Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Charlemagne on March 28, 2015, 02:27:26 AM

Title: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Charlemagne on March 28, 2015, 02:27:26 AM
Hello Fantasy Faction!  :D

As some of you know, I've been ignoring my beloved fantasy genre for a little while now, focusing more on classics, or worse, not being able to find the time to read at all. Lately, however, I've found myself yearning for a return to my literary roots. I have a bit of a vacation coming up, and I'd like to tear through as many books as humanly possible. But I'm not really sure where to start. Due to my self-imposed exile, I have been seriously out of the loop when it comes to releases of books in the past couple years. This is where you all come in. I would love to know what books you all have loved in the past couple years or so. Rain down recommendations upon me!  :D

LIST OF REQUIREMENTS:

Don't worry about how well-known the book is, or how many awards its won. I probably haven't heard of it, and I almost certainly haven't read it. Thanks, and I've missed you all.  :-*
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Doctor_Chill on March 28, 2015, 02:36:49 AM
CHARLIE!

We missed ya matey!

Ahem, probably need to give a recommendation to stay on topic.

I was out of the loop the last half of last year, so I'm having a hard time thinking up something you might like that I can personally recommend. Though, I'm sure you heard Abercrombie's got a new trilogy out. Half a King was released last year, but Half the World was out last month. Both were pretty remarkable. Half a War, the finale, comes out this summer, so a rush through those might be exactly what you're looking for before the final is released.

Glad to have you back though! I'll post more if ideas hit me.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Charlemagne on March 28, 2015, 03:25:29 AM
It's true that I've heard of Half a King, and equally true that I have yet to read it. An intriguing possibility...

Also considering jumping into the book club read. It's hardly recent, but I'm pretty sure I have Wee Free Men lying around somewhere, and I'd love to read some of Sir Terry and get involved with the book club!
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: JMack on March 28, 2015, 07:51:45 AM
In SF, the stand out for me has the Expanse books by James Corey, starting with Leviathan Wakes.  Apparently it wil be a SyFy series soon.

Folks on this site have been mixed in their views of Ancillary Justice but I loved it once I decided to ignore the author's experiment with using feminine pronouns for everyone and everything to indicate lack of gender in a language.

And I just finished Jen Williams' Copper Promise, absolutely fun Fantasy.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Raptori on March 28, 2015, 10:41:46 AM
I second @Jmacyk (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37094)'s recommendation for Copper Promise, Leviathan Wakes I found pretty decent but not exceptional, and Ancillary Justice I didn't enjoy at all.  :P

The Powder Mage trilogy kind of qualifies - the first book was out in 2013, but the two sequels were released in the last couple of years - and is a really good read.

Another great one is Fool's Assassin, but for that you really should read the rest of the Realm of the Elderlings first which is a rather extensive reading project if you haven't yet. Definitely recommended though.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Charlemagne on March 28, 2015, 04:44:07 PM
Luckily enough, I have a copy of Leviathan Wakes sitting on my bookshelf, waiting to be read... I read Promise of Blood and thought it was fine, not terribly impressive (loved the ideas, thought the execution could have been better). Nothing I've read about Ancillary Justice makes me really excited about it, so I'll probably wait to pick that one up. I'll definitely take a look at The Copper Promise though!  :)

A couple of titles some research has turned up: The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley, City of Stairs by RJB, Age of Iron by Angus Watson, and Traitor's Blade by Seb Castell. What do people think of these?


Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Doctor_Chill on March 28, 2015, 05:48:44 PM
I'm reading a RJB book right now, and I can vouch he's a good writer. Kinda excited to get my mitts on City of Stairs, so of course I'd like to hear your thoughts.  ;)

If you're not interested in Ancillary Justice, I'm not sure you'll like The Mirror Empire. Little more ham-fisted social commentary I've heard, but then, I've also heard it's on par "Grimdark" wise with Age of Iron. You might like it then.

As for The Copper Promise and Traitor's Blade, well, they don't have US pubs. Book Depository might help, but that might be a factor for you to consider.

