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Messages - JCkang

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Science Fantasy
« on: November 21, 2018, 01:59:05 AM »
Mark Lawrence's Red Sister is told from a fantasy perspective, but clearly has sci-fi elements.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Science Fantasy
« on: November 21, 2018, 01:57:22 AM »
I read Brandon Barr's Rise of the Seer and an ARC of its sequel, Bridge Beyond Her World. It's a sci-fantasy setting, though the sci-part doesn't really come into play until Book 2.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in October 2018
« on: November 21, 2018, 01:53:12 AM »
Servant of the Underworld, by Aliette De Bodard

Rise of the Seer, by Brandon Barr

A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J Maas

Paternus 2, by Dyrk Ashton

I also started and gave up on A Court of Wings and Ruin, Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind, and Steve Erickson's Gardens of the Moon.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: September 05, 2017, 04:34:41 PM »
I'm on chapter 12 of Crimson Queen.  So far, I'm loving the world building and beautiful prose.

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I finished The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French.  Absolutely loved it.  My review:

Half-Orcs Are People, Too.

This fun adventure with first-rate worldbuilding hides a complex plot. As a former D&D player, I am drawn to stories which break the stereotypical molds of fantasy races with spectacular worldbuilding. The Grey Bastards does that, and so much more, telling a tale from the perspective of a half-orc, Jackal.

Throughout most fantasy worlds, we’re not supposed to like half-orcs, but we can’t help but root for Jackal. He is utterly loyal to his “hoof,” one of nine half-orc clans that defend the badlands between orc and human territories on their war boars. If anything motivates him more than protecting his friends, it’s a pretty face, and an overconfidence which gets him in trouble. These foibles make him all the more endearing; while helping to move the plot along in a dangerous place, inhabited by insane Centaurs who go on murderous rampages, Halfling religious fanatics, marsh demons, wild elf tribes, and various humans.

To the half-orc vernacular, each of these groups, and everything around them, has a unique name. Frails, Thicks, Waddlers, Ticklers, Hoofs, Thrice-Bloods… the author organically works the slang in through the dialog and point of view so that it becomes second nature to the reader.

The large cast is mostly memorable through chemistry and dialog, none more so than the mysterious Half-Orc Wizard who arrives out of nowhere and turns Jackal’s life upside down. Each twist and turn in the plot left me awestruck in the brilliance of the story.

If I have any complaint, it’s that some parts feel rushed and telling. Throughout the climax, the sensory filtering put distance between me and Jackal. In addition, some of the synonyms for “said” felt forced throughout, creating a distraction from an otherwise smooth read. It’s because of these small issues that I can only give Grey Bastards a 4.99 out of 5.

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I started The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French. It's the winner of SPFBO 2.

Orcs (well, half-orcs) are the protagonists. Let's see how it goes.

I was about a quarter of the way through before life got super busy, but i was really liking it.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: April 25, 2017, 07:56:40 PM »
Finished Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw. This was a very good coming of age fantasy. The middle third of the book dragged a bit, but I loved the beginning and the end. Overall, I'd give it a 9/10.

It comes across my FB feed frequently, and the cover art is spectacular.  One of these days....

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: April 21, 2017, 11:13:44 PM »
I just started reading Life Debt: Aftermath. It's a part of the new line of Star Wars novels, set shortly after Return of the Jedi.


I started reading Bloodline, but I really had a hard time getting into it.  I don't think I made it past chapter 2.  I did like Asohka, which takes place after Revenge of the Sith and before the Rebels cartoon series.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: April 04, 2017, 07:04:26 PM »
Currently reading Kitchen by Yoshimoto Banana.

I read that decades ago.  Can't remember what it is about!

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 12, 2017, 07:26:47 PM »
I have very vague memories of the miniseries - only one incident was familiar to me, and it was only after reading it that I realised I'd encountered it before - but then it isn't really full of memorable set-pieces. Despite being 1100 pages long, it's mostly about things that might happen rather than things actually happening. Lots of talking, lots of plotting, lots of moving from place to place. Its great strength is in depicting the fairly alien culture of feudal Japan.

The only scene from the miniseries I remembered was the silhouette stripping behind the screen.  For network TV at the time, that was huge.  I tried to rewatch it a couple of years ago, but after having watched so many Japanese-made samurai dramas, I realized just how bad the American-made miniseries was.

As for the book...  I've read King Rat, Noble House, and one more that I can't remember. Plotting and talking is pretty much par for the course for Clavell, and very much a characteristic of 1980s historical fiction.  What I did love is that Blackthorne thinks he is in control of his own destiny, but Toranaga is totally manipulating him.  In real life, however, the sailor Blackthorne was based on was fairly inconsequential to Tokugawa.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 12, 2017, 12:47:51 PM »
I should finish Shogun tonight or (more likely) tomorrow

As in, James Clavell's Shogun?
Yes. I finished it this morning. Not fantasy, of course - although towards the end there is a bit that might owe more to legend than history - but a book I've had for a while and wanted to read this year.

I read it 20-some years ago, and don't remember much of it. I would classify it as historical fiction, though Clavell changed the names for whatever reason.  The miniseries was a huge hit, but even with headline Japanese actors, it bombed in Japan.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: March 10, 2017, 09:15:57 PM »
I should finish Shogun tonight or (more likely) tomorrow

As in, James Clavell's Shogun?

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Late to the party on this thread, but I thought I'd add my two cents.  I saw it twice.  First time, I was disappointed by the lack of the crawl (even though they'd announced that) and the music that only hinted at the Star Wars theme. It just didn't feel like a Star Wars movie from the start.  Then, the first few scenes were all over the place.  I had a hard time connecting with the characters, and was beginning to worry that this was Phantom Menace plot chaos, all over again.

The raid on the archives made it all worth it, and, after Episodes 1-3 watered down Anakin Skywalker, it was good to see the Vader put back in Darth Vader for that climactic scene.

The second time, I enjoyed it so much more.  The character chemistry was great.  Donnie Yen and K2 steal the show.

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Awesome meme.  The reveal  on the TV show was AMAZING, even if everyone and their mother knew about L+R=J, anyway.

Season 7 can't start soon enough!

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Memorable scenes from a ship
« on: March 08, 2017, 06:56:31 PM »
I'm very partial to the very brief scene in Dragons of Winter Night, with Flint and Tas on a ship.  I think the chapter starts, "The old dwarf was dying."  Turns out, he was just seasick.

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