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Author Topic: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts  (Read 6483 times)

Offline Arry

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What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« on: February 29, 2016, 12:55:58 PM »
Here it is: The what did you read in February 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.

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Offline Arry

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Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 01:15:23 PM »
This Census-Taker by China Mieville - I really loved this one. It was dark, and just leaves the reader with a ton of questions about the possibilities. I really want to try to read another book by Mieville that might be closer to this (I got some great recommendations here, so have them marked to read)


Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews  - Not my usual pick, but sometimes I enjoy reading a story with a kick ass female protagonist. UF is good for that, and I have had this series recommended so figured I would give it a try. I enjoyed it. I had a couple of nitpick things with it, but was good enough will read the next one

Good Girls by Glen Hirshberg - A pyschological horror book. The story was compelling, but I did feel like I would have enjoyed it more if I had read Motherless Child first. But it can be read as a standalone. I really liked the protagonist, and The Whistler was creepy/eerie. I enjoyed it.

Graft by Matt Hill - This one unfortunately just didn't work as well for me. I think it maybe crossed my weird threshold or something. I also never really connected to the characters, which makes it very hard to fully appreciate a book. This is one that I do feel may be more "not to my taste" than anything else though.

Call of Cthulhu and Other Stories by H. P. Lovecraft - Don't hate me. I didn't love these. I was really rather ambivalent.

Arkwright by Allen Steele - This book hooked me from the very first page! It was interesting tale of a SF writer who uses his money to actually turn the ideas from science fiction into applied science. Namely with creating a solution to transport humans and colonize another planet. The story is told over generations. I did feel like the last section  started to info dump a bit more (to speed things up), but over all a very enjoyable read.

The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky - This was a really enjoyable story featuring greek gods in  modern day Manhattan. There's a murder/mutilation that spawns the story. I'll be honest, I wasnt sure about this one, but it was really good.
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Offline Raptori

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Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 01:26:40 PM »
Fiction
Malice by John Gwynne
Valour by John Gwynne
Non-Fiction
Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Freelancer's Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Weird month for me. I've really enjoyed what I've read so far of The Faithful and The Fallen, but wow they take me a long time to read - the first two took almost two weeks each, and I'm still only about 150 pages into the third book even though I started reading it two weeks ago.

If you don't like books where almost every chapter ends in a jarring shift in perspective and a cliffhanger which won't be resolved until seven or eight chapters later (due to the huge number of viewpoint characters), then it might not be something you'll enjoy. For me it doesn't affect how much I enjoy the story, but it does mean I'll tend to read a chapter or two and then put the book back down again for a while when a chapter break tears me away from a story I'm interested in and puts one I couldn't care less about at the moment in front of me.

If those things don't bother you at all, these books would probably be brilliant.  :-\

The couple of non-fiction books I've read were really good; available free online (here and here), well worth reading if you're interested in being an author. The Survival Guide is a little outdated (hence the star knocked off), but there's a lot of really good advice and some interesting different perspectives on various things. Discoverability was a really good look into how to get books noticed, so probably more directed at indie writing than traditional, but still applies to both.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 02:17:19 PM by Raptori »
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Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 01:53:16 PM »
Quite a lot of stuff this month, helped along by several really short books, a couple at the start that were nearly done already, and a few days in bed with a cold.

Horus Rising - Dan Abnett - Warhammer 40K spin-off. It was OK, but seemed to barely start hinting at the overall series story, and I'm not really willing to put that much effort in. It was only a freebie.

Rogues - George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois (eds) - Pretty good anthology, which I've actually been reading for months, but I finished it in February, so it counts for this month. It's always hard to judge anthologies and collections. There are almost always some stories you like and some you don't.

Daggerspell - Katharine Kerr - Classic 80s fantasy, which I liked a lot. The reincarnation thing is kind of odd, but the actual story is good.