....hold the phone, Traitor's Blade is in ebook for the US?! Then definitely try that out. I've heard nothing but good things about it!
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: xiagan on March 28, 2015, 06:42:02 PM
....hold the phone, Traitor's Blade is in ebook for the US?! Then definitely try that out. I've heard nothing but good things about it!
It's Musketeer-swashbuckling, don't think you'd like it. ;) The next one in the series got just released. :)
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Idlewilder on March 28, 2015, 08:50:02 PM
City of Stairs is great - really unique and definitely worth reading. I didn't think much of Traitor's Blade, though I'm in the minority - overrated imo. The Mirror Empire is very challenging.

Few suggestions from books I absolutely loved published in 2014:

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison - best new fantasy I have read in years.
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer - more like weird-horror-fantasy. Think modern day Lovecraft. Also very short.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North - timey-wimey SF thriller. Stunning book.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Elfy on March 28, 2015, 11:17:09 PM
They're not fantasy, but Wesley Chu's Tao books (The Lives of Tao and The Deaths of Tao) are excellent, and the 3rd (The Rebirths of Tao) is due out next month. Oddly enough for me, recently released science fiction is pushing my buttons more than recently released fantasy.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Arry on March 28, 2015, 11:47:06 PM
A couple of titles some research has turned up: The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley, City of Stairs by RJB, Age of Iron by Angus Watson, and Traitor's Blade by Seb Castell. What do people think of these?

Oh, yay! I've read all of this and I would actually recommend all four.  I loved Mirror Empire, it does take a bit of investment, but nearly as much as Ancillary Justice (which I also loved). City of Stairs is great, though I didn't absolutely love it as much as many others. I really enjoyed Age of Iron, always think more people should read it. However, it is not for everyone. It is dark, there's one character that is particularly demented, so if things like that bug you, then skip it. Traitor's Blade is fun.

Looking through some of the other recommendations, personally I would recommend Touch over First Fifteen Lives ...  mainly because I struggled with the plot in First Fifteen Lives and never got quite as into it. Touch is North's latest novel and I loved this one! Either way, her writing is fantastic.

Broken Monsters or The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. The Shining Girls features a time traveling serial killer. Like those guys aren't hard enough to catch, this one travels through time! Broken Monsters, I don't even know how to explain it. Serial killer (again), but that doesn't do it justice. Both of them feature the POV of the bad guy, I actually love this as you get some insight into their twisted minds.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey - starts with a nice little girl that is essentially in a type of prison. Wont say much more, you can get your spoilers elsewhere. I think its best to know as little as possible about this one.

The Martian by Andy Weir (SF) - Guy trapped on Mars by himself. This book is so incredibly good. The protagonist is quite humorous in his struggle for survival.

The Heart Does Not Grow Back by Frank Venturini (SF)-  This is an interesting one, I quite enjoyed it (was one that is hard to put down). Sort of a super-hero type story but the protagonist is rather broken.

Red Rising and Golden Son by Pierce Brown (SF)- get compared to Hunger Games and Enders Game.  I can see it, but also feel it's its own story. Highly addictive books.

The Just City by Jo Walton (F) - Time traveling goddess tries to create a utopian society by pulling people from different times to a single location. I was skeptical from the description, but loved this book.

Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz (F) - This book was just fun. Kind of like a Ready Player One, Breaking Bad mixup, with some of its own stuff mixed in. Magic can be distilled into a drug, and magic also stems from peoples obsessions. Fun read :)

Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marlier (F)- This was a recent book club read. Personally, I loved it. Kind of a dark fairy tale story.

The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca (F)- This was a fun fantasy, with a vigilante mage in a city full of street gangs.

And I agree with Elfy about the Tao books. They are great!
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: CaitSpivey on March 30, 2015, 10:23:59 PM
Definitely added a few of these to my own to-be-read pile! Which is threatening to crush me right now...

I somehow managed to JUST discover Robin Hobb (I know, I know) and I've been tearing through the Rain Wilds Chronicles (first book Dragon Keeper). They're older, so you may have already read them; the first book was published in 2010 I think. Easy to read, but sooooo meaty. And I haven't read any of the other books set in this world, so easy to pick up as an outsider.

Other than that, I've really enjoyed Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series, which is YA fantasy.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Elfy on March 30, 2015, 11:05:57 PM
Definitely added a few of these to my own to-be-read pile! Which is threatening to crush me right now...

I somehow managed to JUST discover Robin Hobb (I know, I know) and I've been tearing through the Rain Wilds Chronicles (first book Dragon Keeper). They're older, so you may have already read them; the first book was published in 2010 I think. Easy to read, but sooooo meaty. And I haven't read any of the other books set in this world, so easy to pick up as an outsider.

