Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Eclipse on October 24, 2018, 08:39:34 PM

Title: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Eclipse on October 24, 2018, 08:39:34 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

Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy 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.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: cupiscent 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 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39963598-the-gentleman-s-guide-to-vice-and-virtue) by Mackenzi Lee
 - The Beautiful Ones (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33574143-the-beautiful-ones) by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
 - The Tethered Mage (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37548687-the-tethered-mage) by Melissa Caruso
 - Amberlough (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35018890-amberlough) by Lara Elena Donnelly
 - The Two of Swords trilogy (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34849631-the-two-of-swords-volume-one) 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. ;)
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy 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 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39963598-the-gentleman-s-guide-to-vice-and-virtue) by Mackenzi Lee
 - The Beautiful Ones (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33574143-the-beautiful-ones) by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
 - The Tethered Mage (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37548687-the-tethered-mage) by Melissa Caruso
 - Amberlough (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35018890-amberlough) by Lara Elena Donnelly
 - The Two of Swords trilogy (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34849631-the-two-of-swords-volume-one) 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.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger 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.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Alex Hormann 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.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy 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.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Bender 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
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: cupiscent 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
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy 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.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Neveesandeh 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.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Justan Henner 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.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: ScarletBea on December 31, 2018, 09:54:32 AM
And it's time to bring this thread back!

I'll be replying later...
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Lanko 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
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: cupiscent on January 01, 2019, 02:47:12 AM
- The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39963598-the-gentleman-s-guide-to-vice-and-virtue) by Mackenzi Lee
 - The Beautiful Ones (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33574143-the-beautiful-ones) by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
 - The Tethered Mage (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37548687-the-tethered-mage) by Melissa Caruso
 - Amberlough (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35018890-amberlough) by Lara Elena Donnelly
 - The Two of Swords trilogy (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34849631-the-two-of-swords-volume-one) by KJ Parker

Coming back to this list at the actual end of the year...
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Peat on January 01, 2019, 03:27:06 AM
Least satisfying

1. First Watch by Dale Lucas - I loved the premise but ultimately pretty much everything about how it was done just missed my taste.

2. Skyfarer by Joseph Brassey - The prose was clunky and offputting, and the character dynamics lacked depth for me; shame as otherwise it was fun and heartwarming

3. Godblind by Anna Stephens - Some great prose and characters, but between the convenience of the plot and the thinness of the world descriptions, I ended up questioning far too much.

4. Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik - Lacked meat

5. The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braids by Michael McClung - Flat character dynamics and worldbuilding

HMs for Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence and Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, which were in the main as unsatisfying but had a few golden moments.

Top 5:

1. Age of Assassins by RJ Barker - I'm still raving about this for the quality of the voice. Interesting worldbuilding, an intriguing plot and some great characters seal the deal.

2. Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone - My favourite of the Craft books since the first; razor sharp intrigue, incredible worldbuilding

3. The Empyreus Proof by Bryan Wigmore - Its like the Wheel of Time, only with pseudo-Edwardian occultism, better writing, and more secrets and less violence.

4. The Poppy War by RF Kuang - I kinda don't want to put it here as a lot of things about it disappointed me, but when it intrigued me it was perfect.

5. Man O'War by Dan Jones - Fun near future Sci-Fi thriller. Shades of Le Carre.

Incidentally, that's almost all of my first reads of SFF this year. There's a lot of books I didn't finish and a lot of rereads. If anyone wants a full list of Raymond E Feist's Riftwar books from best to last, I am your fool.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy on January 01, 2019, 07:13:49 AM
5? I can only have 5 best books for 2018? Okay, I'll try, but it will kill me to leave a few out.

Top 5 for 2018 in no particular order:

1) Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly. As @cupiscent said it's a fantasy version of Cabaret crossed with LeCarre. No magic, none at all. The sequel Armistice is also great, but couldn't top Amberlough for mine.

2) Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente. If I had to nominate one best for 2018 it would be a hard run race between this and another book I read later on. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets the Eurovision Song Contest with an homage to 70's glam rock thrown in. Valente does comedy and nails it.

3) The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. There's something remarkably human about MRK's love letter to the unsung heroes of the space race. Unputdownable.

4) The Stars Now Unclaimed by Drew Williams. Becky Chambers describes it best on the cover: 'come for the exploding spaceships, stay for the intriguing universe'.

5) The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French. I've gushed all over this in the What Did You Read In December thread. It's the one that ties with Valente's Space Opera for best book I read in 2018. Half orcs on war pigs behaving like the characters from Sons of Anarchy. Bloody and bloody good!

