Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Takoren on May 10, 2015, 02:59:37 AM

Title: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Takoren on May 10, 2015, 02:59:37 AM
The other day while browsing my local book store, I realized I was brushing right past some titles without even reading about them, and I started wondering why I do that. Then I started thinking about other things that have caused me to quit reading a novel or never pick it up to begin with, and I compiled a top six list of my least favorite things to see in fantasy.

This list is purely subjective, and many of my favorite authors are guilty of some of the stuff I'm about to list. I guess this is mainly a way of getting this off my chest, but I would like to know if you have a similar list.

6: Titles like "The Something of Something." This is the lowest ranked because, like I forewarned, several of my favorite authors do this. But then, many don't. I'm always secretly (or not so secretly) thankful when authors in the fantasy genre manage to come up with something other than a "Something of Something" title. This isn't necessarily because titles like that are automatically bad. It's just that there are so many within our genre. I would say that our favorite genre accounts for probably 80% of the "Something of Something" titles in any book store, despite being less than half the size of other sections. Think of your favorite writer or favorite series; I almost guarantee most of them have at least one "Something of Something" title.

5: Nonsense words in the title. Again, this is just me, but when I see a book with a word in the title that it's clear the author made up, I tend to want to skip it. My take is, hook me with a snappy title that communicates your story's purpose and/or tone, then tell me about the person/place/thing your story focuses on. I'm far more apt to pick up a book called, say, The Blade Itself than I would be to pick up the same thing if it had been called, let's say, The Redemption of Jezal. I know that many classics do this. I know that several really good books of the modern age do this. But a book will have to come pretty highly recommended if it does this before I'll be all that interested. Guy Gaveriel Kay is probably the worst offender here. If I have no idea what Tigana, Arbonne, Al-Rassan, Sarantium, et al, even is, what incentive do I have to read about them?

4. Bland titles. Worse than a nonsense word in a title is a title that sounds like you just went to your favorite fantasy title generator and picked from the list it came up with. So many titles use words like "king", "sword", "emperor", "blade", "crown", "throne", "knight", "warrior", etc. that for a book to literally just pick any two or three of those words and make a title out of it is not all that impressive. That's not a hard and fast rule; Half a King or The King's Blood is pretty evocative, but The Emperor's Blades or The Knight is not.

3. Prophecy-driven plots. I don't mean plots that have prophecy in them, or even plots in regard to a prophecy regarding our main character. There are ways to make that innovative. I'm referring to plots where the prophecy is A) what really kicks off the plot, B) assumed by all characters to be true, C) is the prime motivator for their actions and D) causes characters to do things they ordinarily would not just because the prophecy says they must. If any character ever says anything like "you have to do so; the prophecy foretold it!" then you know you're in a prophecy-driven story and it's just a really lazy way of writing motivation.

2. Portal stories. Forgive me, but one of the first things to make me not even want to buy a book is to make it about a young person, or group of young people, transported from our world to a fantasy realm. Yes, there are ways to do this creatively, or to turn the convention of what I described on its ear, and when writers can do that, they have my appreciation. But so often it's just so that we can have a character we "identify" with who's just as new to this world as we are and thus can have things explained to them so that the author can explain it to us. I would much rather you throw me into your world and have me so focused on the characters and plot that the rest of it just falls into place.

1. Padding. Enough said.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: JMack on May 10, 2015, 03:57:37 AM
Wonderful books (or at least pretty good)

6. The Lord of the Rings
5. Abhorsen
4. Traitor's Blades
3. The Hero of Ages
2. Lord Foul's Bane
1. Well... yeah (though To Green Angel Tower was so damn long, you might think it was padded)

For me, it's more carbon copy covers that turn me off.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Doctor_Chill on May 10, 2015, 04:52:02 AM
I read #1 as "Eddings." Yeah, still fits but whatever.

As for what turns me off to a book: Poor pacing, stupid characters, predictable plots (this one only half the time), or bad formatting for ebooks. You don't understand how much I hate reading an improperly formatted ebook, especially when it's coming from one of the Big 5.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Takoren on May 10, 2015, 04:53:05 AM
Fair enough, and I did admit that authors I liked are guilty of some of that (and I'm guilty of it too!). However, some authors are good enough that they can rise above my dislikes and convince me.