Beyond Apollo - Barry Malzberg - Short 1972 SF novel about a damaged astronaut. I didn't get much out of it.

Ack-Ack Macaque - Gareth L Powell - BSFA-winning SF novel featuring a giant monkey. Not quite as silly as it sounds, but also trying a bit too hard, I thought.

Legends 2 - Ian Whates (ed) - Another anthology, also pretty good. A lot shorter than Rogues.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss - Kingkiller spin-off novella. I guess I thought it was OK.

The Cardinal's Blades - Pierre Pevel - I enjoyed this swashbuckling fantasy. Quite hard to get into, as we're introduced to a dozen brilliant swordsmen (and one woman) who seem to have nothing to do with each other, but it was good fun. Morningstar award winner.

The Man Who Folded Himself - David Gerrold - Another very short SF novel, this time from 1973, exploring time travel, and particularly interacting with future and past versions of yourself. Another one that didn't really do much for me.

The Last Witness - KJ Parker - Another novella, about a man who can take away your memories. I liked this, although it was kind of bleak.

Neither SF nor F:

Death on the Nile - Agatha Christie - Classic Poirot.


Offline Nora

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Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 02:02:35 PM »
This month I read these :

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Lynch

The Alloy of Law by Sanderson

The Shadows of Self by Sanderson

The Bands of Mourning by Sanderson

Legion by Sanderson

Started Steelheart but left it after 20% as I wasn't feeling ready for that, other things tickled me too much. 

All were tolerable, but not ideal.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 11:04:08 PM by Nora »
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Offline Captain Blobby

Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2016, 02:47:04 PM »
Not a good month in terms of reading:

Finished my re-read of The Heroes by Joe abercrombie, took my time with it as I rushed the ending last time I read it. Still one of my favourite books.

About halfway through Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell. When there's good bits they're really good but otherwise I'm finding it very dull and frankly it's annoying me because Cornwell is one of my favourite writers. A lot of repitition and reinforcement of the untruths of the longbow, it almost seems lazy. 

Online Alex Hormann

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Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 03:06:45 PM »
This was a very good month for me:

Blood of Elves - Andrezj Sapkowski: 1/5 Could be because it's a translation, but I found this one really hard to get into. On the plus side, I've now read all of the Gemmell Legend Award winners.

Rigante Series - David Gemmell: 2/5 It was alright, but I prefer the Drenai books.

Troy: Fall of Kings - David & Stella Gemmell: 3/5 Pretty standard for Gemmell, though it was interesting that I couldn't tell where Stella Gemmell had completed bits, it was so consistent. Particularly like his version of the Trojan Horse.

The Bands of Mourning - Brandon Sanderson: 5/5 This was, as I'd hoped, brilliant. I seem to be in that minority of people who didn't see any of the twists coming.

Calamity - Brandon Sanderson: 4.5/5 I admit, I'm a bit of a Sanderson fanboy  ;) , but I really liked his version of Atlanta. Some nice new superpowers too.

Blood Song - Anthony Ryan: 3/5 I liked this, but it didn't really stand out for any reason. Still, good enough for me to pick up the next two.

Seeds of Earth - Michael Cobley: 3/5 Started out a bit too infodump-y, but improved greatly as it progressed.

