to combat the Thrakians, an insect-like race who turn planets into desert wastelands. I know what you're thinking: Heinlein rip-off. But wait, there's more. The book starts out with a combat scene that turns into a slaughter, the human forces barely escaping the planet. Jack is in coldsleep for seventeen years on a derelict ship. After being revived, he's given therapy and sent to become a forest ranger on the frontier world Claron. The world is attacked and he manages to survive thanks to his armor. Now that he's gotten back in his suit, he decides to find out who betrayed the human forces on Milos that led to their slaughter and who attacked Claron. To do so, he becomes a mercenary in order to build a rep with the suit and get an interiew for a job with the Emperor's guard. The problem with wearing his suit is that it's infected with an alien organism that causes him to go berserk in combat and which will eventually turn him into a reptilian monster.

 

As I started reading this book, I got the impression that it was going to be a Starship Troopers clone and it did start that way. Especially in the sense that it flows extremely well, the way Heinlein's best books do. But it soon took a darker turn and along the way I got impressions of William Gibson and James Clavell. (This book was published in 1987, by the way.) It's a very well written adventure with interesting characters and a lot of depth. My only complaint is that it's the first book in a series and my library doesn't have the others. (But that's not much of a problem. Amazon can help me there.) Otherwise, the book was fantastic and I'm putting Charles Ingrid on my list of favorite authors.

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

 

The Gathering Storm - Brandon Sanderson & Robert Jordan

Book 12 of the Wheel of Time series

 

I stepped into this book with great trepidation. The Wheel of Time series has stood among my top favorites since I got absorbed into near a decade ago. Back then, my brother and I would joke that Robert Jordan would die before he finished. It was dark humor made darker by the actual death of James Rigney Jr aka Robert Jordan in September of 2007. I was saddened, not only for the loss of an author I respected, but for more selfish reasons. I wanted to see a conclusion to the Wheel of Time and at the time I figured that was that.

 

Then I started reading rumors about a successor to Robert Jordan stepping up and finishing the series. I was dubious at first and then I saw an official announcement from Tor. Turns out an up and coming author, Brandon Sanderson, was the chosen successor. I read the man's site and I was fairly impressed with how he presented himself on his blog. So I started to get excited.

 

Then The Gathering Storm was published last October. At the time, I was going through a pretty severe financial crisis combined with some pretty hostile work environment stuff. So it wasn't until this February that I picked it up. And it wasn't until last Friday that I started reading it. Honestly I was a little worried. Yeah, it was as a thick book, just like I would expect it to be. But was it the Wheel of Time?

 

So let's go back about two weeks. I took a break from another book I was reading and started in on the Prologue. I was immediately impressed with how Mr. Sanderson's writing stirred pictures in my imagination. "Good deal" I thought at the time, put the book down and finished my other novel.

 

Friday I started reading in earnest. I was more than pleasantly surprised. Mr. Sanderson has an amazing talent for pacing a story so that when one chapter ends, you are eager to dive in for another. He manages to change the focus character from chapter to chapter in a way that is not jarring. It gave me, the reader, a fine ride seeing the story from different perspectives. Along the way, I realized that these techniques were the same ones Robert Jordan used. Only, Brandon Sanderson did it better.

 

There. I said it. I actually found the book to be better written than what Robert Jordan had done. There are stylistic differences, but The Gathering Storm hits on all the important Wheel of Time notes. Don't get me wrong, the earlier books captured my attention and held it through the slogging times when Nyneave and company were looking for the Bowl of Winds. Obviously Mr. Jordan was more than a capable author to keep me entertained and interested in a plot that had become plodding and stretched too thin. I just think his artistic heir is better.

 

As seen in the last book Robert Jordan wrote, the pace started picking up. Mr. Sanderson took it to a whole new level. So much was done in this book. Loose plot ends tied up. Revelations, action, resolutions, more. It was such an exciting read. For fans of the series, The Gathering Storm is an amazing addition. I honestly believe that the story is heading for endgame now. I wasn't sure before.

 

While I am a fanboy, I honestly believe that The Gathering Storm merits five Heron marked blades out of five.

 

Specific plot points I loved;

 

 

 

  1. Masema/The Prophet is dead and in the Prologue. I have hated that character since he morphed from a soldier to a nutjob. He should have died about six books back.
  2. The male leash thingie was destroyed. Thank you again. Another plot point that was unnecessary. We see what the a'dam do and how horrible they are. I never believed for a second that Rand would suffer that particular treatment for long and I was correct.
  3. Verin's unveiling of her Black Ajah status and her subsequent redemption.
  4. Rand using Balefire to destroy two of the Forsaken in the same book. One with her whole fortress around her.
  5. An overall sense of tying up loose ends. The people who are supposed to be together are coming together. The whole split Tower being made whole again. That sort of thing.