LOTR is, in my opinion, exempt from every rule. Why? Because without it, fantasy as a genre probably would not exist, or at least would not be taken even a quarter as seriously as it is. It was really the inspiration for pretty much all the initial writers who furthered the genre of epic fantasy. Therefore, all the "cliches" that have been "done to death" not only had not been at that point, but he created many of them!

Also, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever was one of the portal stories I was thinking of that used the format creatively. First, it's not a young person, but a middle-aged man who gets transported and second, he spends most of it refusing to believe it's real and being decidedly unheroic. I was thinking more of the myriad of young adult novels that ape CS Lewis, and for that matter The Fionavar Tapestry is very guilty of what I described.

And also, I did mention that these are subjective and that some of the classics are guilty of these pet peeves, but that does not make them bad.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Lady Ty on May 10, 2015, 05:15:33 AM
One peeve I have is when proper names are hard to say in your head and full of zz'z , and I do wish writers would keep that in mind. It doesn't stop me reading the book though because probably I am not alone in making up a name for myself to cover whatever it is really meant to be.  I would never have enjoyed The Dark Elves and Drizzt Do'Úrden  aka Drizzt Daermon N'a'shezbaernon who lived in Menzoberranzan if I hadn't kept him in mind as just Driz ::)

Similarly it wasn't until I listened to some Iron Druid on Audible that I could manage Atticus's real name  Siodhachan O Suileabhain or how to pronounce  the Tuatha De Danaan who live in Tir Na Nog and all the other beautiful Celtic myth words. Once heard they stuck, although the inflections are hard,  but in my head I had mangled them terribly. :-[


Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Ryan Mueller on May 10, 2015, 05:54:13 AM
Not picking it up in the first place:

1. If it sounds so Grimdark it might as well be a parody. (Now, if it really is a parody of Grimdark, I'd probably love to read it.)

2. If the cover features scantily clad people (this is mostly in the paranormal romance that tries to masquerade as urban fantasy).

Putting it down:

1. If I don't like any of the characters. This is a common problem in Grimdark. Maybe I'm hopelessly backward, but I actually want to read about people that I can root for without reservation.

2. If the pace is glacial. I might keep reading if I'm invested in the characters or world, but slow pacing might actually be the number one thing that makes me put down a book.

3. If the book is confusing. Once again, if I like the characters or there's lots of action, I'll overlook some confusion.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Takoren on May 10, 2015, 06:02:01 AM
In my case, the character has to be interesting and engaging, even if I would never like this person in real life. Also, some characters you're not actually supposed to like.

Let's use the First Law trilogy, my favorite Grimdark series, for example.

I've heard people say that they quit reading because they "hated Jezal." Well, duh! You were supposed to! Later on, much later, he redeems himself somewhat but really, Jezal was not meant to be liked.

Contrarily, I really liked Logen Ninefingers and Glokta. Sure, Glokta was an asshole, but he was a fun asshole, a witty deadpan snarker who actually had a sense of right and wrong despite daily breaking it.

And Bayaz may be one of the greatest characters ever created.

So, yeah, I understand about needing someone to root for, even if I don't always need one myself, but really, if you need a hero you can truly root for, there's Logen, and the others are pretty interesting as well.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: ScarletBea on May 10, 2015, 09:39:32 AM
To be honest, I can't say why I don't pick up book A or B, I've never really thought about it and can't pinpoint the reasons.

As for abandoning a book, there haven't been many in my reading life, but the ones I did were because of:
- appalling grammar and spelling
- simply not caring about anything that was happening. At all. No character, no shred of plot
- situations totally alien to me. And by this I don't mean fantasy settings (duh!), but rather stuff that I really don't get, decisions and things (sorry, words are failing me here - maybe this one falls in the previous category)
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: DrNefario on May 10, 2015, 10:15:28 AM
I like a bit of creativity in a title, but I think you've also got to have a title that fits the work. The thing about The X of Y format is that you can be pretty sure it's going to be a fantasy novel with all the usual stuff. Despite how much I love the series, I don't think the titles of The First Law trilogy work well at all, in that regard. The Blade Itself is nothing to do with a blade, and that's probably the least misleading.

