Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: leterile on December 16, 2015, 09:37:02 PM

Title: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: leterile on December 16, 2015, 09:37:02 PM
Sorry if there is already a thread. I didn't see one.

I was wondering everyone's most loved and most hated books of 2015.

Highlights
The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson
Red Country - Joe Abercrombie
Caine Black Knife - Matthew Stover

Lowlights
A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula LeGuin
Cugel the Clever - Jack Vance
The Illearth War - Stephen Donaldson
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: Yora on December 16, 2015, 09:45:23 PM
I very much enjoyed Blood of Elves, The Book of Hyperborea, and Night Winds.
I was rather underwhelmed by The Sword of Destiny and Kull: Exile of Atlantis. I had expected more.
Big disappointments of the year were The Tombs of Athuan (Earthsea #2) and Tome of the Undergates.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: Raptori on December 16, 2015, 09:54:23 PM
Great idea!

Highlights
Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding
Fool's Quest by Robin Hobb
Powder Mage by Brian McClellan
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Lowlights
Crossroads of Twilight (and the other middle WoT books to a lesser extent) by Robert Jordan
Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
Armada by Ernest Cline

Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: Lanko on December 16, 2015, 10:43:40 PM
From the SF/F books I read in 2015:

Highlights:

The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
The Broken Empire Trilogy, by Mark Lawrence
Harry Potter collection, by J.K. Rowling
Star Wars: Darth Bane Trilogy, by Drew Karpyshyn
Nation, by Terry Pratchett
City of Burning Shadows, by Barbara J. Webb

Farseer has a great emotional aspect and characterization. Jorg and the setting are so unique and likeable. One of the best protagonists ever.
Harry Potter, because I believed they were just children's books. I was such a muggle. And Darth Bane because I never thought Star Wars would do well in a book. I couldn't even begin the original by Lucas.
Nation because it was my introduction to Terry Pratchett. CoBS surprised me by its unusual mixture as well and made me want to read the others SPBO.
I believe The Martian will end up in this list as well.

Disappointments:

The Hunger Games Trilogy, by Suzane Collins
The Left Hand of God Trilogy, by Paul Hoffman
The Deed of Paksenarrion Trilogy, by Elizabeth Moon

I will dispense commentaries on HG. Left Hand had a great premise, but it didn't worked for me. Paks had also great premise, bogged down with too much dragging and a bizarre, surreal ending.

Had Both Highlights and Disappointments:

The Night Angel Trilogy, by Brent Weeks - Greatly enjoyed the first two books, disliked the last and hated the Durzo novella.
Agatha Christie - Four great books and two bad ones.
Perdido Street Station, by China Miélville - Loved the life of the city and its society, didn't liked when this and characterization disappeared and were replaced by the monster hunting action in the other half of the book.
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman - Excellent symbolism, hidden meanings and such, but it didn't made it any easier or enjoyable to read.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: leterile on December 17, 2015, 01:30:57 AM
I very much enjoyed Blood of Elves, The Book of Hyperborea, and Night Winds.
I was rather underwhelmed by The Sword of Destiny and Kull: Exile of Atlantis. I had expected more.
Big disappointments of the year were The Tombs of Athuan (Earthsea #2) and Tome of the Undergates.

Did you enjoy A Wizard of Earthsea and wanted to keep reading, or were you giving her one more chance? I'm not giving her another chance. lol
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: ultamentkiller on December 17, 2015, 05:01:23 AM
My Highlights.
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson.
The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett.
The First Law Trilogy and Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson
Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
The Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence
What I've read so far of The Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian... That guy. In the middle of book two now,
Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan
Gentlemen Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch

Lowlights
The Dinosaur Lords: Awesome concept. Terrible execution.
His Dark Materials: I got bored a third of the way through the first book.
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie: Got bored.
Red Country by Joe Abercrombie: Almost made it to the end, until I realized I had 100 pages left of plot to slog through.
Game of Lives by James Dashner: Second book was awesome. this one sucked.

Probably missing a couple, but those  were the memorable ones.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: Yora on December 17, 2015, 09:41:33 AM

Did you enjoy A Wizard of Earthsea and wanted to keep reading, or were you giving her one more chance? I'm not giving her another chance. lol
Lots of people think it's a very great standalone story. I don't.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: DrNefario on December 17, 2015, 01:38:42 PM
I love the Earthsea books, although I didn't especially enjoy the first one. In fact here's one in my highlights, look:

Highlights
Fantasy:
Tehanu - Ursula Le Guin
Half the World - Joe Abercrombie
The Magicians - Lev Grossman
The Magician King - Lev Grossman
Shades of Milk and Honey - Mary Robinette Kowal
SF:
Terms of Enlistment - Marko Kloos
The Prefect - Alastair Reynolds
Ancillary Sword - Ann Leckie

Disappointments
Fantasy:
The Paper Magician - Charlie N Holmberg
Deryni Rising - Katherine Kurtz
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
SF:
Galactic Patrol - E E "Doc" Smith
The Moment of Eclipse - Brian Aldiss

The disappointments are more where my expectations were too high, I think. I wasn't disappointed by books I wasn't expecting much from.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: cupiscent on December 18, 2015, 12:40:38 AM
Goodreads year-in-books used to let you sort your books by what star rating you gave them - I wish they'd kept that feature.

