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Author Topic: What did you read in January? Come share your list and and what you thought  (Read 7212 times)

Offline Arry

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



Offline Arry

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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin - Definitely enjoyed this one. Gods trapped in this world, in human form. There's a nice mix of plotting, scheming and interference from the Gods. Will certainly read the next one.

The Just City by Jo Walton - I absolutely loved this book! A time traveling goddess pricing together what is proposed to be an ideal society It was addictive in a way I never would have expected, very hard to put down and really makes you think.

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear - This was quite fun, a steampunk western. I love Karen's character, but I did struggle a bit with the dialect. I adjusted eventually.

Half the World by Joe Abercrombie - It's Abercrombie, of course I loved it! I was surprised Yarvi wasn't the central character, but he definitely plays a critical role. I love Thorn and Brand. I will mention I thought this had a stronger YA feel than the first, with a bit of an angsty romance, but it is YA, so there's nothing wrong with that.

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay - My second book by GGK. I think I preferred Lions, but still loved this. Kay's writing is just beautiful and easy to read. Also has lots of themes relevant to our world today.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black - Very quick fun read, a dark fairy tale told in modern time.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
-- George R.R. Martin



Offline Chreus

Beyond the Shadows - third book of the Night Angel Trilogy. I liked the series as a whole and had a good time reading it all though the third book may not have been as strong as the first two.

Name of the Wind - First book of Kingkiller Chronicle. Slow start but after about 100 pages really had my attention and despite not being a fan of stories told in first person view I loved it and is looking forward for the next book to arrive in the mail!

Theft of Swords - First book of Riyria Revelations. Absolutely loved it! Throws you straight into the action with really great and interesting characters as well as a story that's easy to follow. Recommended to everyone and in my opinion is a great book to start with for those who haven't read fantasy before for the reasons mentioned above.

Have read a couple of others aswell but those I choose not to talk about :P

Offline Alex Hormann

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So much free time on my hands in January... :)

Shadows of the Apt-Adrian Tchaikovsky Re-read the whole series. Air War was a bit slow and Sea Watch felt like it was treading water (pun fully intended) but, other than that, one of my all time favourite series.

Firefight-Brandon Sanderson Revelations, twists
Spoiler for Hiden:
and the best use of fortune cookies I've ever read

The Crimson Campaign-Brian McClellan An improvement on Book 1 and it was nice to see more of the world.
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Offline rashik216

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Not much but these are the books I read in January.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson: Very much fast paced action fantasy with super villains. Was my first Sanderson novel and I am certainly impressed.

Legion by Brandon Sanderson: A novella. Decent. I was just getting into story when the book ended. I think it would have been better if it been a novel(long form).

Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: Very good story about a boy who grew up in graveyard. A children book but I seem to enjoy them a lot too. :)

Currently reading The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. I also read 10 chapters from Gardens Of The Moon but I stopped reading. Maybe I will give it a go again someday.

Offline Eclipse

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Shattered (The Iron Druid Chronicles #7) by Kevin Hearne I'm still enjoying this UF series

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron another UF if you like Eli Monpress check it out out

Dark City (Repairman Jack: The Early Years #2) and Fear City (Repairman Jack: The Early Years #3) by F. Paul Wilson UF Excellent reads if you like the  Repairman Jack character

The Keep (Adversary Cycle #1) by F. Paul Wilson Horror, not one for Horror only read it because a couple of characters feature in the Repairman Jack series wasn't for me

Hidden (Alex Verus #5) by Benedict Jacka Umm another  UF series I enjoy reading

Legion (Legion #1) by Brandon Sanderson a  fun short story

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (Burton & Swinburne #2) by Mark Hodder Steampunk Fun

Three Hearts and Three Lions  by Poul Anderson I found it okay maybe people who like Sword and Sorcery might like it more
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Offline JMack

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Way behind the times, I guess, but I had never read any Brandon Sanderson.  So I read:

The Mistborn trilogy
Well of Ascension
Hero of Ages

I enjoyed them and recommend them.   In many ways, they succeed in spite of their weaknesses: such as (IMHO) a pedantically detailed magic system, an RPG-style approach to different types of magic-wielders (including hokey names), and some long sections of plot devoted manly to exploring said magic system.  Still, engaging main characters and a mostly satisfying finale.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: which I also liked a great deal.  Arry covered it well above.