5 books that I didn't get along with in 2018:

1) Everfair by Nisi Shawl. This has been gushed over a lot and has an awesome cover. Unfortunately what's between it doesn't quite match what's on the front. Lacked any genuine imagination.

2) Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer. Another one people fell over themselves to praise, but that I just couldn't connect with, Very gimmicky, confusing and ultimately bored me.

3) Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez. Pains me to type this as I really like most of Martinez's work, but he got this one badly wrong in pretty much every way possible.

4) Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn. This series started off brightly and the second book wasn't too bad, but number 3 is a case of not knowing when to stop. Sadly I think there's a 4th book planned, I won't be on board for it.

5) Fury from the Tomb by S.A Sidor. I don't know how Sidor did it, but he somehow managed to make a story about mummies and undead cowboys boring. Badly written and plotted. A truly terrible book.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 01, 2019, 09:51:05 AM
Wellllll I don't even know if I read 10 books this year but....

Satisfying
The Way of Shadows-- Brent Weeks: Surprisingly satisfying
City of Brass-- I forget who wrote it: I was loving the whole djinn society politics thing
Shit, there had to be something else I liked...
Oh wait that second book by Islington: It's pretty middling when you step back and think about it, but I enjoyed it and felt satisfied at the end.

Unsatisfying
Kings of the Wyld-- What's his face:  I picked it up b/c I liked the aging aspect, but it was to testosterony for me.  I should have known. I'm actually surprised I finished it.
City of Blades-- Bennett: Okay the first book in the series barely redeemed its fascist protagonist at the end otherwise I would have thrown it across the room like I did this book b/c it's a repeat of the first, but just more fascist. (but at least it's not as biphobic as the first one was)
Shadow and Bone--Leigh Bardugo:  To be fair I liked a lot about this one and plan to read Six of Crows.  But it's a YA fantasy with the all too familiar love triangle trope that makes me want to bang my face into a wall. That said, she used the trope very well to make some interesting statements, and I would totally recommend this to someones daughter which is not something I can say about any other love triangle YA.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy on January 01, 2019, 10:59:01 AM
Wellllll I don't even know if I read 10 books this year but....

Satisfying
The Way of Shadows-- Brent Weeks: Surprisingly satisfying
City of Brass-- I forget who wrote it: I was loving the whole djinn society politics thing
Shit, there had to be something else I liked...
Oh wait that second book by Islington: It's pretty middling when you step back and think about it, but I enjoyed it and felt satisfied at the end.

Unsatisfying
Kings of the Wyld-- What's his face:  I picked it up b/c I liked the aging aspect, but it was to testosterony for me.  I should have known. I'm actually surprised I finished it.
City of Blades-- Bennett: Okay the first book in the series barely redeemed its fascist protagonist at the end otherwise I would have thrown it across the room like I did this book b/c it's a repeat of the first, but just more fascist. (but at least it's not as biphobic as the first one was)
Shadow and Bone--Leigh Bardugo:  To be fair I liked a lot about this one and plan to read Six of Crows.  But it's a YA fantasy with the all too familiar love triangle trope that makes me want to bang my face into a wall. That said, she used the trope very well to make some interesting statements, and I would totally recommend this to someones daughter which is not something I can say about any other love triangle YA.
City of Brass is by S. A Chakraborty. There’s a sequel due out this year.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Peat on January 01, 2019, 12:37:12 PM

Unsatisfying
Kings of the Wyld-- What's his face:  I picked it up b/c I liked the aging aspect, but it was to testosterony for me.  I should have known. I'm actually surprised I finished it.

The characters didn't feel all that old/ageing to me when I actually read it. I wish they had.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: ScarletBea on January 01, 2019, 05:07:53 PM
Ok, let me try and do this.

Top 5 (5 stars):
* The Greatcoats series, Sebastien de Castell - a very pleasant surprise of fun, irony, friendship and sword battles
* The 2 Malazan books I've read (books 2 and 3), Steven Erikson - redefining the word 'epic', these books solidified my love for the series
* A time of dread, John Gwynne - his new series, it started with a bang and reminded me why I love his books
* The bitter twins, Jen Williams - book 2 in the new series, it's grander and more encompassing than her previous series
* Here be dragons, David MacPherson - super funny, there can be fantasy books without battles

The big common thread of the books above is "characters": they all have characters I love and want to spent time with, just chatting :D

