November 13, 2019, 03:09:55 AM

Author Topic: What did you read in September. Come share your list and give your thoughts?  (Read 5213 times)

Offline Elfy

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I know Arry normally does this, but she's away this month, so I thought I'd start one up for us all to give our thoughts on our September reading.
I had a pretty decent month. I don't think I actually completed anything in August, but that's what happens when you're travelling overseas and seeing new and exciting things every day.
I read 8 books, various parts of the genre and by a variety of authors, including the Fantasy-Faction Anthology.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Elfy

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I'll kick it off with my list of September reading:

The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire.
This is the 8th of Seanan McGuire's Toby Daye urban fantasy series. To say too much would be spoiling it for people, but it does tie up some long running story lines and there's plenty to keep the fans interested. Seanan has said that this is the end of Act 1 of Toby's story. It was her highest NYT book list release so far, and she has a contract for at least 3 more, so I don't think Toby's story will be done any time soon. If you haven't read any Toby Daye yet I wouldn't advise picking it up with this one. Prior knowledge of her story is required.

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn.
Scoundrels is a Star Wars tie-in book. It's set in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. I'm not big on tie-in novels generally, but I picked this up for a few reasons. One it's by Zahn and he's one of the better Star Wars writers. Secondly it was a Han Solo centric story and Han has always been my favourite character. Third was the cover, it's quite arresting, a Usual Suspects type thing with a line up featuring Han, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissain. It was just okay. It's about a con and at times it got so confusing that I didn't know who was doing what or why and what game they were playing. There was also more of Lando than I'm comfortable with. I've never liked Lando much. I can't get past him betraying Han in The Empire Strikes Back. Han and Chewie may have been able to forgive him, but I can't. The new characters introduced weren't particularly memorable either. Readable, but not much more.

Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall.
I was lucky enough to hear the author talk this up at Worldcon. So I bought a copy (signed too), and it was a huge amount of fun. Elements of Nicholas Fisk's Space Hostages and Lord of the Flies, all in outer space. The basic premise is that the earth is fighting alien invaders and we send a group of kids onto Mars to keep them safe and train them to fight the aliens. Everything is going along swimmingly until all the adults go missing. It's fast paced, amusing in parts and well enough written with an entertaining and likeable first person narration. I believe it's the first of a series, too.

Empire State by Adam Christopher.
I was interested in Adam Christopher's idea of creating a retro type world, then dropping Golden Age style superheroes into it, but it took me a while to track down the opening book of that concept, which is Empire State. It's an interesting mix of noir investigation with super heroes, pocket universes and parallel worlds. I'll be interested to see where he goes with it in subsequent books.

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley.
I don't even know where to start with this one. Fluidity of gender, living plants, parallel worlds, magic that works depending on what stars are ascendant and which one the user is aligned with. It's seriously mind blowing stuff and so very different. It is the dawn of something new in the genre, which is rare. Something that everyone with an interest in epic fantasy should read.

The Fantasy-Faction Anthology edited by Marc Aplin & Jennie Ivins.
There's been a lot said about this here, and I've reviewed it on my blog (http:purpledovehouse.blogspot.com). I'll just say that it has a stellar cast, a great mix of stories and it was worth the wait.

Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines.
The follow up to Ex-Heroes. The first book was take a zombopocalypse and add super heroes. This one continues that and drops the US military and a super soldier program into the mix, plus there's a really hissable villain and a returning threat, as if St George, Stealth, Zzzap, Cerberus and the rest of the gang didn't have enough to deal with truing to keep the never ending zombie hordes at bay.

That's me for September. Mostly hits and one miss.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Hedin

I had a pretty good reading month in September.

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks.  I didn't think this book was as good as The Blinding Light, it just never reached the heights that the other book did, but it was very enjoyable in it's own right.  In many ways it felt like the middle book of a series in that it starts the final stages in the series but left most of it open.  My only issue is that I'm not sure how far it advanced the series as a whole to be wrapped up in one more book, it feels like there is a lot to still be resolved and I'm not sure how it will all come together in one last book.

