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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...

 

I read Troll Valley by Lars Walker. Genre is hard to pin down, but the book was fantastic.

 

I have read everything Walker has written, and this was top notch. I liked it even better than Blood and Judgement (an excellent study in what it means to be human) and Year of the Warrior.

 

I came away from TV comparing it to Til We Have Faces. The characters had depth. None were all good or all bad. It's well worth the read.

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

 

If loki is freed and running around causing chaos (as is his wont) then there would HAVE to be a sequel wouldn't there ?

 

I hope so. her Inspector Chan books were great mysteries where a detective and a demon have to save the world from various menaces. The last one I read the new king of heaven lifts the ban for the celestial bureacracy to go back to Earth and help people while his mother the Queen Dowager is trying to kill him. He winds up putting her on a boat in the middle of an ocean with no way to leave or cause trouble.

CES

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

 

Clive Barker's Coldheart Canyon. An interesting take on a Hollywood ghost story, though ghosts are not actually at the heart of what's going on, more like a side effect. It's a bit too broad and hamfisted a satire of Hollywood and the movie business - I think that approach would work better in a comedic book. But the supernatural horror aspects are well done.

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

 

Read the Janus Directive by Ballantine and Morris. Books and Braun are back investigating disappearances connected to the suffrage movement.

CES

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

 

I recently finished Wearing the Cape, and Wearing the Cape: Villains, Inc by Marion G. Harmon.

 

Our protagonist, Hope Corrigan, is a college student who is driving over a double decker bridge when a supervillain destroys it. The explosion collapses the upper deck onto the lower. Hope survives, and experiences a "breakthrough" as she discovers she's acquired superhuman strength and toughness (and the ability to fly) in the disaster. She helps with rescue efforts and is later shepherded away by one of the costumed heroes before anyone can learn her identity. She takes on a costumed persona and joins the local supergroup. There is plenty for her to learn, both about her own new abilities, and about the world of superheroing.

 

In Hope's world, superheroes burst onto the scene when she was a small child, a relatively recent event but not brand new. There are heroes aplenty, and villains too. The introduction of individuals with incredible power has shaped the politics of her world (and in more than a few cases, the existence or boundaries of various nations). Harmon's take on how such things work, and how the world has adapted to the presence of superhumans is interesting. I enjoyed the first book enough to immediately buy the second, which was just as entertaining. A third book, which won't focus on Hope, but instead on another character from the first two books (who moves to New Orleans to take up magic-oriented hero work) is due out sometime later this year. More books are planned.

 

I recommend these to those of you who like superheroes.

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

 

I just finished "Revelation Space" by Alastair Reynolds...

 

I have wanted to read this for a long time, but other books got in the way. It took a little while to get REALLY interesting. I read a little, put it down, read a little more, put it back down....lather, rinse, repeat. Then the pace began to pick up a third of the way in.

 

At roughly 66%, the two groups of major characters began to interact in earnest. I like books whose protagonists have hard edges and this one had plenty of gritty types (murderers, mercenaries, and prima donnas to name but a few). Reynolds did a good job of fleshing out the major characters. But I don't read science fiction for good characterization...that is usually considered a bonus.

 

I read science fiction for the "WOW Factor". I want to be enthralled by cool tech, powerful spaceships, and world-shattering events. This book delivered all three. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I will be reading the next book...."Redemption Ark". Reynolds is a writer to watch, IMO.

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

 

I just finished reading Terry Pratchett's Witches Abroad to the wife. It was hilarious.

 

I could never get into Discworld until I started reading them out loud. Then they clicked.

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

 

I just finished reading Terry Pratchett's Witches Abroad to the wife. It was hilarious.

 

I could never get into Discworld until I started reading them out loud. Then they clicked.

 

Yeah, Pratchett reads aloud brilliantly! I've read Hogfather and Wee Free Men as bedtime stories.

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

 

Just finished Mass Effect: Deception, by William C. Dietz.

 

It's typical game fiction, not the worst I've read, but far from the best. The writing style is irritating (Dietz constantly breaks sentences down into two or three different sentences, something that should only be done once in a while for effect). Characterisation is shallow, plotting equally bad.

 

It makes Salvatore look good, but it's better than Gygax's Mythus novel (The Anubis Murders?).