5 least satifying (3 stars or less):
* The Stonor eagles, William Horwood - a DNF, I just couldn't get into the story
* The city of mirrors, Justin Cronin - book 3 of the trilogy, again I couldn't care less about the people and the story. Maybe if I'd read it right after reading book 2 it would have been better, but as it stands, just meh
* Under the Pendulum Sun, Jeannette Ng - too much theology and'old-fashioned' writing style, it just didn't grab me
* The Court of Broken Knives, Anna Smith Spark - nice book, but I didn't think it was anything special. A bit too much death

My other low-rated books were all non-fantasy, so I guess I had a very good fantasy year :)
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Alex Hormann on January 01, 2019, 05:53:08 PM
A bit too much death


Speaking as a fan if Court, this is the best review I've ever seen.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Egg on January 01, 2019, 06:49:58 PM
Sadly, I didn't get to read much this year. But that's why I've just joined - such a vast and descriptive list of recommendations, both good and bad! I don't think I can read half of these over 2019, but I can't wait to try!

Of the books I *was* able to read this year:

The Poppy War, by RF Kuang - Got it for free while buying books at a Comicon in March; ironically, it was the one I liked the best. I never sank my teeth into Chinese history and lore before, so it was a refreshing change of pace - but what stuck out to me most was the book's violent themes. Based on accounts of the Rape of Nanking, Kuang was hellbent to make sure her readers learn (and never forget) the horrors and hell that happened when the Japanese invaded China. Warning: She does her job a bit too well.

The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom and Diary of a Gentleman Diabolist, by Robin Spriggs - A series of prose poems and short stories straight from the bizarre and twisted side of fiction, but with a sense of mystery so compelling you could almost swear you're being forced to keep reading. The books were loaned to me by a friend, but after only a couple months of keeping them on my bedside table, I feel like they were almost drawn to me. A note on the poems within the Diary: They're prose poems, not really meant to be read more than two or three at a time, and best read aloud, if only (and especially) at a whisper.

Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz - I'm hard-pressed to find anything I didn't like about this book, except perhaps that it didn't quite tackle its titular issue - the autonomy of sentient AI. To me, for the whole book, the question of what happens when AI begin to ask for, demand, and earn their autonomy was secondary to the central plot of "Big Pharma's" monopoly on drugs. Even so, I enjoyed it thoroughly; the battle between Captain Jack and Big Pharma rose plenty of interesting questions for the future of pharmaceuticals and trans-humanism to keep me interested - and the plot itself was pretty good to boot!

As for books I found unsatisfying, there was only one; for the sake of my mental health, my friends have advised me to stop talking about it. I will only say this much on the matter: if you're going to write a story with 20 main characters and innumerable side-characters for the reader to keep track of, please do not give each one an introduction shorter than a paragraph. And for the love of god, a king who is into BDSM is funny exactly once - don't push the gag further than that.

Pun intended.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: JMack on January 01, 2019, 08:02:51 PM
Welcome, @Egg!
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Peat on January 07, 2019, 11:55:23 AM
Actually I should have had The Traitor God by Cam in at number 5. I clean forgot that I'd read it this year because I never entered it into GR. That's what happens when you trust lists to run your memory but don't update your lists.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 07, 2019, 05:11:56 PM
Actually I should have had The Traitor God by Cam in at number 5. I clean forgot that I'd read it this year because I never entered it into GR. That's what happens when you trust lists to run your memory but don't update your lists.

Good call!! I knew I was leaving some things out!
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Peat on January 07, 2019, 05:16:18 PM
Actually I should have had The Traitor God by Cam in at number 5. I clean forgot that I'd read it this year because I never entered it into GR. That's what happens when you trust lists to run your memory but don't update your lists.

Good call!! I knew I was leaving some things out!

Guess that fits for a book that's partially about suppressed memories?  ;)
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 07, 2019, 09:45:56 PM
Ha!!
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Jake Baelish on January 08, 2019, 09:12:25 AM
Top 5:

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (swashbuckling awesomeness)
Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (politically intruguing awesomeness)
Rickshaw Boy by Lao She (great insight into pre-communist China and a tragic/funny story to boot)
The Outsider by Stephen King (King like he hasn't performed in years!)
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (geeky indulgent awesomeness)

Disappointing (well, not neccesarily but didn't live up to expectations for sure!)

King of Thorns - after loving Prince of Thorns, and hearing how much better this was claimed to be, it failed as a sequel for me in just about every way possible.

Magic's Pawn - my search for quality LGBT fantasy continues; aside from (contrived) cuteness there was nothing here to make me remotely interested in the rest of the books in its shared universe.

