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Author Topic: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts  (Read 3901 times)

Offline Arry

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June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« on: June 30, 2015, 07:43:21 PM »
Here it is: The what did you read in June thread.  Come share your list and what you thought of the books you read last month. We're not looking for full out reviews, just a brief couple of sentences that sum up your impressions. This is also not a contest for who read the most books, I know some of us struggle to find time to read one book a month, and others manage a dozen. That doesn't matter, so don't feel reluctant to post if you have read less books (or way more books) than others. This is all for sharing, and if you read anything, come let us know what it was and what you thought of it.  ;D
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
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Offline Arry

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Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2015, 08:29:11 PM »
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi - proof that it is not only fantasy that can be grim and dark. As much as I loved it, is that I don’t think this is a book for everyone. If you are a reader that is easily unsettled by violence, torture, prostitution, etc, then read with caution. I can’t even say don’t read it (because I loved it), just know what you are getting into.

A Murder of Mages by Ryan Marshall Maresca - I enjoyed the this. It's a parallel series to The Thorn of Dentonhill. I think I prefer the magic school style story in the other series to the detective style in this one, but that's just me. Still good, and loved Satrine, the main character. I'll read on to get more of her story.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol - A nice YA graphic novel that entertains and has some good life lessons.

The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis - Really interesting steampunk novel, it is also quite dark. Love the world and characters. Also moves at a great pace.

Last Call by Tim Powers - Read this with the book club. Honestly, I have a bit of a love-ambivelant relationship with this one. Love parts of it, but am ambivalent about more of it than is ideal.

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton - I found the first half of this to be a bit slower paced, but after hitting the 60% mark, could not put it down.

In Midnight's Silence by T. Frohock - A good novella with angels and daimons in 1930s Spain.

Alive by Scott Sigler - A decent dystopian that is hard to say much about because everything is a complete and total mystery from the beginning.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
-- George R.R. Martin

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http://www.speculativeherald.com

Offline Rostum

Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2015, 09:04:46 PM »
Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark Loved it. Better than the TV adaption which wasnt half bad.
Liars key by Mark Lawrence Marks writing gets better and better. Wasn't what I was expecting but was very good. Need to get my paws on an arc for the third one though or it will be a long wait.
The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams (still reading) Prefering it to The Copper Promise too early to really comment. Either Jen has changed her editor or her writing style has improved from her fist book.
A romance by Francis Knight (still Reading) can't give you a title as it will blow her Nom de plume. Interesting so far but I only have 2 chapters read so too early to comment
The Remaining: Trust by DJ Molles (still Reading) more Zombie porn about what I expected so far competant if uninspired writing.

Lots of sets of regs and technical docs for work that have eaten into my months reading time. Helps you sleep though.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 08:30:25 PM by Rostum »

Offline Raptori

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Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2015, 10:09:53 PM »
Read even less than usual this month. Still on track for roughly 80-90 books this year though...  ???

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch -
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan -
The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan -
The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan -
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Elfy

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Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2015, 02:45:39 AM »
An 8 book month for me, so not bad.

V. E. Schwab's Vicious, got a real Chuck Wendig Miriam Black feel out of this, with added superheroes. Very good. I'm reading the same author's A Darker Shade of Magic at present, and it's totally different, but still highly enjoyable. I think I may have found a new favourite author.

Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist. Old fashioned urban fantasy/horror. Such a refreshing read. If people only know Feist for his Riftwar stuff give this one a whirl. Shame that he didn't do more in this vein really.

Justine Larbelestier's Razorhurst. This is as much historical fiction as it is fantasy, although the presence of ghosts tips it over the line. Very well written and the subject material, inner city Sydney during the times of the underworld 'Razorgang Wars' was unusual, but intriguing. I find her a little underrated to be honest.

