June 04, 2020, 02:46:48 PM

Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1993200 times)

Online Alex Hormann

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10140 on: March 08, 2017, 05:46:42 PM »
Finally got around to starting Adrian Tchaikovsky's The Bear and the Serpent. I'm glad it starts with a  recap (like Mark Lawrence's books) because I'd forgotten a lot of Book 1.
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Offline Peat

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10141 on: March 08, 2017, 07:50:49 PM »
The stakes were so high, that you knew knew the characters had to succeed, taking the tension out of all of the scenes.
Isn't that almost always the case? With only the question remaining: At what cost?
Look at the Iron Jackal. It's clear that it won't kill Frey in the end but you don't know if all the others will make it unharmed and what else may happen on the way.

In the middle of Ace of Skulls, btw. :)

I think the "almost" there is key. The almost stops the reader from noticing it out loud.

When a book manages to declare from early on that the task is too big to fail (and you know the author's not going to kill the main character), the almost goes away. And then the reader goes "Hang on..."

Its particularly a problem in books where the author likes to put the characters in really tight "Oh no" spots. Because once again, trying to heighten suspense where there is none risks making the reader think out loud about it.

I think authors are a lot safer doing it at the climax of books.
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Offline Saraband

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10142 on: March 08, 2017, 10:16:46 PM »
Finally got around to starting Adrian Tchaikovsky's The Bear and the Serpent. I'm glad it starts with a  recap (like Mark Lawrence's books) because I'd forgotten a lot of Book 1.

That's great to know! I read The Tiger and the Wolf some months ago, but having now bought The Bear and the Serpent, was afraid of not remembering some important stuff. Looking forward to see what you think of the book  :)
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10143 on: March 08, 2017, 10:55:52 PM »
A Conjuring of Light by V E Schwab, last of the Shades of Magic trilogy.  Rather sorry the world of many Londons will be over after this.
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Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10144 on: March 09, 2017, 03:06:33 AM »
I finished The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst. 3/5

Good concepts, like a world where villages and cities are built on trees and spirits of all kinds roam the land. Only a coronated queen can keep them in check. Anyone with magical affinity is sent to an academy to became an heir and maybe succeed the queen if she dies or becomes too weak. The spirits choose the queen in a ritual. The protagonist is really awful at magic, but in contrast she is actually a good socializer (contrary to the typical loner and brooding type).

On the other hand, there's loads of telling (specially how weak and unprepared the MC is) on the narrative and the writing is pretty straightforward, while the description by the publisher promised something akin to Novik's Uprooted and Rothfuss' Name of the Wind. Yeah, right.
Despite the academy playing a major role, there are some time skips that stop any kind of relationship from flourishing, which hurts character development, specially when characters later die.

May look predictable what's gonna happen to the heroine and some situations, but the ending was actually surprising considering what everyone expects what will happen since the beginning.
Had the potential to be fantastic if it had some more magical spark in it.
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Offline Peat

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10145 on: March 09, 2017, 06:32:34 AM »
The protagonist is really awful at magic, but in contrast she is actually a good socializer (contrary to the typical loner and brooding type).


Are loners typical for Magic School stories? Wasn't quite my experience, but can't say I've read that many of the breed.
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Offline RJ Barker

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10146 on: March 09, 2017, 10:03:26 AM »
I'm currently reading The Bastard Wonderland by Lee James Harris. I met Lee at a con and he's with my previous agent so I thought I'd give it a blast and it's excellent so far. Definitely a book with it's own feel and personality and if, like me, your from Yorkshire there'll be a familiarity to the world but if you're not I think it'll feel even fresher. I know Lee came very close to this being picked up by one of the big publishers and it fell at the last hurdle but the more I read the more I get the feeling he's going to hit on something that you'll be seeing everywhere at some point.

Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10147 on: March 09, 2017, 10:13:28 AM »
The protagonist is really awful at magic, but in contrast she is actually a good socializer (contrary to the typical loner and brooding type).


Are loners typical for Magic School stories? Wasn't quite my experience, but can't say I've read that many of the breed.

Hm, from what I've read that I consider it: Harry Potter is pretty much default. Vin from Mistborn, Fitz from Farseer, Agniezska from Uprooted... these three aren't necessarily in magical schools but a critical point on their stories are discovery of magical powers and being tutored on it.

From what I didn't read, I heard about Kvothe from Kingkiller, The Magicians (one of the major complains I hear is that the characters are also a bunch of whiners) and not sure about Wizard of Earthsea.
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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10148 on: March 09, 2017, 11:43:50 AM »
The protagonist is really awful at magic, but in contrast she is actually a good socializer (contrary to the typical loner and brooding type).


Are loners typical for Magic School stories? Wasn't quite my experience, but can't say I've read that many of the breed.

Hm, from what I've read that I consider it: Harry Potter is pretty much default. Vin from Mistborn, Fitz from Farseer, Agniezska from Uprooted... these three aren't necessarily in magical schools but a critical point on their stories are discovery of magical powers and being tutored on it.