Only those, nothing else I read qualifies as in any way disappointing  :)
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 08, 2019, 10:52:35 AM

Magic's Pawn - my search for quality LGBT fantasy continues; aside from (contrived) cuteness there was nothing here to make me remotely interested in the rest of the books in its shared universe.


@cupiscent was raving about an LGBT book a while ago if I remember correctly.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy on January 08, 2019, 11:18:11 AM

Magic's Pawn - my search for quality LGBT fantasy continues; aside from (contrived) cuteness there was nothing here to make me remotely interested in the rest of the books in its shared universe.


@cupiscent was raving about an LGBT book a while ago if I remember correctly.
Doubt it was Magic’s Pawn that’s a Mercedes Lackey Valdemar book that came out in ‘89. I remember quite liking it at the time, but that was over 20 years ago, and it could well have been visited by the ‘suck fairy’ in the intervening years.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: ScarletBea on January 08, 2019, 12:07:44 PM
Magic's Pawn - my search for quality LGBT fantasy continues; aside from (contrived) cuteness there was nothing here to make me remotely interested in the rest of the books in its shared universe.
@Jake Baelish, you might want to check this thread:
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-book-discussion/list-of-lgbt-characters-in-fantasy-recommended-by-fantasy-faction-members/ (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-book-discussion/list-of-lgbt-characters-in-fantasy-recommended-by-fantasy-faction-members/)
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Jake Baelish on January 08, 2019, 01:26:39 PM

Magic's Pawn - my search for quality LGBT fantasy continues; aside from (contrived) cuteness there was nothing here to make me remotely interested in the rest of the books in its shared universe.


@cupiscent was raving about an LGBT book a while ago if I remember correctly.

It is an old book, I picked it up in a book shop by chance and on realising it had a gay lead felt it worth a go. It reads like it was written by an angsty teen tbh. What Elfy says seem right, had I read it ten or fifteen years ago I might have liked it   :-\

@ScarlettBea thanks for the heads up! Will take a deeper look  :)
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: J.R. Darewood on January 08, 2019, 02:08:10 PM

Magic's Pawn - my search for quality LGBT fantasy continues; aside from (contrived) cuteness there was nothing here to make me remotely interested in the rest of the books in its shared universe.


@cupiscent was raving about an LGBT book a while ago if I remember correctly.

It is an old book, I picked it up in a book shop by chance and on realising it had a gay lead felt it worth a go. It reads like it was written by an angsty teen tbh. What Elfy says seem right, had I read it ten or fifteen years ago I might have liked it   :-\

@ScarlettBea thanks for the heads up! Will take a deeper look  :)

It was the Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: cupiscent on January 08, 2019, 10:04:10 PM

Magic's Pawn - my search for quality LGBT fantasy continues; aside from (contrived) cuteness there was nothing here to make me remotely interested in the rest of the books in its shared universe.


@cupiscent was raving about an LGBT book a while ago if I remember correctly.

Well, look, when am I not raving about an LGBT book. :D

I see you've been tipped the master link, @Jake Baelish but if you want to talk more about what specifically might be what you're after, feel free to send me a message and we can chat. (I don't want to say READ MAX GLADSTONE if actually you're after traditional-fantasy-but-gay. Though, I mean, read Max Gladstone. srsly.)

ALSO, relevant to this, author K.A. Doore (who has a lovely book coming out in March featuring a homoromatic asexual assassin protagonist) put together a list of LGBT debut novels coming out next year (https://twitter.com/KA_Doore/status/1081211445356957698), many of them spec-fic or adjacent, and there is some EXCITING stuff on there. I am particularly looking forward to Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42036538-gideon-the-ninth) which looks AMAAAAZING. (...where IS our "what are you looking forward to this year?" thread? Have I missed it? Do I have to MAKE it? UGH GUYS.)
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Jake Baelish on January 10, 2019, 08:27:10 AM

Magic's Pawn - my search for quality LGBT fantasy continues; aside from (contrived) cuteness there was nothing here to make me remotely interested in the rest of the books in its shared universe.


@cupiscent was raving about an LGBT book a while ago if I remember correctly.