The final Tao book, The Rebirths of Tao by Wesley Chu, this tied up the trilogy in a neat little bow and was a heap of fun. A fitting end to a surprising and promising series by a debut author. I'm looking forward to his new book, a non Tao one, later this year.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. These are hard to classify, they have elements of the fairy tales they're based on (this one is Cinderella), but they have both science fiction and fantasy elements and a very anime feel about them. This one was different, and I can see why there's buzz around the series itself.

Firelord by Parke Godwin. One of my rereads. It's the Arthur story, takes the point of view that Arthur was a British chieftain in the final days of the Roman empire in Britain. Remains one of my favourite Arthur stories.

The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison. At 158 pages this is almost a novella by today's standards. It's classic science fiction and gave us one of the world's greatest criminal rogues in the person of Slippery Jim Di Griz.

Jay Posey's Three. A dystopian odyssey. It started off well, but suffered from a lack of direction and fairly cliched characters. It's the first of a series, but completely self contained, which is good because I don't want to continue with it.

Marissa Meyer again with Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder and the second of The Lunar Chronicles. If the title doesn't give it away, it's the Red Riding Hood story given the same science fiction/anime treatment as Cinder was. I didn't like it as much as Cinder, but I'm still hooked enough to continue the story with Cress.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Haselgrove

Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2015, 09:33:34 AM »
Shadowdance 1-3 David Dalglish.
A world that i wanted to hard to love and did love, but these just something lacking that i couldn't put my finger on, maybe the lack of the series big bad guy, each book had a new bad guy that didn't seem to link in with the previous ect and ended up being a bit samey.
But don't get me wrong here, there was a lot about these books i liked a lot, the pase for one, they're written at a pretty quick pace building up to the final showdown as it were and some of the fight scenes were truly awesome to read!
Overall im glad i read the first 3 books and will likely revisit the series for the last 3 books and the other series he's written in the same universe.

Reread Dawnthief - James Barclay
The first of 7 books based on The Raven, i cant state how much i love these books read them for the first time a couple of years ago and was blown away by it all, found myself completely emotional attached to The Raven, a band of mercenaries with their strict code out to save the world from total annihilation from Witchlord, Dragon, Demon, you name it they'll take it on and kick arse in classic Raven style!
James Barclay has to be one of my all time favorite authors, The Raven books could have been just another fantasy series about mercenaries but he turns the story into something amazing!

Rereading The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson
Read these a while back and was pretty damned epic and remember being left shaken by the twist at the end, a twist that makes perfect sense but i never saw it coming not until right at the end.
Really enjoyed it first time round and now knowing how things pan out i'm enjoying it even more for the second time, but mainly rereading it so i can move onto The Words of Radiance with The Way of Kings still fresh in my mind.

Offline cupiscent

Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2015, 09:40:43 AM »
I had a light month for reading in June. Just two worth talking about.

Max Gladstone's Full Fathom Five - and man, that series, that world, his brain. He's almost at Pratchett levels of exploring the deeper philosophical questions of how humans interact with the universe, the necessary lies we build into truths so that we can survive, all of that gods-and-monsters stuff. He just explores it with great corporate-fantasy-punk action instead of high-fantasy comedy. (Yes, I loved the book.)

Stephen Deas's Adamantine Palace - which entertained me conceptually as a sort of high fantasy Dangerous Liaisons, where all of the nobility are such manifestly unpleasant people that I have to assume you're supposed to be cheering for the revolution. Great pace, great characters (for all their nastinesses, they're incredibly dynamic), but missing something - a little extra gilding, perhaps - to really lock in my enjoyment.

Online ScarletBea

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Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2015, 01:14:32 PM »
Here are mine:

The Quick, Lauren Owen
'Traditional' vampire book, in the victorian era. Good enough story, but the writing seemed disjointed at times.

Empire of Ivory, Naomi Novik
Book 4 in the Temeraire series, it's almost 'comfort' reading, hehe, those books that just calm you down, no big issues, just a nice story with an amazing dragon!

The time machine, H.G. Wells
Trying to patch up the lack of some 'classics' reading in my life hehe. It was good enough, but I kept expecting it to move further, to 'take off', so to speak. I'm glad it was short, because having a whole book with someone telling a story, rather than actual direct action, started to grate on me.