Luna: New Moon - Ian MacDonald: 0/5 This was . . . not good. I'd seen it advertised as 'Dallas on the Moon'. I was disappointed. It seemed more like 50 Shades of the Moon. >shudder<
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2016, 03:14:51 PM »
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan: Pretty interesting story. We learned some things about Royce's past that we didn't know before, which was good. And of course the story itself was just fun. I'm really liking how Sullivan is progressing as a writer, and look forward to reading Age of Myth this year.
Ms. Marvel Volume 2: It was okay. I liked the story overall, but my rating went down because of the ending. They screwed it up. They preached too much, and downgraded the teenagers to little kids.
Other than that, it's been Sanderson month.
Everything so far in The Wax and Wayne series. Loved it. I enjoyed these far more than the original trilogy. The Final Empire was my introduction to Sanderson, therefore I didn't trust that the clichet ending wasn't in fact clichet at all. And most agree that Well of Ascension was slow and the weakest of the three. All three of the Wax and Wayne books felt really solid, and had some shock value/twisty moments. I look forward to rereading these when The Lost Metal comes out next year.
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson: A reread. The action scenes were just as awesome as I remembered, especially the motorcycle one. Noticed some things about the world that I had missed before, and caught most if not all of the foreshadowing things.
The Shadows Beneath Writing Excuses Anthology: The stories here were okay, and the glimpse in the writing process was interesting. I mainly enjoyed it for the Graphic Audio adaptation. Without that, I would never recommend someone read it in plain text.

This month, I should be finishing The Reckoners, and moving on to The Expanse. Graphic Audio is starting to release their adaptation of Way of Kings this month, which I'm psyched for! So I'll be rereading that as each part comes out. My favorite sound engineer is back for this, so it gets a pre-order. There's going to be 5 parts, so this should last me through July.

Offline Hedin

Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2016, 03:20:11 PM »
I only read one (?!) book this month.  I have no idea when the last time I only ever read one.

Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman - This book goes into the details of some of the build up and the first month of World War 1.  Tuchman did a remarkable job with the book and it's easy to see what it is one of the classics.  I just had two problems, one was that it was a little dense so I couldn't really read much at a time, my limit was about an hour and/or a chapter and then I had to put it down.  Secondarily while she went into detail about all of the battles in the opening month I have trouble picturing the maneuvers and battle action.  Still, even with those quibbles if you are at all interested in WWI history I would highly recommend this book.

Offline Lanko

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Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2016, 04:53:57 PM »
I was barely able to read two books this month. And I even started Lies in January.

My Favorite of the Month: RED SEAS UNDER RED SKIES, by Scott Lynch.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch. 5/5.
Very funny, good main character and theme. Some may have problems with the situations involving magic, but I had more trouble believing the luck of some characters in surviving some situations not involving magic at all.

Red Seas Under Red Skies, By Scott Lynch. 5/5. 
Lynch improved so much on this one. The dialogue is the best part of the book. It's punchy and extremely funny, much more than in the first book. Also, the heist gives place to pirates. It was a sudden change of theme, but the pirates and their culture/setting in Lynch's world were very well done and they were also amazing to read.
But on this one I did have problems with the magic. Lynch obviously developed a character too much in this one and felt he needed to get rid of said character. Solution: magic suddenly appears. The situation was so out of place. It felt too cheap. The support received in the end felt convenient too, but I liked the ending and how things turned out. As much as I hated the magic part, I still enjoyed this one too much. 
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 05:12:20 PM by Lanko »
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Offline night_wrtr

Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2016, 05:11:11 PM »
Poisonwell (Whispers from Mirrowen, #3)
Wheeler, Jeff
Highly recommended for those that like creative worlds, action, mythology and a little fun.

The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1)
Wheeler, Jeff
Enjoyable read and interesting characters. I wish it had been a bit longer.

The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire, #1)
Barnes, Mark T.
The only issue I had was the difficulty keeping everything straight. The story drops you in and expects you to keep pace. It took me a bit to get my feet, but once I did, it was quite the ride.

The Grim Company (The Grim Company, #1)
Scull, Luke *
It was a well written novel. The characters were sharp and developed, but damn, most of the characters had few likable qualities.

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Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 05:17:20 PM »
I only read one (?!) book this month.  I have no idea when the last time I only ever read one.

Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman - This book goes into the details of some of the build up and the first month of World War 1.  Tuchman did a remarkable job with the book and it's easy to see what it is one of the classics.  I just had two problems, one was that it was a little dense so I couldn't really read much at a time, my limit was about an hour and/or a chapter and then I had to put it down.  Secondarily while she went into detail about all of the battles in the opening month I have trouble picturing the maneuvers and battle action.  Still, even with those quibbles if you are at all interested in WWI history I would highly recommend this book.

So... great world-building, but too much info-dump?
Are her characters memorable?
And remind me, is this secondary world stuff? Would you call it epic? Heroic? Grimdark?

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Offline Eclipse

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Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2016, 05:48:57 PM »
Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris #1) by Jim C. Hines 4/5 UF lots of fun using books as magic

Curse Of The Mistwraith (Wars of Light and Shadow #1) by Janny Wurts 4/5 Epic fantasy , enjoyed it despite the author picking the wrong words in places.

Fluid  (Mindspace Investigations) by Alex Hughes 3/5 sci-fi mystery short story

Temper (mindspace Investigations) by Alex Hughes 4/5 sci- fi mystery short story

Skin Deep (Legion #2) by Brandon Sanderson 3/5  short story,preferred the first one but I will carry on with the series

The Serpent (The Gameshouse #1) by Claire North 2/5 short story, not for me but I think others might like it about a story of a card game using people as the cards

The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson 3/5 Short story, I thought it was slow until the end

The Last Witness by K.J. Parker 5/5 Awesome short story

Fortune's Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach 4/5 Space opera,romance, kick arse female mercenary MC,action pack,kissy kissy scenes ....... lots of fun despite the romance a guilty pleasure?



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Offline magisensei

Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2016, 06:15:19 PM »
Innkeeper Chronicles (books 1-2) by Ilona Andrews - this was a different take to an urban fantasy you could almost say it was an urban sci-fi instead as it had some sci-fi elements disguised as fantasy and some fantasy disguised as scifi.  It was a light fun read with some suspense with some new takes on the usual vampire, werewolf and assorted supernatural creatures - who in this series just happen to be all aliens.  This series is posted online and each week a new chapter comes out and as such fans can comment on the story with the latest installment in the series.  Our main character, as you can guess is an innkeeper who runs an inn for intergalactic guests - the inn and the host are magical - imagine being to shape your inn to accommodate any type of guest and situation.  A light and fun read. 

Princess Novels (books 1-4) by Jim C. Hines -- this month I also got around to completing the 4 books in the Princess series.  A somewhat different take on some favorite princess characters - Cinderella (aka Danielle), Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.  But the princesses are not your average damsel in distress - they kick butt with their gifts - both magical and physical as the tackle the problems that arise in each of the books.  I enjoyed the diversity of the characters - not all white and blond - e.g. Sleeping Beauty
Spoiler for Hiden:
being I think Middle Eastern in appearance (also from her name) and being a lesbian
.  Hines takes the classic stories not the Disney versions and adds a twist while continuing their respective stories e.g. the stepsisters cut off their toes to fit into the glass slipper.  Overall an enjoyable twist to a classic fairy tale story about 3 princess and what happens after happily ever after sometimes is not so happy after all. 

Brotherhood in Death
by JD Robb (mystery) - book 42 in the series is average in terms of story and plot as Eve and Roake have to deal with a series of brutal murders.  Overall an average read in the series in which I was really rooting for the bad guys (the killers in the story) instead of the victims (murdered victims).  Eve and Roake are efficient and brilliant as ever and of course solve the murders and the root out the reasons behind these brutal murders. 






« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 06:27:07 PM by magisensei »

Online ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in February? Come share your list and thoughts
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2016, 09:26:14 PM »
Here are mine:

Ruin - John Gwynne (The Faithful and the Fallen 3)
This series just keeps getting better and better.

Legends and Liars - Julia Knight (The Duellists 2)
Warlords and Wastrels - Julia Knight (The Duellists 3)
I had some problems with the beginning of book 2, and really just focused on one character's path. I loved book 3, for me the best of the trilogy :)

(and another book on depression)
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