Highlights for me this year were:
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson - breathing fantastic new life into dystopic YA with a vibrant but sensible world and a really engaging cast of characters.
City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett - just a phenomenally good book, a perfect blend of fun action, delightful writing and crunchy ideas.
She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky - not my favourite of the trilogy, but such a satisfyingly noir conclusion to the arc.

Lowlights
The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan - I'd enjoyed the first book with some reservations, which I had cause to believe he'd fixed... but I found this second book chock-full of all the things I didn't like about the first (heavy on the action, light on the meaning, and problematic with its few female characters) with few redeeming factors for me. I'm especially disappointed in the treatment of Ka-Poel, both in the narrative and by the narrative.
Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence - everyone enjoys him so much that I really wanted to try again with this new series, but I think I'm going to shrug, admit he's not for me, and move on. I spent most of the book bored and wishing the story had stayed in Vermillion with the bad-ass Red Queen and her capable heir.
Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett - I love PTerry, and he has been so influential and important for me, and reading this not-quite rendition of his storytelling absolutely broke my heart. I couldn't finish it, it was too painful.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: Raptori on December 18, 2015, 12:43:49 AM
Goodreads year-in-books used to let you sort your books by what star rating you gave them - I wish they'd kept that feature.
Go to your books then click on stats, you can click on the year to see all the books added that year sorted by your rating.  :)
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: ClintACK on December 18, 2015, 04:09:18 AM
Highlights:
- The Martian
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
- Wee Free Men

I feel like there must be others from before the summer... but I've no idea what.

Lowlights:  No idea.  Lots of DNFs, but mostly things I only downloaded the free sample of...
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: ScarletBea on December 18, 2015, 09:23:30 AM
Highlights:
- Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies - Robin Hobb
- books 1 and 2 of the Red Queen trilogy - Mark Lawrence
- Tales of the Ketty Jay books - Chris Wooding
- Ryiria Revelations - Michael J. Sullivan
- books 1 and 2 of the Copper Cat trilogy - Jen Williams

Lowlights:
- The time machine - H. G. Wells (meh)

Wow, just noticed the lowest score I gave this year was 3 (2 to a non-fantasy one) and I didn't have any DNF in 2015!
And the highlights are part of my 5 starts (31% of the total!!), I had others with 5 and many more with 4-4.5 stars.
What a great year in reading :D

(the one I'm currently reading won't go in any of the above categories, but I still hope to read Malice (John Gwynne), which has got the potential to go into the highlight..)
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: ultamentkiller on December 18, 2015, 12:37:32 PM
I heard good things about the sequel, since it almost won the David Gimelle award(sorry for my terrible spelling). But I knew Sanderson was going to take the cake, since Stormlight is way more popular than any of the series that made the final round. I hope he gets another shot though. Someone should win who hasn't won before.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: Yora on December 18, 2015, 07:35:16 PM
Gemmell. Two Es, two Ms, two Ls.  ;)

(That's also how you can remember how to spell Nietzsche. One one everything: A T, a Z, an S, and a C.)
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: cupiscent on December 19, 2015, 02:01:35 AM
Goodreads year-in-books used to let you sort your books by what star rating you gave them - I wish they'd kept that feature.
Go to your books then click on stats, you can click on the year to see all the books added that year sorted by your rating.  :)
BLESS YOUR COTTON SOCKS
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: Mark Lawrence on December 19, 2015, 12:04:12 PM
Sorry if there is already a thread. I didn't see one.

I was wondering everyone's most loved and most hated books of 2015.

Highlights
The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson
Red Country - Joe Abercrombie
Caine Black Knife - Matthew Stover

Lowlights
A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula LeGuin
Cugel the Clever - Jack Vance
The Illearth War - Stephen Donaldson

I loved the books you have a lowlights and haven't read any of the authors you have as highlights :)
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: eclipse on December 19, 2015, 02:20:27 PM
Highlights

City of Burning Shadows by Barbara J Webb
I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1) by Dan Wells
She Who Waits (Low Town #3) by Daniel Polansky

Lowlights

The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5) by Patrick Rothfuss
Gate of Ivrel (Morgaine & Vanye #1) by C.J. Cherryh
The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: DireWolfSnow on December 19, 2015, 04:27:32 PM
Highlights:

Blood Song and Tower Lord, by Anthony Ryan: To date these are some of the most enjoyable fantasy novels I've read. I thoroughly enjoyed the world that Anthony Ryan has created and am excited to finish this series. Queen of Fire is currently on the top of my TBR list once I finish the books I am currently reading.

Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles Series, by Joseph Delaney: Read 1-7 so far and plan on finishing the remaining half of the series. I was vaguely familiar with this series (I'd heard the name a few times), but never got around to picking it up and reading it. B&N had a special on the first three e-books as a tie-in (or apology... not sure which) for the movie so I downloaded and blazed through that bundle. The story is so good and has so much potential to be a good movie... but as with nearly all YA fiction, that potential was completely wasted.