Traitor's Blade be Sebastien de Castell.  My feelings about this book are a bit weird.  While reading it I was bothered by some of the plot and pacing (the constant flashbacks were nice to give context to the story but there were a lot of times I felt like the flashbacks interrupted the flow of the story) but yet I couldn't put it down.  It's been almost two weeks now since I finished it and when I look back I can't even remember what I was bothered by in the plot and only remember I really enjoyed it.  So far this has been the best debut novel I have read this year.

Legend by David Gemmell.  There was a Gemmell thread that had started in late July and after reading through that I decided to read some Gemmell as I have not gotten to his books yet.  While some of it felt cliched today (I doubt it felt like that when it first came out) I really enjoyed reading it. The characters were memorable and even though I had an idea how it would turn out it there were enough little surprises that kept me on my toes.

The King Beyond The Gate by David Gemmell.  This book, on the other hand, did nothing for me.  I think I started off irritated by the whole man meets woman, they fight briefly, and then fall in love two pages later (note this bothered me in Legend as well but it annoyed me more when I saw it come out again).  And then the rest felt like a cheap rip-off of Legend, same basic premise but with much less memorable characters.  As I'm 1-1 with his books so far I'm going to read the next book as a tiebreaker.

I also started Forge of Darkness but didn't get it done in time for this wrap-up.

Non-Fiction

Console Wars by Blake Harris.  I loved Ready Player One but a lot of the references in the book were just a bit too early for me to have established and meaningful memories of.  The time frame in this book, however, was right in my wheelhouse.  I remember the whole Sega vs Nintendo debate when I was younger (for the record I had a Sega but that was mostly because my neighbor/best friend had a SNES and we played both systems to death) so it was interesting learning what was going on in the background.  Sega's dominance didn't seem to last as long as it did in my memory which I found interesting.  My only complaint about the book was that at times it seemed to be all about Sega and forgot about Nintendo for awhile and I don't think it went into enough detail about its collapse.

Offline Saraband

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September was a very busy month for me, so I had very little time to read.

Royal Assassin, by Robin Hobb
Second book in the Farseer trilogy. Liked it even more than the first, and what an ending it had, making it impossible not to pick up the next book.

Assassin's Quest, by Robin Hobb
The final book of the Farseer trilogy. Long, and a bit slow (and even boring) in the beginning, when it picks up it becomes one hell of a ride. Elegantly written, solid prose, and a great story. It was much darker and even emotionally heavier than I expected - actually, it threw my expectations on the ground and kicked them vigorously, for the ending turned out be different than anything I envisioned.

The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (non-fantasy)
A great short-story, for anyone who knows and enjoys Fitzgerald's writing. It was great to take a short break from fantasy, after getting through the long Assassin's Quest.

Also, got halfway through Diana Gabaldon's Outlander  :)
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Offline Yora

I read the two unrelated anthologies Swords & Dark Magic and Sword & Mythos, which as collections of Sword & Sorcery stories both highly disappointed me. Way too much focus on trying to be artsy and mysterious, to the point that adventure and action are mostly absent.
Can't recommend either.
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Offline Ben

I only read three books in Sept and two of them were outside of the fantasy genre.

The Heart of the King - Bruce Blake
It was the conclusion of the series. I had it on the back burner for a long time, but I wasn't in a great rush to read it. It did wrap up the series nicely though.

The Drop - Dennis Lehane
Very good. Lehane writes a great gritty Boston story.

Donnybrook - Frank Hill
Meth, meth and more meth. Oh yeah and there is violence, sex and crime. It was good if you enjoy books where everyone is nasty and the one guy you want to cheer for begins his plot by robbing a store and pistol whipping th owner.

Offline ScarletBea

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I seem to have been working long hours and feel much more tired at night, so September was quite poor for my average reads. And I seem to have been following M.G., but pure coincidence! (or forum recs hehe)

Finished Royal Assassin, Robin Hobb
Second book in the Farseer trilogy. I really enjoyed it, bringing more depth to the story from the first one.

Assassin's Quest, Robin Hobb
The final book of the Farseer trilogy. Amazing - if I thought book 2 was deep, this leads us to real life, to the meaning of sacrifice, to friendship and moving on. I loved it, and will quickly buy more of her books

The Blade Itself, Joe Abercrombie
I received the First Law trilogy in the post from Phil Norris here from FF (thanks!), after the big buzz on Joe that I see everywhere. I'm afraid I was a bit underwhelmed on this book - I made more detailed comments on another thread. It did get better towards the end, maybe I needed to give it more time, but still not a 5 star book for me.

