Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Arry on March 31, 2016, 01:07:08 PM

Title: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Arry on March 31, 2016, 01:07:08 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.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Arry on March 31, 2016, 01:08:30 PM
I read some great books this month!

The Lyre Thief by Jennifer Fallon - I really enjoyed this. I had never heard of Fallon before, was surprised to hear she has other books set in this world. I may need to go back and read them. This one had all my fantasy favorites: assassins, thieves, undesirable arranged marriages, scandalous secrets, switched identities, bandits, magic...Oh and dragons.

The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell - My final Bingo square filled! I have to confess, I am not big on Arthurian legends/fantasy, but I really enjoyed this book. Complex characters and motives, no caricatures like can be common in legends.

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp - This horror story was wonderfully creepy and kinda funny. Its told as the draft of a book on the supernatural, but the author died mysteriously while writing it. He is irreverent and openly mocks the supernatural, but things start to get weird, and theres some great twists that come about while trying to figure out what really happened.

City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett - I have to confess, I got off to a slow start with this one for some reason. But I came around and did enjoy it. Just not sure I seem to love it to quite the extent as most people I know that have read it. Ah well. Can't complain, it is a really good book.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton - This was a fun, lighter read. Western fantasy with a sharp-shooting female protagonist. Had a stronger romance element to it than most of the books I read, but it was enjoyable.

The Fireman by Joe Hill - I saved the best for last here. I absolutely loved this book! It is dark, has amazing characters, and is about so much more than just a virus that makes people burn.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: DrNefario on March 31, 2016, 01:34:14 PM
The Magician's Land - Lev Grossman - A really enjoyable conclusion to a series that I loved. One of my favourite things I've read in recent years, and I only finally started the trilogy because of the book club.

The Quiet War - Paul McAuley - Decent bit of straightforward space stuff, about the political machinations between Earth and the outer planets. Another one I've put off for too long.

Fearsome Journeys - Jonathan Strahan (ed) - Pretty excellent anthology with some good stories by big names, without being dauntingly massive.

Mitosis - Brandon Sanderson - Short Reckoners novella, taking place between the first two novels. OK.

Hawkwood and the Kings - Paul Kearney - Omnibus of Hawkwood's Voyage and The Heretic Kings. I didn't much like the first half, but the second was better. Not sure if I'll continue with the series. My library doesn't seem to have the other omnibus containing books 3-5.

And a bit of non-genre stuff, including the next Poirot on my list.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Nora on March 31, 2016, 01:49:30 PM
Hah, read the Quiet War some time ago but just dropped it some 70% in as it failed to keep me interested. Too much politicking with too little to interest me in it.

As for this March, I read :

The Name of The Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by P. Rothfuss. Great books, the infamous Kvothe is a tad bit overpowered but has a great voice. The romance sort of bored me, especially in the second book, as Kvothe really waxes poetic, but overall a masterpiece, of a different sort from WoR, but the same huge world whose tip we can just start to feel out. Looking forward to third book.

Since these two are 1.660 pages, I'm not feeling bad about having just only finished my last March one :

A Shadow in Summer, the first book of The Long Price Quartet and debut by D. Abraham.
It's a great concept, but a rather weak book. Struggle to understand who is who, and then to care or feel any sympathy through likeness for them. While some things are over described, some are under-described and end up being confusing. The magic is awesome but almost never displayed, the politics are vague, the prose is sometimes downright wrong... I will give this series a chance but I will leave it for later.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: ScarletBea on March 31, 2016, 02:56:21 PM
Here are mine:

Tongues of serpents by Naomi Novik
Book 6 in the Temeraire series, set in Australia. Interesting, but the book could have been cut in half and the plot would have remained the same, hehe. These are now 'comfort easy reads'

Dune by Frank Herbert
One of my rare forays into sci-fi, I found it quite interesting - almost like a fantasy book, with all the worldbuilding and psychological development involved. I'm glad I read it many years after watching the film, this way I can still enjoy both, hehe

The silver tide by Jen Williams
(cheating because I haven't finished yet, but will do tonight - and tonight is still March hehe)
Super, amazing, great, and all synonyms. The best ending to a truly great trilogy. I'm sure tomorrow I'll be gushing about it in the separate thread ;)

And Matt Haig's Reasons to stay alive - everyone should read it, and see what so many people live through :) (and it's really funny at times!)
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Lanko on March 31, 2016, 02:58:15 PM
Three books this month.

Favorite: The Builders

The Republic of Thieves, by Scott Lynch. 2/5
Has a good start, but it didn't last long. The flashback is about Locke's teen-angst love. The main story is Locke's teen-angst love as well, but now the characters are 23-30. There's pretty much no action and nothing at stake as everything they did didn't matter at all. The author also dumbed down Locke to empower the love interest at the same time he didn't give her any unique talent/perk and also sidelined the other protagonist.
The flashback has a backstory of the empire, but I couldn't bother to delve into it. The Falconer reappears in an absurd way and Locke gains magical background and magical explanation why he likes the girl.
The only saving grace is that Lynch writes great dialogue (when the dialogue scenes weren't "let's discuss our relationship again").

