October 24, 2017, 10:41:25 AM

Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 1149722 times)

Online S. K. Inkslinger

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10965 on: September 10, 2017, 11:42:27 AM »
I'm currently reading King of Thorns. With 3-4 seperate timeline told simultaneously, things do get quite confusing around here.  :P  I still enjoyed Jorg's ponderings and witty remarks on things, though.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10966 on: September 10, 2017, 10:53:36 PM »
Which vorkosigan?

@Jmack you sound like a parent forcing a child to eat it's vegetables ;-)
;D

They have Cryoburn, Captain Vorpatril's alliance and Gentleman Jole and the red queen.
None really caught my eye, to be honest...

Trying to force feed luscious cake.  :D

Yeah, those three aren't where you need to start and aren't the best.
Lejays17 started with Cryoburn and got hooked. I didn't. I also read Vorpatril and still didn't get the fuss, although a lot of people rate A Civil Campaign as one of the best of the series.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10967 on: September 10, 2017, 11:03:39 PM »
I'm currently reading King of Thorns. With 3-4 seperate timeline told simultaneously, things do get quite confusing around here.  :P  I still enjoyed Jorg's ponderings and witty remarks on things, though.

I remember I had the same problem when I first read KoT. This will last to about 30% in and things get smooth again.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline DaniMcDani

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10968 on: September 11, 2017, 06:00:01 AM »
I am reading Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.  After reading a couple books from the Broken Empire series and absolutely flipping out over them because of the brilliant writing style, I eagerly grabbed this new series of his.   But Red Sister is leaving me perplexed.  It is like it could have been written by a completely different person.
 The style is so different, it is as if Lawrence is writing YA  -- I had to double check to see if it really was adult fiction.  I also thought maybe it was a series he wrote long before Broken Empire, because the writing style seems way less sophisticated.  But Red was published in 2017.  Erk.  What happened?  After the incredibly sleek and almost poetic writing style of the Broken Empire series, Red Sister seems strangely pedestrian in its style and some of the characters (like the high priest) are walking cliches.  And the Harry Potter vibe is kinda disappointing because it is rather unoriginal, and Lawrence was always so great at doing original.  I am still having fun reading the book, though, and I love the heroine.  I guess it is a tribute to the author if he can pull off such weirdly different writing styles so as to seem like it was written by a different person.

This is me eating my hat.  I was so wrong...  I am now 3/4s of the way through now and this book did a 180 in the second part.  And then it did another one.  And another one.  And then it did so many more that I no longer have any idea where the hell it is going, so I am lovin' it.  lol  It is as original as I would expect from Laurence after all.   8)

Offline DrNefario

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10969 on: September 11, 2017, 01:17:07 PM »
I finished The Islanders by Christopher Priest. With the gazetteer structure, it was often a bit like reading a short story collection, which I thought would really slow me down, but I kind of turned it to my advantage over the weekend and kept dipping in during the day. Ultimately kind of weird but good. There are some recurring stories - mainly involving famous figures who keep turning up on various islands - and the writing is excellent. It's set in the Dream Archipelago, which has featured in some of Priest's other works, and which is very much like the modern real world for the most part, except for being entirely made up.

I was hoping there would be a bit more seafaring, so I could use it for one of the trickier Reddit Bingo slots, but I guess I'll have to pencil it in under Award-Winning.

I've moved on to Red Rising by Pierce Brown, which I've kind of been avoiding despite/because of all the hype. I feel I know what kind of book it's going to be, and I imagine I'll enjoy it but I fear it might be empty calories. We'll see. So far it's been OK.

Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10970 on: September 12, 2017, 06:33:18 AM »
I finished Golden Son by Pierce Brown. 5/5

Great book, plenty of twists, revelations and this time more focused on intrigue and relationships. This allowed fleshing out a lot of characters, both new and old.

I only have two complaints. One involves the use others mentioned here about hiding stuff and revealing it later as a plot twist. It wasn't done much (only two times, one very early and the other without much consequence) but it really distracted me.

Would two or three chapters showing him training kill the pace? Or that he planned to plant a tracker on an enemy instead of only telling he did it various chapters later?

I know it's a technique used by some authors, but I think it's pretty hard to pull it off in first person where we're inside a character's head and inner thoughts all the time and they have something world-changing planned and we're only inside when they don't think about it except when they're about to pull it off or after they do.

It totally shows the hand of the author and that he's doing it for the sake of surprise, pace, or both.

Then in Golden Son you also have present tense, used to give a sense of real time and immediateness, which is kinda of ironic and even more distracting when the character has to stop and reminisce about it.