I then started Before they are hanged, second in First Law, but still reading it, so comments in the October thread.

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Offline Saraband

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I seem to have been working long hours and feel much more tired at night, so September was quite poor for my average reads. And I seem to have been following M.G., but pure coincidence! (or forum recs hehe)

I actually remember quite a few people posting in the "What are you currently reading?" thread about Robin Hobb's books this month. Maybe it was because of Fool's Assassin recent publication, all the interest in Hobb was (justifiably) renewed  :)
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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach. Science fiction instead of fantasy, but it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the author's Eli Monpress series, which she wrote as Rachel Aaron.

A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish. Good, fun story. I didn't think it was the best-written book out there, but I enjoyed it.

Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. Once again, this wasn't fantasy. Instead, I guess you could call it science fiction (though apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic might be more appropriate). It's an older book, but I enjoyed it.

Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull. This one is fantasy, but for a MG/YA audience. The premise of his Beyonders series is one that's been done to death (heroes vs. dark lord), but I feel like Mull brought something fresh to it.

Small Favor by Jim Butcher. Another fantastic entry in the Dresden Files. Butcher is one of my favorite authors.

On Basilisk Station by David Weber. More science fiction. I enjoyed it. It wasn't great, or all that well-written, but I liked the story.

The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. And some more science fiction. Well-written and interesting, especially toward the end. I found the plot dragged a bit early on, but I liked the story.

Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky. A good fantasy story with some of the best fantasy races I've ever seen. I didn't quite connect with it as much as I would have liked, but I'll be looking to read more.

The Tangle Box by Terry Brooks. His Magic Kingdom of Landover novels are pretty simple stuff, but they're fun when you're looking for that kind of thing.

The Seventh Gate by Weis and Hickman. This is the final book in their Death Gate Cycle, which is not one of their Dragonlance stories. While I have issues with their writing style, I thought the story and the world were well-done.

The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan. Middle grade fantasy, but it still counts. The Percy Jackson stories are good for when you want something that's just a fun, fast-paced read.

Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson. This was the first Malazan book that didn't feel like a complete struggle. I've found that they're worth reading. It just takes me a long time to read them, and I have to work at it.

Legend by David Gemmell. This was a good, fast-paced story that I enjoyed. Nothing special, but enjoyable.

Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling. I enjoyed this story, though it definitely feels like 90s fantasy. I had some minor quibbles with the writing, but it was good overall.

The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams. Not what I expected from Williams, but I enjoyed it. I won't put it on the same level as Dresden, but it was a good urban fantasy.

Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey. Another science fiction novel, the fourth in a series. This is a really good and well-written space opera series. It's also set closer to present day than most space opera, which is a nice change of pace.

The Widow's House by Daniel Abraham. Another solid entry in the series. It's not my preferred type of fantasy, but Abraham writes so well that I enjoy it anyways. I'm looking forward to seeing how it ends.

The High Druid's Blade by Terry Brooks. Brooks was one of the first authors that got me into fantasy. I found this one a little disappointing, though. It picked up toward the end, but it wasn't as epic as what I'm used to from Brooks.

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks. This was one of my favorite fantasy reads so far this year. I thought it was the best so far in his Lightbringer series. It's finally starting to measure up to Night Angel.

Offline DBASKLS

Red Rising - Peirce Brown
Catching up on my book club reads. Quite liked this one although the outcome felt a little predictable and I'm not sure I'm hooked enough to continue.

The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch
Didn't enjoy this quite as much as the others but I'm not sure why. Maybe the whole Sabetha thing felt a little out of character for me. Still a good read.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - Claire North
Really enjoyed this one. An interesting twist on time travel, a favourite sub-genre of mine.

My Animals and other Family - Clare Balding
This is an autobiography. For non-UK based folk, Clare Balding is a TV sports presenter whose family background is in horse racing. The book is an interesting insight into that way of life.