And yes, Eddings broke prophecies forever.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Francis Knight on May 10, 2015, 11:02:47 AM
Not picking it up in the first place

1 Title is generic, of is Somthing's Daughter/Wife

2 Blurb mentions destiny. Or orphans who discover they are secretly....

3 I am not a fan of hooded men on the cover. It just (and perhaps unfairly) seems like it'll be a clone book


Putting it down (and I have specific examples for each of these)

So much description I can't recall what the story line is.
Glacial pacing. If we get to page 100 and nothing happened yet....
Characters I don't care about
All the women are just set dressing and/or prizes for Our Hero to win
If you have a graphic rape, it'd better damn well be necessary (and so rarely they are tbh) and also not written in loving, glorious technicolour detail - especially when the consensual sex scenes are all coy and "OMG it's a boob! fade to black" 

Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Yora on May 10, 2015, 01:51:25 PM
If the cover has a photo of a guy posing with a sword in front of a photoshopped background, I automatically have a strong aversion against it. It would take quite a bit of convincing by other people recommending the book to make me give it a chance.

Thing of Something or Thing of Place titles also don't make a book stand out to me in any way.

And yes, Eddings broke prophecies forever.

Don't get me talking about Chosen Ones. If there's a Chosen One, I am out.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: RandomCamel on May 10, 2015, 02:31:01 PM
I know they say never judge a book by a cover but if I see a cover is just a live-action male model, possibly shirtless, and/or female model looking at each other or the reader then I'm going to overlook that book.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Takoren on May 10, 2015, 08:19:46 PM
Then there's being fooled by covers that make a bad book look amazing...
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: sennydreadful on May 10, 2015, 08:50:20 PM
If the first woman to turn up is inexplicably naked (happens surprisingly often) - especially if they're naked and evil.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: xiagan on May 10, 2015, 09:14:53 PM
I hate covers with photos of real people (or which at least look like a real photo) who are photoshopped into a fantasy setting. Seems to be some kind of new trend unfortunately.

Example:
(http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402673445l/21407176.jpg)
It's a good book, though.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: JMack on May 10, 2015, 11:18:09 PM
If the first woman to turn up is inexplicably naked (happens surprisingly often) - especially if they're naked and evil.
Wait. What? There something wrong with that?
 ;)  ;D
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: cupiscent on May 10, 2015, 11:25:14 PM
Proving that we all have different tastes and that's what makes this genre so wide and exciting - I love titles with made-up terms - they fire my imagination and get me picking up the book to read the blurb to find out what the Lion of Al-Rassan is - and I am really enjoying the photographic cover trend. :)

Things I probably won't pick up:

Reasons I have stopped reading a book:
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Rostum on May 10, 2015, 11:44:06 PM
I will read to the bitter end unless something really makes me cringe and to prove it I am going to go back to reading Unicorn Mountain, a book I started reading a girlfriends copy of 25 years ago and never got to finish. And yes the cover art has a unicorn and a mountain on it. Buying this book second hand off Amazon has also caused a wide variety of gay BDSM Ebooks to be recommended so it may take a startling turn at some point in the unread pages.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Lady Ty on May 11, 2015, 12:30:13 AM
If the first woman to turn up is inexplicably naked (happens surprisingly often) - especially if they're naked and evil.
Wait. What? There something wrong with that?
 ;)  ;D
Please treat @sennydreadful (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=3297) gently . She has been suffering terrible SF film experience and needs R&R. My Twitter feed is in flames.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Roxxsmom on May 11, 2015, 12:40:38 AM
--Hmm, for me the first thing is an opening scene that confuses me or where I simply can't connect with the main character, or worse yet, have no idea who the story is even about. I don't need a story to start with high action (in fact, that can be confusing with no context), but I do want to get a sense for where the story is going and who I should be rooting for by the time I reach the end of the opening scene.

--Stories written in a distant omniscient also tend to be hard sells for me these days, unless the narrative voice is very interesting or the situation very clear and compelling. Same for anything written in exaggeratedly poetic, elevated or stilted language, unless there's a darned good reason for it and it's done very well. If someone (character or narrator) is talking like they have a stick up their butt, it had better be because they have a stick up their butt (in either a real or metaphoric sense).

--Flat, cardboard characters who feel driven by the plot and have no fears, doubts, hopes, emotions, or internal conflicts.

--Misogynistic world building. Doesn't mean fantasy worlds have to be feminist utopias (though I do enjoy stories where gender roles and norms didn't play out the exact way they did in ours), but if I'm not generally interested in books where the feelings, contributions, and perspectives of half of the human race are ignored or shoved into a very small box.

