August 25, 2019, 05:38:01 PM

Author Topic: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?  (Read 42312 times)

Offline xiagan

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Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #210 on: October 04, 2012, 02:52:51 PM »
I'm going to have to change my mind on Terry Goodkind. I've just given Raymond E Feist another go. I enjoyed Magician, but struggled manfully with the rest of the Riftwar trilogy. But I thought I'd give him another chance and am halfway through the last book of the Darkwar saga.

And I am angry.

Oh, the books are easy to read, the story's fine, the worldbuilding's good but everything else...

The characters don't appear to be able to speak properly. A man in bed with his girlfriend and asks her "What troubles you?"... WHY CAN'T YOU SPEAK LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING?

There are a ridiculous number of continuity errors as Feist consistantly forgets the names of his characters. Two fighters suddenly swap places in a swordfight. HOW? Brother Timothy tells his students that they need to find Brother Timothy. YOU ARE BROTHER TIMOTHY! Another character reminds his friend of a fight which he couldn't possibly remember BECAUSE YOU HAD THE FIGHT WITH ANOTHER CHARACTER!

But then, how is Feist forgetting the names of his main characters? THEY'RE ALL CALLED JIMMY! Perhaps he confused himself when he really pushed the boat out and called one Jommy?

And where does Sir Jimmy the Umpteenth visit? Some distant mountains. And what does he find there? Elves. NOT EVERY REMOTE LOCATION NEEDS TO BE POPULATED WITH ELVES.

And these elves are besieged by some evil beings. Fine. But what does one character say about the wolves they ride? "Their mounts have no name I know, though the Valheru called them 'dreadmounts.'" I'm sorry, but THAT'S A FUCKING NAME!

The books are full of mistakes like these. And then the writing is often so clumsy or lazy that it just becomes confusing. At the beginning of the saga, a girl is compared to two brothers by having the hair of one and the eyes of the other. From the description, you'd think that would make her their sister BUT NO. They're trying to sleep with her. A few pages on there is a paragraph so badly worded that it quite unambiguously states that (a) these two teenage boys WERE BORN THREE YEARS AGO and (b) ONE OF THEM WAS STILLBORN. It took me five minutes to deconstruct the paragraph and figure out what Feist was trying to say. AND THE PARAGRAPH WAS ONLY ONE SENTENCE LONG!

If I were an author or editor who had published novels of such poor editorial quality, I would be deeply ashamed of myself. I've worked as an editor and I've been working on my own novel, so I know how laborious and difficult the revision process can be. So I would like to emphasise here that I would never normally be so unmercilessly scathing. Mistakes happen, and they get through the editing process. But the sheer number of stupid mistakes is, frankly, unacceptable from a major author published by a major imprint of a major publisher.

As I reader, I have found myself asking just one question while reading this series: if you don't care about your own creation, Mr Feist - why should I?

/rant
Now I'm glad that this is one of the series I read in German and not in English, because the translator polished up all those stupid/lazy mistakes... Riftwar- ,Serpentwar- and the Kelewan-series were great, the stuff after... kinda meh. Talon Silverhawk didn't have a single weakness and was the fantasy superhero agent and in general things had to become bigger and bigger and bigger, until
Spoiler for Hiden:
the whole Kelewan-planet exploded and only a few people were able to save themeselves
that's where I stopped.

I don't get China Mieville. I know I'll probably get lynched for this, but I find most of his stuff unreadable. I did quite like The City & The City, but not been able to finish the other two I've tried to read (Kraken & King Rat).
You're not alone. I've only read Embassytown, or rather tried to read Embassytown. I gave up partway through, nothing about the story connected with me. I will try him again, though, because he does write across genres.

I've read The City and the City and Looking For Jake (his short story collection) and I feel like it was the perfect place to start for China Mieville. I have heard though Elfy, that Embassytown is particularly difficult to read, especially for those new to Mieville.
I started with Un Lun Dun, which was great and enjoyable, then I tried Embassytown but couldn't get into. Next was Kraken, which was pretty good, but I somehow wasn't able to read it in one go. Next one will be the City and the City or a second attempt at Embassytown.
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Offline naugem

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #211 on: October 04, 2012, 04:10:09 PM »
Personally I would say Perdido Street Station is a great intro, not too demanding, but full of insane ideas and imagery.

I read King Rat and liked it. Then I tried perdido Street Station, and after 270 pages decided to drop it (and there are very few books that I've bought and not finished). As you say, the book is full of insane ideas and imagery, but at least up to the 270-ish page, nothing happens. For all I know, right after that it gets good, but 270 pages of descriptions was more than enough for me.

Offline pornokitsch

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #212 on: October 05, 2012, 10:40:21 AM »
I'm racking my brain trying to think of what fantasy author disappointed me the most - and I think I will have to go with someone who is actually very popular on these forums. (So - don't hunt me down, please) I wasn't nearly as enamoured with Peter V. Brett's The Painted Man as everyone else seems to be. I just didn't find much that was very original in it, and the writing never really got me excited. I kept expecting it to do something that would blow me away, and subvert the whole "farmboy becomes superhero" thing - but nope, not even slightly. I enjoyed it enough to read the sequel at some point (if nothing else, to see what happens) but I really feel it is very overrated, compared to so many other books I've read recently, which don't get nearly as much of a rep as they should. (Retribution Falls, people!  ;))

Agree on both counts. A lot good about The Painted Man. But also a lot not so good. (More not so good in the sequel). Also, Retribution Falls FTW. That series is amazing.

