October 29, 2020, 08:40:13 AM

Author Topic: Miscellaneous Musings about Books  (Read 375020 times)

Offline Arry

  • Cat of the Canals
  • Administrator
  • Elderling
  • ***
  • Posts: 5886
  • Total likes: 672
  • Gender: Female
  • Faceless
    • Tenacious Reader
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #795 on: May 23, 2016, 06:58:27 PM »
Our @Arry recently posted an article about character development in the Emperor's Blades on tor.com.
It's full of spoilers so maybe only read it when you've already read the books. ;)

-> http://www.tor.com/2016/05/16/masters-level-character-development-in-brian-staveleys-chronicle-of-the-unhewn-throne/

Heh .... yeah, I wrote some words (lots of words) on how the characters evolved through the series. Definitely has spoilers for the series as it was hard to talk about any other way. 

I was definitely pretty excited to get to write something for Tor.com though.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
-- George R.R. Martin

http://www.tenaciousreader.com

http://www.speculativeherald.com

Offline ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Administrator
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ***
  • Posts: 12625
  • Total likes: 7133
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #796 on: May 23, 2016, 07:06:03 PM »
Well done :D
I'll leave it to read later then, I don't like spoilers hehe
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4983
  • Total likes: 2418
  • Gender: Male
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #797 on: May 27, 2016, 06:38:24 PM »
Spent a little time in Foyles Char Cross Road Book-store yesterday, very impressive.

Now at home with shiny new books  ;D

The Rook by Daniel O' Malley

Spoiler for Hiden:
The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.

Filled with characters both fascinating and fantastical, The Rook is a richly inventive, suspenseful, and often wry thriller that marks an ambitious debut from a promising young writer.

Darkwalker by E.L Tettensor

Some guy called Dr. Chill left a review

Spoiler for Hiden:
    “In the dark hours of a frostbitten morning, someone is digging.”



Sometimes you need a comfortable read, a story with characters you’ve read multiple times, set in a land that’s not too strange or different. Sometimes you just need something that you’ve been to before, something you know from the very first page. Darkwalker by E.L. Tettensor is one of those books for me; a novel that’s not doing anything new, but at the same time not following the standard tropes of either the Fantasy or Mystery genres.

It’s a lovely tale full of atmosphere, brilliant characterization, and tight plotting. To be frank, I’m surprised there isn’t more praise for her debut.

Maybe that’s because the cover makes it seem like the protagonist is going to be a moody anti-hero like in most love triangles. Or maybe it’s because the blurb makes it out to be a Sherlock Holmes mystery. It is both of these, but to throw them under stereotypical labels would be doing Tettensor’s writing an injustice.

Bodies are going missing. Corpses are being dug up from their graves. Nicolas Lenoir, the Inspector on the case, doesn’t see much stock in catching gravediggers. He’s a disillusioned and broken man who would prefer to drift through life rather than solve its riddles. The man fights his little battles with his partner, Sergeant Kody, and the local townsfolk. When he wants to become somewhat productive, he garners information (and dishes it out, too) from a street urchin named Zach.

But when the kid goes missing, Lenoir starts to worry. A switch flips in his head. The once famous Inspector returns, and prepares to find the kid at any cost. Even if that price is his own life.

    “There was a strange roaring in his ears, a sound distantly and unpleasantly familiar, like a bad dream. A dream about a night spent huddled in the shadows, listening to the blood rushing through his veins and praying or daylight.”



This story is thrown in the pile of Urban Fantasy, but in actuality, there’s often times more excitement outside of the Victorian-esque city, in the surrounding Five Villages. What Tettensor does best is create a strong and vivid atmosphere. The fog of the outlying areas seems to float off the page and grasp your imagination along every chapter. It’s a beautifully realized tone with flowing descriptions that never try too hard and never get in the way of the story.

At its heart, it’s a simple Victorian-esque world dotted with salons, cramped tenements, bogs and fog, and Inspectors. But Tettensor peppers the world-building with giant gypsies and dark magic creeping alongside the mist. She doesn’t try to recreate the wheel; she simply adds onto what we already know.

A comfortable and fun read, as I said.

And while Lenoir can be a jerk, from the very first back and forth you can feel as if you understand why he’s always miserable. Of course, that mystery is teased across the narrative, but from the author’s magnificent characterization, it actually feels original and organic. Too many times we get the asshole with a dark and dreary past. Lenoir has this in spades, but it never feels forced.

It’s wonderful.

    “I speak of consequence. Of judgment. Not the judgment of mankind, but of something higher, more powerful. We are all called to account for our actions, called to pay for what we have done. You cannot escape it – fate will have its vengeance.”



Other well-fleshed characters dot the landscape like the Adali woman Zera who’s doing her best to keep an established salon running while rumors of nastier occupations from her run amok. She may have status and influence, but she’s still paranoid.

There’s also Bran Kody, a nice foil to Lenoir. He’s a chipper young lad under the supervision of Lenoir. While the protagonist is cynical to his core, Sergeant Kody is dead set on solving every mystery, turning over every clue. He’s what Lenoir once was, and that’s why he hates the young man.

And then there’s Zach. He’s the little runt wishing for greater things (as most children do) and found a friend in Lenoir. I think the greatest POV was from this urchin. Tettensor does a fabulous job of contrasting Zach’s innocence with his street smarts; whether it be when he prays for Lenoir to bust in and save him guns a blazing, or the next minute when he’s trying to save himself, the kid takes center stage alongside Lenoir.

And from this strong characterization and atmosphere, we get an immersive tale improved upon by an amazing plot. The twists come fast and hard, and once the beginning picks up, you’re in for a wild ride. Neither of the investigators lets up, and thus we’re running from prison to gypsy camps to apartments where we threaten meat heads. Every scene is wonderfully realized and easy to see. All the dots line up perfectly, even if they don’t seem able to in the middle.

While I may have had trouble with the ending, wishing it had ended a bit darker, this story still revolves around justice.

The main man to dish this out is the Darkwalker.

This is where the supernatural elements come in.

The Darkwalker is a being driven to avenge the dead and kill anyone who wrongs them. Some call it a demon; others, a righteous angel. Few believe it actually exists, and fewer have ever lived to see it. The thing is so fascinating, ethereal, and dangerous. Whenever it steps in, all focus is on it.

And that’s fine by me.

I’ll be waiting for the next chance to meet it, and maybe address some of Lenoir’s past, too.

    “No, justice was not blind. She was a prostitute, for sale to the highest bidder.”

Snake Agent by Liz Williams

Spoiler for Hiden:
Detective Inspector Chen is the Singapore Three police department's snake agent - the detective in charge of supernatural and mystical investigations. Chen has several problems: in addition to colleagues who don't trust him and his mystical ways, a patron goddess whom he has offended and a demonic wife who's tired of staying home alone, he's been paired with one of Hell's own vice officers, Seneschal Zhu Irzh, to investigate the illegal trade in souls. Political pressures both Earthly and otherworldly seek to block their investigations at every turn. As a plot involving both Singapore Three's industrial elite and Hell's own Ministry of Epidemics is revealed, it becomes apparent that the stakes are higher than anyone had previously suspected.

Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore

Spoiler for Hiden:
Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it's a title Eric Carter is stuck with.

He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He’s turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.

When he left L.A. fifteen years ago he thought he’d never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.

But now his sister’s been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.

Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it’s the patron saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who’s taken an unusually keen interest in him.

Carter’s going to find out who did it and he’s going to make them pay.

As long as they don’t kill him first.

Burned by Benedict Jacka, Just carrying on with this series

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 ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Administrator
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ***
  • Posts: 12625
  • Total likes: 7133
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #798 on: May 27, 2016, 10:07:32 PM »
Even though I wouldn't buy any of the books you got, hehe, I'm happy for you: buying books is a great feeling, right?
Maybe I'll get some tomorrow, cheer me up :)
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline eclipse

  • Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
  • Dragonrider
  • ***
  • Posts: 4983
  • Total likes: 2418
  • Gender: Male
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #799 on: May 27, 2016, 10:19:10 PM »
Buy Books!

I didn't realise there were all UF until I typed them down  :o ;D
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: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #800 on: May 28, 2016, 02:44:53 AM »
For anyone who hasn't voted yet the Fantasy-Faction Favorite Main Protagonist battle is now at the Final stage with Locke LLamora vs Tyrion Landis terms as your final match up.   


http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-faction-book-battles/ffbb-favourite-main-protagonist-final-locke-lamora-vs-tyrion-lannister/

Offline ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Administrator
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ***
  • Posts: 12625
  • Total likes: 7133
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #801 on: May 28, 2016, 05:35:33 PM »
What did I say? I totally went into 'shopping therapy mode' today, directed towards books when I found myself looking at clothes I really didn't need.
I bought 3:

Dragon keeper, Robin Hobb (Rain Wild Chronicles book 1) - the other day I bought 3 because it was on a cheaper price, so I decided it's time to get this series now

The boy with the porcelain blade, Den Patrick (Erebus Sequence book 1) - it's been on my list for quite a while, and since I (hopefully) will meet him in Birmingham in July at the Jen thing, better read sooner than later

The crown tower, Michael J Sullivan (Riyria Chronicles book 1) - about time right? especially since I enjoyed Revelations so much

 :D
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline Lady Ty

  • Blessed River Lady and Defender of Baby Dragons
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3533
  • Total likes: 3009
  • Gender: Female
  • So-Old-That-She-Can-Nearly-Be-Called-Oldest-Ty
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #802 on: June 04, 2016, 03:49:15 AM »
What an intriguing idea, but how frustrating for so many of us here as we'll never ever know what those books were like. Maybe life prolonging science will help before then and a few of us reading this will find out. Otherwise something to keep in memory somewhere and tell your kids or grandkids to look out for one day. Will be interesting to see who else is selected to add to this archive.