The Builders, by Daniel Polansky. 4/5
Creative and great story. Imagine that movie Expendables with Arnold, Stallone and Cia, but now with a salamander gunslinger, an opossum sniper, a mouse captain, a badger with a gatling gun, a French stoat assassin full of himself and others. Plenty of action. Very short and fast to read.
Just wished they didn't fight only those hordes of weaklings until they meet the big guns in the end, and even those fights could've been more epic.

Crossback, by Paul Proffet. 2/5
Action took too long to start and had a ton of characters joining an already large cast. Since it's a short book, nobody really got proper page time. Wished the two protagonists were more fleshed out. Excessive uses of dialogue tags, even when there are only two people talking and we know who is who and other errors like "plains of existence" or "the human plain".
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: night_wrtr on March 31, 2016, 03:18:51 PM
The Obsidian Heart (Echoes of Empire, #2) ****
Barnes, Mark T.
The action dragged in a few spots, but the worldbuilding was still well done and elaborated quite a bit from the first book. There is an attention to detail that brings the story to life, but doesn't allow itself to become drowned in over the top description.

The Princess Bride ****
Goldman, William
Classic.

The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2) *****
Wheeler, Jeff
The best book of the series.

The Pillars of Sand (Echoes of Empire, #3) ***
Barnes, Mark T.
The scope of this series was enormous, but in the end, I think it bogged down the last book of the trilogy. It took nearly 60% of the book before I started to get into the story. For a final installment, it should have gripped me from page 1.

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1) *****
Hobb, Robin
This is some of the best writing I have had the pleasure to read.

The Scourge of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #3) ***
Wheeler, Jeff
Some parts I liked, some parts I didn't. There were certain aspects that bothered me in this one. They were there in the first two books also, but faintly. The way the story turned in the end made them more apparent.



Non-Fantasy/Fiction:
Salt: A World History ****
Kurlansky, Mark
An interesting historical journey through the trade and production of salt.

Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution *****
deGrasse Tyson, Neil
It is a book that I will be able to read over and over. So many questions on the table that need to be answered, but the amount of information we do know about our universe is shocking.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Yora on March 31, 2016, 04:04:51 PM
I only read Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore. Found it rather weak actually and nothing to swoon about.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Ryan Mueller on March 31, 2016, 04:19:05 PM
I'm in a major reading slump at the moment. I did not finish a single book in the month of March. That's really weird for me. Normally, I have a huge list for these threads.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: ScarletBea on March 31, 2016, 04:22:55 PM
I only read Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore. Found it rather weak actually and nothing to swoon about.
I'm in a major reading slump at the moment. I did not finish a single book in the month of March. That's really weird for me. Normally, I have a huge list for these threads.
Awww I hope you both find good books soon!
Do you need a recommendation thread?

(and Yora, I think you said some time ago you were going to try Copper Cat, how's that intention going?)
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Yora on March 31, 2016, 04:40:13 PM
I am a quarter into Copper Promise. It's still on my Currently Reading stack.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: eclipse on March 31, 2016, 05:39:47 PM
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson ( 2/5
Not for me sorry

Honor's Knight (Paradox #2) and Heaven's Queen (Paradox #3)by Rachel Bach 4/5
Space opera with romance and action good story if you can get past the heroine love life

Unforgettable by Eric James Stone 4/5
Sci-fi Everybody forgets there saw the main character when his out of eye shot, this causes problems for him

Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris #2) by Jim C. Hines( 3/5

Unbound (Magic Ex Libris #3) by Jim C. Hines 2/5
Urban fantasy , Promising start but series has dropped in quality
 
Half a War (Shattered Sea #3) by Joe Abercrombie 4/5
Good story but my favourite was Half a King

The Book of Transformations: Legends of the Red Sun 3 (Legends of the Red Sun #3) by Mark Charan Newton 4/5
Transsexual hero and she's awesome

The Broken Isles (Legends of the Red Sun #4) by Mark Charan Newton ( 5/5
Brilliant book to the final series

The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle #2) by Ursula K. Le Guin 2/5
Not for me either sorry

The Shattered Crown (Steelhaven #2) by Richard Ford 3/5
Fast paced action trying to be grimdark  fantasy I would like it too be a bit more grim and dark......

Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: cupiscent on March 31, 2016, 11:27:23 PM
My March reading time disappeared into a host of real-life adventures, and got bogged down in reading Daniel Polansky's Those Above, which... well, I can see why it's not precisely taking epic fantasy by storm. I was so looking forward to it, because the Low Town books were just so good (the latter two even better than the first, so I was excited to see what he did next). But Those Above is very show-don't-tell, with a slow and thorough start that aims to immerse you in the established order before starting to show the rumblings in the foundations. It wasn't until about a third of the way in that I felt the story was really starting, which left me feeling restless, despite how interesting the world and characters were to read about. In the end, I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed reading it, but it was still a bit of a slog.