--Elves and other traditional fantasy races, particularly if they read like something out of a video game or D&D trope. If they're presented in a way that makes them interesting and not simply as a substitute for normal human diversity, then they can work. But they're a tough sell for me.

--Long, painstakingly described fight and action scenes that are (possibly) technically correct, yet don't ring true to the pov and are completely devoid of emotion. I don't read fantasy to marvel at the author's knowledge of medieval fencing techniques but to connect with the characters in the story and get caught up in their stakes.

Really, it all comes down to my wanting vibrant writing that allows me to connect with a character and their world. There are certain things I usually don't get into. Gray is fine in characters, but if they're completely evil bastards with no redeeming features or soft spots at all (or someone who's so darned good and perfect they're unbelievable), I usually can't deal with them. Rape and the torture/pointless slaughter of animals and children are especially hard for me. But a good writer can make a character I usually wouldn't like interesting, and that's really what I'm looking for.




Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: ScarletBea on May 11, 2015, 01:27:54 AM
If the first woman to turn up is inexplicably naked (happens surprisingly often) - especially if they're naked and evil.
Wait. What? There something wrong with that?
 ;)  ;D
Please treat @sennydreadful (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=3297) gently . She has been suffering terrible SF film experience and needs R&R. My Twitter feed is in flames.

I just had to check! Funny :D And I thought I was the only one who screamed at the screen "run to the side, you moron!"

By the way, I don't think I ever read a book whose first woman appears naked ??
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: ultamentkiller on May 11, 2015, 03:35:00 AM
My turn offs.
1. I don't care if any of the characters die. What's the point of reading it then?
2. If the goal is unimportant to me. I can love your characters all day long, but if the goal isn't fun, I'm out.
3. If I think it's outright copying another fantasy story, or is remarkably similar. Go away! Why are you writing? Go back to your fan fiction!
4. Slow plots. I think that's with everybody, but if I've read about 50 pages and nothing important has happened, kill me.
5. Too much detail. I don't need to know what the guy in the red suit looks like if he's not an important character. I don't need to know that this person slept with that person if it's not contributing to the plot. Especially if it's a character that only shows up once. Ahem, The Great Gatsby. Gah!
Out of all the books I've picked up on my own, there's only two I've outright put down. Book of The Black Earth, and Red Country. On the bright side, I at least made it to part 5 with Red Country, but when I read the words "Part 5", I threw up my hands and said, "Wait, I'm not done yet? Can we just get this thing over with?"
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Yora on May 11, 2015, 08:17:08 AM
but the new black is thieves/assassins. The "ugh, another one of these" remains.
It's not that they can't be good, but it always sounds like the stuff that was done with vampires and drow in earlier decades.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: madfox11 on May 11, 2015, 12:51:29 PM
Chosen Ones and Prophecies* are on the top of my list of pet peeves. If they feature prominently in the title or blurb I am very likely to never bother reading the book. It is not that they cannot work, but more often than not they cheapen the victory for me.

Over the years I have also taken a dislike for stories that switch a lot between various characters, or at least, when such is done within the same book. I have developed a similar dislike for books in which the protagonist never ever wins or ends up broken. It is not that it makes no sense, but if I want depressing I can watch the news ;)
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Hedin on May 11, 2015, 01:19:25 PM
I'm not really sure what makes me pick a book up to at least read the blurb, I'm assuming it has something to do with the title and cover art but I've never been able to narrow it down.

I very rarely put the book down once I get past 100 pages or so, if I figure if I made it that far it must be tolerable and after investing some time into it I want to see the pay off (granted in most cases the time invested in the first 100 pages is a lot less than the time investment it would take to finish the book, no one ever said this had to be logical).  Basically in those first 100 pages I'm just looking for something thats well-written and has a character or two I can see myself start getting interested in as the book goes along.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: DrNefario on May 11, 2015, 01:39:42 PM
2. Portal stories. Forgive me, but one of the first things to make me not even want to buy a book is to make it about a young person, or group of young people, transported from our world to a fantasy realm. Yes, there are ways to do this creatively, or to turn the convention of what I described on its ear, and when writers can do that, they have my appreciation. But so often it's just so that we can have a character we "identify" with who's just as new to this world as we are and thus can have things explained to them so that the author can explain it to us. I would much rather you throw me into your world and have me so focused on the characters and plot that the rest of it just falls into place.
This used to really bug me as a child. It's so common in children's fantasy - Narnia being the obvious example - but it really used to put me off. I think it has the exact opposite of its intended effect: it diminishes the reality of the story. If a story takes place entirely in another world, it has its own internal logic and reality. If you then say that it is some kind of magical adjunct to the mundane world we know, that gets undermined. The whole thing can be dismissed as a hallucination or dream.

