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Author Topic: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight  (Read 2916 times)

Offline DavidZampa

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Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« on: February 08, 2015, 10:02:27 AM »
Hello all,

Just recently signed up, and have been lurking around for a few days getting a feel for the place. Time to say hi!

I'm a freelance book cover designer currently living in Georgia, USA, with my wife and two kids. Fantasy has been my go-to passion since I was twelve (I'm now twenty-eight), and I'm fascinated by the Fantasy-Faction community so far. I've met very few people in my local community who can or want to talk at length about the genre, least of all books, so the thought of joining in on the discussions here is exciting to say the least.

My favorite books at the moment are the big name epics (Weeks and Sanderson), and I also try to read a great many new releases by female authors (Favorites include Jo Anderton and Martha Wells), since I've always felt it's a shame how much harder a time they seem to have in breaking out of the mid list. Classic favorites include Roger Zelazny, R. A. Salvatore, Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett.

Looking forward to getting to know everyone better. See you around!

As promised, here is the squirrel:

Full time freelance book cover designer. Does other stuff, too.

Offline Chreus

Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2015, 10:20:40 AM »
That is a lovely squirrel!

Oh and welcome fellow newbie :D If by Weeks you mean Brent Weeks, is it safe to assume you've read the Night Angel books? If yes, what are your thoughts? :o

Offline DavidZampa

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2015, 11:09:37 AM »
That is a lovely squirrel!

Oh and welcome fellow newbie :D If by Weeks you mean Brent Weeks, is it safe to assume you've read the Night Angel books? If yes, what are your thoughts? :o

I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. I love Weeks' prose style, as well as his chapter length. He borrows a lot from the mystery genre in that respect---the short, 1000 word scenes are very attention-friendly, and he clearly edits out all the boring stuff. Those chapters make me feel like I always have time to read one more, then just one more after that, until before I know it I've finished the whole book without stopping to eat. I love his characters, and particularly how Weeks is not shy about putting them in the worst possible situations, then making it devilishly hard for them to get out (yet also competent enough to eventually do so and deserve it). The dialog is extremely intelligent/smart, too.

I will say I felt Night Angel's plotting was a bit incomplete. The pacing was fine, but it kinda lost me around the end of the trilogy with the unveiling of the final, metaphysical antagonist. I don't remember the specifics of what bothered me because it's been so long now, but then again, I think that's the problem. There were some depths there that Weeks just didn't seem to leave himself space to delve into. That said, it didn't really hurt my enjoyment of the series overall, since I felt they were a fun action read, but it kept the series from reaching that same depth as the likes of the Stormlight archive or GoT.

That said, I think with the Lightbringer books Weeks has completely matured as an author, and has outdone himself so far. I'm waiting on the ending before passing judgement, but I have to say so far the series has everything that was exceptional about Night Angel, plus a deeper level of world building that's just about perfect. Plus I have to say, Durzo and Azoth in Night Angel were so good, so compelling, and I love how he carried that skill in character development over to Lightbringer, but also multiplied it over about a dozen characters. Night Angel got me hooked. Lightbringer made Weeks' probably one of my top three favorite authors.

How about you? Curious, too, how long did they take you to read? I was shocked by how fast I got through them. I'm normally a slow reader, but I couldn't stop turning pages.
Full time freelance book cover designer. Does other stuff, too.

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2015, 02:50:21 PM »
Welcome, That squirrel is awesome thank you. Don't know if you seen this but I Link it anyway
 
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-book-discussion/female-fantasy-authors/msg5001/#msg5001

What are you currently reading?
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 JMack

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2015, 06:13:17 PM »
Welcome, David!  Glad you found us.  Inquiring minds want to know... where exactly did the picture of the squirrel come from?
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline Chreus

Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2015, 07:08:32 PM »
How about you? Curious, too, how long did they take you to read? I was shocked by how fast I got through them. I'm normally a slow reader, but I couldn't stop turning pages.

Wow, that was a nice and elaborate answer. I approve!

All in all, a very enjoyable read! It had what is by far most important for me in a book; An interesting main character! In fact, all the characters were great. For me a great author is someone who can make believable three-dimensional characters and Weeks is really good at that.

I also like the fact that the books were able to surprise me. Often I find that a lot of stories are quite predictable, and while parts were just that, there were still moments where I went "Shit, did that really happen?!" I wont name examples to avoid spoilers for anyone else reading this but he had a good few of those moments and I love it! Even if it is a negative thing happening!