From what I didn't read, I heard about Kvothe from Kingkiller, The Magicians (one of the major complains I hear is that the characters are also a bunch of whiners) and not sure about Wizard of Earthsea.

I have read both The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, and I will have agree with you on that point.  ;D Kvothe is one true loner.

Offline xiagan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10149 on: March 09, 2017, 01:24:07 PM »
The protagonist is really awful at magic, but in contrast she is actually a good socializer (contrary to the typical loner and brooding type).


Are loners typical for Magic School stories? Wasn't quite my experience, but can't say I've read that many of the breed.

Hm, from what I've read that I consider it: Harry Potter is pretty much default. Vin from Mistborn, Fitz from Farseer, Agniezska from Uprooted... these three aren't necessarily in magical schools but a critical point on their stories are discovery of magical powers and being tutored on it.

From what I didn't read, I heard about Kvothe from Kingkiller, The Magicians (one of the major complains I hear is that the characters are also a bunch of whiners) and not sure about Wizard of Earthsea.

I have read both The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, and I will have agree with you on that point.  ;D Kvothe is one true loner.
Maybe later, but at school he had a clique.
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Offline Peat

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10150 on: March 09, 2017, 08:11:13 PM »
I wouldn't have considered Harry a loner. He's got a pretty solid friendship group, odd cases of "The whole school's against me" aside, and works well with others and constantly looks to do so, odd cases of "Only I should be in danger" aside.
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Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10151 on: March 10, 2017, 01:26:21 AM »
I wouldn't have considered Harry a loner. He's got a pretty solid friendship group, odd cases of "The whole school's against me" aside, and works well with others and constantly looks to do so, odd cases of "Only I should be in danger" aside.

I always felt he was pretty detached and if wasn't for Ron and Hermione finding him, he wouldn't go to them and it would be the kid hanging in the corners. Not saying he wouldn't make any friends if that had happened, but whenever Ron and Hermione weren't around he did things alone.

Maybe I stretched loner a little there, as every one of those characters had someone that accompanied them or cared for them (Kelsier, Nighteyes, Burrich, Kasia/Dragon, etc).

It's more of a feel that they prefer to tend to themselves and if they have friends, great, but that they wouldn't go out of their way too much to make acquaintances, even if they wish it or come to desire it later.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10152 on: March 10, 2017, 01:28:02 AM »
The stakes were so high, that you knew knew the characters had to succeed, taking the tension out of all of the scenes.
Isn't that almost always the case? With only the question remaining: At what cost?
Look at the Iron Jackal. It's clear that it won't kill Frey in the end but you don't know if all the others will make it unharmed and what else may happen on the way.

In the middle of Ace of Skulls, btw. :)
I think that's the key. By the third Codex book, you know which characters have a free pass, so there's no tension there. You know the tension is going to have something to do with the First Lord. And at first, the plot directly deals with that. But then he makes it... Too big. If the villains one, all of Alera would be destroyed, therefore making the next three books impossible. Tension crashed and burned.

With The iron Jackal, all the characters are so fleshed out, anyone could die and you would still have a solid story. There's also a couple of really awesome subplots that keep the tension going. And of course the group dynamic. Damn I miss that book.

Offline Peat

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10153 on: March 10, 2017, 03:01:03 AM »
I wouldn't have considered Harry a loner. He's got a pretty solid friendship group, odd cases of "The whole school's against me" aside, and works well with others and constantly looks to do so, odd cases of "Only I should be in danger" aside.

I always felt he was pretty detached and if wasn't for Ron and Hermione finding him, he wouldn't go to them and it would be the kid hanging in the corners. Not saying he wouldn't make any friends if that had happened, but whenever Ron and Hermione weren't around he did things alone.

Maybe I stretched loner a little there, as every one of those characters had someone that accompanied them or cared for them (Kelsier, Nighteyes, Burrich, Kasia/Dragon, etc).

It's more of a feel that they prefer to tend to themselves and if they have friends, great, but that they wouldn't go out of their way too much to make acquaintances, even if they wish it or come to desire it later.

I see what you mean. Self-contained might be a good word. Certainly not a socialite. Would be interesting to count how many times Harry went looking for Hermione/Ron and vice versa - he's definitely got an independent streak (which only furthers my belief they're an unintentional echo of Dumezil's trifunctional hypothesis).
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Offline DrNefario

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10154 on: March 10, 2017, 02:32:23 PM »
I should finish Shogun tonight or (more likely) tomorrow, and after three weeks on one book, my aim is to finish another whole book before the weekend is out. I will do this by picking one which is about the same length as the remaining pages I have in Shogun. I'm planning to read The Pool of Fire by John Christopher, the third book in his children's/YA Tripods series, which I think is under 150 pages in the edition I own.

I'm thinking then of getting a few more quickies under my belt before getting back to something substantial.