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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 the first three Thomas Covenant books and I think they all suck. Mhoram here loves them. What you have to realize is that the "protagonist", or more accurately the POV character, is deeply, deeply flawed, so you have to be able to kind of put up with that.

 

Back upthread, Lankhmar is fantastic. All of them.

 

I still haven't read the "Thomas Covenant" books (despite having had them for years). I agree with you Lankhmar IS fantastic, some of the best "Swords & Sorcery" ever written!

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

 

Finished "The Man Who Never Missed" by Steve Perry.

 

This book may be the first "Matador" novel in published order, but it is not the first book of the series in chronological order. That honor belongs to "The 97th Step".

 

I read "The 97th Step" approximately 10 years ago. The fact that it took me 10 years to get around to the sequel ("The Man Who Never Missed") should speak volumes.

 

I wanted to like both of these books. The title of "The Man Who Never Missed" seems to offer a promise of lots of action. Titles such as this draw action junkies (such as moi) like a flame draws a moth. Like the aforementioned moth...I feel a little singed having finished this book.

 

There is very little action in this book. There are more pages devoted to becoming/being a bartender. The entire book feels like a buildup...which might have been appropriate if I hadn't ALREADY read a book in this series ("The 97th Step") that was all buildup!

 

Will I go on to book number three, "Matadora"? Probably not. If that book turned out to be all buildup and no payout, I might start banging my head on the nearest piece of furniture. My head, being rather hard, might hurt the furniture. This would get me in trouble with the Wife...since she is rather fond of said furniture.

 

At this point in time, I will not pursue this series further. 10 years down the road, who knows? Kinda depends on what is sitting on my "To Read" shelf and how my memory has degraded.

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

 

Read The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. Percy Jackson's ragtag band have to face the challenges before them as they search ancient Rome for Nico D'Angelo and whatever was stolen from Athena by the Romans.

CES

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

 

Finished "The Man Who Never Missed" by Steve Perry.

 

This book may be the first "Matador" novel in published order, but it is not the first book of the series in chronological order. That honor belongs to "The 97th Step".

 

I read "The 97th Step" approximately 10 years ago. The fact that it took me 10 years to get around to the sequel ("The Man Who Never Missed") should speak volumes.

 

I wanted to like both of these books. The title of "The Man Who Never Missed" seems to offer a promise of lots of action. Titles such as this draw action junkies (such as moi) like a flame draws a moth. Like the aforementioned moth...I feel a little singed having finished this book.

 

There is very little action in this book. There are more pages devoted to becoming/being a bartender. The entire book feels like a buildup...which might have been appropriate if I hadn't ALREADY read a book in this series ("The 97th Step") that was all buildup!

 

Will I go on to book number three, "Matadora"? Probably not. If that book turned out to be all buildup and no payout, I might start banging my head on the nearest piece of furniture. My head, being rather hard, might hurt the furniture. This would get me in trouble with the Wife...since she is rather fond of said furniture.

 

At this point in time, I will not pursue this series further. 10 years down the road, who knows? Kinda depends on what is sitting on my "To Read" shelf and how my memory has degraded.

 

I love the series, OTOH, but I suspect that reading them in chronological order might have colored your perceptions a bit. The 97th Step is really a prequel, and is best read that way (Edit: that is to say, after the main series)... otherwise, yeah, like you said, lots of buildup, followed by more, because The Man Who Never Missed is basically the first act of the story of the Rebellion

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

 

I just finished "Boneshaker" by Cherie Priest, the first book in the "Clockwork Century" series.

 

This book takes place in an alternate Seattle set in the 1880's...roughly 16 years after a subterranean bank robber released the Blight, a gas that turns people into very aggressive zombies. This resulted in downtown Seattle being walled up and virtually abandoned. The bank robber's teenaged son decides to enter the hellish center of the city, looking for clues that will redeem his father. Hours later, the boy's mother discovers where he has gone and pursues him. I don't want to say anything more specific, for fear of spoiling the enjoyment of future readers.

 

This book has lots of steampunk elements. The author does a nice job of depicting the suffocating atmosphere and the desperate plight of those who remain within the walls of downtown Seattle. The characters are fully realized and the action is believable/satisfying. As I was nearing the end, I was eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next.

 

I recommend it. I will definitely buy the novella "Clementine" and (assuming I like reading Clementine) the novel "Dreadnought".

Ditto. The other two books in this series are Dreadnought and Ganymede. I'm about half-way through Ganymede right now. These are fun stuff, with decently three-dimensional characters, many of whom happen to be female. Good stuff all around.

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

 

I just finished reading Stephen King's Insomnia. Middle-of-the-road effort. It wasn't unreadable like Under the Dome, but dragged on too long and gave me flashbacks to Colin Wilson's The Philosopher's Stone.

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

 

I just finished Charles Yu's How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. It was... different. Self-referential, which is to say, it's a book about itself. It's also a book about a guy trapped in a time loop, reading a book about being trapped in a time loop, so that he can go back in time and give it to himself so that he'll be able to write it....

