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Author Topic: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought  (Read 9306 times)

Offline Revan

Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2016, 10:18:11 PM »
1) The First Law: Red Country (Joe Abercrombie) 4/5
2) Star Wars: Tarkin (James Luceno) 3/5
3) The Lions of Al-Rassan (Guy Gavriel Kay) 4/5
4) Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) 2/5
5) American Gods (Neil Gaiman) 3/5
6) Long Price Quartet: A Shadow in Summer (Daniel Abraham) 3/5
7) Long Price Quartet: A Betrayal in Winter (Daniel Abraham) 3/5
8) Long Price Quartet: An Autumn War (Daniel Abraham) 4/5
9) Long Price Quartet: The Price of Spring (Daniel Abraham) 4/5
10) Mistborn: Bands of Mourning (Brandon Sanderson) 2/5
11) Mistborn: Secret History (Brandon Sanderson) 3/5

My favorite was probably The Lions of Al-Rassan followed by An Autumn War, while I thought that Neverwhere and the third Wax and Wayne book weren't that great.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 10:20:35 PM by Revan »

Offline Nora

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2016, 10:35:27 PM »
My month was a bit slowed since I started by finishing with The Way of Kings.

Then read :

Words of Radiance, Sanderson. 4,5/5

Dark Star, Oliver Langmead. 4/5 I'd say. It grows on me retrospectively. It's an epic poem sci fi/noire. Sad stuff that feeds one's subconscious with gritty images and good ideas.

Uprooted, Naomi Novik, 4/5

Sixth of the Dusk, Sanderson. 5/5

Lock In, John Scalzi. 4/5. Great stuff, though I'll say while Scalzi has an amazing talent, he doesn't seem to be able to write different voices for shit. Everyone talks exactly in the same competent, concise manner, using the same vocabulary, even the guy with IQ70.  ::)

The Chysalids, John Wyndham 4,5/5. Read that in 24h, was great classic stuff, will certainly add The day of the triffids to my tbr now.

Only read some 50% of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August before I put it on hiatus. It's not bad, it's just dragging on forever with no action and I don't have the patience for it just right now.

Also read in Comics, all the available work in the series :

Trees by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard - 7/10
Saga by Fiona Stables and Brian K. Vaughan - 9/10, it's awesome balls. Started a bit "huh, wtf am I reading?" and really got sucked into it!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 11:44:21 PM by Nora »
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Offline OhTheSqualor

Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2016, 10:42:13 PM »
I read:

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks - loved it
The Gentleman Bastards 1-3 - really finished the tail end of these.  Loved the heck out of it.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz; I'm a fan of his writing, and it was a very good book.  Be warned it's very much lit-fic.
Moonwalking With Einstein by Josh Foer - follows the author's descent into the wide world of memory championship training.  Very, very interesting, very good book, highly recommended.

And some medical stuff (bleh).
I reviewed Prism and Bastards on my blog, but they were both fairly brief reflections.

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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2016, 11:26:37 PM »
1. Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. This is good urban fantasy, but I'm not blown away by it like many around here. Maybe it's too British for me. I don't know. 7.5/10

2. Centrifugal, The Hope of Elantris, and The Eleventh Metal by Brandon Sanderson. These three short stories are not Sanderson's strongest. I enjoyed the second two, but I thought Centrifugal was very rough. Of course, he did write it back in high school. 5/10, 7/10, 7/10

3. Dawn of Swords by David Dalglish and Robert J. Duperre. Slow start, but I enjoyed the second half of the book. It's a bit too much of an origin story at times. 7/10

4. The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. I think I would have liked this one more if I'd read it when I was a kid or when I hadn't read so much fantasy. Good for what it is, but it didn't blow me away. 6.5/10

5. Changes by Jim Butcher. My favorite Dresden book so far. 10/10

6. Planetfall by Emma Newman. I loved the way this one blended some interesting science fiction ideas with a very character-focused story. It felt much more human than a lot of science fiction. 9/10

7. Talion: Revenant by Michael A. Stackpole. I really enjoyed this one. It gave me a main character worth rooting for, and I like the way Stackpole managed to weave two different timelines together. 9/10

8. The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett. The best book in the series since the first, but still not at the same level. There's still a bit too much "drama" for my tastes. 8/10

9. Shadow Raiders by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes. I really enjoyed this one. The start was a bit slow, but then it really picked up. I usually enjoy stories that combine Steampunk and high fantasy. I think fans of Jim Butcher's Cinder Spires (and maybe Chris Wooding's Ketty Jay series) would find a lot to like here, though it isn't at the same level as either of those. 8/10

Offline tebakutis

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2016, 12:07:09 AM »
7. Talion: Revenant by Michael A. Stackpole. I really enjoyed this one. It gave me a main character worth rooting for, and I like the way Stackpole managed to weave two different timelines together. 9/10

I'm a big Stackpole fan. If you enjoyed Revenant, definitely pick up the series that follows it up, beginning with Fortress Draconis. Good stuff!

Offline cupiscent

Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2016, 12:38:30 AM »
I was one of the recommenders of Megan Whalen Turner (I am sure there was another person, but maybe that was on another board...) so YAY, I am so glad you enjoyed it, @Raptori. I love those books egregiously. They are so tight, so slender, but they cut so deep. A stiletto of fantasy fiction.

In January I read:
Half the World by Joe Abercrombie, which was GREAT; I enjoyed the first one, but Thorn and Brand were characters who just made this book amazing
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord, which was also (but differently) great; I have a low tolerance for magic realism (which is often fantasy-without-rules, which seems cheap to me) and parable-myth-fiction (which is often condescending) but this uses elements of both to be cheeky, canny and utterly delightful.
Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which I really enjoyed with some minor reservations about a couple of story elements.
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine, which was conceptually great (Library of Alexandria dystopia!) but didn't grab me in the delivery.

And I'm currently reading NK Jemisin's The Fifth Season which is so challenging as a new mother, but absolutely as good as everyone has been telling me it was.

Offline Raptori

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2016, 02:03:23 AM »
I was one of the recommenders of Megan Whalen Turner (I am sure there was another person, but maybe that was on another board...) so YAY, I am so glad you enjoyed it, @Raptori. I love those books egregiously. They are so tight, so slender, but they cut so deep. A stiletto of fantasy fiction.
Thanks for recommending them - I'll definitely be doing the same!
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Offline Elfy

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2016, 05:18:47 AM »
January seems to have been a big reading month for a few of us. I got through 13 books. One was historical fiction and one was kind of hard to classify , but it's based on a fantasy concept so I guess it qualifies.

There's a few categories here. 1 was Star Wars related stuff: Chuck Wendig's Aftermath. I quite liked this. It's about an adventure that takes place just after the end of Return of the Jedi and also uses interludes to examine the results of the fall of the Empire around the galaxy. It's the first of a trilogy and I'll definitely be looking for the next books in it. Then I looked at Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka, it's 3 stories, each one covering a character from The Force Awakens and showing something that happened to them prior to the film. Very lightweight, but still with some nice background to the new film. I finished the Star Wars kick with Alan Dean Foster's novelisation of The Force Awakens. It mostly follows the film, but there are two scenes that are not in the film and one answered a question I had from the film, so that was good to see.
Another category was my reread program. In December I decided to reread Harry Potter and read the final 3 books in the series during January. Not much I can really say about them, other than they're still quite enjoyable reads, although it is easier to see some of the flaws this time around. I also started rereading Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy (hi @MrJ) and managed to get through The Amulet of Samarkand and The Golem's Eye. Always fun to spend time with the sarcastic djinni and interesting that Stroud made Nathaniel fairly unsympathetic.
The historical was Captain in Calico by George MacDonald Fraser, best known for his Flashman series. He actually wrote this about 10 years before the first Flashman and never got it published. His children found it after his death. If I didn't know that this couldn't be the case I'd swear that the people behind Black Sails had seen it. It's a swashbuckling pirate novel featuring 2 actual historical pirates in Jack Rackham and Anne Bonney.
Other things were:
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong. This is the guy behind the John novels (John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders), this isn't a John novel. It's fun and packed with events, but it stretches credibility too far too often and Zoey isn't as interesting a protagonist as John, David and Amy are.
Black Wolves by Kate Elliott. I really wanted to like this, but just couldn't. I found it well written, but too long, filled with  characters I didn't really care about and got the impression that the story had rather gotten away from the writer.
The Shotgun Arcana by R.S Belcher. I really liked Belcher's first Golgotha novel (The Six-Gun Tarot) and this was even better. If they ever make a film of it, Quentin Tarantino has to direct it.
I finished off with A Travel Guide to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros by Daniel Bettridge. It's written kind of like a Lonely Planet guide only to Westeros. It's a lot of fun and any fan of either the TV show or the books would get a grin out of it.

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2016, 06:10:35 AM »
A mixed month, some outstandingly good and some definitely otherwise. Not all fantasy as I also enjoy certain crime writers.

The Magicians - Lev Grossman. I well believe that many have enjoyed this, but not for me and left unfinished. 1/5

Cards on the Table - Agatha Christie. This was fun, four of AC's sleuths together to solve a closed room murder.5/5

Malice Book 1 of The Faithful and the Fallen - John Gwynne. Excellent, careful detailed scene setting with action and some very interesting and varied characters.5/5

Staked - Kevin Hearne, Iron Druid Chronicles.Excellent, jam packed with action,endearing, annoying or horrendous characters. Loved every minute on audible. Doubt I could ever be disappointed in these books. Totally addicted and will be writing proper review on GR later.6/5 ;D

The Road to Little Dribbling- Bill Bryson. The least said the better. I have never ever given a bad review before this one, usually just leave stars and don't comment if I dislike a book. 0/5 unfinished.

Falling in Love -Donna Leon,  Commissario Brunetti. Excellent, another loved long running crime series set in Venice with Brunetti, his family and colleagues.5/5





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Offline Saraband

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2016, 07:43:22 AM »
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, JK Rowling - A nice little collection of short-stories related to the Harry Potter universe, including the famous. Tale of the Three Brothers. It's a really quick read, and worthwile if you're a fan.

Ivanhoe, Walter Scott - This was a reread. It was actually the first full-length novel I ever read as a child, and ever since I moved to Scotland I have been wanting to read something by Walter Scott. I had a very different impression of it - don't know if it would have stuck with me if I only read it now, but as a child it was what lit so many sparks that make my personality today, so it will always be an important book to me.

The Art of the Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien [edited by Hammond & Scull] - Absolutely loved this. It offers lots of information and context into various drawings and paintings by Tolkien, and expands on some of the lore itself. I'd recommend this to any real fan of Tolkien's work.

The Story of Kullervo, JRR Tolkien - The story itself is very short and unfinished, but it is an incredible snippet into Tolkien's first steps as a writer and storyteller. There are some essays and commentary by the editor, and they are key to understand how Kullervo later developed into one of the most memorable and tragic characters in Tolkien's legendarium, Húrin Turambar.

Started Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, but will only finish it in February!
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2016, 10:25:13 AM »
I love these threads because:
- they give me a better insight of forum members, based on what they liked/didn't like
- I find people with similar tastes to mine
- I increase my TBR list
 :D
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Offline DrNefario

Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2016, 01:42:39 PM »
King of Thorns - Mark Lawrence - Bigger and deeper than the first book. I didn't totally buy some of the solutions, but still pretty great.

Luna: New Moon - Ian McDonald - Family/corporate machinations on the moon. Good stuff. The ending was a bit OTT, and there's a long wait for the next book.

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman - Run-of-the-mill Gaiman, which is still better than most other people.

Dumb Witness - Agatha Christie - An OK Poirot. I can barely remember what happened in it, now. I expect someone died.

Aztec Century - Christopher Priest - Alt-history where Britain is conquered by the Aztec Empire. So-so.

The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury - Classic collection of linked shorts, which still works despite being ridiculously dated.

Priest - Matthew Colville - SPFBO finalist, which I liked a lot. My favourite of the three I've read.

Dinosaur Beach - Keith Laumer - Short twisty time-police novel. Mediocre.

Without a Summer - Mary Robinette Kowal - I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first two, but it was still above average.

Offline Arry

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Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2016, 01:59:08 PM »

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes


Very clever novel, but not a comfortable read. 

The Three by Sarah Lotz

Another clever and very creepy novel.  Loved how much of it was left to the reader to decide. 

Loved both of these. Highly recommend Broken Monsters by Buekes and Day Four by Lotz as well.


Here's what I read.  A little bit of a slower month for me, but still got in 5 (and am halfway through The Devil You Know by K. J. Parker, I should finish up shortly and over a third of Last Mortal Bond, which is enough to feel like another whole book) :)

The Rising by Ian Tregillis - I don't know that I loved it quite as much as The Mechanical, I think because The Mechanical felt a bit more philospophical and this one a bit more action oriented. But then, it may be because the first laid all the groundwork and the second has a lot of repercussions going on. Still a great series, and I highly enjoyed this one as well.

Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher - Absolutely loved this one. Dark, but funny. Very original magic system, lots of broken characters that you want to root for.

Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis - This was a really fun read. The book is not releasing until April but I had it on hand and wanted something lighter to follow Beyond Redemption. It features court politics, nefarious shadows, intrigue, etc. Definitely recommend.

The Alchemy of Chaos by Marshall Ryan Maresca - Another fun book. This is the second in the Maradaine series (features a magic school, street gangs and a vigilante).

Six of Crows by Leigh Barduga - Overall this was a good read. At moments it felt a bit to YA for me (but it is YA).
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Offline Captain Blobby

Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2016, 04:18:52 PM »
So I don't ready at the rate some of you read. I have no idea where you find the time!

Here's what I read, I didn't give them ratings as I'm not a reviewer in the slightest.

Lord of Ashes by Richard Ford- Third installment of the Steelhaven trilogy. I bounced off this quite hard. There were few characters I liked and I felt that as a story about a besieged city, it focused on the wrong things.

Angles of Attack by Marko Kloos- Again a third installment. I'm a sucker for a good military SF, particuarlly when it has land warfare. This one didn't have land warfare as much as the last two books but I loved it all the same. Unusually for me I breezed through this in three days.

The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence- On the whole I enjoyed this one. Got a bit tired of Jal constantly reminding us that he is a coward however.

God's War: Bel Dame Apocrypha by Kameron Hurley- Had a brilliant first line. I enjoyed what I read but I just never picked it back up, nothing really made me want to go back to it.

So a very mixed month for me, trying things I wouldn't otherwise choose. For February I have a few new authors to try, K.J Parker, Neal Asher perhaps and I want to make a start with the LA Quartet by James Ellroy but honestly I'm not the sort to plan my reading in advance. For now though I'm re-reading The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 04:24:33 PM by Captain Blobby »

Offline ultamentkiller

Re: What did you read in January? Come share your list and what you thought
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2016, 10:39:59 PM »
I haven't read much this month. I'm kind of sad about it. Only 5 books, one of which was a graphic novel. School gets in the way of everything fun.
The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan: The first in Riyria Chronicles, it was interesting. The beginning dragged a bit since there was no mystery about the man in the hood, but it picked up. the most interesting plotline was Gwen's. I loved seeing how The rose and the Thorn began, as well as The House.
The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan: This one was awesome! Learning about Reuben was fun, and seeing Hadrian and Royce deal with everything was great. In a way it was sad. They had no idea how their actions would effect them later on down the road. They only did what they thought was right, but they're partially to blame for everything that happened in Riyria Revelations. I just loved not knowing everything that would happen, and I love Hadrian and Royce, so it worked.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: Good book. I'm sad to see the movie flop. The concept was cool, but nothing special as far as plot twists go. I predicted both of them. 3/5
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey: Much better sequel. The plot twists were really good, the characters and action scenes were great, and all that good stuff. My only complaint is that the characters aren't much better off than when they started. They've come back to exactly where book one ended, but with some minor changes. I have no idea how he's going to wrap things up in just one book. 4.75/5
The Magicians: Ugh. I couldn't finish it. I wanted to read it because of the TV show, but when I gave up the main conflict hadn't even started, and I was a good ways into the book. If I wanted to watch someone go through life and struggle, I would write a book about my own experiences, or talk to other people. No, I read books for the fight. I want to see how characters overcome the odds if they do at all. I'm not here to read a biography.
Currently reading The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan. I'll talk about that next month I think.