Walking Home:My Family and Other Rambles - Clare Balding
Partially autobiography, partially based on Clare's radio programme Ramblings (which I have never listened to). I like Clare Balding and I like walking.  :)

Going Off Alarming - Danny Baker
Book two in Danny Baker's autobiographical series. Again I doubt non-UK based people will have heard of him but he has had an astonishing life and a knack of always being in the right place at the right time and his story telling is fantastic. Anyone who is not familiar, I recommmend his Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 5 Live.

So three fantasy and three autobiographies. I don't usually read that many autobiographies they just all came at once!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 01:42:39 PM by DBASKLS »
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Offline Eclipse

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Quick Fixes: Tales of Repairman Jack by F Paul Wilson. I'm a big fan of the Repairman Jack series , it's like a fantasy version of Jack Reacher

The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs. Western Steampunk, didn't do enough for me to carry on with the series

Thraxas by Martin Scott. Thraxas is always fun to read

Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson. Read Along Book

Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth. Urban Fantasy about a vampire who works for the American Government

Every Day by David Levithan. YA this was a good story bit like Quantum leap
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Nighteyes

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Traveler by Joanne Harris

A lovely and wistful adventure for the Third Doctor during his regeneration as he attempts to give peace to a young girl dying of cancer.

The Dragons of Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett

A fun collection of short stories written by Terry Pratchett as a young budding writer in Wiltshire in the 60s.  Well worth reading aloud to the kinds.

Emperor of Thorns by Martin Lawrence

Jorg's gap year travels through post apocalyptic Europe are engaging, the present day plot fighting the Dead King, less so.

The Messenger by Mark Charan Newton

A short but engaging mystery that wets the tongue for more Dakenfeld next month.

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Thought provoking YA fiction that I would recommend to any teenager.

Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean

Amazing looking graphic novel which ruminates on the end of the last millennium and death.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Superbly written moments from a woman's life taking us from the 1980s to the future.  The SFF elements less satisfying.

Among Others by Jo Walton

Mesmerizing biography of a young fantasy fan in the late 70s, early 80s.  Are the fantastical elements real or all in her head?

Lost Dogs by Jeff Lemire

Early, rough but powerful graphic novel by amazing Canadian comic book talent.


Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker

A beautiful novel of turn of the century New York, which through the characters of the Arabic Djinni and Jewish Golem explores immigration.  A magical tale for fans of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
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Offline Arry

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Slower month for me, but not bad:

Saga Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan - Another good edition. Seemed a little slower than the others, but not in a bad way.

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes - I loved this book, one of my favorite reads of the year. It is horrific, spell-binding and poetic, a fantastic story that left me both incredibly satisfied and wanting to read more.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell - Really enjoyed this one, although I felt the pace (or my interest) stumbled about half way through. Lots of great themes/messages/statements, definitely a book that should leave you thinking a bit.

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie- Strong follow up to the Ancillary Justice as Breq adjust to life with a new ship as well as new conflicts. Highly recommend reading on for anyone that enjoyed the first one.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. I only read half of this and have no intention of finishing it. The concept just didnt work for me and I got tired of being a snarky reader.
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Offline Jaeulk

In September I got through:

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks - I enjoyed this book and some of the twists and turns within it. Kip has grown into a character I now like a lot more since the first novel introduced him. Love the world as it has grown as well, happy to see it continue in more novels.

Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb - good read and became better as it went on. Will read the next one for sure and felt very happy to return to a world I have enjoyed for years.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore - I don't think this style and world is for me, probably more YA. Though it was easy to read so maybe a good travelling novel.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - While I didn't find this in the Fantasy section there are a lot of elements here that probably means it should be there. An innovative style and use of magic with really intriguing characters. Once I got into it, hard to put down and I recommend it to fantasy lovers as it is something quite different.

Into October now- hoping to get through a few classics!

Offline Elfy

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - While I didn't find this in the Fantasy section there are a lot of elements here that probably means it should be there. An innovative style and use of magic with really intriguing characters. Once I got into it, hard to put down and I recommend it to fantasy lovers as it is something quite different.


The Night Circus is an odd one to categorise. It gets shelved under literary fiction here, but it is definitely fantasy. Similar to The Eight for mine, that's most definitely fantasy the way I looked at it, but it straddles a number of genres.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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