I think the best portal stories work in spite of their portals rather than because of them.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: AJZaethe on May 11, 2015, 01:50:13 PM
I hate covers with photos of real people (or which at least look like a real photo) who are photoshopped into a fantasy setting. Seems to be some kind of new trend unfortunately.

Example:
(http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402673445l/21407176.jpg)
It's a good book, though.

Thank you! Same here. I have been wondering why this trend has been skyrocketing. It looks tacky and terrible I am certain that this trend comes from the romance novel industry, in an attempt to attract women to fantasy. As if women only care for romance.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Yora on May 11, 2015, 01:59:24 PM
Since I read purely for my personal entertainment, I feel no reservation in saying that I won't touch any portal fantasy.

For some reason that always appears to me as cheap and not being "real fantasy". An alternative world in which magic exist is fine. Adding magic to our world and explaining that we don't see it because it's hidden in a different location just feels fake to me and as if the author isn't really commiting to writing fantasy.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: madfox11 on May 11, 2015, 03:12:08 PM
Since I read purely for my personal entertainment, I feel no reservation in saying that I won't touch any portal fantasy.

For some reason that always appears to me as cheap and not being "real fantasy". An alternative world in which magic exist is fine. Adding magic to our world and explaining that we don't see it because it's hidden in a different location just feels fake to me and as if the author isn't really commiting to writing fantasy.

Doesn't 'magic we don't see' just about describe most urban fantasy books? ;)

Personally I like portal books, but that is because I like stories that are about people being thown into a completely alien world and seeing how they deal with it, especially if the author does not ignore the impact such modern concepts can have on the world itself. Of course, I have also read my fair share of portal stories that are mostly about chosen ones, prophecies and the origin of the protagonist having no impact on the story so I understand the hesitence.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Rostum on May 11, 2015, 03:53:33 PM
Quote
Thank you! Same here. I have been wondering why this trend has been skyrocketing. It looks tacky and terrible I am certain that this trend comes from the romance novel industry, in an attempt to attract women to fantasy. As if women only care for romance.

It's cheap. the same thing happened to film posters a collage of stills blended together by the intern is cheaper than paying an artist to create something glorious.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: xiagan on May 11, 2015, 04:23:01 PM
If the first woman to turn up is inexplicably naked (happens surprisingly often) - especially if they're naked and evil.
Wait. What? There something wrong with that?
 ;)  ;D
Funnily I had to think of Traitor's blade (again). First female we see is naked and evil...
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: JMack on May 11, 2015, 05:17:04 PM
If the first woman to turn up is inexplicably naked (happens surprisingly often) - especially if they're naked and evil.
Wait. What? There something wrong with that?
 ;)  ;D
Funnily I had to think of Traitor's blade (again). First female we see is naked and evil...
And that'll teach me to joke about something I actually dislike. I really hated the treatment and view of woemn in that book.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Takoren on May 12, 2015, 05:01:19 AM
Curious what the problem was. I haven't read it but it looked good and it's rated pretty high on goodreads.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: JMack on May 12, 2015, 10:23:04 AM
Curious what the problem was. I haven't read it but it looked good and it's rated pretty high on goodreads.
We did it as a book club read a few months ago. I enjoyed a lot about it. But as to women:

One is forced to have sex with a noble to save her husband
One is a holy prostitute who has sex with our hero to save his soul
One is the naked assassin
One is a conniving evil noble
One is an arrogant, but clueless innocent
One is a brave little girl whose father slept with many women to ensure he would have many children... in order to save the kingdom
Every straightforward positive charcater is... wait for it... a guy   :o

I just think that's overall weird. Now, I think the author has it set up for more positive women charcaters in the next books, but I'm afraid he lost me completely with this. Funny thing is, I say lots of crap stuff on the forum and people often agree, disagree, etc. I've mentioned this a bunch of time about Traitors Blade and can't recall anyone saying anything in response.