Other than that, I've really enjoyed Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series, which is YA fantasy.
Lejays17 really liked Sarah's series. She got to meet her at Worldcon, she's fun to see and listen to in person. She's coming down here later this year and we're hoping there will be a bookstore event we can get to with her.
On topic a little more I'm not sure if Charlie has read Mark Charan Newton's Nights of Villjamur, but that's pretty good, quite dark. One storyline is almost like a fantasy version of Gorky Park. It's part of a series, but can be read standalone fairly successfully.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Charlemagne on March 31, 2015, 02:08:43 AM
Nights of Villjamur has been on my list for years now, but I've never gotten around to reading it. And as for Robin Hobb... might not have read anything of hers. Ever. I dunno why, but despite all the rave reviews I've never been particularly compelled to pick up Assassin's Apprentice—which I own, and seems like a logical starting place. *Ducks for cover from the fanboys/Nighteyes*

In other news, I downloaded approximately 12 samples of books onto my kindle last night. Keep the recommendations coming! ;D
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Elfy on March 31, 2015, 03:15:15 AM
Nights of Villjamur has been on my list for years now, but I've never gotten around to reading it. And as for Robin Hobb... might not have read anything of hers. Ever. I dunno why, but despite all the rave reviews I've never been particularly compelled to pick up Assassin's Apprentice—which I own, and seems like a logical starting place. *Ducks for cover from the fanboys/Nighteyes*

In other news, I downloaded approximately 12 samples of books onto my kindle last night. Keep the recommendations coming! ;D
While I liked the Farseer trilogy, I actually preferred the Liveships trilogy, and you don't need to have read the Farseer to read that one.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: ScarletBea on March 31, 2015, 08:26:06 AM
And as for Robin Hobb... might not have read anything of hers. Ever. I dunno why, but despite all the rave reviews I've never been particularly compelled to pick up Assassin's Apprentice—which I own, and seems like a logical starting place. *Ducks for cover from the fanboys/Nighteyes*
While I liked the Farseer trilogy, I actually preferred the Liveships trilogy, and you don't need to have read the Farseer to read that one.

Elfy, I was going to say exactly the same when I read Charlie's post, and then I saw yours :)
*big Liveship Traders fan*
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Raptori on March 31, 2015, 08:35:18 AM
While I liked the Farseer trilogy, I actually preferred the Liveships trilogy, and you don't need to have read the Farseer to read that one.
Elfy, I was going to say exactly the same when I read Charlie's post, and then I saw yours :)
*big Liveship Traders fan*

Liveships ftw! Still think it's the best fantasy series I've come across  :)
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Ryan Mueller on April 01, 2015, 12:39:55 AM
While I liked the Farseer trilogy, I actually preferred the Liveships trilogy, and you don't need to have read the Farseer to read that one.

I need to get back to Liveships at one point. I had to return the second book to the library. For me, it isn't as good as the Farseer trilogy because I don't identify with every character as well as a did with Fitz. There are some characters (Malta especially) that I simply have no desire to read about, and that makes me put the book down for long periods. I do the same thing with ASoIaF.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Elfy on April 01, 2015, 12:43:00 AM
While I liked the Farseer trilogy, I actually preferred the Liveships trilogy, and you don't need to have read the Farseer to read that one.

I need to get back to Liveships at one point. I had to return the second book to the library. For me, it isn't as good as the Farseer trilogy because I don't identify with every character as well as a did with Fitz. There are some characters (Malta especially) that I simply have no desire to read about, and that makes me put the book down for long periods. I do the same thing with ASoIaF.
But Liveships has pirates. Do I need to say any more? Pirates and/or ninjas make almost everything better.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Arry on April 01, 2015, 01:16:32 AM
While I liked the Farseer trilogy, I actually preferred the Liveships trilogy, and you don't need to have read the Farseer to read that one.

I need to get back to Liveships at one point. I had to return the second book to the library. For me, it isn't as good as the Farseer trilogy because I don't identify with every character as well as a did with Fitz. There are some characters (Malta especially) that I simply have no desire to read about, and that makes me put the book down for long periods. I do the same thing with ASoIaF.