 

Or to put it another way, it's about what I was expecting, but not what I was hoping for. Unless someone I trust recommends otherwise I won't read another Dietz novel, or pick up any of the other Mass Effect novels, even though they're not written by this guy.

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

 

Just finished "Captain's Fury" by Jim Butcher...

This may be the fourth book of a very solid fantasy series (Codex Alera) but it is the first book of the series to earn a five star rating from me. The previous three books came close to 5 star ratings...but minor quibbles kept them from getting a full five stars. This book has everything I like to see in a book (lots of fighting, pathos, unique magic system, logical/interesting character progression, etc). Author, Jim Butcher, is a very good storyteller who knows his craft. I eagerly await the next book, "Princep's Fury".

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

 

200px-Mockingjay.JPG

 

Mockingjay, the third book of the Hunger Games trilogy. Wonderful series, can't wait to see the first movie again when I'm finished.

 

I read the entire series on my phone. I really need to get a Kindle soon.

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

 

I've only seen the movie, but I have to ask: what are the other two books about? The first one seems to wrap up the whole Hunger Games storyline, and it seems unlikely that the same characters would compete in the next year's games. That pretty much leaves a whole world of story possibilities.

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

 

I've only seen the movie' date=' but I have to ask: what are the other two books about? The first one seems to wrap up the whole Hunger Games storyline, and it seems unlikely that the same characters would compete in the next year's games. That pretty much leaves a whole world of story possibilities.[/quote']

I wondered the same thing. First, let me say how impressed I am by the movie translation. It's very faithful to the book, as much as a movie like this can be, I think. Still, the book has a lot of very important details that didn't quite come across in the movie, like true relationships and background.

 

Spoiled, of course...

 

 

Briefly, Catching Fire starts with Katniss and Peeta attempting to return to their lives in District 12. As winners, they are bound to go on a Victory Tour, though, extending their tenure as toys of The Capitol. President Snow is very upset with them, especially Katniss, for their little stunt in the games with the berries has made them look bad, and it turns out to be the unwitting spark of rebellion in the districts. As an attempt to quell such thoughts, the next year's Hunger Games is very special: all participants will be drawn from previous victors! Since District 12 only has three victors ever, Katniss, the only female victor, is guaranteed to go back in. Final part of the book is the Games and we get to meet many of the previous victors, including an 80 year old woman who has been selected.

 

Mockingjay is the story of the new rebellion. Katniss has been rescued from the arena by the rebels from District 13 (which, you may recall, was supposed to be devastated and unlivable). We find that the rebellion is huge, every district is fighting back against The Capitol, and they need Katniss to become their symbol, a role she didn't realize she had already adopted just by being herself in the games.

 

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

 

I wondered the same thing. First, let me say how impressed I am by the movie translation. It's very faithful to the book, as much as a movie like this can be, I think. Still, the book has a lot of very important details that didn't quite come across in the movie, like true relationships and background.

 

Spoiled, of course...

 

 

Briefly, Catching Fire starts with Katniss and Peeta attempting to return to their lives in District 12. As winners, they are bound to go on a Victory Tour, though, extending their tenure as toys of The Capitol. President Snow is very upset with them, especially Katniss, for their little stunt in the games with the berries has made them look bad, and it turns out to be the unwitting spark of rebellion in the districts. As an attempt to quell such thoughts, the next year's Hunger Games is very special: all participants will be drawn from previous victors! Since District 12 only has three victors ever, Katniss, the only female victor, is guaranteed to go back in. Final part of the book is the Games and we get to meet many of the previous victors, including an 80 year old woman who has been selected.

 

Mockingjay is the story of the new rebellion. Katniss has been rescued from the arena by the rebels from District 13 (which, you may recall, was supposed to be devastated and unlivable). We find that the rebellion is huge, every district is fighting back against The Capitol, and they need Katniss to become their symbol, a role she didn't realize she had already adopted just by being herself in the games.

 

Cool, thanks.

 

My daughter got all three books on Kindle and burned through the first one in less than 24 hours. They sound interesting enough that I'll definitely have to give them a go.

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

 

I tried to read Wicked, the novel by Gregory MaGuire that re-invented Oz for a new generation. I really tried.

 

Maybe it was the needlessly explicit sex in the early part of the book. Maybe it was the utter lack of wonder or sense of place to make Oz different from any number of grim, forgettable fantasy worlds in other fiction. But whatever the reason, I just couldn't get into it and I gave up when Elpheba, who would grow up to be the notorious Wicked Witch of the West, was only three years old. (Although how anybody could survive even that long with such a severe water allergy is a question the book seems to ask and fails to answer.)