Theft of swords, Michael J. Sullivan
Book 1 (or 1+2) of the Riyria Revelations series, I really really enjoyed it (just don't say 'love' because I'm saving that to my next book). Great adventure, great friends, great characters. Already have the next 2 at home to read, and I'll try to write about them after the end, in the exclusive series thread.

The liar's key, Mark Lawrence
I loved this book, I love everything Mark writes (yes, sorry if it sounds 'fangirl'. Tough luck. Until he starts writing badly, I'll still say this ;) ). I've just posted something about it in the exclusive book thread, so I won't repeat myself.

(plus a book on depression)

[5? Really? It felt less... One was quite small, another quite big, all evened out...]
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Offline DrNefario

Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2015, 01:37:24 PM »
I was having another themed month, and reading only female authors. I got through more books than I really expected:

The Heir of Night - Helen Lowe - This completed my readthrough of the 2012 Morningstar shortlist. This was the actual winner. I'd have given it to Prince of Thorns, and placed this one second. Quite an interesting setting, about an ancient war warming up again, when one side has kind of lost its way, and the return of magical powers. I enjoyed it enough while I was reading it, but it has faded a bit since.

Ancillary Sword - Ann Leckie - The follow-up to the multi-award-winning Ancillary Justice. I think I'd put it off for months thinking it couldn't really live up to that, but in the end I really liked it. It's a different kind of book, more about colonialism and assimilation, but I thought it was great. (SF)

The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison - Another one with a lot of critical acclaim, and another one I really liked. I'd read some Sarah Monette before - the first two books of the Doctrine of Labyrinths series - and liked the richness of them even though they didn't seem to be aimed at me (I don't think it's strictly accurate, but yaoi is the term that springs to mind). This one was more accessible, and I can kind of understand the name-change.

The Time Traders - Andre Norton - Another dose of 50s SF. This was a fairly straight adventure involving time travel. Not bad. Not great. Very much what you'd expect from Norton.

The Lascar's Dagger - Glenda Larke - A decent fantasy with a later equivalent time period than usual.

Short stories were provided by Holly Black (The Poison Eaters and Other Stories), Maureen F McHugh (Mothers and Other Monsters) and Nancy Kress (a couple of SF novellas).

I also managed to fit in a couple of crime novels, including an Agatha Christie I accidentally finished too quickly, meaning I had to start another book by a female author on Monday.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2015, 06:26:18 PM »
Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy #2) by Robin Hobb Enjoyed this one

Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy #3) by Robin Hobb

Westlake Soul by Rio Youers A small interesting novel with the main character in a Persistent vegetative state

Dead Men's Boots (Felix Castor #3) by Mike Carey Weakest one of the series for me

Thicker Than Water (Felix Castor #4) by Mike Carey Best one of the series for me

The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor #5) by Mike Carey A satisfying conclusion to the series, the author has left it open so he could go back to the series if he wanted too
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2015, 04:15:09 AM »
The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington. This one was a great read. Ignore the fact that it was self-published. If you're a fan of The Wheel of Time, you'll find a lot to like here (I think I actually preferred ti to the first WOT book). It was one of my favorite reads so far this year, and it's not derivative of WOT. It simply strikes a lot of the same chords (without Jordan's sometimes tedious prose and plotlines).

A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'Engle. I read A Wrinkle in Time a while back, so I thought I'd read the next book. I think I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first.

Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell. This was a good book. Gemmell wrote some of the best heroic fantasy in the genre. In the two books of his I've read, I've loved his portrayal of flawed heroes who still try to do the right thing (but sometimes screw up). I much prefer that kind of character to the morally depraved protagonists we see so often today.

Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku. Here's my science geek reading for the month. A very interesting look at what technologies are likely to develop over the next century. Kaku writes in a way that the scientific layperson can understand what he's saying.