(crickets)
See that?
Really?!  ;) ;D
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Yora on May 12, 2015, 10:48:42 AM
What's a "peeve"?
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: ScarletBea on May 12, 2015, 11:32:45 AM
"pet peeve" is an expression for those things that annoy you, that be logical or not.

For example, a pet peeve of mine is people walking with their heads down looking at their phones, and then assuming I will move out of their way if we cross.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Yora on May 12, 2015, 12:49:46 PM
But what's a regular peeve?
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: ScarletBea on May 12, 2015, 12:52:10 PM
You made me laugh ;D
I checked the online dictionary and it says a peeve is the same as pet peeve (a cause of annoyance).
Dunno why we always add 'pet' to it...

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/peeve (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/peeve) :)
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: JMack on May 12, 2015, 12:54:52 PM
But what's a regular peeve?
Those are the wild peeves that were never domesticated. They tend to be bigger and more destructive than pet peeves. For example, a wild peeve would be hating people with two nostrils or people who breathe. Imagine though if someone had wild peeves like that; there would be blood and teeth on the floor. Which, by the way, is a pet peeve of mine. Clean up after your brawls, everyone. I mean, really.  ;D
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Lady Ty on May 12, 2015, 12:59:10 PM
You made me laugh ;D
I checked the online dictionary and it says a peeve is the same as pet peeve (a cause of annoyance).
Dunno why we always add 'pet' to it...

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/peeve (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/peeve) :)

You are both making me laugh ;D ;D
You could think of a "pet" peeve as one that really annoys you personally and smoke comes out of your ears, but a peeve just makes you grumble quietly to yourself.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: ScarletBea on May 12, 2015, 01:05:52 PM
You could think of a "pet" peeve as one that really annoys you personally and smoke comes out of your ears, but a peeve just makes you grumble quietly to yourself.

After Jmack's post I'd say:
- peeve = regular grumble, outspoken, generally shared by all
- pet peeve = your personal grumbles, might be quirky
- wild peeve = the really big deals that are outrageous, make you scream, and have the smoke and all
 ;D
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Hedin on May 12, 2015, 01:13:39 PM
Curious what the problem was. I haven't read it but it looked good and it's rated pretty high on goodreads.
We did it as a book club read a few months ago. I enjoyed a lot about it. But as to women:

One is forced to have sex with a noble to save her husband
One is a holy prostitute who has sex with our hero to save his soul
One is the naked assassin
One is a conniving evil noble
One is an arrogant, but clueless innocent
One is a brave little girl whose father slept with many women to ensure he would have many children... in order to save the kingdom
Every straightforward positive charcater is... wait for it... a guy   :o

I just think that's overall weird. Now, I think the author has it set up for more positive women charcaters in the next books, but I'm afraid he lost me completely with this. Funny thing is, I say lots of crap stuff on the forum and people often agree, disagree, etc. I've mentioned this a bunch of time about Traitors Blade and can't recall anyone saying anything in response.



(crickets)
See that?
Really?!  ;) ;D

I don't remember #1 and 2 on that list and isn't #3 and #4 the same person (or am I totally remembering it wrong)?  I always find it interesting when people see novels differently than how I see them, all of that was present but I did not give it a second thought.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Lady Ty on May 12, 2015, 01:25:06 PM
You could think of a "pet" peeve as one that really annoys you personally and smoke comes out of your ears, but a peeve just makes you grumble quietly to yourself.

After Jmack's post I'd say:
- peeve = regular grumble, outspoken, generally shared by all
- pet peeve = your personal grumbles, might be quirky
- wild peeve = the really big deals that are outrageous, make you scream, and have the smoke and all
 ;D

Well done both, I love all those peeves and shall practise and now Yora knows all about peeves, however this is very important:

When someone British says "I was a bit peeved about that, but never mind, it doesn't matter."