The second is a certain betrayal:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Roque's betrayal felt forced to me.

First, there was a scene in the ship where everyone is discussing if Victra's a spy and that they should quarantine her.
Then Roque comes and say a grandiose speech about the power of friendship, how she fought with them at the Institute, remained with them and even killed some of the people trying to kill them. And because of that he's disgusted with how they're suspecting Victra.

All nice and good, except that a few seconds earlier Tactus had just betrayed them and did all that as well.
Worse, he doesn't extend the same courtesy to Darrow throughout the book, much for the contrary.

Second, and perhaps the most intriguing, is that he resents being left in the dark or kept at arms length.
It would be fine if wasn't for one reason: he's a military commander. He even becomes Imperator.

A commander knows about the necessity of secrecy and some distance from his men, even if he truly loves them. He knows how his society operates, he frequently reads and studies about it. He above everyone else with Darrow should know this.

Unfortunately it isn't a case of hypocrisy or envy, the book does a lot to make you believe it was a natural progression, but it was not. Not for his status, background and overall character.

Specially when people he liked and defended, like Mustang, Victra, Sevro and others who treated him well and he had no problems with would be killed too. And he went to work for the Sovereign and Aja, who killed Quinn.

Again, I would accept this if it looked like hypocrisy, envy or even stupidity, but it's really hinted and portrayed as a natural consequence of Darrow's actions.

But despite those two complaints (don't let the length of it think it was something ubber major) the book does excel in interconnecting characters with different objectives, beliefs and desires, create situations and explore the consequences wherever they may lead, all the while providing some nuance with it instead of clear-cut black and white.

Just hope the hide-and-reveal-later tactic isn't overblown or extremely decisive in book 3.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline xiagan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10971 on: September 12, 2017, 08:43:02 AM »
Finished Perdido Street Station 5/5. Now not sure if I'll read the next Bas-Lag, City of Blades, the Obelisk Gate or Daylight War (finally continuing the series now that the last book's nearly out).
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Peat

Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10972 on: September 12, 2017, 12:46:51 PM »
Dipping in and out of The Night Circus. At that awkward position with a book where there's a lot to like about it so I want to continue but my enjoyment level isn't quite there. It'll be there for 20 pages or so then something jolts me out.

Maybe its time to switch to all that lovely Max Gladstone I brought on kindle. Or finish The King in Yellow. Or go back to sleep.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10973 on: September 12, 2017, 05:05:35 PM »
After seeing the recent movie version of It (I've never read the book) I picked up the original book to see if I'd enjoy it as much as the movie. One of the things I've found interesting, having not read much Stephen King in the past, is how much I find myself skimming his work. Subjectivity is an odd thing.

When things are actually happening in It (so far), I'm glued to the book. There's an early scene with an adult Bev Marsh and her abusive husband that riveted me because I was worried for her. But King also tends to go on for pages and PAGES about random town history stuff that makes my eyes glaze over. We'll get a page of OMG what just happened, followed by four-eight pages talking about how the town sewage treament system works, and how in 1932 there was a parade or something, and how one random bar character likes his eggs. I realize many people eat this up (because it feel authentic) but it bores the hell out of me.

It really is interesting to me, as a writer (and reader) how one person's vivid, "book feels real" details are another person's "Can we stop explaining how many parade floats they had in 1932 and get back to the creepy clown story?"
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Offline Ryan Mueller

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10974 on: September 12, 2017, 06:28:13 PM »
After seeing the recent movie version of It (I've never read the book) I picked up the original book to see if I'd enjoy it as much as the movie. One of the things I've found interesting, having not read much Stephen King in the past, is how much I find myself skimming his work. Subjectivity is an odd thing.

When things are actually happening in It (so far), I'm glued to the book. There's an early scene with an adult Bev Marsh and her abusive husband that riveted me because I was worried for her. But King also tends to go on for pages and PAGES about random town history stuff that makes my eyes glaze over. We'll get a page of OMG what just happened, followed by four-eight pages talking about how the town sewage treament system works, and how in 1932 there was a parade or something, and how one random bar character likes his eggs. I realize many people eat this up (because it feel authentic) but it bores the hell out of me.

It really is interesting to me, as a writer (and reader) how one person's vivid, "book feels real" details are another person's "Can we stop explaining how many parade floats they had in 1932 and get back to the creepy clown story?"

That's my biggest issue with what I've read of King. I feel like he could easily cut 30% of the words in his books, and it would make them much better stories. I've still liked what I read. It's just wordier than I like.

Offline Nora

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10975 on: September 12, 2017, 10:19:20 PM »
@Lanko, you are counting in your "reverse explanation plot twist" the entire scheming of the ending right??

