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Author Topic: Desperate for book recommendations  (Read 7716 times)

Offline Kiowa

Desperate for book recommendations
« on: October 28, 2015, 12:21:28 AM »
Hello there :) Hopefully this is the right place to post this!

I have joined this forum because I am in desperate need of good books to read. The last 10+ books I have tried, I absolutely loathed and couldn't finish. I am starting to wonder if I will ever enjoy another book again and I'm burnt out on re-reading the ones I know I do like. I need some help from the experts, so where better to ask than here?  ;)

Would you be able to make any recommendations for me?

What I am looking for:
***-Good world building is an absolute must
-Fantasy with Adventure highly preferred
-Nothing set in space. Otherwise, anything, any world and any time goes (though I don't think I would like time travel or anything that gets too caught up on historical accuracy)
-Must start out strong/interesting and keeps the pages turning
-Adult romance is a must too. But I want something where the romance is secondary to the main story. It seems that every book I have read that it centered around romance, I have hated.
-I am an adult and I don't have a problem with graphic sex scenes if they are tastefully done. An occasional scene that adds to the story is great! But when that is basically what over half the book is about....ugh....it's just boring, repetitive and sleazy.
-NO, and I must repeat, *NO* more pitiful teen drama lust at first sight stories. If I try to read another one of those, I may just give up reading for the rest of my life

Favorite Authors/Books
-Patricia Briggs. Her Mercy Thompson novels are my all time favorite, though I enjoyed her Alpha and Omega series and her Raven duology as well.
-J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series.
-Christopher Paolini. Inheritance Cycle.

Other books I enjoyed
-Brian's Saga (Hatchet) by Gary Paulsen
-His Dark Materials Series (The Golden Compass books) by Philip Pullman
-The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
-The Host by Stephenie Meyer
-The Sight and Fell (as well as Firebringer) by David Clement-Davies
-Artemis Fowl series (they were ok, but childish)
-Wolves of the Beyond series (by Kathryn Lasky) and the Warrior cat series (Erin Hunter) were ok, but I lost interest in both series several books in. I enjoyed the worlds, but they were just too childish in the end.
-Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. I liked these books to a point...but when the romance aspect got...weird, it ruined it for me. Forever.

I think the one thing all the books I like have in common is good world building. I want to feel like I'm submerged in another world. And when I put the book down, I want to shiver and almost believe it was real.

I am frustrated because it seems as if a lot of the books with good world building are geared towards children. And it seems as if books geared towards adults are either all about steamy sex scenes or non stop gory slaughter and have little else to them. Isn't there a middle ground to be found? Are there any books out there with good world building as well as a tasteful amount of sex/romance/violence? Am I just asking for too much?

The Game of Thrones series was alright, but it was more...complex than what I am looking for. I also felt it jumped around way too much for my taste and didn't allow me to really love any of the characters.

And though I loved Tolkien's books and they are amazing works of art, I felt the same way about them. The writing style was just too advanced/complex for me to really -relax- and easily enjoy, if that makes any sense at all. Not that that is any reflection on these amazing books. It's me, not them ;)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 12:25:48 AM by Kiowa »

Offline Hedin

Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2015, 02:27:54 AM »
Since you like Week's Night Angel Trilogy I would recommend his Lightbringer series. I think Lightbringer is a definite step up from Night Angel and is probably my favorite active series.


Offline ClintACK

Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2015, 02:31:37 AM »
Might be helpful if you said what the 10+ books were -- and what specifically was wrong with them.  There are a bunch of obvious choices -- I assume you've rejected the Wheel of Time, for example.  (The romances are fairly juvenile in that.  Fair enough.)

Have you read any Jim Butcher?  There are now fifteen books of the Dresden Files.  The first couple are rough, but the third, Grave Peril might be a good place to start.  Or the seventh, Dead Beat.  Harry Dresden is (semi-secretly) a wizard in modern day Chicago who defends ordinary folks from ghosts and vampires and necromancers and all manner of supernatural evil.

Offline Kiowa

Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 04:46:48 AM »
Thank you for the suggestions!!! I will be sure to look into them!!! I've actually never heard of Wheel of Time.

The books I rejected...well...before I list them, I should say that I only tried them because certain websites (amazon, audible, goodreads) recommended them. Some of these are flat out wince worthy books they are so horrible. I feel embarrassed for having even tried some of these.