Translation

"Someone sat in MY seat on the train today and I want to kill them and will never forgive them and tomorrow I shall go twenty minutes early and stand on the edge of the platform and get my seat first and give you a cold haughty stare for the rest of the journey when you're not looking."
.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: JMack on May 12, 2015, 01:47:40 PM
Curious what the problem was. I haven't read it but it looked good and it's rated pretty high on goodreads.
We did it as a book club read a few months ago. I enjoyed a lot about it. But as to women:

One is forced to have sex with a noble to save her husband
One is a holy prostitute who has sex with our hero to save his soul
One is the naked assassin
One is a conniving evil noble
One is an arrogant, but clueless innocent
One is a brave little girl whose father slept with many women to ensure he would have many children... in order to save the kingdom
Every straightforward positive charcater is... wait for it... a guy   :o

I just think that's overall weird. Now, I think the author has it set up for more positive women charcaters in the next books, but I'm afraid he lost me completely with this. Funny thing is, I say lots of crap stuff on the forum and people often agree, disagree, etc. I've mentioned this a bunch of time about Traitors Blade and can't recall anyone saying anything in response.



(crickets)
See that?
Really?!  ;) ;D

I don't remember #1 and 2 on that list and isn't #3 and #4 the same person (or am I totally remembering it wrong)?  I always find it interesting when people see novels differently than how I see them, all of that was present but I did not give it a second thought.

Number 3 and 4 are:
daughter and mother

And if you don't recall number 1, it's probably because I left out something important:
One had sex with a noble to save her husband and then was raped to death by the noble's minions
Because, of course.

And the frustrating thing is that the book is pretty good and a lot of fun in many places.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Takoren on May 12, 2015, 04:41:21 PM
Curious what the problem was. I haven't read it but it looked good and it's rated pretty high on goodreads.
We did it as a book club read a few months ago. I enjoyed a lot about it. But as to women:

One is forced to have sex with a noble to save her husband
One is a holy prostitute who has sex with our hero to save his soul
One is the naked assassin
One is a conniving evil noble
One is an arrogant, but clueless innocent
One is a brave little girl whose father slept with many women to ensure he would have many children... in order to save the kingdom
Every straightforward positive charcater is... wait for it... a guy   :o

I just think that's overall weird. Now, I think the author has it set up for more positive women charcaters in the next books, but I'm afraid he lost me completely with this. Funny thing is, I say lots of crap stuff on the forum and people often agree, disagree, etc. I've mentioned this a bunch of time about Traitors Blade and can't recall anyone saying anything in response.



(crickets)
See that?
Really?!  ;) ;D
That's a shame. It does seem like a good series and there are plenty of great reviews out there for it, so I was kind of excited about reading it (also, while its sequel definitely does fall under the category of "bland titles", the title of the series itself and probably the first book really don't.)

The treatment of women in a pseudo-medieval time period is always tricky. No matter what, you risk angering someone. Leave them out completely and you're not an equal-opportunity writer. Write women who kick ass and take names, and you're accused of being "unrealistic" (as if it's not a world you created, seeing as it's fantasy) and just writing the women as just "men with breasts". Write her to have a more traditional role in that sort of society and you're a sexist pig. If she's portrayed as not enjoying such a role, she's a victim and you're still sexist for writing her that way. If she's powerful but a villain, you're threatened by powerful women. If she's powerful and heroic, she's a Mary Sue, and etc., etc.

But there is a difference between placing women in a traditional role for the setting vs. taking seeming pleasure in demeaning them. That was one of the (many) reasons I could not bring myself to finish the Prince of Nothing series. All the main female characters exist mainly so that the male characters can get laid. They're all prostitutes or concubines, seemed very weak-willed and victimized/manipulated by everyone. Oddly enough I've seen women defend that series.

That said, I've always held that there is a difference between depiction and celebration. Broken Empire has a protagonist that does a lot of horrible things, rape included, but Mark Lawrence clearly doesn't expect us to approve or excuse it because Jorg is a truly bad guy. I kept waiting for Thomas Covenant to receive some comeuppance and when it became clear he wasn't going to get any, I quit reading.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Arry on May 12, 2015, 07:10:14 PM
Curious what the problem was. I haven't read it but it looked good and it's rated pretty high on goodreads.
We did it as a book club read a few months ago. I enjoyed a lot about it. But as to women:

One is forced to have sex with a noble to save her husband
One is a holy prostitute who has sex with our hero to save his soul
One is the naked assassin
One is a conniving evil noble
One is an arrogant, but clueless innocent
One is a brave little girl whose father slept with many women to ensure he would have many children... in order to save the kingdom
Every straightforward positive charcater is... wait for it... a guy   :o

I just think that's overall weird. Now, I think the author has it set up for more positive women charcaters in the next books, but I'm afraid he lost me completely with this. Funny thing is, I say lots of crap stuff on the forum and people often agree, disagree, etc. I've mentioned this a bunch of time about Traitors Blade and can't recall anyone saying anything in response.



