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Author Topic: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying  (Read 6256 times)

Offline Eclipse

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Top five

The Corset by Laura Purcell
Ace of Spiders by Stefan Mohammed
The Iron Ship by K.M McKinley
Cold Bath Street by A.J.Hartly
The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

Not my cup of tea five

Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Scourged by Kevin Hearne
Swords of Good men by Snorri Kristjansson
Age of Iron by Angus Watson
Winter be my Shield by Jo Spurrier

According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

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

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Offline Elfy

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 09:39:06 PM »
Top five

The Corset by Laura Purcell
Ace of Spiders by Stefan Mohammed
The Iron Ship by K.M McKinley
Cold Bath Street by A.J.Hartly
The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

Not my cup of tea five

Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Scourged by Kevin Hearne
Swords of Good men by Snorri Kristjansson
Age of Iron by Angus Watson
Winter be my Shield by Jo Spurrier
Far too early for me to make these sort of lists, @Eclipse, but have you read Tregillis' Milkweed triptych? If you liked The Mechanical, I think you'd love that.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline cupiscent

Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 03:06:23 AM »
So far in what I've read this year...

My faves:
 - The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
 - The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
 - The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
 - Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly
 - The Two of Swords trilogy by KJ Parker

However, there are definitely some that I'll be getting to in the next couple of months that I expect to change this up. My physical to-read list is currently a ridiculous stack of female-authored delights.

I was disappointed by:
 - a whole bunch of YA fantasy that all y'all probably don't care about. ;)

Offline Elfy

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 05:18:39 AM »
So far in what I've read this year...

My faves:
 - The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
 - The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
 - The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
 - Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly
 - The Two of Swords trilogy by KJ Parker

However, there are definitely some that I'll be getting to in the next couple of months that I expect to change this up. My physical to-read list is currently a ridiculous stack of female-authored delights.

I was disappointed by:
 - a whole bunch of YA fantasy that all y'all probably don't care about. ;)
Amberlough was awesome,  and probably at the end of the year it will make my top 5, the sequel; Armistice, was also really good. We've got The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue in the TBR pile (thought it was YA, it was where we found it shelved), so I may have to jump it up the queue a little.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 09:49:58 AM »
Top Five:
Warbreaker
Lies of Locke Lamora
Oathbringer
Emperor's Soul
Prince of Fools

Disappointed:
Mostly YA and Grimdark works-
YA: Darker Shades of Magic, Monsters of Verity, Throne of Glass
Grimdark: Godblind (sorry to say, I probably didn't like very grim grim dark), Court of Broken Knives, Wheel of Osheim ending

Extra one: I was rather disappointed by Red Seas and Red Skies as well.

Offline Alex Hormann

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 05:17:50 PM »


Grimdark: Godblind (sorry to say, I probably didn't like very grim grim dark), Court of Broken Knives, Wheel of Osheim ending


I'm with you on two counts, but I enjoyed Court of Broken knives and its sequel. My issue with Godblind was that it lacked the humour I associate with Grimdark.


My top five:

Eternity's Mind - Kevin J Anderson - a great conclusion to one of my favourite Space Operas.
Bloody Rose - Nicholas Eames - a rollicking sequel to Kings of the Wild.
Empire of Silence - Christopher Ruocchio - Space opera at its very best.
The Tower of Living and Dying - Anna Smith Spark - a setp up from the first book on every level.
Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky - thoughtful and action packed SF.


Disappointments:
Senlin Ascends - Josiah Bancroft - Decent enough, but nowhere near up to the hype around it.
Skin Game - Jim Butcher - a real low for the Dredsen Files, to the point that I probably won't finish the series.
The Serrano legacy - Elizabeth Moon - not a patch on the Vatta's War/Peace series.
The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn - Tyler Whytesides - I had high hopes, but it never lived up to them.
The City of Lost fortunes - Bryan camp - a foray into urban fantasy, but it never gelled with me.
Blog: https://atboundarysedge.com

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Offline Elfy

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 09:40:35 PM »


Grimdark: Godblind (sorry to say, I probably didn't like very grim grim dark), Court of Broken Knives, Wheel of Osheim ending


I'm with you on two counts, but I enjoyed Court of Broken knives and its sequel. My issue with Godblind was that it lacked the humour I associate with Grimdark.


My top five:

Eternity's Mind - Kevin J Anderson - a great conclusion to one of my favourite Space Operas.
Bloody Rose - Nicholas Eames - a rollicking sequel to Kings of the Wild.
Empire of Silence - Christopher Ruocchio - Space opera at its very best.
The Tower of Living and Dying - Anna Smith Spark - a setp up from the first book on every level.
Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky - thoughtful and action packed SF.


Disappointments:
Senlin Ascends - Josiah Bancroft - Decent enough, but nowhere near up to the hype around it.
Skin Game - Jim Butcher - a real low for the Dredsen Files, to the point that I probably won't finish the series.
The Serrano legacy - Elizabeth Moon - not a patch on the Vatta's War/Peace series.
The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn - Tyler Whytesides - I had high hopes, but it never lived up to them.
The City of Lost fortunes - Bryan camp - a foray into urban fantasy, but it never gelled with me.
I really liked Empire of Silence. Not sure if it would make my top 5, but it was a very good book.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline Bender

Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 09:58:58 PM »
Faves:

Oathbringer (Sanderson)
Divine Cities (Book 2 & 3) - RJ Bennett
Hyperion Cantos - Dan Simmons
Expanse (latest book) - James SA Corey
"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot

"Who needs science when you have a dragon?" - Neil DeGrasse Tyson in Sharknado 6

Offline cupiscent

Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2018, 03:34:35 AM »
Gentleman's Guide definitely is YA, @Elfy, but it is also excellent. A great example, to my mind, of how the YA themes of discovery/definition of self can be used for awesome. (And I am looking forward to Armistice very much; it is in my pile!)