I'm currently in the middle of three unpublished fantasy novels, Traitor's Blade, Bob Dylan's memoir of his musical career, and a philosophical essay, The Way We Are.  We'll see how much of this I finish in February and can put on Feb's thread.
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Offline DrNefario

I got through a surprising number of books in January, but not a whole lot of it was fantasy:

Shadows Beneath - Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler - The Writing Excuses Anthology, containing short works by the four regulars, and bits and bobs about the process of writing them. I liked all of the stories, but I'm not sure I really loved any of them.
Tehanu - Ursula Le Guin - Another brilliant Earthsea novel. I don't think I'd have liked these much as a kid. I'm glad I waited all these decades to read them. The first was a bit bitty, but I've loved books 2 though 4. I think I prefer these to her adult SF, so far.
The Great Bazaar and Brayan's Gold - Peter V Brett - Two novellas featuring the Painted Man. Very enjoyable. Reminded me that I've still got one of the novels to read, and that there's another due this year. The two stories are inexplicably out of chronological order.
The Last Wish - Andrzej Sapkowski - A collection of stories featuring the Witcher, generally subverting folklore and fairy tales and giving them a gritty reality. Good fun. I must read the novels.
Throne of the Crescent Moon - Saladin Ahmed - A good fun chunk of Arabian fantasy.
Songs of the Earth - Elspeth Cooper - A solid slice of fantasy that didn't do anything amazingly original but did a good job of it. Another series I'd like to carry on with.

Wow, it seems like more than I thought, when I write it all out. Three of those were essentially "free" as a result of my attempt to read a short story a day in addition to my main book. Yesterday was the first day I missed. I just plain forgot.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 04:15:56 PM by DrNefario »

Offline Ben

1. Chaser of the Wind - Alexy Pehkov. It was interesting. The end was a little convoluted but still entertaining.

2. Half The World - I loved it.

3. Brayan's Gold and The Great Bazaar - Took me back to when I liked Arlen, before he became some super demon killer.

4. Tomorrow, The Killing - Daniel Polansky. Catching up with The Warden again. It was better than Low Town, less trying to reinforce how badass Warden is. Also featured heavy conflict between his little crew which I found to be an interesting dynamic.

Offline Yora

I've read The Sword & Sorcery Anthology. Like most such anthologies in recent years, it uses the name to include all generic heroic fantasy that is shorter than novel length. The first couple of stories are by all of the big classic Sword & Sorcery writers, but I think the stories they picked are among their weaker ones. After that it's generic fantasy short stories.
I was quite disappointed.

I've also started reading some of Karl Wagners Kane stories. Which surprised me because they are actually quite good.

And I totally forgott about The Last Command by Timothy Zahn. Great book and ending for the Heir to the Empire series.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 11:13:59 PM by Yora »
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and and what you thought
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2015, 07:15:31 PM »
The Return of the Discontinued Man by Mark Hodder - volume 5 in the Burton & Swinburne adventures (or book 2 of the second trilogy), it took things in a whole different direction. We don't know what is the present anymore, and it ended with the biggest surprise of all - can't wait for the last one!

Ship of Magic and The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb - books 1 and 2 of the Liveship Traders trilogy, I loved them. I thought it wasn't possible to improve on the Farseer, I should have known better, since Farseer was her first ever trilogy. I think I relate much more to the characters on this one, or maybe I'm just fickle and stick to the current reading ;)

and two non-fantasy books

The fair fight by Anna Freeman, set in the late 18th century about female boxing, class issues and betrayal, it was interesting.
Alex's Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos, a non-fiction book about Maths, its story, interesting elements and tricks. Some parts were more interesting for me than others, because I love equations but I was quite glad to leave geometry and differentials behind...
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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and and what you thought
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 04:59:54 AM »
The Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle. A good, fast-paced second book in the trilogy. I really enjoyed it. Love the alternate history/fantasy mix.

The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. I liked the first book. I liked this one even better. Jemisin crafted an interesting world that I haven't seen before.

Traitor's Blade by Sebastien de Castell. This book was just plain fun. Fast-paced. Action-packed. It didn't do anything daringly original, but what it did, it did very well.

Shadow's Lure by Jon Sprunk. The second book in the series. This was another that was just plain fun. Not the most complex stuff out there, but I really enjoyed it.

Fade to Black by Francis Knight. This was another fast-paced book that gave me a world I haven't seen before. A good read.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. I enjoyed this book. It had some good action and characters. I won't put it up there with Dresden as far as urban fantasy goes, but it's definitely worth a read.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown. This book was quite the dystopian ride. A lot of action and an interesting world. There were parts that I thought could have been better, but it definitely kept me turning the pages.

Exile by Shannon Messenger. This one was a middle grade fantasy and one of the best books I've read in a while. It's a lot of fun and shows that you can still tell a good story that has some echoes of Harry Potter. It's the second in a series.