(crickets)
See that?
Really?!  ;) ;D

Well I never responded because I enjoyed the book and had no issues with the females. I read it while before we read it for book club, so couldn't remember the details as well. I figure you are entitled to your opinion/reaction, so didn't see the point in saying much in response. But, since you seem to be looking for a response, mine is that I didn't have a problem with it. I thought the book, while not perfect, was rather fun.

I'll also point out that you are using the girl's father as a negative trait for her character. Not exactly fair. It feels like you couldn't find a negative thing to say about her directly and had to dig for one in the way of another character to make sure you had something negative to say about every female in the book.

Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: JMack on May 12, 2015, 07:24:01 PM
Curious what the problem was. I haven't read it but it looked good and it's rated pretty high on goodreads.
We did it as a book club read a few months ago. I enjoyed a lot about it. But as to women:

One is forced to have sex with a noble to save her husband
One is a holy prostitute who has sex with our hero to save his soul
One is the naked assassin
One is a conniving evil noble
One is an arrogant, but clueless innocent
One is a brave little girl whose father slept with many women to ensure he would have many children... in order to save the kingdom
Every straightforward positive charcater is... wait for it... a guy   :o

I just think that's overall weird. Now, I think the author has it set up for more positive women charcaters in the next books, but I'm afraid he lost me completely with this. Funny thing is, I say lots of crap stuff on the forum and people often agree, disagree, etc. I've mentioned this a bunch of time about Traitors Blade and can't recall anyone saying anything in response.



(crickets)
See that?
Really?!  ;) ;D

Well I never responded because I enjoyed the book and had no issues with the females. I read it while before we read it for book club, so couldn't remember the details as well. I figure you are entitled to your opinion/reaction, so didn't see the point in saying much in response. But, since you seem to be looking for a response, mine is that I didn't have a problem with it. I thought the book, while not perfect, was rather fun.

I'll also point out that you are using the girl's father as a negative trait for her character. Not exactly fair. It feels like you couldn't find a negative thing to say about her directly and had to dig for one in the way of another character to make sure you had something negative to say about every female in the book.
I guess that last is somewhat fair.
And maybe I was stretching it a bit with my litany.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Skip on May 12, 2015, 09:34:07 PM
Much portal fantasy is awful, but ... well, Sturgeon's Law, right?  I'll give it a chance, but mainly because I gave The Folk of the Air a chance and was glad I did, and I gave Neverwhen a chance and was glad I did. So it will take more than just the sub-genre to turn me off.

-= Skip =-
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Elfy on May 13, 2015, 01:15:04 AM
But what's a regular peeve?
Those are the wild peeves that were never domesticated. They tend to be bigger and more destructive than pet peeves. For example, a wild peeve would be hating people with two nostrils or people who breathe. Imagine though if someone had wild peeves like that; there would be blood and teeth on the floor. Which, by the way, is a pet peeve of mine. Clean up after your brawls, everyone. I mean, really.  ;D
And if your pet peeve escapes and stays out long enough it turns feral and that's never good.
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Roxxsmom on May 13, 2015, 07:09:48 AM
I hate covers with photos of real people (or which at least look like a real photo) who are photoshopped into a fantasy setting. Seems to be some kind of new trend unfortunately.

Example:
(http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402673445l/21407176.jpg)
It's a good book, though.

OMG, this too. I haven't seen it a much in adult fantasy, but it seems to be more of a thing with YA. There's a way to take a photo and make it look more like a painting and to make the person look like they're really "in" the world, but some of them look like 21st people in bad costumes. I guess it's less expensive?
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: AzWingsFan on May 13, 2015, 03:45:42 PM
No matter how good the writing is. The main thing that turns me off a book/author is the lack of plot/weakness of it... I.E. The name of the Wind. Barely got through that because nothing happened, couple glimpses of excitement but nope, same kid goes to magic school trope...
Title: Re: Pet Peeves: What makes you put a book down/never pick it up in the first place?
Post by: Corvus on May 16, 2015, 02:51:20 AM
Padding, series that take 20 or more real years to finish, padding, cheap Tolkien elf knockoffs, padding.