October 24, 2017, 10:40:16 AM

Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1149715 times)

Offline Eclipse

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11115 on: October 07, 2017, 04:07:37 PM »
I picked up The Core from the library today, and since I assume there will be a queue for it, I won't be able to renew it, so I'd better put my current reading aside and read this one first - all 856 pages of it ::) ;D

Three books in one! That should last you a week
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11116 on: October 07, 2017, 09:30:49 PM »
Nah, been reading quite slowly lately...
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Offline Jmack

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11117 on: October 08, 2017, 05:24:48 PM »
Just finished “Gedlund” by @WilliamRay , and what a superb read.
I’ll be posting a review on Amazon, so here is a practice version:
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“Gedlund” is a cracking good adventure story with great characters, suspense, mystery, and battles galore. You could call it gunpowder fantasy or steam fantasy (as the author does; sort of steam punk without the punk), but the genre isn’t important. Just stir up a brew of 19th century armies, British empire ethnocentrism, magic, vampyres, dark lords, zombies, and the clash of modernity with traditional societies and you have “Gedlund.”

The value of self-publishing is clear here. This book “should” have a publisher. It should be in your local bookstore. I’m just glad it’s available as an ebook. Buy it.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Offline abatch

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11118 on: October 08, 2017, 08:54:04 PM »
The Goblins of Bellwater, by Molly Ringle. Romantic fantasy, I guess I'd call it.

Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11119 on: October 09, 2017, 01:46:15 AM »
I picked and finished Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell by Brandon Sanderson in 1 or 2 hours. 5/5

Again one of his novellas worked far better for me than his long novels. Though I say this having yet to read some of his more modern works, like 2nd Mistborn or Stormlight.

The length limitation (or maybe he usually does that?) do cause sometimes some awkward passages, like characters in tense depicted situations suddenly reflecting on religion, culture, even the painting on the wall when they really shouldn't.

But the amazing parts are when things previously shown or told and that even might look not that big of a deal is then cleverly connected to something else or appears in a big way in some plot twist. The Sanderson trademark, for me what really makes his stories work, not the magic system.

EDIT: Forgot to mention it's a novella of around 50 pages.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 09:42:25 AM by Lanko »
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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11120 on: October 09, 2017, 04:57:37 AM »
Finished Skyfarer by Joseph Brassey. Great book. It's like it was written basically for me, so it was an easy 5-star. Here's my review so you guys can decide if you might enjoy it.

Quote
While author Joseph Brassey's book may advertise itself as inspired by Star Wars, a much better comparison would be the JRPGs (most of us) played in our youth, and two incredible games in particular - Final Fantasy IV (for character arcs) and Final Fantasy XII (for airships and awesome). Anyone who has played either of those will feel immediately at home in Brassey's world of floating islands, sleek airships, powerful mages, and armored sword wielders. There is even, as you'd expect, a crystal everyone wants.

While this may sound like a critique of the book, it is in fact a full-throated recommendation. All authors are influenced by stories they've loved, and Brassey doesn't so much recycle these ideas as use them as a jumping off point for an original action-packed adventure. Everything you'd get in a great book OR game is here: fast-paced sword and magic duels, fleets of airships slugging it out with magic cannons, interesting characters and snarky one-liners. There's even a boss battle at the end!

Our protagonist, Aimee, is competent and interesting without being overpowered. While she is certainly presented as a gifted mage, nothing she does feels inevitable or unearned, but instead a result of her training and quick thinking. As the newcomer to the crew of the Elysium (crewed by, you guessed it, skyfarers) Aimee is both our lens into the world and the Elysium's crew, a group of warriors and engineers who would fit right into flying the Highwind in Final Fantasy X (or a Firefly-class transport).

The book's primary antagonist, Azrael, the tormented Dark Knight hunting the Elysium and her crew, is the only other POV character, but he has his own journey and shares equal weight with Aimee as the book unfolds. As chapter breaks shift between Aimee and Azrael, we get a compelling story of both predator and prey, ending in an inevitable showdown I was anticipating for chapters. Finally, the book tells a complete story while leaving threads open for a sequel, which is the way to start a new series.