I sincerely hope that beautiful library does eventuate after 2114 and is enjoyed.


https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/30/david-mitchell-buries-latest-manuscript-for-a-hundred-years
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Offline Mr.J

  • Anus Dracula formerly known as Arse Demon and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Gentleman Bastard
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
  • Total likes: 1113
  • Gender: Male
  • Tweedy impertinence
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #803 on: June 04, 2016, 10:56:52 AM »
What an intriguing idea, but how frustrating for so many of us here as we'll never ever know what those books were like. Maybe life prolonging science will help before then and a few of us reading this will find out. Otherwise something to keep in memory somewhere and tell your kids or grandkids to look out for one day. Will be interesting to see who else is selected to add to this archive.

I sincerely hope that beautiful library does eventuate after 2114 and is enjoyed.


https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/may/30/david-mitchell-buries-latest-manuscript-for-a-hundred-years
David Mitchell is exactly the sort of person I'd expect to do something like this. Didn't Neil Gaiman do something similar once? Or am I mis-remembering?

Offline ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Administrator
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ***
  • Posts: 12625
  • Total likes: 7133
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #804 on: June 04, 2016, 06:49:19 PM »
Oh, and I bought another book, Rain Wild Chronicles 2 - now I have 1-3, and number 4 with the new cover comes out at the end of June, so right on time.
I'm also going to buy Newman's The Malice now.
I feel I'm building a nest for my hospital+recovery period hehe
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline Nighteyes

  • Juicy dwarf/orc erotica to go.
  • Ringbearer
  • *****
  • Posts: 6919
  • Total likes: 1547
  • OH WOW! JUST WORKED OUT HOW TO DO THIS!!!!!
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #805 on: June 04, 2016, 07:45:33 PM »
Oh, and I bought another book, Rain Wild Chronicles 2 - now I have 1-3, and number 4 with the new cover comes out at the end of June, so right on time.
I'm also going to buy Newman's The Malice now.
I feel I'm building a nest for my hospital+recovery period hehe

Gotta love a nest. I am building up graphic novels at the moment.Saga, Corto Maltese, Preacher and Grant Morrison's run on the X-Men.
The Real Powers That Be

Offline Mr.J

  • Anus Dracula formerly known as Arse Demon and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Gentleman Bastard
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
  • Total likes: 1113
  • Gender: Male
  • Tweedy impertinence
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #806 on: June 04, 2016, 07:49:06 PM »
Oh, and I bought another book, Rain Wild Chronicles 2 - now I have 1-3, and number 4 with the new cover comes out at the end of June, so right on time.
I'm also going to buy Newman's The Malice now.
I feel I'm building a nest for my hospital+recovery period hehe
An excellent idea I'd say + you can tell me what you thought of it. ;) I'm quite intrigued by that book.

Offline Lady Ty

  • Blessed River Lady and Defender of Baby Dragons
  • Ta'veren
  • **
  • Posts: 3533
  • Total likes: 3009
  • Gender: Female
  • So-Old-That-She-Can-Nearly-Be-Called-Oldest-Ty
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #807 on: June 05, 2016, 06:22:08 AM »

David Mitchell is exactly the sort of person I'd expect to do something like this. Didn't Neil Gaiman do something similar once? Or am I mis-remembering?

Don't know anything similar about Neil Gaiman, but maybe he will be included in  the future. Wish Iain Banks could have been around to write.

Who else should be included ?
“This is the problem with even lesser demons. They come to your doorstep in velvet coats and polished shoes. They tip their hats and smile and demonstrate good table manners. They never show you their tails.” 
Leigh Bardugo, The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Offline DrNefario

Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #808 on: June 05, 2016, 10:28:03 AM »
Imagine having a brand-new HG Wells or Arthur Conan Doyle to read now.

Honestly, I don't find the idea that exciting.

In a hundred years, they'll surely have their own favourites to be thinking about. Or they'll be in motorcycle gangs battling it out in a radioactive desert. Either way I don't think they'll care much.

Offline Mr.J

  • Anus Dracula formerly known as Arse Demon and Writing Contest Regular
  • Writing Group
  • Gentleman Bastard
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
  • Total likes: 1113
  • Gender: Male
  • Tweedy impertinence
Re: Miscellaneous Musings about Books
« Reply #809 on: June 25, 2016, 10:23:39 AM »
10th Anniversary Hardback Editions from Gollancz of The Lies of Locke Lamora, The Blade Itself, The Final Empire and The Stormcaller.




http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2016/06/cover-reveal-the-10th-anniversary-editions/