 

He's also looking for his missing father, who invented time machines.

 

It's a book about looking backward: memory, nostalgia, regret, and things that might have been.

 

Most of the reviews I've seen compare Yu to Douglas Adams, but I completely disagree; I think Yu writes a lot like Kurt Vonnegut. Oddly enough, when Adams' first reviews appeared, IIRC, people compared him to Vonnegut. Nobody else seems to remember that, and it's been so long ago I'm not sure about it myself. Maybe I should get a time machine....

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

 

I just got finished reading the first two book of the Hunger Games. No bad. Even the hard hearted B#####d that I am almost teared up on one chapter.

And it leaves a lot of room for prequels.

 

BTW.. what's with these shopping links that seem to be added?

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

 

The shopping links are something that has been mentioned before. Helps Simon pay for the site.

 

By the Way, has no-one got and finished Cold Days yet ?

 

Read the first three chapters he had up on his site, but haven't gotten the book yet.

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

 

Finished "The Man Who Never Missed" by Steve Perry.

 

This book may be the first "Matador" novel in published order, but it is not the first book of the series in chronological order. That honor belongs to "The 97th Step".

 

I read "The 97th Step" approximately 10 years ago. The fact that it took me 10 years to get around to the sequel ("The Man Who Never Missed") should speak volumes.

 

I wanted to like both of these books. The title of "The Man Who Never Missed" seems to offer a promise of lots of action. Titles such as this draw action junkies (such as moi) like a flame draws a moth. Like the aforementioned moth...I feel a little singed having finished this book.

 

There is very little action in this book. There are more pages devoted to becoming/being a bartender. The entire book feels like a buildup...which might have been appropriate if I hadn't ALREADY read a book in this series ("The 97th Step") that was all buildup!

 

Will I go on to book number three, "Matadora"? Probably not. If that book turned out to be all buildup and no payout, I might start banging my head on the nearest piece of furniture. My head, being rather hard, might hurt the furniture. This would get me in trouble with the Wife...since she is rather fond of said furniture.

 

At this point in time, I will not pursue this series further. 10 years down the road, who knows? Kinda depends on what is sitting on my "To Read" shelf and how my memory has degraded.

 

I read all of those a LONG time ago. Read them all until you get to a book that you find boring. His writing seemed to be pretty strong during the whole series and all of the Matadors are pretty interesting. The Prequel book was a bit of a letdown, but I think it would be a better read after you read the other books in the series. It's not a great starting point for the series at all. From what I remember "The 97th Step" was a book of sheer fanservice for fans of the Matador books. Sort of the decoration of the cake, Not needed, but tasty when ate with the rest of the cake, probably not something you would eat by itself.

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

 

I finished Cold Days this morning. I give it a 9.5 out of 10. Some of the scenes reuniting Harry with the gang are lacking but some are pertfect and its missing just a bit on the humor. Book revolves around Harry's first mission as the Winter Knight and a reveal of the raised stakes he'll be facing from now on

 

Reveals(no Spoilers)

- The Purpose of Demonreach and Harry's task there.

- Summer and Winter's role in the cosmology of the Dresdenverse.(They're not what I thought at all)

- Rashid's title is explained

 

Absent

- No White Council besides Rashid.

- No Lara (my personal favorite recurring villain)

 

- Suprises

- There are some holes in Harry's powerup that are a big suprise

- The ending plot twist is an OMG!!! moment

 

This book does a good job of blending the old interactions and relationships while basically relaunching the series. Harry's new adventures will have more powerful foes and apocalyptic consequences.

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

 

Just read Mortal Instruments Book one and two (City of Bones, City of Ashes). I'd rate them 2 and 2.5 stars out of 5, respectively. I gotta say I really don't get what all the hype is about. The writing was merely decent. The plot dragged on at times, and in the first book the author committed one of the gravest of all sins in literature, she betrayed her audience. And she didn't do it once, but multiple times over the course of the final few chapters. If you are going to have someone betray a group, you need to present at least some sort of foreshadowing. If you are going to reveal that your "previously presented" backstory for a character was a lie and they just didn't know it, do the same. But you should NEVER EVER bombard your readers with betrayal after betrayal, lie after lie. At this point I don't feel like I can trust anything stated in the books that we don't SEE happening as the author clearly feels that they have the right to change anything previously stated in the books at a drop of the hat. And I hate that kind of writing.

 

And now the 2nd book is foreshadowing that one of the "revealed changes to the backstory" from the first book is possibly a lie. This is worse than a cheesy spy flick. And its supposed to be YA urban fantasy... not a conspiracy thriller..... maybe the author should consider changing genres.

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

 

Just read Mortal Instruments Book one and two (City of Bones, City of Ashes). I'd rate them 2 and 2.5 stars out of 5, respectively. I gotta say I really don't get what all the hype is about. The writing was merely decent. The plot dragged on at times, and in the first book the author committed one of the gravest of all sins in literature, she betrayed her audience. And she didn't do it once, but multiple times over the course of the final few chapters. If you are going to have someone betray a group, you need to present at least some sort of foreshadowing. If you are going to reveal that your "previously presented" backstory for a character was a lie and they just didn't know it, do the same. But you should NEVER EVER bombard your readers with betrayal after betrayal, lie after lie. At this point I don't feel like I can trust anything stated in the books that we don't SEE happening as the author clearly feels that they have the right to change anything previously stated in the books at a drop of the hat. And I hate that kind of writing.