Crystal Keepers by Brandon Mull. Sometimes, I"m in the mood for middle grade fantasy, and when I am, Mull always delivers. Another fun and action-packed story from him.

Arrow's Flight by Mercedes Lackey. I liked the first book in the series better. This was one was just okay. The plot meandered a little too much.

Medalon by Jennifer Fallon. This one didn't do anything revolutionary, but I found it quite entertaining to read. I actually identified with the characters, and the plot moved along at a good clip after a slightly slow beginning.

The Riddle Master of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip. In this one, I thought the writing was very good. The story was okay to good. Back when it came out, it was treading new ground. Now a lot of the story tropes she used have been done to death.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. This was a very entertaining YA fantasy/dystopian about what happens to the world when kids suddenly develop mental powers. It really hit me emotionally at times.

City of the Lost by Stephen Blackmoore. Entertaining urban fantasy, but I struggled to relate to the main character, who was a pretty nasty person in general. Interesting take on zombies.

Blood and Iron by Jon Sprunk. This one was very entertaining, as I'd expect from Sprunk. He doesn't do anything revolutionary with his stories, but I don't care. They entertain me.

The Born Queen by Greg Keyes. It was a good conclusion to the Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series, but it felt a bit rushed at times.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. I loved the Grisha trilogy. It's YA, but I think it can appeal to older readers as well. It's not as focused on romance and love trianges as some YA. Those elements are still there, but they don't take over the story. The last third of this one really hit me emotionally.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 08:21:31 PM by Ryan Mueller »

Offline Eclipse

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Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2015, 10:35:13 AM »
Ryan, I don't think you read enough I recommend you read the monthly writing contest haha
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Hedin

Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2015, 01:04:48 PM »
Last month was a sennydreadful month for me:

The Copper Promise - I will have to read this one again sometime as my reading schedule during that time was completely screwy and I wasn't able to read more than a chapter or two at a time (through no fault of the book).    By only reading that little at a time it was hard for me to get into the flow of the book and the pacing seemed to be a bit off because of that.  Still I really liked group dynamic and I also really liked that we got a decent amount of world building without the cost of any plot slowdown.

Iron Ghost - I was able to read this one almost straight through and it made a big difference (which is why I think my pacing issues with the previous book were self inflicted).  The climax made me wonder what may happen next as I can't see any of them settling down to be responsible adults any time soon.

Offline Lejays17

Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2015, 01:10:12 PM »
Of Noble Family - Mary Robinette Kowal.  The final of the Glamourist Histories.  I've enjoyed this series a lot, and am sad it's over.  My favourite is still Glamour in Glass though.

Daring - Elliot James (or maybe James Elliott  :-[).  This is the second in the series, but the first has been eaten by the black hole in the library.  I could follow along well enough, not having read the foirst one.

Voyage of the Basilisk - Marie Brennan.  The third of the Lady Trent books, this one visited the equivalent of the Pacific islands (I think), and had pirates!  Better than the second, not as good as the first.

The Mythology of Grimm - Nathan Robert Brown.  Non-fiction about the various creatures featured in the first two seasons of Grimm, with the real-life parallels, and interesting retellings of the stories as illustrations of pints.

Straight Flush - Ben Mezrich.  Non-fiction about the rise and fall of an on-line poker empire.  Elfy found it on a remainder table and I read it in an afternoon last week.

The Two Linties - Claire Mallory.  Girls-Own (only added for completeness of list - they're my comfort reading  :))
"Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables you to be wrong with authority." The Doctor - Wheel in Space

"It's not destiny!  It's a crazy scientist with a giant snake!" Sinbad - For Whom the Egg Shatters

Offline tebakutis

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Re: June Reads - Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2015, 05:26:28 PM »
Just finished re-reading Iroshi from Cary Osborne. It's a remarkably fun book - an interesting female protagonist, sci-fi sword fights, psychic aliens, future ninjas, and even a spaceship battle or two. Moving onto the next two books this months. I'd recommend her book to anyone who enjoys classic pulpy sci-fi.