1.) Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (where do I start. I don't think there was anything good about this book other than the cover. It was beyond terrible in every single way)
2.) Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn (I didn't like the main character or the world building. The main character was just way, way too girly. The amount of time she spent talking about fashion ruined it, among other things. I'd much rather read a story about a tough and strong woman who doesn't mind getting dirty. Super feminine women as main characters just don't work for me)
3.) The Grey Wolves series by Quinn Loftis (while these initially sort of had my attention, they were very juvenile and the characters were all very immature. The world building also left a lot to be desired)
4.) Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy (I got about half way through and couldn't finish it. Again, too juvenile, not enough world building and there just wasn't enough action)
5.) Born at Midnight: Shadow Falls, Book 1 by C. C. Hunter   (again, juvenile, immature characters with no depth. Plenty of silly lust at first sight nonsense)
6.) Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright (Definitely more adult. Definitely way too centered around sex. Serious lack of world building or character building. Sleazy.)
7.) Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (I got this one as an audiobook and couldn't understand half of what the person reading it was saying. I'd actually like to give this one another try in paperback as I'd heard very good things about it)
8.) Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (It just didn't pull me in. Maybe I'll finish it one day. The world building just seemed so so)
9.) Graceling by C. C. Hunter   (I did finish this book and it wasn't terrible, but it was far from great or memorable either. I don't remember why exactly I didn't like this one as I read it awhile ago)
10.) Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan (too childish)

That's all I can remember off the top of my head. There were others, but they were tossed out and forgotten for a good reason I am sure.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 04:49:44 AM by Kiowa »

Offline Elfy

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Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 05:36:55 AM »
In terms of urban fantasy I'd second The Dresden Files and if you liked Anita Blake could also investigate Jacqueline Carey's Agent of Hel trilogy (first book Dark Currents). Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series (begins with The Rivers of London) is very good. More in the epic field Joe Abercrombie does good gritty stuff with plenty of action.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 08:55:36 AM »
Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding sounds like it'd be perfect for you - fast exciting plot, interesting characters, quality writing, and a unique and vivid world. There are four books in the series, the first is good but the others are noticeably better. Even if the idea of reading something like steampunk doesn't appeal they're well worth a try.

The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb might appeal too - while the world isn't particularly original it's very well realised, and the characters are brilliant. It's quite contemplative at times, so don't expect it to be a fast read all the way through, but if you get into Fitz's viewpoint it's one of the best fantasy stories around.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson sounds like another good fit. The world itself is interesting, the story is gripping and well plotted, and the magic is awesome. The writing isn't the best and the characters aren't either, but it's good enough to remain one of my favorites. Other Sanderson books like Warbreaker would also be good ones for you, the ones to be wary of are Elantris (his first book, which isn't as good) and Stormlight Archive (his best books, but since they're fairly complex they might not be for you).

The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix sounds like something you'd enjoy. It's arguably another YA series, but it's more serious than most. The world is great, the characters decent, the plot fast and well realised.

The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron could also be a good one. The writing is not particularly brilliant, though it noticeably improved over the course of the series. That's the only real flaw though - the characters are interesting, the plot is fun, and the setting is great.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 09:55:55 AM by Raptori »
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Offline shieldfire

Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 09:36:10 AM »
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson sounds like another good fit. The world itself is interesting, the story is gripping and well plotted, and the magic is awesome. The writing isn't the best and the characters aren't either, but it's good enough to remain one of my favorites.

This could be a fit.
The first book in the trilogy The Final Empire is clearly the strongest (in my mind) but if you liked that you want to know the rest of the story - which is some praise I guess.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 09:38:31 AM »
I second all of Raptori's recommendations for you - that will keep you busy for a while ;D
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Offline JMack

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Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 11:09:45 AM »
I second Garth Nix and Rachel Aaron.

It sounds like the Amazon recommendations were strongly based on paranormal romance and young adult. We got you here: we're big fans of deep world building and great plots. Ignore everyone else!  ;D
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 05:16:30 PM »
Hmm Goodreads/Amazon seems to be recommending you to Paranormal Romance

Head towards http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-faction-book-battles/fantasy-faction-book-battles-favourite-series-bracket/ to get some ideas


This is our top 32 fantasy series here

« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 05:23:17 PM by Eclipse »
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Offline ClintACK

Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2015, 06:30:25 PM »
Hmm Goodreads/Amazon seems to be recommending you to Paranormal Romance

Kiowa does say "Adult romance is a must too" -- just that it should be secondary to adventure/action.