I also like the fact that Weeks doesn't shy away from the ugliness that is murder and violence. (Don't get me wrong, I need a certain amount of violence in a book just to stay interested xD). He describes the gory details down to a man literally shi**ing himself in the death throws and doesn't try to glorify war or violence. Keeps it nice and realistic. Even when killing is happening by "magic". :P

The only drawback for me I felt that there was a little bit of too much info dumping at times. This bores me very quickly. I understand that every book needs a bit of exposition but in order not to get dull it has to be vowen in in a clever way of some sorts. There was another tiny drawback, or well actually its more funny than anything, but every now and then I felt that Weeks had a need to show off all the big words he knows :P when you suddenly get an 18 letter word in the middle of an otherwise normal sentence it just seems a bit out of place.

But part from those minor nitpicks, loved it!

Oh and to answer your question, it took me about 3 weeks all together. However a week and a half of that time was spent pacing back and forth waiting for book 2 and 3 to arrive in the mail >.>

Offline Elfy

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 10:16:58 PM »
Welcome and I love the squirrel picture. I now want to go to the alternate reality where that's a real thing.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline DavidZampa

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2015, 08:04:20 AM »
Welcome, That squirrel is awesome thank you. Don't know if you seen this but I Link it anyway
 
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-book-discussion/female-fantasy-authors/msg5001/#msg5001

What are you currently reading?

I had stumbled on that the other day. It's one of several I have bookmarked I'm looking forward to reading up on.  I'm nervous to comment on anything I jump in on without knowing what came before. Then I'd end up being "that guy" the mod has to show up and link to the part of the discussion he missed >_<.

Just started Sanderson's Words of Radiance earlier today. I've been putting it off way too long, but had a plane trip today and finally got started. Way of Kings impressed the hell out of me, so I've got really high expectations.

Quote
...where exactly did the picture of the squirrel come from?

A friend of mine maintains a Facebook page dedicated to squirrel shenanigans, and it's one of my favorites. Found that little dude there and thought he might help distract people who read my introduction from noticing how boring I am  ;D. There are a bunch of other great ones on the page. You can check it out here:

https://www.facebook.com/PaulsFlyingSquirrelSquadron

Elfy: I know! I'd want to meet this guy, too. I feel like we'd be friends. Like he'd really want to hang out with me:



Quote
I also like the fact that Weeks doesn't shy away from the ugliness that is murder and violence.

Oooh, very true! He reminds me of Terry Brooks a lot in that respect. The reality of it makes it so much more believable when characters get a little screwed up in the head after killing someone in a disturbing way.

Your mention of the violence reminds me, I did also get a little weary of characters being killed off at a point. There were times when I found myself resigning to a character's eventual death as soon as they were introduced. I didn't really allow myself to get personally invested for fear of them being offed. Again, though, that's to be expected from that sort of ninja assassin premise, so it wouldn't be fair for me to make it a criticism of the book's quality. I am really impressed that he kills so many kids, though (I know how horrible that sounds, but let me explain). Typically authors get really bad backlash from readers when they portray child murder/child killing, even in war. It takes guts to actually have kids die in a scene (like in the opening scenes of the  Lightbringer series), rather than just cutting the scene short and implying or relating that it happened. Not that I enjoy reading kids dying, but I'm really in favor of sociopathy being portrayed accurately in fiction, and if a character truly doesn't have a conscience, it doesn't matter to them if they're killing a man, woman, or child. All that matters is their own agenda.
Full time freelance book cover designer. Does other stuff, too.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2015, 10:46:05 PM »
Your squirrel knight would make a great character. He keeps reminding me of Reepicheep and Mus of Kerridge, even Despereraux and interestingly they're all mice. Where are the great heroic squirrel knights?
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline DavidZampa

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2015, 04:44:34 AM »
Where are the great heroic squirrel knights?

Oh, they're out there. They fight all the missions the mice aren't able to handle. Squeal Team Six.
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2015, 05:44:56 AM »
Where are the great heroic squirrel knights?

Oh, they're out there. They fight all the missions the mice aren't able to handle. Squeal Team Six.
Unfortunately we only have possums and they're more of a nuisance than anything else.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2015, 08:05:26 AM »
All these pictures make me think of Redwall :D, and wanting to revisit them.
Unfortunately they're with my sister down in London...
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Offline Fallen One

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2015, 09:46:29 AM »

 Hello and welcome!

 Also, I take your squirrel knight and upgrade it to a futuristic Warhamster!

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Offline Elfy

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Re: Introduction and a Picture of a Squirrel Dressed as a Knight
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2015, 11:51:24 PM »
It's all reminding me of the rabbit strike force team in Hop.
I will expand your TBR pile.

http://purpledovehouse.blogspot.com