 

 

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

 

As seen in the last book Robert Jordan wrote, the pace started picking up. Mr. Sanderson took it to a whole new level. So much was done in this book. Loose plot ends tied up. Revelations, action, resolutions, more. It was such an exciting read. For fans of the series, The Gathering Storm is an amazing addition. I honestly believe that the story is heading for endgame now. I wasn't sure before.

Specific plot points I loved;

 

 

 

 

  1. Masema/The Prophet is dead and in the Prologue. I have hated that character since he morphed from a soldier to a nutjob. He should have died about six books back.
  2. The male leash thingie was destroyed. Thank you again. Another plot point that was unnecessary. We see what the a'dam do and how horrible they are. I never believed for a second that Rand would suffer that particular treatment for long and I was correct.
  3. Verin's unveiling of her Black Ajah status and her subsequent redemption.
  4. Rand using Balefire to destroy two of the Forsaken in the same book. One with her whole fortress around her.
  5. An overall sense of tying up loose ends. The people who are supposed to be together are coming together. The whole split Tower being made whole again. That sort of thing.

 

 

I finished this awhile ago, as I've said before I an NOT a fan of the series for exactly the reasons you mention in your spoiler (useless plot points, nothing is ever resolved it just stretched on and on and on...) but my O.C.D. dictates that I finish any series I start.

 

That said, I did actually enjoy this book. This should have actually been the 5th book and we could have cut out books 5-12. The author does have the same annoying habit Jordan has of using the same phrases until you want to slap him every time you see it (count how many times the phrase "You should be commended" is used by different people all over the world) but overall not a bad read.

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

 

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher.

The sixth book throws a big spanner in the works of Dresden as he finds out what Thomas the Vampire's secret is, who and what killed his mother and something about his mentor all the while trying to stop an entropy curse. Ity's food stuff.

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

 

Turn Coat - Jim Butcher

 

Harry Dresden is at it again in one of the best books in the series so far. Maybe even the best. Hard to say when just about every one of them have engaged me on several levels. Anyway, I picked it up today around noon, started reading around 3:30 PM. Finished at 11:00 PM. In my younger days, that would have been a slow read. These days, that's pretty fast for me. I just couldn't put the darn book down. If you like the genre or Harry Dresden specifically, this is a must read. Some of the best verbal sparring I've seen in a book. Had me laughing all the way through the very dramatic bits. Some very well-written resolutions to a couple of the hanging plots and the introduction of some new hanging plots made it a really fun and exciting read.

 

Sadly, sometimes I see a movie or read a book that is so good, I just can't imagine the next movie/book as being nearly as good. This was the case with Turn Coat. It was such a great read that struck so many chords, I think I will have to wait a few weeks before picking up another book. I just want to give the next book I read a fighting chance to be enjoyed for whatever merits it brings instead of comparing it to a book I really liked.

 

5 Silver Pentacle Amulets out of 5.

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

 

The Gathering Storm - Brandon Sanderson & Robert Jordan

Book 12 of the Wheel of Time series

 

 

Then I started reading rumors about a successor to Robert Jordan stepping up and finishing the series. I was dubious at first and then I saw an official announcement from Tor. Turns out an up and coming author, Brandon Sanderson, was the chosen successor. I read the man's site and I was fairly impressed with how he presented himself on his blog. So I started to get excited.

 

Sanderson has the chops. Elantris was very good, and I understand his Mistborn series was highly acclaimed. Too bad I am totally uninterested in starting a 12-book (so far) series.

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

 

Sanderson has the chops. Elantris was very good' date=' and I understand his Mistborn series was highly acclaimed. Too bad I am totally uninterested in starting a 12-book (so far) series.[/quote']Luckily I have a good memory for stories and was able to pick right up. And I'll have to see about Mistborn. After reading The Gathering Storm I decided to pick up the trilogy. Just waiting for Turn Coat's awesomeness to fade a little. I also have another series of books to read. Picked those up on a lark. Has some Altair looking guy on the cover. Picked up a new Dragonlance (well not really but it is written by Weis/Hickman and the logo looks a LOT like the Dragonlance logo), and one other (something that looks like it wants to be a cross between Dresden and Constantine the movie). Gotta say that for years all I read was role-playing books and even then only for reference. Been kinda nice having the reading bug strike again. I'll post more as I delve into these other books.
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  • 4 weeks later...

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

 

Just finished Butcher's Dead Beat.

One thing I am not sure of. If Harry is up against 6 Necromancers, is he wrong and really it is just 4 plus Liver Spots and the Ghoul ?