If it helps, Malta's character grows and matures quite a bit in the series. :)

I honestly don't know which series I prefer. In some ways this one felt more epic. But, I will admit, I never was as attached to any of the characters as I was Fitz. I guess that makes sense as this was a larger story, involving more players and perspectives. (at least thats how I felt), whereas the The Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies focused so much on Fitz (who was in the middle of everything).
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Raptori on April 01, 2015, 06:19:51 AM
For me, Kennit makes the difference. Don't think I've ever read a more compelling villain, particularly because he earns the love of people and just doesn't deserve it at all  :D
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: sennydreadful on April 01, 2015, 09:15:52 AM
While I liked the Farseer trilogy, I actually preferred the Liveships trilogy, and you don't need to have read the Farseer to read that one.

I need to get back to Liveships at one point. I had to return the second book to the library. For me, it isn't as good as the Farseer trilogy because I don't identify with every character as well as a did with Fitz. There are some characters (Malta especially) that I simply have no desire to read about, and that makes me put the book down for long periods. I do the same thing with ASoIaF.

If it helps, Malta's character grows and matures quite a bit in the series. :)


Malta's character development is some of the best I've ever seen... I started off wanting to throttle her but by book 3 I was her biggest fan.

Also, Kennit. Good lord, what a character.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: ScarletBea on April 01, 2015, 10:12:23 AM
Malta's character development is some of the best I've ever seen... I started off wanting to throttle her but by book 3 I was her biggest fan.

Also, Kennit. Good lord, what a character.

This, 100%. Throttle her, slap her, shout at her... and then by the 3rd book I was really fighting for her :D
And I strangely liked Kennit and wouldn't really call him a villain - so much so that I was really shocked when he finally did a despicable act >:(
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: sennydreadful on April 01, 2015, 10:35:57 AM
Malta's character development is some of the best I've ever seen... I started off wanting to throttle her but by book 3 I was her biggest fan.

Also, Kennit. Good lord, what a character.

This, 100%. Throttle her, slap her, shout at her... and then by the 3rd book I was really fighting for her :D
And I strangely liked Kennit and wouldn't really call him a villain - so much so that I was really shocked when he finally did a despicable act >:(

Gosh yes. Kennit has to be one of the most complex characters I've encountered. He was an utter, utter git through much of it and yet I looked forward to all of his chapters and found him fascinating. There was something there, a vulnerability, and then of course he did something truly unforgivable. There are no easy answers with Kennit, and that's why I think it is a truly extraordinary piece of writing (particularly in being an examination of the far-reaching consequences of abuse).

Those books were soooo good.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Arry on April 01, 2015, 12:31:56 PM
Malta's character development is some of the best I've ever seen... I started off wanting to throttle her but by book 3 I was her biggest fan.

Also, Kennit. Good lord, what a character.

This, 100%. Throttle her, slap her, shout at her... and then by the 3rd book I was really fighting for her :D
And I strangely liked Kennit and wouldn't really call him a villain - so much so that I was really shocked when he finally did a despicable act >:(

Gosh yes. Kennit has to be one of the most complex characters I've encountered. He was an utter, utter git through much of it and yet I looked forward to all of his chapters and found him fascinating. There was something there, a vulnerability, and then of course he did something truly unforgivable. There are no easy answers with Kennit, and that's why I think it is a truly extraordinary piece of writing (particularly in being an examination of the far-reaching consequences of abuse).

Those books were soooo good.

Kennit is amazing! And a great example of why I love getting the 'bad guy's POV, because rarely are things as straightforward as they appear when you get just one side of the story.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Elfy on April 01, 2015, 11:16:55 PM
I'm joining in the Kennit love. Really great complex layered character.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: Ryan Mueller on April 02, 2015, 05:58:04 AM
I haven't really enjoyed Kennit's sections so far, and I'm part of the way into book two. I don't know. Maybe I'm the kind of writer who doesn't want to spend much time in the heads of terrible people.
Title: Re: Best Recently Released Book
Post by: TigerBright on April 02, 2015, 04:28:42 PM
I felt quite 'meh' about Kennet really, but I did like the humour at times when he was being completely and utterly clueless about normal human interaction.

Malta on the other hand I completely agree about, her character development blew me away when I really didn't expect it to. I couldn't stand her at first and found her chapters hard to get through.