I have Anna Smith Spark's work on my to-read list, and I am really looking forward to getting to it; even though grimdark is generally not my thing, there are certain exceptions, and I have hopes that she might prove one of them.

I'm also so jealous of people who get to read Lies of Locke Lamora for the first time. I wish I could go back and do that again. :D

Offline Elfy

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2018, 06:13:48 AM »
Gentleman's Guide definitely is YA, @Elfy, but it is also excellent. A great example, to my mind, of how the YA themes of discovery/definition of self can be used for awesome. (And I am looking forward to Armistice very much; it is in my pile!)

I have Anna Smith Spark's work on my to-read list, and I am really looking forward to getting to it; even though grimdark is generally not my thing, there are certain exceptions, and I have hopes that she might prove one of them.

I'm also so jealous of people who get to read Lies of Locke Lamora for the first time. I wish I could go back and do that again. :D
I still get something out of my Lies, even on my 19th or so read.

Offline Neveesandeh

Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2018, 06:27:48 PM »
This is a difficult one. I'm going to have to look back through a lot of books.

My top five

The Obelisk Gate by NK Jemisin. The ending is fantastic and it does a great job of building on the world and characters.
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I would put the whole series if I could, but this one is probably my favourite.
Stormchaser by Paul Stewart. Out of all the 'Edge Chronciles' books I loved as a child, this one holds up best.
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. Doesn't reach the highs of 'The Broken Empire' but I still really liked it.
Either The Well of Ascension or The Stone Sky. I can't make up my mind, they're both great.

Those that I found most unsatisfying

The Guns of Ivrea by Clifford Beal. I feel that the writing style makes it hard to connect with the characters and story.
The Winter Knights by Paul Stewart. This one holds up the worst out of the 'Edge Chronicles' books.
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark. The writing is fantastic but the protagonist is just too loathsome.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Started off good but was ruined by an underdeveloped romance.
The Cold Commands by Richard Morgan. The world is interesting but the characters lack agency and the themes lack subtlety.

Some honourable mentions because I'm a negative kind of person.

Here I am by Jonathan Safran Foer. Not a fantasy, but some parts of it are so far fetched they might as well be. It's probably the most self indulgent book I've ever read and could have benefited greatly from being cut down to less than half its length.

Half a War by Joe Abercrombie. It's not bad but it's nowhere near as good as his other work.

Volume Two of Alan Moore's Promethea, for 'that one scene'. I still have no idea what that was about.

Looking back, it's been an interesting year, and I think I've liked most of what I've read.

Offline Justan Henner

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2018, 06:30:41 PM »
I may have read some of these last fall, but estimating within the last year. Honestly some of these are probably 2 years ago, haha. I read too slow.

My favorites:

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert Heinlein
An excellent book, which kind of surprised me in one respect. The book is almost entirely a narration of events, telling what they did and how rather than in the scenes themselves. It breaks the old adage of show don't tell, and it's a superb book for it. Genuinely loved this one, and it made me want to read some more classic scifi.

Sufficiently Advanced Magic - Andrew Rowe
Reading this one now and enjoying it quite a lot. It's gotta be part of this litrpg trend I'm hearing about lately. Lot of power level and interlocking magic system stuff that makes it seem more like an outline for a game design than a book. Still really enjoying it. It's got a bit of a Harry Potter feel for me, for some reason but a bit more adult.

Several WoT books.
Read 2 or three of these in the last year. Always love them, but still working my way to finally finishing the series. May need to pick up the pace if I want to finish before the TV show.


In the Middle:

Dune - Frank Herbert
Lot of good in this one, but felt way too quick in the second half with a very over the top villain, which I actually kind of loved for how over the top he is, so I've got mixed feelings here.


My Disappointments:

Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch
I love this series, but this one just didn't quite hit the mark. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what I thought it'd be.

Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin
This was one of those cases where the tone was too bleak to allow me to really enjoy it. Had the same problem with Joe Abercrombie.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2018, 09:54:32 AM »
And it's time to bring this thread back!

I'll be replying later...
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

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Offline Lanko

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2018, 11:51:37 AM »
My top 5:

1 - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
2 - Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
3 - Hyperion (1 and 2) by Dan Simmons
4 - City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett
5 - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Didn't work for me:

1 - Authority (book 2 of Southern Reach) by Jeff VanderMeer
2 - Port of Shadows (Black Company 1.5) by Glen Cook
3 - I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
4 - The Epic of Gilgamesh
5 - The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2019

Offline cupiscent

Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2019, 02:47:12 AM »
- The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
 - The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
 - The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso
 - Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly
 - The Two of Swords trilogy by KJ Parker

Coming back to this list at the actual end of the year...
  • Shout-out to @Elfy, I think Armistice actually supplants Amberlough on the list; SO GOOD, and much more my sort of thing. :)
  • Two of Swords trilogy definitely not let down by the third book, which to my mind made ALL the right choices and brought it romping home.
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik was a cracking good read and probably deserves a spot on my list; I think it would probably knock Tethered Mage off (though I may feel differently once I read Melissa Caruso's second book!)
  • Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone was similarly really quite smashing, but I don't know that it's actually better than either Garcia-Moreno or Lee. Both of those books were masterful.
  • One of my absolute top reads for 2018 is actually only going to be released in 2019, so it's a cheat: The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore (we share an agent, so I got my hands on a review copy). Expect to see me raving a lot about this one in anticipation of its March release, because it's a wonderful Middle-Eastern-ish steampunky-post-apoc-urban setting with amazing assassins but also such strong themes of justice and hope and doing-the-right-thing. It's just a beautiful book and a great adventure romp all rolled into one, and I am so excited to see what comes next.