April 20, 2019, 10:05:46 PM

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Messages - DrNefario

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1
Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: April 16, 2019, 01:13:37 PM »
I finished Black Wolves. I really enjoyed it - it was interesting to see how the world of the Crossroads trilogy had changed into this, and it felt logical. I wonder how book 2 is going. Then again, it's a long time since I read the Crossroads books and I didn't have too much trouble remembering what had happened.

Now I can start Holy Sister like, apparently, everyone else in the forum. It's rare for me to read two fantasy books back-to-back, but this one's a library book and I've already had it for a week.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: April 11, 2019, 01:13:59 PM »
I just borrowed Holy Sister from the library, but I'm only a third of the way through the 800-page Black Wolves, which I'm really enjoying. Argh.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: April 06, 2019, 12:44:56 PM »
Finished Bring Up the Bodies, meeting my lit-fic requirement for the year. ;)

I'm moving to Black Wolves by Kate Elliott, which is a long old book and will probably take me a while.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in March 2019
« on: April 02, 2019, 01:13:26 PM »
A tricky month for me, due to a lot of acquisitions (mainly freebies). I only managed to stay ahead of the game by deleting 10 old freebies unread, which feels a little bit like cheating. Eight books read in the end.

- Europe at Dawn (Fractured Europe #4) - Dave Hutchinson - Great conclusion to an excellent and bonkers series, although I have to say I thought #3 was the end at the time.

- Blackwing (Raven's Mark #1) - Ed McDonald - It turned out to be quite topical, but I read this before it all kicked off because it was a Morningstar nominee and I'm trying to read everything that has ever been nominated. I liked it. It was something a bit different. I put the sequel on my wishlist.

- Agent of Change (Liaden #1) - Sharon Lee & Steve Miller - This is the first (published) in a popular SF series. I wasn't all that impressed, which is a bit of a shame because I have several more books in the series.

- Sowing (Purification Era #1) - Angie Grigaliunas - SPFBO finalist, currently at the foot of the leaderboard. I can kind of understand that, I thought the book had some issues, but it did look like it might be going in a more interesting direction towards the end.

- Sole Sacrifice (Kinshield Saga prequel) - K C May - A quick novella I read just to get my numbers up. The first Kinshield book might be the first self-published fantasy book I ever read. I can't remember much about it, but I did pick up the sequel. And then never read it.

- 4.50 from Paddington - Agatha Christie - Fairly decent Marple.

- Level Up - Craig Anderson - Enjoyable light LitRPG where game logic spills over into the real world. (There is an explanation for that, but I won't spoil it.)

- Esther May Morrow's Buy or Borrow - Robert Appleton - Short collection of stories about a magical shop. This is one of the old freebies I was thinking of deleting, then I saw it was short and thought I might as well just read it. It was so-so.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: April 01, 2019, 01:23:13 PM »
I was like page 100 something through Last Argument of KIngs when my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to just flipped through to the end of the book. For a while now, I had the feeling that the ending wasn't going to be good, and boy how I was right. Thus end my journey through one of the most disappointing series I've ever read, which made me wonder why did I even bothered to slog through book 1 in the first place. With authors that are determined to shit at everyone of their character's life there are no happy ways out, I guess.
The ending was deliberately ambiguous. Personally, I loved it, but to each their own.
I didn't love the ending of The First Law at the time, but I have since come to the conclusion that it is the right ending. And it's also important to set up the standalones, which I think I generally like more. (I think of it as a John Le Carre ending.)

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Yeah, you never know. I might not even be a real doctor.

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Yes, I didn't know anything about it until I saw the fallout on Reddit yesterday. Sometimes it's kind of nice not to be very well connected.

I read Blackwing earlier this month, and I'm glad I didn't have my experience coloured by these phony allegations.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 27, 2019, 01:25:31 PM »
I finished Level Up by Craig Anderson. It was fine. Moderately amusing. Kind of light.

In what should be a big contrast, I've moved on to Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, the second Wolf Hall book, which I've been meaning to read for a couple of years. This should see me into April and the new Reddit Bingo card.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 25, 2019, 01:33:59 PM »
I finished Sowing by Angie Grigaliunas a few days ago. It was so-so. It started kind of like a YA dystopia, but seemed like it might be developing a bit more nuance towards the end.

I'm now reading Level Up by Craig Anderson, a LitRPG I picked up for free a short while ago. It's kind of fun, and I think I'm going to blow through it quite quickly. It's about videogame mechanics spilling over into the real world. I was just looking for something quick - and ideally something I acquired this year, since I've been very bad about starting my new books - and this suited me well.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 18, 2019, 01:12:49 PM »
Finished Agent of Change. Wasn't that impressed.

I have now started Sowing by Angie Grigaliunas, which is currently at the foot of the finalists table in the SPFBO. I seem to be reading it fairly quickly, but I'm not sure I'm really enjoying it.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 12, 2019, 01:09:39 PM »
I finished Blackwing by Ed McDonald. It took me a while to get going, as a minor illness was wiping out my reading time, but I really enjoyed it. A bit of a different setting. The sequel has gone on my wishlist, although I think the book stands pretty well alone.

Back to SF next. I've started Agent of Change by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, the first (published) Liaden novel, which is probably still available from the Baen Free Library. I've got a few more books in this series, and though it was about time I figured out if I liked it. I decided to go for publication order rather than chronological.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 05, 2019, 01:18:13 PM »
I finished Europe at Dawn (Fractured Europe #4) by Dave Hutchinson (I decided to be good and finish the old series rather than start the new one). I enjoyed it a lot, although I wouldn't say it was especially more conclusive than book 3, which I had thought was the end of the series until this one appeared. It's more fun spy nonsense, and I'd say there's a good case to put it on the fantasy side of the spec-fic line. Hutchinson's real gift, though, is the characters.

Next is going to be Blackwing, as I mentioned last time.

13
A relatively slow month for me, and I only made it to six because of two short books in four days last week. I didn't have any multitasked books to bail me out this time. I've been reading the same non-fiction book for ages, and haven't spent much time on it this month due to gaming (Dragon Quest XI).

Banewreaker (The Sundering #1) - Jacqueline Carey - An interesting inversion of the usual fantasy, this one is told from the point of view of the bad guys. I mean, they don't necessarily agree that they're the bad guys, but popular opinion is against them. I found it a little bit heavy going, but I am planning to read the concluding part sometime.

Columbus Day (Expeditionary Force #1) - Craig Alanson - Popular self-published military SF. I thought it was OK. There's a character introduced some way in who is easily the best thing in the book, but is also way overpowered and kind of inconsistently so. I'm undecided on whether I want to continue, but this book stands well enough alone.

Trinity Rising (Wild Hunt #2) - Elspeth Cooper - I enjoyed this, after a fairly dark start. It mainly follows a new character, so I was able to get by on my hazy memories of book 1 from four years ago.

The Black Prince - Adam Roberts - Historical fiction based on a script by Anthony Burgess. History is way darker than grimdark fantasy.

Dead Man's Folly (Poirot) - Agatha Christie - Fairly entertaining Poirot, although there is one element that's hard to believe. An enjoyable snack.

The Grey King (Dark is Rising #4) - Susan Cooper - I'm kind of wishing I hadn't bought the omnibus of these, to be honest. They might be children's classics, but they don't do a lot for middle-aged me. The atmosphere is good, but I just find the magical solutions a bit woolly. It's hard to believe that the main character is in any danger after the events of book 2. Still, only one to go, and they don't take long to read.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Retconning
« on: March 01, 2019, 01:33:23 PM »
I've never quite known what it stands for - retroactive continuity? - but it's about recasting earlier events based on later ideas. Often it will be a prequel "explaining" (rewriting) the reasons for something in the original work.

I don't really like it, but I can see that it is sometimes necessary, and I tend to be able to just regard things as non-canon if I don't like them.

Highlander 2 is possibly the worst example I can think of, bringing in a whole unnecessary, nonsensical and undermining explanation of the events in Highlander 1. I ignore it.

I can't think of many examples in books. I believe Asimov spent ages trying to make his Foundation and Robots universes fit together, but I haven't read any of the clunky joining books.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: February 27, 2019, 01:18:25 PM »
Next up I've gone for another short book in an attempt to shore up my figures for February, The Grey King by Susan Cooper (Dark is Rising #4). It would be nice to get this series finished this year. And I've only just realised that I've gone from the black prince to the grey king.
I finished The Grey King last night. Maybe a bit later than was ideal but, you know, I was near the end. It was quite good, but I don't think I'm really appreciating this classic children's series.

That's two books in 4 days, which is pretty good going for me, even if they were both short. (The Grey King is only 120 pages in the omnibus edition I have, although I think that would convert to 160-180 normal-sized pages.)

Anyway, I'm not actually sure what's next. My next fantasy book is probably going to be Blackwing by Ed McDonald, but I like to alternate genres so I want to read something else first. Probably SF. Maybe either Europe at Dawn (Fractured Europe #4) or Shelter (Aftermath #1) by Dave Hutchinson. My head says I should finish the former series before starting the latter, but I might be more in the mood for the latter.

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