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

 

Just read A Brave New World for the first time. Even though Huxley got all the details about the future wrong (he wrote it in 1931), I kinda think that he was spot on about the general gist of things.

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

 

Reading Orb, Sceptre, Throne.

 

Very nice return to Malazan but sort of a weird timing thing considering Crippled God came out first. I'm very surprised by the number of Erikson characters Esselmont uses. Korbald and Bauchelain? Really?

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

 

Just finished "Captain's Fury" by Jim Butcher...

This may be the fourth book of a very solid fantasy series (Codex Alera) but it is the first book of the series to earn a five star rating from me. The previous three books came close to 5 star ratings...but minor quibbles kept them from getting a full five stars. This book has everything I like to see in a book (lots of fighting, pathos, unique magic system, logical/interesting character progression, etc). Author, Jim Butcher, is a very good storyteller who knows his craft. I eagerly await the next book, "Princep's Fury".

 

Did you ever hear the story of how he started the series? It is awesome.

 

He was in an internet argument. You know, lots of typing in all caps and calling people Hitler. The argument was on where great stories come from. The other guy argued for the "sanctity of the idea". Even a mediocre writer could make a great story if he had an idea that was just perfect. Jim argued that it was all about the skill of the writer and the effort put into the craft. Even a terrible idea could be good if a sufficiently talented writer put enough work into it.

 

So the guy told Jim to put his effort where his mouth was. Make a great story with a terrible idea, one that the guy would supply.

 

"No! You will give me TWO bad ideas and I will use BOTH!"

 

"Fine. The first is the Lost Roman legion. The Legio IX Hispana. I've seen too many silly period novels and fantasy novels speculating on what happened to them. It's overdone."

 

"and the second?"

 

"Pokemon."

 

So Jim read up on Pokemon and found that it was itself a fusion of two things (WWF and literalized Shinto religion), so he wrote a story in which the decendants of the Lost Legion duel using the spirits of the earth.

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

 

Just finished listening to the audio book for The Long Walk. Read it a couple times before and loved it, but over twenty years ago. Still holds up pretty well, if not as well as I hoped.

 

PENGUINTheLongWalk500.jpg

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

 

Just finished listening to the audio book for The Long Walk. Read it a couple times before and loved it, but over twenty years ago. Still holds up pretty well, if not as well as I hoped.

 

PENGUINTheLongWalk500.jpg

 

I first read this in High School. There's a lot of little clues about how different of a world this is, scattered through the book. (Example: WWII apparently lasted till 1953 at least.)

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

 

Did you ever hear the story of how he started the series? It is awesome.

 

He was in an internet argument. You know, lots of typing in all caps and calling people Hitler. The argument was on where great stories come from. The other guy argued for the "sanctity of the idea". Even a mediocre writer could make a great story if he had an idea that was just perfect. Jim argued that it was all about the skill of the writer and the effort put into the craft. Even a terrible idea could be good if a sufficiently talented writer put enough work into it.

 

So the guy told Jim to put his effort where his mouth was. Make a great story with a terrible idea, one that the guy would supply.

 

"No! You will give me TWO bad ideas and I will use BOTH!"

 

"Fine. The first is the Lost Roman legion. The Legio IX Hispana. I've seen too many silly period novels and fantasy novels speculating on what happened to them. It's overdone."

 

"and the second?"

 

"Pokemon."

 

So Jim read up on Pokemon and found that it was itself a fusion of two things (WWF and literalized Shinto religion), so he wrote a story in which the decendants of the Lost Legion duel using the spirits of the earth.

 

Thanks for sharing that! I think Butcher proved his point...

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

 

Reading Orb, Sceptre, Throne.

 

Very nice return to Malazan but sort of a weird timing thing considering Crippled God came out first. I'm very surprised by the number of Erikson characters Esselmont uses. Korbald and Bauchelain? Really?

 

Jason, I plan to follow the Malazan chronology listed here...

http://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-malazan-reading-order.html

 

Erikson and Esslemont have made a mess of their series' chronology. I have forgiven them for this small inconvenience since they have provided me with thousands of pages of dark fantasy goodness. :winkgrin:

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