Spoiler for Hiden:
When Darrow gives his former best mate the hollo of "something" and then Sevro "fake dies" and they're all dragged as loosers in the private quarters of the sovereign?

Also, and worst of all as far as I'm concerned, the fact that darrow had a child. NOTHING hinted at it and it's absolutely giving no impact whatsoever on the story. It's even forgettable. I found that last "aha, I got you there reader!" moment annoying.

Putting aside The Terror because I'm getting involved in Book groups at Waterstones, in hope of inheriting charge of the Sci fi book group. So I have two days to read The Guest Cat.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10976 on: September 12, 2017, 10:46:50 PM »
After seeing the recent movie version of It (I've never read the book) I picked up the original book to see if I'd enjoy it as much as the movie. One of the things I've found interesting, having not read much Stephen King in the past, is how much I find myself skimming his work. Subjectivity is an odd thing.

When things are actually happening in It (so far), I'm glued to the book. There's an early scene with an adult Bev Marsh and her abusive husband that riveted me because I was worried for her. But King also tends to go on for pages and PAGES about random town history stuff that makes my eyes glaze over. We'll get a page of OMG what just happened, followed by four-eight pages talking about how the town sewage treament system works, and how in 1932 there was a parade or something, and how one random bar character likes his eggs. I realize many people eat this up (because it feel authentic) but it bores the hell out of me.

It really is interesting to me, as a writer (and reader) how one person's vivid, "book feels real" details are another person's "Can we stop explaining how many parade floats they had in 1932 and get back to the creepy clown story?"
A lot of people have that issue with It, but I loved those interludes, then again I do like that sort of thing. I also tend to have a problem seeing a film, then reading the book, because I keep expecting things to happen. Interestingly it doesn't work in reverse. I only recently reread It (after having last read it many years ago) and positively bucketed through it, getting through all 1130+ pages in just under two weeks. I find the little town histories really interesting in that they make the place seem realer and give it some genuine depth.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Rukaio_Alter

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10977 on: September 12, 2017, 11:57:06 PM »
After seeing the recent movie version of It (I've never read the book) I picked up the original book to see if I'd enjoy it as much as the movie. One of the things I've found interesting, having not read much Stephen King in the past, is how much I find myself skimming his work. Subjectivity is an odd thing.

When things are actually happening in It (so far), I'm glued to the book. There's an early scene with an adult Bev Marsh and her abusive husband that riveted me because I was worried for her. But King also tends to go on for pages and PAGES about random town history stuff that makes my eyes glaze over. We'll get a page of OMG what just happened, followed by four-eight pages talking about how the town sewage treament system works, and how in 1932 there was a parade or something, and how one random bar character likes his eggs. I realize many people eat this up (because it feel authentic) but it bores the hell out of me.

It really is interesting to me, as a writer (and reader) how one person's vivid, "book feels real" details are another person's "Can we stop explaining how many parade floats they had in 1932 and get back to the creepy clown story?"
A lot of people have that issue with It, but I loved those interludes, then again I do like that sort of thing. I also tend to have a problem seeing a film, then reading the book, because I keep expecting things to happen. Interestingly it doesn't work in reverse. I only recently reread It (after having last read it many years ago) and positively bucketed through it, getting through all 1130+ pages in just under two weeks. I find the little town histories really interesting in that they make the place seem realer and give it some genuine depth.
Personally, I both like and dislike the way King expands on so much stuff in IT. On the one hand, it helps add a great sense of depth and history to the town and adds some extra dimensions to characters who could easily have just been throwaways. The way King goes off of tangents adds some real life to the proceedings and settings and makes Derry feel like a fully realised setting.

But, on the other hand, I really hated how much he told us about the actual titular creature of the book and the ridiculous mythology behind its origins. Robbed IT of a lot of its mystery and unknowable horror and overcomplicated what was otherwise a fun horror tale. Sometimes things are really better off left unexplained, you know? Especially in a horror story.

That's partly why I think I ultimately preferred the recent film version over the book. I did enjoy the book when I read it (although it's been a while) but the film knew how to keep its story appropriately slim and managed to seamlessly cut out the stupider aspects.
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Offline xiagan

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10978 on: September 13, 2017, 06:22:21 PM »
Started Obelisk Gate. Need to remember some of the names but it comes back easily and I'm already hooked after the first few pages. :)
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Offline Jmack

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #10979 on: September 14, 2017, 12:55:00 AM »
Started Obelisk Gate. Need to remember some of the names but it comes back easily and I'm already hooked after the first few pages. :)

Listened to it on my commute today; my current recorded book.  ;D
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