My critiques are minor. I saw most of the twists coming from the first few chapters, but to be fair, I'm intimately familiar with some of the inspiration. Moreover, anticipating the twists didn't spoil my enjoyment, and in fact increased my anticipation for the eventual reveal. Even if you figure out where the book is going, the journey is fun and fast-paced enough that you'll enjoy the journey to get there.

My only other issue (and it's not really even a critique) is that Aimee and Azrael, as the two POV characters, are the only characters who get any real development. That's not to say Brassey hasn't thought out the backstories of the other characters (it's obvious he has) but, in this book at least, the other characters serve as mentors, foils, and sidekicks to Aimee or Azrael. I hope we'll see the other characters fleshed out in future books, particularly Harkon Bright and Lord Roland. That's one inevitable showdown I very much look forward to seeing in a future book.

Finally, what Brassey does well is follow the "rule of cool" which makes stories like this so interesting. He provides just enough underlying worldbuilding for you to understand why the world works the way it does before freeing his characters to unleash hell on each other, blowing things up and getting into ridiculously epic sword fights because epic sword fights are cool. One character even lets the enemy ram his floating mountain with a kamikaze airship because, and I quote "I wanted his sword."

If you like fast-paced adventure, sci-fantasy worldbuilding, and black knights, this is the book for you.

I think I need to read this right now.

Offline xiagan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11121 on: October 09, 2017, 08:29:55 AM »
Halfway through Daylight War and I don't have any qualms with it yet and I'm enjoying it. (Not as affected by the "hillbilly speak" as you native speakers, I guess. ;))
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Offline joz11

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11122 on: October 09, 2017, 10:57:35 AM »
Hi!
I just finished the Faceless:The Takeover and I love it. If somebody like the shapeshifters story go and read it you don't be disappointment. The story is interesting to the end and we can see the storyline in two different view. The side of a shapeshifter and the side of a paladin inquisitor. 8)

Offline Jmack

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11123 on: October 09, 2017, 11:40:40 AM »
Re-reading “The War of the Usurper” by @Eli_Freysson prior to reading the second book.  :)
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11124 on: October 09, 2017, 12:54:51 PM »
Ace of Skulls by Chris Wooding. I'll be sorry to finish Tales of the Ketty Jay, very enjoyable series.

Offline Alex Hormann

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11125 on: October 09, 2017, 06:01:35 PM »
I'm starting the next phase of my journey through Dune with House Atreides. Once I'm done with this, I'll probably take the plunge and read The Core.

Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11126 on: October 09, 2017, 08:42:21 PM »
I finished How Hitler Could Have Won World War II: The Fatal Errors That Led to Nazi Defeat by Bevin Alexander. 5/5

Insightful, and scary, considering the multiple times and opportunities the Germans had to win. Kind of a warning to those with a taken for granted view like "They were so evil of course they were destined to lose!"

What really stands out is the major incompetency of the high leadership of each country involved, both from Allies and Axis. The amount of mistakes based on bad, irrational and slow decisions by state leaders and generals (though on these the Germans fared far better).

It's a "what if" book with possible scenarios, but while it gives the Germans new scenarios it assumes all other parties would be statically the same. Sure, Germany might've conquered the Middle East for oil and other resources, but it would still need to, you know, actually garrison and keep those countries.
The same thing for Barbarossa. Spreading the attack in three armies was bad, but even if they took Moscow, Russia was still too big and would fight in Siberia.
Even if they followed the book, took North Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and built up properly for the USSR, it's not like the Soviets wouldn't notice the danger of those conquests and would be sitting around for months or years doing nothing.

And that's the problem with these kinds of books, but of course, a "what if" with How Nazi Germany Could've Won is far more provoking and interesting of a theme than say, How Nazi Germany Could've Been Stopped at 1939. But to be fair, it does tackle those themes, and even later what the Allies could've done too.

Anyway, if later Hitler made craploads of mistakes that cost the war, he was merely compensating for everything he gained by the craploads of mistakes by his enemies earlier.
 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 08:44:14 PM by Lanko »
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Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11127 on: October 12, 2017, 03:43:27 PM »
I picked up a Gaiman novella now, Odd and the Frost Giants.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11128 on: October 13, 2017, 01:57:18 PM »
Quote
I think I need to read this right now.

Same!

Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #11129 on: October 13, 2017, 03:58:00 PM »
I finished Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman. 5/5

Quick, interesting and well-written.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2017