World of Warcraft: The Shattering and Tides of War, both by Christie Golden: One of my goals for this year was to get through my backlog of World of Warcraft novels. These two both give some outstanding background into the events that take place outside of the main questlines that are experienced by the player character and also provide depth to the major characters.


Lowlights:

Omen Machineby Terry Goodkind: The Sword of Truth books are dark. Very dark. However this new series is far more dark than the previous series. I had a very hard time getting into this book and put it down for now, but I may try again at another time to see how I like it.

The Winds of Winter by GRRM: Still no mention of this book. Now the tv series will pass the scope of the books and those of us who have been invested in this series since the 90s will have the plot spoiled.  :-\

Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: leterile on December 19, 2015, 10:57:15 PM
Sorry if there is already a thread. I didn't see one.

I was wondering everyone's most loved and most hated books of 2015.

Highlights
The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson
Red Country - Joe Abercrombie
Caine Black Knife - Matthew Stover

Lowlights
A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula LeGuin
Cugel the Clever - Jack Vance
The Illearth War - Stephen Donaldson

I loved the books you have a lowlights and haven't read any of the authors you have as highlights :)

Don't worry Mark. Nobody's perfect.  ;)
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: noisomethrone on December 20, 2015, 05:49:50 AM
Highlights:
Toll the Hounds, Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God, Steven Erikson. The final three of my favorite series didn't disappoint. Toll the Hounds in particular was jaw-dropping.

The First Law Trilogy, Joe Abercrombie. Glokta is worth the price of admission alone.

Hyperion, Dan Simmons. Classic for a reason.

The Warded Man, Peter V. Brett. Probably the most emotionally-invested in a group of characters I've ever been. Only flaw was that massive one towards the end (you know exactly what I mean if you read it). Actually kind of nervous to read the follow-ups since I heard they weren't as good and I don't want to spoil my enjoyment of this book.

Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson. About as real and plausible as sf gets.

A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge. Really amazing sf/fantasy with great aliens and cool variable physics.

Lowlights:

Ultima, Steven Baxter. It had some nifty ideas but wasn't at all what I'd wanted in a sequel to Proxima.

The Fall of Hyperion, Dan Simmons. What worked in Hyperion totally doesn't work without the frame story.

Promise of Blood, Brian McClellan. Wasn't terrible or anything, I guess I believed the hype and then found out it fell short upon reading it.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: ultamentkiller on December 20, 2015, 04:17:15 PM
There are just as many people who like The Demon Cycle sequels as those who don't. If that weren't the case, they wouldn't be selling as many copies as they are. It's just the ones that don't like them tend to be more vocal.
Don't let the crowd stop you from checking them out.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: night_wrtr on December 22, 2015, 03:03:03 AM
Highlights:

The Builders by Daniel Polansky - Amazeballs.
A Memory of Light by Sanderson / Jordan - The perfect ending to a great series.
The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley - Holy $#*% this was good. Currently reading book 2 and it's equally good.

Lowlight:
Seven Forges by James A Moore - I couldn't stay interested in the story.

Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: noisomethrone on December 23, 2015, 05:47:11 AM
There are just as many people who like The Demon Cycle sequels as those who don't. If that weren't the case, they wouldn't be selling as many copies as they are. It's just the ones that don't like them tend to be more vocal.
Don't let the crowd stop you from checking them out.

I'll get to The Desert Spear at some point. I already have a copy. It just keeps getting bumped down the list as I seem to keep finding things I'd rather read.
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: ScarletBea on January 02, 2016, 09:54:59 PM
I knew I'd have to add one right at the end of the year! :D

Highlights:
- Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies - Robin Hobb
- books 1 and 2 of the Red Queen trilogy - Mark Lawrence
- Tales of the Ketty Jay books - Chris Wooding
- Ryiria Revelations - Michael J. Sullivan
- books 1 and 2 of the Copper Cat trilogy - Jen Williams
- Malice - John Gwynne

Lowlights:
- The time machine - H. G. Wells (meh)
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: Nighteyes on January 02, 2016, 09:59:43 PM
Sorry if there is already a thread. I didn't see one.

I was wondering everyone's most loved and most hated books of 2015.

Highlights
The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson
Red Country - Joe Abercrombie
Caine Black Knife - Matthew Stover

Lowlights
A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula LeGuin
Cugel the Clever - Jack Vance
The Illearth War - Stephen Donaldson

Wizard of Earthsea is one of my all time favourite books, and find Cugel the Clever to be quite amusing.  :(
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: ScarletBea on January 02, 2016, 10:03:22 PM
I think this thread is interesting also to highlight (eh!) the difference in our reading tastes, which goes to show there's a space for many different authors :)
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: eclipse on January 03, 2016, 10:41:54 AM
I must be the only one here who didn't enjoy The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet  ;D
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: xiagan on January 03, 2016, 07:52:33 PM
I must be the only one here who didn't enjoy The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet  ;D
You are. ;)
Title: Re: Highlights/lowlights of 2015?
Post by: eclipse on January 03, 2016, 07:55:41 PM
I must be the only one here who didn't enjoy The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet  ;D
You are. ;)

Oh well hehe