 

I liked it and was caught off guard by the latest twist (for me) in the Red Court vs Wizards war.

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

 

Reading Changes now. Got it yesterday, half-way through (woulda probably finished it last night, but the previous night was 4 hours of sleep).

 

Daughter, not son, and that's all I'll say now.

 

AND he's planned the series out to 20 books. My only irritation will be waiting another year (probably) for the next one!

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

 

The last two books I read were Fledgling ( a new Liaden novel featuring a teen protagonist I couldn't stop reading ) and The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson which was almost as good.

The latter should be required reading for all superhero and science-fiction fans,as the title is an fairly accurate description of the book (though the events described in the novel actually take place over many months,as the book starts with Jor-El's discovery of the Phantom Zone,and his rescue by Lara,who becomes his wife and mother of Kal-El).

What impressed me was the fact that Anderson has given us the definitive interpretation of General Zod. Part of the book is from Zod's point of view,and that greatly helped the reader to understand Zod's twisted point of view.Still an utter villain,but at least Anderson has given an account of Zod's actions and behaviour that actually makes sense,given the events in the story.

Another thing that Anderson did was redeem Zor-El. This version is actually a noble statesman,who in fact opposed Zod before Jor-El did.

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

 

I read the new Elizabeth Moon novel Oath of Fealty, which kicks off another trilogy set in the world of Paksennarion. Unlike her other books in the series, this is from the viewpoint of several different people, and the action is somewhat slow, occurring only in short stints, as opposed to the longer battles and escapes and the like of the others. I didn't find it as good as her other novels in the same setting, but also realize it's only setting up things for books 2 and 3.

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

 

I read the new Elizabeth Moon novel Oath of Fealty' date=' which kicks off another trilogy set in the world of Paksennarion. Unlike her other books in the series, this is from the viewpoint of several different people, and the action is somewhat slow, occurring only in short stints, as opposed to the longer battles and escapes and the like of the others. I didn't find it as good as her other novels in the same setting, but also realize it's only setting up things for books 2 and 3.[/quote']

 

I'm still reading it, but so far, I agree with you.

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

 

I'm still reading it' date=' but so far, I agree with you.[/quote']

 

I also think the issue is that we know and care about Paks, but these characters haven't had the build-up needed.

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

 

Chris Rowley, Pleasure Model. People who've been haunting Rowley's website, waiting for the author of Starhammer to come out with something new, will recognise this as the sample of the next novel that he's had up on his site for some time. There's bits removed (including key context, I'd say), and a chapter or so added, but that's not all. This is a "Tor Heavy Metal" imprint, extensively illustrated.

Now, if you know Rowley, you know that he has not been afraid to put kinky bits in his books in the past. I don't think that they added much, but they don't detract excessively, either. If you've read the sample chapter, you know that he is still up to that kind of thing.

This book does not take the kinky up to 11,*but it very much pretends to do so. Pleasure Model is being promoted very heavily at Chapters/Indigo as something seriously risque.** I'm left scratching my head about the editorial direction, the promotional campaign, and the sad sight of Chris Rowley being forced to such lengths to publish a book.*** The real problem is that with all the pictures, we're left with a third of the taut science fiction political thriller that we know Rowley can deliver.

 

*Sorry, Bunneh!

**Like Borders, only with an extra slice of Canadian cheese!

***But, if you're reading this, Mr. Rowley, I gotta say: Golden Sunlands, dude. Not entirely undeserved.

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

 

Read The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. Percy Jackson and the rest of the demigods battle Kronos across Manhattan only to learn who the real hero of the Prophecy is.

CES

Yeah just finished the last books too, honestly I'm glad it's over. The writing really isn't that good. I understand it's more of a young teen book, but still.

 

In contrast, I just finished the Harry Potter series too, and wow, that was fantastic. The last book was especially good. If you haven't read the series yet, I highly recommend it.

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

 

Yeah just finished the last books too, honestly I'm glad it's over. The writing really isn't that good. I understand it's more of a young teen book, but still.

 

In contrast, I just finished the Harry Potter series too, and wow, that was fantastic. The last book was especially good. If you haven't read the series yet, I highly recommend it.

 

I liked them well enough but the issue of the prophecies bothered me. Everything is foretold but only Percy thought about making things work his way. The minor gods not being important seemed plot based rather than based in the mythic settings.

CES

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

 

In contrast' date=' I just finished the Harry Potter series too, and wow, that was fantastic. The last book was especially good. If you haven't read the series yet, I highly recommend it.[/quote']

 

What I like most about the Harry Potter books is that they are encouraging millions to read books that are well written with a good use of language. They teach english!

 

Too many books seem to be by authors hoping for movie deals, so do too much circumvention of what makes a book, a book.

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