I also read A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab, which was not a slog at all, but a rollicking piece of serrated and shiny whimsy. Perversely, I wish there had been more time spent immersing in setting and character in this! (But I guess that's what sequels are for?) I am the Goldilocks of reading, clearly...  :P
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Alex Hormann on March 31, 2016, 11:31:07 PM
A few disappointing conclusions to things this month, but I discovered some new treasures as well

The Tiger and the Wolf - Adrian Tchaikovsky: 5/5. Just as brilliant as Shadows of the Apt, possibly going to be even better as the series progresses.

Tower Lord & Queen of Fire - Anthony Ryan: 2/5 each. I can see why so many people were disappointed by these, but for me they were just a bit 'meh'.

Orphaned Worlds/ Ascendant Stars/ Ancestral Engines - Michael Cobley: 2/5-2/5-1/5. I quite enjoyed the first book in this series, but I think there were just too many ideas being thrown around by the end of it for my liking.

Wardens of the Everqueen & Fyreslayers - Various(Black Library): 1/5 each. I am officially done with Black Library. The stories aren't going anywhere anymore.

Orcs: Tales of Maras Dantia/ Orcs: Forged for War/ Orcs: The First Omnibus - Stan Nicholls: 4.9/5 as a whole. Aside from a few bits of poor editing and the use of a unicorn horn as a sex object (!?) these were nearly perfect for me. Plus I met the author, which always helps. :)

Also just started Red Knight by Miles Cameron, which is off to a promising start.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: ultamentkiller on April 01, 2016, 12:11:44 AM
Oh boy...
Calamity by Brandon Sanderson: 4/5. Would've been a 5 star read if the ending wasn't trying to force messages down my throat, and wasn't so cheesy.
The 5th Season: Did not finish. I got 150 pages in, and I got bored. I looked at reviews, and could tell that the book focused more on setting and drawing political parallels to the modern world. Not for me.
The Falconer: Did not finished. Got 250 pages in on this one. Everything was going great. A pretty action-packed read with a linear plot. No problem. Then the forced, creepy romance came in, and it ruined it for me.
Ready Player One: Did not finish. I only made it 50 pages in on this one. I stopped when the main character spent an entire chapter sitting outside of his school, talking about things that did not interest me whatsoever. Reviews claimed that the plot doesn't really pick up until halfway through the book. I don't have the patience to slog through 100 pages of bordum to get there.
Beyond Redemption: Did Not Finish. I thought the concept and the world was cool. At first, I thought the plot was headed in a really cool direction. Then things stopped happening. I figured i would push through it based on reviews I read, but then things started getting really, really weird. Like American Horror Story weird. I couldn't handle it.
Before I continue, I would just like to point out that the last four books all happened in one week. This means I read about 600 pages, and didn't finish a single book. It hurt.
Daemon by Daniel Suarez: 4.5/5. I really enjoyed this. The plot kept moving for the most part, and even when it didn't it held my interest. Best character in the entire book? Roy Merrit. I love him so much!
Freedom Trademark by Daniel Suarez: Sequel to Daemon. It had a completely different feel for it, and made me question a lot of the things established in book one, which is exactly what I was supposed to do. Ended up switching sides. It was a fun ride. It made me think too much of our world and what could happen, so I had to stop myself from reading one of his other books. Perhaps next time I run into a bad book.
Heroes Die by Mathew Stover: 5/5. Absolutely brilliant! The world was well developed, the characters were beautifully complex, the plot had a lovely twist at the end, lots of awesome action... It was just fantastic!
As of now, planning on finishing the Caine Chronicles, and then starting the Earthborn trilogy. We'll see how that goes.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: SugoiMe on April 01, 2016, 01:10:17 AM
I got through Elantris by Brandon Sanderson in a week! 4/5 That's the fastest I've ever read a book, so it's a huge accomplishment. And to get through one book in a month is pretty big for me. I'm not just a slow reader, but I spend my waking hours either working or writing/editing.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Captain Blobby on April 04, 2016, 12:22:44 PM
Pretty slow month...

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie.

I'm at a point at the minute where new novels aren't really holding my interest as much as a re-read.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: ScarletBea on April 04, 2016, 12:36:50 PM
But re-reads still count, totally :D I really want to re-read more, but the allure of new books just gets too much...

And don't feel bad whatever number you have, this thread is not a competition :)
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Captain Blobby on April 04, 2016, 01:26:16 PM
But re-reads still count, totally :D I really want to re-read more, but the allure of new books just gets too much...

And don't feel bad whatever number you have, this thread is not a competition :)

I think I came off as a tad depressing. I really enjoyed my re-read, taking my time where I would generally rush a first time read because I'd be eager to know what happens on the next page. The allure of new books happens for me this month when the next in the Greatcoats series comes out as well as Sharp Ends.
Title: Re: What did you read in March? Come share your list and thoughts
Post by: Rayne on April 21, 2016, 11:17:44 AM
I read Avalon and the sequel, Polaris, by Mindee Arnett. SciFi but quite YA.

Thoroughly enjoyed Avalon, just easy reading and quite fast paced. The sequel was enjoyable too but I think the effect was starting to wear off. Either way I had fun and they went quickly in between my assignments.

Every now and then between an epic fantasy I like to try a science fiction to separate things a bit. Next on my list is Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson  :)