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson. Best book I've read in a long time. Sanderson did his usual trick of taking the world we thought we had and turning it on its head. It's amazing how he finds a way to do that again and again and always make it different and fascinating.

Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and and what you thought
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2015, 06:32:02 AM »
I read 8 books in January this year, mostly fantasy, but there's one SF in there.

Hunted by Kevin Hearne. I've largely fallen out of love with Atticus by now. I'd prefer the series to focus more on Granuaile, she doesn't try and reduce everything into a sophomoric joke and as yet has not turned into an unbeatable superhero.

Laura Resnick's Abracadaver. On the other hand I still love silly fun with Esther Diamond. I read this in a day, that's the problem with them, they're so easy to read that you fly through them in a matter of hours and then have to wait for a year for the next instalment in her adventures.

A few shorts aside I'd never actually read any Carrie Vaughn and I rectified that with Dreams of the Golden Age, it's another entry in the every growing superhero genre, although it handles it a bit more sensitively and maturely than some others I have read. It's a sequel to After the Golden Age, although you don't have to have read that. It's got scope to keep going too.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I'd read the same author's Blackout/All Clear, but never read Doomsday Book which everyone said was THE Connie Willis book to read. It's rather heart breaking and although I did like it, I'm in the minority in that I preferred Blackout/All Clear, I may never get over the Hodbins.

Chuck Wendig's The Blue Blazes. I like Wendig's style of writing, but The Blue Blazes just didn't connect with me the way his Miriam Black books do. I think I'll stick to Miriam from now on.

The great big collection that is Rogues. Like most anthologies there's some hits and some misses. More hits than missed, though. Standouts were Gillian 'Gone Girl' Flynn's What Do You Do? (which has been nominated for an Edgar award), Scott Lynch's atmospheric A Year and a Day in Old Theradane and Connie Willis' uproariously funny Now Showing.

Then I went into reread land and got through the first two books in Dave Duncan's A Man of His Word series (The Magic Casement and Faery Lands Forlorn). The Magic Casement was every bit as much fun as I remembered and proved that I wasn't lying when I told people to read it. Faery Lands Forlorn is also good, but I tend to prefer the first book as a fun read. Sometime this month I'll probably read the final 2 books (Perilous Seas and Emperor and Clown).
I will expand your TBR pile.


Offline Lejays17

Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and and what you thought
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2015, 10:22:45 AM »
Abracadaver - Laura Resnick.  I mostly enjoy these books, usually for the peripheral characters in Esther's world.  Like Elfy said, you can read these easily in a day, and they're a lot of fun.

Bellwether - Connie Willis.  I was in the mood for some fun & light reading, and I liked her bits of fads research at the start of each chapter.  This is the 3rd or 4th time I've read this one.

To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis.  The lightest of the Oxford Books by far, I still felt like something light and amusing to read.

The first three of Gervase Phinn's autobiographical Dales series.  We listened to the first volume of this on our bus trip and Elfy bought me the set of 5 books for Christmas.  They're a lot of fun, and remind me a lot of the Vet books by James Herriot, except with schools & small children instead of animals  ;D
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Offline ultamentkiller

Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and and what you thought
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2015, 10:40:32 PM »
The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner.
This book was amazing. Not only do I love the Virtual Reality concept of this series, but it has wonderful confrontations throughout the book, as well as an awesome plot twist as the end. The Mortality Doctrine series has secured Dashner as my second favorite author.
Gunner Scale by James Dashner.
This is a quick 30-page Prequel to the Mortality Doctrine, and I'm surprised that even for a short story, it managed to shock me at the end.
The First 3 Mortal Instruments Books: City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass.
When I started this series, I thought it was pretty good. I was disappointed that guns hadn't been integrated into this magical world, but it wasn't a huge deal. The second book was full of nice little plot twists. Nothing too surprising, but good enough to make me read the third one. Which was an utter disappointment. It ended in such a clichet way it made me angry. I saw what was going to happen and watched it play out over the last 70 pages. So, after that, I decided to not go forward.
The Shadow Ops Trilogy by Myke Cole.
This series was very interesting to me. With the first book, Control Point, it was obvious to me that this book was what I call a "training" novel, where you along with the character are taught about how magic works, as well as given important information about the world. The sequel, Fortress Frontier, was a bit better, mainly because of a character introduced by the name of Sculptor, that shocked me a couple of times. The final installment, Breach Zone, was pretty interesting as well, but no serious plot twists that caught me off guard. I'm actually surprised it made it to number 6 on the Top Fantasy Books of 2014.
That's all I've got.