 

And now the 2nd book is foreshadowing that one of the "revealed changes to the backstory" from the first book is possibly a lie. This is worse than a cheesy spy flick. And its supposed to be YA urban fantasy... not a conspiracy thriller..... maybe the author should consider changing genres.

 

I believe this started out as fan fiction like 50 shades of gray but I am not sure. That might be why it morphed about

CES

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

 

Just finished Summa Elvetica and saw that a book set in the same world has just come out. It has traditional fantasy races along with a powerful, medieval church. It explores the question of whether or not Elves have souls. I like the characters (esp. Marcus Valerius and Bessarius). The world is well developed and designed. The novellas in the appendix are stellar also. I particularly like "Master of the Cat." Figuring out what dangerous item Bessarius was examining with magic was a treat.

 

I give SE 4 out of 4 elves with souls naturally united to them.

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

 

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (graphic novel). I grabbed this on impulse at the library. I had never read it or seen the movie or even had the ending spoiled, so 25 years after publication, I figured I'd finally see what all the fuss was about, and then let my seven-year-old read it.

 

Well, it was certainly good enough to make it hard for me to put down. I have to say that it was hard to follow, especially with the parallel pirate story, and the irrelevant newstand guy, and the background documents at the end of each issue. Honestly if I had been reading this one issue per month I doubt I'd have understood what was going on at all.

 

That said, the story was brilliant, if dark, and there were some chillingly prescient moments relevant even to modern politics, let alone the '80s when it was published. And I give the creators credit for ending the story in such an unconventional way. It certainly gets you thinking. I'm glad I finally read it, especially since some of the quotes and sigs I see around here make so much more sense now.

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

 

Just finished Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Bujold. Rate it an 8.5 of 10. This is part of a long episodic series but not a good place to start.

 

The book is set between the last 2 novels of the Miles Vorkosigan series and features Miles' cousin Ivan. Light spy/action in the style and tone of A Civil Campaign . Ivan encouters a damsel in distress and comes up with a unique solution to her immediate troubles. Needless to say, complications ensue and he is forced to deal with the consequences good and bad.

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

 

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (graphic novel). I grabbed this on impulse at the library. I had never read it or seen the movie or even had the ending spoiled, so 25 years after publication, I figured I'd finally see what all the fuss was about, and then let my seven-year-old read it.

 

Well, it was certainly good enough to make it hard for me to put down. I have to say that it was hard to follow, especially with the parallel pirate story, and the irrelevant newstand guy, and the background documents at the end of each issue. Honestly if I had been reading this one issue per month I doubt I'd have understood what was going on at all.

 

That said, the story was brilliant, if dark, and there were some chillingly prescient moments relevant even to modern politics, let alone the '80s when it was published. And I give the creators credit for ending the story in such an unconventional way. It certainly gets you thinking. I'm glad I finally read it, especially since some of the quotes and sigs I see around here make so much more sense now.

 

I read it one episode, one month at a time and had no problem following it: but it probably didn't hurt that it got re-read during that month. Man, it was a long, long time between issues (these days a month pretty much vanishes just after I've noticed it started).

 

But it's a testament to the story that even 25 years on, it's still worth reading. When it came out, it blew us away: not only did we not know where the story was going, but there had - quite literally - been nothing like it before. We were also getting the English translations of Akira around the same time, also volume by volume. I haven't been so hyped about comics pretty much ever since.

 

cheers, Mark

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

 

Yeah, Akira was fantastic when it came out. But where I am geographically, it was a lot easier to get access to good manga back then. I used to pick up things like Appleseed and Lone Wolf and Cub in Japanese and 'read' them, and then when the translations came out I'd buy them too and suddenly understand what was going on. (Appleseed was really not a good manga to try and figure out just from the art.)

 

I think Watchmen is even more impressive when you take into account its decade of publication. It was definitely a good time for comics in general, but the emphasis generally seemed to be on more titles and new characters--not depth and complexity of writing. So things like Watchmen stand out even more.

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

 

Yeah, Akira was fantastic when it came out. But where I am geographically, it was a lot easier to get access to good manga back then. I used to pick up things like Appleseed and Lone Wolf and Cub in Japanese and 'read' them, and then when the translations came out I'd buy them too and suddenly understand what was going on. (Appleseed was really not a good manga to try and figure out just from the art.)

 

I think Watchmen is even more impressive when you take into account its decade of publication. It was definitely a good time for comics in general, but the emphasis generally seemed to be on more titles and new characters--not depth and complexity of writing. So things like Watchmen stand out even more.

 

I'm getting Silent Mobius Tales 1 & 2 for the same reason. I want to "read" them and also want to see the art.

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