Offline Idlewilder

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #213 on: October 05, 2012, 10:45:18 AM »
Also, Retribution Falls FTW. That series is amazing.

I'm still to read the sequel, but Retribution Falls was one of the best books I've read in the past year. One of the most downright fun and exciting novels I have ever read.
Make Another World.

Offline Lejays17

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #214 on: October 05, 2012, 02:38:49 PM »
For me (that I can think of at this moment), it would be Scott Lynch.  And while I think they were fine books, Elfy thinks they're the Bestest Things EVAH, and I just don't have the same connection with them.  Not disappointed enough not to read the next one when it comes out, but I'm not lining up at a midnight release for it... ;) (unlike Elfy...)

I think I've read the first 4 or 5 of WoT, and then I got bored with it - but I'm not disappointed with the books/author as such.  Just not interested any more (I was reading them to have something to talk to my suster about, but she bailed on them not long after this point too)

Ooh, thought of another - NK Jemesin.  I read her first book a couple of years ago when it was nominated for a Hugo, and when I read a few reviews afterwards which said how fabulous, and unique, and shiny-sparkly-blah-blah-blah it was, all I could think of was that I kept on being reminded of David Eddings through-out the whole book.  So it was a retroactive disappointment, I guess  ;D  Again, I enjoyed the book, and I have the sequel in the Library somewhere (hopefully under "J"!) to read at some point when I feel like it.
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Offline graveyardhag

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #215 on: October 06, 2012, 02:10:32 AM »
Sara Douglas is another one for me. I find her books so repetetive.
"Eva, can I stack Rod's sad-ass dork cats in a cave?"

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #216 on: August 07, 2019, 08:02:04 AM »
Anything by GGK,Sanderson and Hobb  , I’ve read enough of  their stories to know there not my cup of tea.

Also Lawrance,Sullivan and Pratchett

Actually I’ve got quite a bit of a list of other authors too I’m hard to please.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 08:25:17 AM by Eclipse »
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Offline isos81

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #217 on: August 07, 2019, 10:41:49 AM »
It's all about expectations.

I started N. K. Jemisin's books with very high hopes. However, I was disappointed completely. Not my cup of tea, for certain. I also did not like Grossman's Magicians series.

I started Brent Weeks' Lightbringer with no expectations and totally liked it :)
Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline Matthew

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #218 on: August 07, 2019, 11:15:18 AM »
RR Martin. Grew to hate them more and more with each passing chore of a read.

Offline isos81

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #219 on: August 07, 2019, 11:27:25 AM »
RR Martin. Grew to hate them more and more with each passing chore of a read.

Why? Is it the quality of the books or the absence of the new ones? :)
Kallor shrugged. 'I've walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I've commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I've spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?'

'Yes' said Caladan Brood. 'You never learn'

Offline Matthew

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #220 on: August 07, 2019, 11:48:04 AM »
RR Martin. Grew to hate them more and more with each passing chore of a read.

Why? Is it the quality of the books or the absence of the new ones? :)

I'd say more the lack of quality. Part of me wishes I'd just watched the show instead... but we all know how that ended so I didn't miss much with that either.

I generally just found his books to be tedious to read. Dense and convoluted. With his only real signature being killing off characters because shock value.

Offline Vizhigoth

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #221 on: August 08, 2019, 12:48:41 AM »
Very quickly, there are two who I had high hopes for after general comments but just couldn't get into. First, GRRM. I won book-tokens in a bookshop poker tournament so picked up the first 2-3 ASoIaF books... but after struggling through the first one I gave up. Writing style just grated. Even so I gave the TV show a spin - that only lasted a season too before I got bored and started to just dip in and out. Gave the books to a fantasy-reading friend, she didn't like them either. Though I did like Fevre Dream. Second, Stephen Erikson. I thought the Malazan stuff might be for me, but after trying 3 books and only kind of enjoying one of them (Deadhouse Gates) I realised I found his style a little "stodgy".

Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #222 on: August 14, 2019, 05:13:00 AM »
For me, it was Steven Erikson. I heard so many amazing things about Malazan. After forcing myself through five books, I have to conclude it's simply not for me.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #223 on: August 14, 2019, 08:03:58 AM »
Moral of the story: do not read an author just because "it's got great reviews" or "you heard great things".
There are as many different authors as there are readers (ok, maybe not as many ;)) and what one person says it's 'amazing' it's another's 'disappointing'.

You can still give them a try, though...

And now I realised I never replied to this one with my list: I was disappointed with Brent Weeks in book 4 (yes, I'll never stop mentioning it for as long as I live, unless he explains/fixes it in book 5), mostly because I really loved the previous books.

If it's an author I'm reading for the first time I don't really consider "finding them disappointing" because I have no standard to measure them against (I prefer not to measure them against other authors, just their own books).
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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Which Fantasy Author Did You Find Most Disappointing?
« Reply #224 on: August 14, 2019, 10:41:16 AM »
Josiah Bancroft. I bought an especially expensive copy of Senlin Ascends (the bookstore only had that one) with high hopes with all the reviews I've came across. Upon reading, the book's style didn't suit me at all, and despite trying it twice I still couldn't get into it.