It sounds like the problem isn't the paranormal romance, but how juvenile the romance is.

Quote
Head towards http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-faction-book-battles/fantasy-faction-book-battles-favourite-series-bracket/ to get some ideas

This is our top 32 fantasy series here

Second that.  But a bunch of the best don't seem to fit the criteria -- like the romance in Mistborn is G-rated.


Had another thought, though -- there are a bunch of short-story anthologies where all the authors are novelists.  These work great as samplers.  You can try a bunch of authors, and if you like one, there are dozens of novels to try.  The P.N. Elrod ones are pretty good samplers of the stars of Urban Fantasy (like Patricia Briggs) -- Hex Appeal, Dark and Stormy Knights, Strange Brew are the three I've read.  The stories are a definite mixed bag -- but that was the point for me.


Offline Kiowa

Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2015, 01:17:26 AM »
I feel like a cat with a bowl of cream ^_^ So many of these recommendations look good! Now I just have to figure out where to start. Thank you all SO, SO much! This is exactly what I was looking for :) I will be sure to come back and let you know how it goes! You guys are awesome!

EDIT: I decided to start with The Spirit Thief (Legend of Eli Monpress) by Rachel Aaron for my audiobook choice when traveling (the narrator sounds quite good) and The Final Empire (Mistborn) by Brandon Sanderson for my paperback choice. I'll start The Spirit Thief now while I'm waiting on The Final Empire to arrive by mail. Thanks again!!! I will be reading many (if not all) of the other suggestions as well!

EDIT again: I should rephrase what I said in my original post. The recommendations don't absolutely have to have adult romance. Some romance is nice, but there are plenty of amazing books that don't have steamy, detailed sex scenes and that is just fine. G-rated is fine. I think my problem has been I've been trying to read a romance, when what I really want is a story about adventure. Now...if there is a book about romance out there that is also an adventure story (sort of like Brigg's Alpha and Omega series), point me to it!
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 02:00:23 AM by Kiowa »

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2015, 03:11:33 AM »
Hi Kiowa, didn't join in the recommendations because so many I would have chosen were already there, but recently listened to all the Eli Monpress on audible and the narrator was terrific and even though there are many characters  found the right voices for each. The story is fascinating and really gripping. Absolutely loved it altogether and probably one of my top favourite series this year. Do hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And belated welcome to the Forum. ;D
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Offline magisensei

Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2015, 05:57:24 PM »
If you enjoyed Patricia Briggs - then you have to try Ilona Andrews and her Kate Daniels series; there is also the Esther Diamond series by Laura Resnick that you should definitely try if you enjoy urban fantasy. 

There is also Charlaine Harris and her Sookie Stackhouse series if you enjoy vampire urban fantasy
Spoiler for Hiden:
(don't read book 13 the last in the series  - the first 12 are good)

If you have not tried Tamora Pierce and her YA fantasy series then it is a must to try - the Song of Lioness (4 books) is only just one of her many fantasies to read - and they don't read like YA. 




Offline Kiowa

Re: Desperate for book recommendations
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2015, 09:58:20 PM »
Hi Kiowa, didn't join in the recommendations because so many I would have chosen were already there, but recently listened to all the Eli Monpress on audible and the narrator was terrific and even though there are many characters  found the right voices for each. The story is fascinating and really gripping. Absolutely loved it altogether and probably one of my top favourite series this year. Do hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And belated welcome to the Forum. ;D

I am overjoyed with this series!!!! I just finished the first book and I am starting the second one right now. I love the characters and the humor and the storyline is action packed and interesting. They are everything I was looking for! I already know this is going to be a new favorite series! I just couldn't stop listening to the first book!

magisensei, thank you for the suggestions! I've come across the Kate Daniels series a couple times, but my faith in shape shifting/vampire/etc. books (aside from Briggs' books that is) has really taken a hit so I never dared to try them. There are a lot of really, really horrible books in this genre and it's hard to spot the rare diamonds among all the junk. But I will take another look at the Kate Daniels series as well as the others you suggested. Thank you :)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 10:00:42 PM by Kiowa »