It is an old book, I picked it up in a book shop by chance and on realising it had a gay lead felt it worth a go. It reads like it was written by an angsty teen tbh. What Elfy says seem right, had I read it ten or fifteen years ago I might have liked it   :-\

@ScarlettBea thanks for the heads up! Will take a deeper look  :)

It was the Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

I just read the blurb on goodreads! Sounds like something I could get into, thanks for the recommendation  :)

@cupiscent traditional fantasy but gay IS what I'm really after. Though by no means exclusively - I really loved the Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S Pascat (especially books 2 and 3), and that is definitely not traditional fantasy  ;D So cheers for the tip to Max Gladstone and the link!
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: ScarletBea on January 10, 2019, 09:17:07 AM
Jake, then I think you'll love the Copper Cat trilogy by Jen Williams :D
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Jake Baelish on January 15, 2019, 07:43:18 AM
Jake, then I think you'll love the Copper Cat trilogy by Jen Williams :D

I'm spoilt for choice now. Thanks Scarlet  ;D
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy on January 15, 2019, 11:02:55 AM
Jake, then I think you'll love the Copper Cat trilogy by Jen Williams :D

I'm spoilt for choice now. Thanks Scarlet  ;D
Just to throw a couple of other recommendations at you to try Tremontaine it’s a series of interconnected stories by multiple authors using Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint setting, Kushner herself is also a contributing author. @cupiscent and I have gushed about Amberlough and Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly and you may like them, too.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy on January 15, 2019, 11:11:12 AM
And I almost forgot A Song for Achilles by Madeline Miller.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: dinogenetics on January 15, 2019, 02:07:25 PM
I also read Magic's Pawn last year in my own quest to read LGBT fantasy. Romance was cute (at first), but a lack of an actual story frustrated me. I Googled the rest of the trilogy and am not sad I didn't continue reading.

Not all my picks are fantasy...

2018 Favs
Shades of Magic trilogy (especially A Darker Shade of Magic)
Oathbringer
The Slow Regard of Silent Things
The Outsider
American Pastoral

2018 Duds
Magic's Pawn
Luck in the Shadows
Armada
Sometimes a Great Notion
Ghost Boy
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Peat on January 17, 2019, 02:16:19 PM
For what it's worth the next book in the series, Magic's Promise is a far better story and also I think a lot more tied to a gay experience. I actually read it before Magic's Pawn, for which I'm rather thankful as I'm not sure I'd have bothered to read Magic's Promise if I had. Not saying anyone should read it if they disliked the first, but if anyone's on the fence on Lackey, might be worth a gander.

Last book isn't all that. Not Lackey's finest work in general.

Also, everyone should read Max Gladstone. He might just be the best thing about modern fantasy.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: DrNefario on January 18, 2019, 01:21:46 PM
I keep meaning to go through my 2018 list and figure out what I liked and what I didn't. I might remember to do it one day.

For me, though, the ones that tend to stand out are the ones I really liked and didn't have any expectations going in, like Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe. If I just read the next book by an author I already know I like, it doesn't tend to stand out so much.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Jake Baelish on January 19, 2019, 04:45:10 AM
And I almost forgot A Song for Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Song of Achilles is an absolutely wonderful read  :)

Thanks for the other suggestions!

Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy on January 19, 2019, 09:32:31 AM
And I almost forgot A Song for Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Song of Achilles is an absolutely wonderful read  :)

Thanks for the other suggestions!
They’re not traditional, they’re alt history, but Sarah Gailey’s American Hippo duology features LGBT characters.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: cupiscent on January 19, 2019, 09:53:26 PM
They’re not traditional, they’re alt history, but Sarah Gailey’s American Hippo duology features LGBT characters.

I just picked this up from the bookstore the other day and now I'm even more excited to read it!
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Elfy on January 19, 2019, 10:58:57 PM
They’re not traditional, they’re alt history, but Sarah Gailey’s American Hippo duology features LGBT characters.

I just picked this up from the bookstore the other day and now I'm even more excited to read it!
I really liked them. It’s quite an interesting idea and I thought very well done.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: EdMcDonald_Blackwing on January 20, 2019, 01:30:05 PM
My top 5:

Rawblood - Catriona Ward
The Last Namsara - Kristen Ciccarelli
The Ember Blade - Chris Wooding
Age of Assassins - RJ Barker
Priest of Bones - Peter Mclean

I don't have any least satisfying as I just stop reading if I'm not invested. Some books just aren't written for me.
Title: Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying
Post by: Alex on February 13, 2019, 10:59:10 AM
Top five

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Force of Chaos by Lin Senchaid
The Magic Cottage by James herbert
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
A Secret Twice Hidden by Shanna Lauffey


Disappointments


The Search for Rasha by Paul B. Skousen
The Amulet Thief by Luanne Bennet
A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind