Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: ScarletBea on July 02, 2018, 12:40:01 PM

Title: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: ScarletBea on July 02, 2018, 12:40:01 PM
Here it is: The what did you read this past month 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.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.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: ScarletBea on July 02, 2018, 12:42:46 PM
@Eclipse, come back! ;D

I just completed the last half of Steven Erikson's Memories of Ice (600 pages ;))
What a book! It's just so full! These books are huge, but I don't feel there's a gram of padding, everything is needed, and important, and relevant and great :D

And then read half of Cameron's book and a non-fiction one about physics.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: Lu Kudzoza on July 02, 2018, 05:41:28 PM
I started reading Where Loyalties Lie by Rob J. Hayes. This book was the winner of SPFBO 3. It's been an enjoyable read so far (about 35% into it). It's about pirates and the two main protagonists are both bad guys... so of course there has to be an even badder bad guy (plus the navy trying to wipe out the pirates).
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: eclipse on July 02, 2018, 07:20:33 PM
The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars #1) by Ian Tregillis 4/5

The Rising (The Alchemy Wars #2) by Ian Tregillis  5/5

The Liberation (The Alchemy Wars #3) by Ian Tregillis 3/5

Steampunk Trilogy of a mechanical man, powered by alchemy fighting for his freedom

The Sixth Watch ( #6) by Sergei Lukyanenko 5/5

Russian Urban fantasy set in Moscow

The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh 2/5

Mystery

Pelquin's Comet (The Dark Angels #1) by Ian Whates 3/5

Space Opera , Didn't blow me away

The Infernal Battalion (The Shadow Campaigns #5) by Django Wexler 4/5

Would have liked a bit more Janus


Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: tebakutis on July 03, 2018, 02:06:14 AM
The Darkling Child: The Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks - Really enjoyed this one, but Terry Brooks is one of my favorite authors of all time, so that's no surprise. If you like Shannara, you'll like this.

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan - I liked the Netflix adaption, but the book is even better. The prose just SCREAMS NOIR, and in a good way. I was as intrigued by the story as I was by the writing. I can see why it's gotten so much praise.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: Lanko on July 03, 2018, 03:15:30 AM
Only read The Red Knight by Miles Cameron. 3/5
Great amount of details and realism regarding armor, sieges, horses and logistics... almost all in vain since healing magic bails out every major character in almost every situation... some of the main characters also learn extremely advanced magic they never tried before in about two days...
With possibly over 20 POVs (about 13 just in the first ~100 pages), and with very few with interesting and unique voices, it could've used a little more focus as well.
The best part is how the major plot unfolds and gives glimpses of the epicness to come.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: Elfy on July 03, 2018, 06:33:53 AM
I started the month with The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey, part of my effort to read stuff in our library at home that I haven't read yet. This is the first of a whole series of new takes on the old stories that Lackey has written. It was a nice alteration of the Cinderella tale, but overall a little flat. I think it was too ambitious and a little long. Easy enough to read, but I wouldn't be hurrying back to read more of them.

Sarah Pinborough's The Double-Edged Sword. This one wasn't too bad, it's very YA, possibly even a little younger. Its the first in a trilogy and I wouldn't have an issue reading the rest of them. My main quibble was that the protagonists were 16, but they acted much younger.

Circe by Madeline Miller. This was good, a very interesting and informative version of the tale of one of the lesser known mythical figures. I wouldn't give it the 6 out of 5 that @Lady Ty did, but I did enjoy it, and it impressed me enough that I went out and got the author's debut: Song of Achilles.

Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez. I didn't like this one much, Martinez seemed to be trying too hard for laughs and his protagonist was extremely unlikable for all the author's attempts to make him seem sort of harmless and amusing.

Jim Butcher's Brief Cases. A book of Harry Dresden shorts. I've missed Harry and I blew through this in a weekend. Like with any short story collection there are hits and misses. My personal favourites were the trio of stories featuring Bigfoot. If anyone is a fan of Harry and the large cast of characters that move through The Dresden Files, they'll enjoy this.

Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear, a Karen Memory novella. If anyone liked Karen Memory and the character then they'll like this. Fun and not too taxing on the brain and I do like Karen and her way of thinking as well as her interesting narration, complete with accent.

Myke Cole's The Armoured Saint. Another novella, this is part of a trilogy Cole is writing set in this world. It's a departure from his usual military fantasy superhero sci-fi. Thematically though it does share something with his other works, but this time the super powers are magic.

The pick of the bunch is Lara Elena Donnelly's Armistice. The sequel to the equally compelling Amberlough. There's no magic in these, but I just love her characters and the world that they move through with echoes of a bygone age. Whereas Amberlough was set in a cross between 1930's New York and Berlin, and reminded me often of Cabaret, Armistice is set a few years after the events of Amberlough, although 3 of the principles from that return, this time they're in a middle eastern themed country that has elements of 1930's Hollywood, and I kept flashing on Casablanca. Eagerly awaiting the next one due in 2019.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: cupiscent on July 03, 2018, 08:49:57 AM
The pick of the bunch is Lara Elena Donnelly's Armistice.

This is sitting on my shelf and I am SO KEEN to get to it. (It was the pre-order that came in when I thought I was getting Cameron's book. Which still hasn't arrived in store! I'm so tetchy with impatience.)

I read:
Leviathan Wakes, which I actually enjoyed more than the few episodes of the tv show I've seen, because the storytelling voices is so engaging, even though I don't like sci fi or space opera so very much. (I do intend to watch more of the show, if for no other reason than Steven Strait is so pretty. It's just our Netflix trial ran out.)

Four Roads Cross which I've been waaaaaaaiting for in paperback and finally realised my library had. So great, such a satisfying conclusion, I love Tara Abernathy, Max Gladstone's brain is great.

Cold Steel, bringing to a conclusion a really interesting trilogy in a fascinating world with characters I loved... that still just wasn't quite great for me.

A Crown of Wishes, being YA Indian-inspired fantasy with an outstanding sense of wonder and some great character arcs.

Good reading month, when I lay it out like that! I read more Saga as well, which just keeps getting better.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: Saraband on July 03, 2018, 02:48:57 PM
Only got through a couple of books in June:

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft (DNF) - I eagerly went into this, almost certain I was going to enjoy it. However, I struggled to continue interested, and I had a few issues with the MC. I guess this one simply isn't for me, and I'm glad I resisted the urge to buy the various books instead of just the first one.

Blindness by José Saramago - Incredible dystopian story, filled with allegory and food for thought. I suppose the main themes are pretty much open for individual interpretation with this one, but I'm sure everyone will find something here that is meaningful to them. It's bleak and brutal, but there's also kindness and selflessness here.

Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: Skip on July 03, 2018, 03:24:29 PM
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. A memorable tale and another example of how epic fiction can be something other than fantasy. Also, all writers should read it, just to see the curious narrative choices Steinbeck made.

A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute. This one is also constructed oddly, with the whole thing being narrated by the main character's financial trustee. A chilling account of a woman in Malaysia during the Japanese occupation, which then switches to life in the Australian outback.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: Elfy on July 03, 2018, 10:42:44 PM
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. A memorable tale and another example of how epic fiction can be something other than fantasy. Also, all writers should read it, just to see the curious narrative choices Steinbeck made.

A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute. This one is also constructed oddly, with the whole thing being narrated by the main character's financial trustee. A chilling account of a woman in Malaysia during the Japanese occupation, which then switches to life in the Australian outback.
The 1980's TV mini series of A Town Like Alice was quite good, it was one of the things that really launched Bryan Brown's career.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: EdMcDonald_Blackwing on July 04, 2018, 07:15:28 PM
I read Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell.

I thought it was good fun and light enough that you can blitz it in a fairly short span of time. There was one major character that I didn't really gel with, but definitely worth a read.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: ctrandall on July 05, 2018, 12:14:48 AM
Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones. Great horror in the style of Stephen King but with a distinctive Native American twist. Highly recommended.

The Black Tides of Heaven  by J Y Yang. Starts out with promise but, for me at least, it falls flat for two reasons: characters aren't fully developed and several significant plot elements are abandoned half-way through. (A lot of people on Goodreads like Yang, so maybe look for a second opinion).
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: eclipse on July 05, 2018, 06:19:58 AM
Hello @ctrandall , welcome to the forum have a great time posting, who are your favourite fantasy authors. Also just how special is your plant pot.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: DrNefario on July 05, 2018, 02:13:20 PM
I ended up being forced to read 12 books - well, items - in June, just to break even after buying/borrowing/being given 12 books. I did this by multitasking with non-fiction and short fiction.

My "main" books, I generally covered in the "what are you reading" thread:

Lyonesse: Madouc - Jack Vance - Final part of the excellent and different Lyonesse trilogy.

The Centauri Device - M John Harrison - Influential (and short) space opera, which didn't totally work for me.

They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie - International thriller. So-so.

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - Alan Garner - Classic children's fantasy. Pretty good.

Station Eleven - Emily St John Mandel - My favourite book of the year to date, about a post-apocalyptic acting troupe.

On the Shoulders of Titans - Andrew Rowe - Sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic. Very good, but not quite as good as the first one, for my money.

Non-fiction:

The Story of US Gold - Chris Wilkins & Roger M Kean - Second of three retro-gaming books I picked up in January, this one about the publisher US Gold. Interesting.

Making Story: Twenty-One Writers on How they Plot - Timothy Hallinan (ed) - Exactly what it says on the tin. This kind of works as advertising for the 21 crime writers covered. I was surprised how many of them were pantsers. I'd have expected crime to need more planning.

Into Thin Air - John Krakauer - Gripping account of the 1996 Everest disaster.

Shorts:

Monterra's Deliciosa & Other Tales & - Anna Tambour - I started this ages ago, and pushed through to finish it this month. There were a lot of stories. Weird. Of mixed quality.

Sweats - Keith Brooke - Standalone SF novelette about body-swapping.

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps - Kai Ashante Wilson - Not really that short. I believe it's about 60,000 words, which is way too long to count as a novella for awards purposes. Unusual and interesting magic.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: ctrandall on July 06, 2018, 12:42:19 AM
@Eclipse  Thanks for the welcome! Fav. Fantasy authors would be Neal Stephenson (The Baroque Cycle qualifies as fantasy, I think) and Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (The Illuminatus! trilogy). Scott Lynch is in the upper echelons for more traditional fantasy.

The plant pot is my dog's. It's supposed to have strawberries in it but it seems to be his favourite spot to sit when he's in the garden. A bit random as a tag line, I know, but I like random.
Title: Re: What did you read in June 2018
Post by: Jake Baelish on July 06, 2018, 01:53:31 AM
Slow month for reading due to holidays then other life in general.

I did get back into short story writing though, and as such most of my reading revolved around that.

Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things: 'Forbidden Brides...', 'Inventing Aladdin' and 'Other People' are stand outs here for me, and I loved the poem 'The Day the Saucers Came' - would recommend this book for any short fiction fans. I probably prefer 'Trigger Warning' overall, but those 3 stories are superb!

As my holiday took me to Prague, I found and finally read a copy of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. A truly grotesque novella with some interesting messages when you think about it. The end was not the most satisfying, granted, but still made sense and forced the message to hit harder. Though, I'm not sure it's an ending many would risk today. Certainly intend on reading more of Kafka in the near future, despite being very late to this party!

Also read most of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Really hit and miss this. Some stories, like 'The Black Cat' and 'The Pit and the Pendulum' are awesomely atmospheric. But others are just outright tedious. Poe's long-winded sentence structure works when he's trying to unnerve the reader. When he's just explaining or describing some irrelevance it become tedious. Note to future readers, count the number of times Poe uses the phrase 'at length'  ;)

Still, an absolute master of gothic horror and a major influence of my own style as I embark on a series of gothic shorts of my own.

But seriously Poe - stories about landscape gardening? give me a break...