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What books are you currently reading?


Books

6,351 to 6,357 of 6,357 << first < prev | 118 | 119 | 120 | 121 | 122 | 123 | 124 | 125 | 126 | 127 | 128 | next > last >>
Shadow Lodge

In my own news, finished Queen of Thorns last night and posted my review. Moving on to King of Chaos.

By the time I finish that, the latest book in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, The Winter Long, should be out so I'll be moving on to that, followed by going back to the Pathfinder Tales with The Crusader Road.

Qadira

Uncle Taco wrote:

Just started Anathem. I found a hardback copy in a used book store today (as well as a copy of Saturn's Children with the British cover ^_^) and decided to reread it because for the life of me I cannot remember anything but slivers of its story.

Can anyone recommend any fantasy where the protagonist isn't a very special snowflake? I've been having trouble finding stuff that doesn't engage in Great Man fiction.

Not exactly a fantasy, but you might want to check out TALES OF THE KETTY JAY, aka STEAMPUNK BUTTERFLY. Not about special snowflakes at all, and it actually feels at times like the author goes a little bit too far with making his characters convincingly outlaws.

For more fantasy but less action, check out Robin Hobb's wonderful THE LIVESHIP TRADERS, that has several characters, most of them regular people in fantastic situations.

Do not, under any circumstances, read THE NAME OF THE WIND.

Qadira

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:


Do not, under any circumstances, read THE NAME OF THE WIND.

My girlfriend keeps suggesting it. I keep saying no. I'll check the other two out!


For non-special snowflakes, I'd recommend Juliet E. McKenna's books set in Einarrin, Ellen Kushner's three Riverside novels (Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword, and The Fall of the Kings).

While Django Wexler's series The Shadow Campaigns does have its fair share of snowflakes, the point-of-view character are mostly just protagonist-special.

Anf, of course, a lot of D&D and Pathfinder tie-in fiction feature characters that's low-to-middle in power and specialness (although less so in later books wit recurring characters, obviously) - for some utterly mundane characters involved in good stories I'd start by looking at Rosemary Jones's Forgotten Realms novels.

Qadira

Uncle Taco wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


Do not, under any circumstances, read THE NAME OF THE WIND.
My girlfriend keeps suggesting it. I keep saying no. I'll check the other two out!

I can certainly see where she's coming for - I tend to think of "The Name of the Wind" as the best incarnation of the Mery Su (is it Gery Su for a boy or something?) I have ever seen. Character is unabashedly the specialist of snowflakes in the universe, but the book is so fun that I didn't really mind. Sounds like you are more agitated by that kind of thing than I am, though. Also, the second book in the series was a dramatic decrease in quality...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Lord Snow wrote:
Uncle Taco wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:


Do not, under any circumstances, read THE NAME OF THE WIND.
My girlfriend keeps suggesting it. I keep saying no. I'll check the other two out!
I can certainly see where she's coming for - I tend to think of "The Name of the Wind" as the best incarnation of the Mery Su (is it Gery Su for a boy or something?) I have ever seen. Character is unabashedly the specialist of snowflakes in the universe, but the book is so fun that I didn't really mind. Sounds like you are more agitated by that kind of thing than I am, though. Also, the second book in the series was a dramatic decrease in quality...

I've always heard the male version as Gary Stu.

Yeah, Kvothe is indeed the most special of snowflakes. Haven't read the sequel yet though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Finished The Republic of Thieves. Final thoughts? Eh. It was good, but it wasn't as good as the first two books. It felt like it took even longer than they did to get into the meat of it, and it never reached the height of excitement and consequence that the first two did. The games between Locke and Sabetha were fun, and the flashbacks were interesting as well, but on the whole it just felt like it left things back at the status quo. For those wondering what exactly I'm referring to with the status quo comment, I'll put it in spoilers. I'll talk about some of my specific disappointments there as well. There will be actual spoilers for those who haven't read the books.

Spoiler:
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora - Ends with Jean fit and healthy, Locke nearly dead. They have barely anything to their names, and have to flee the city. It's just them against the world
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies - Jean fit and healthy (admittedly having suffered a grave loss, but physically fine). Locke isn't nearly dead this time, but is poisoned and doomed to a slow death. Once again they have nothing, and have fled the city they were working in.
  • The Republic of Thieves - Jean fit and healthy, Locke is also healthy for once, but has taken some severe emotional beatings and has had his entire understanding of who he is torn apart. Everything they had was taken away again, and they're once again fleeing the city. Once again, it's also just them, because apparently neither of them can have a relationship.

Anyone else seeing a pattern here?

On to specific things that made it a more disappointing novel for me... It felt like the introduction of Sabetha was a bit of a wasted opportunity. She shows up, she toys with Locke and Jean, and is toyed with in turn... then she leaves. After the way they built up to her appearance, it felt anti-climactic. I've seen someone commenting that they felt it made sense, because she couldn't live up to Locke's

As for the stakes in the games they play, well, just compare the games of the first two books. The Lies of Locke Lamora has them caught between the Grey King, Capa Barsavi and the Duke's Spider. Everyone wants them dead or captured, except for Barsavi, who WILL want them dead if he finds out what they're up to. Red Seas Under Red Skies has them trying to rob the most dangerous man in Tel Verrar, Requin. While trying to pull this job, they've got Bondsmagi sabotaging them by convincing influential men to send assassin's after them; advising the Archon of Tel Verrar of their presence, leading to him poisoning them and blackmailing them into going to try and entice a bunch of pirates to attack the city for his own purposes; and then having to deal with the actual realities of life at sea as pirates... The Republic of Thieves gives us a game of political maneuvering against one of their own, Sabetha, who has the advantage in that Locke is entirely stupid when it comes to her. Okay, so both sides are being backed by opposing factions of Karthani Bondsmagi, but they've also agreed to non-interference. The stakes this time aren't life threatening, at least not immediately... win the election and they're told they'll have protection from their bondsmage patron and be provided with wealth. Lose, and they get nothing, but are free to walk away (though no one will stop the opposing bondsmagi from coming after them later). There's no true danger, because one of the rules set down for the contest is that lethal tactics aren't allowed. The biggest threat in the whole book (excluding the flashbacks) is that if Locke and Sabetha try to work together in some way, they will be killed. Given that they both are content to oppose each other, it's not really a risk. Compared to the first two stories, it just feels like it's lacking something.

Now none of that is to say that I didn't enjoy it. I did. It was fun. But it didn't grab me the same way the others did. What does give me hope for the next four books is the final stinger in the epilogue, which reintroduces a character that I'm looking forward to hearing more about.

I'm about to start catching up on the last few years worth of Christopher Brookmyre novels, I think Pandaemonium was the last one I read, so I've got 4 to go. Unfortunately it looks like he's abandoned Jack Parlabane as a protagonist, and has started more thriller style novels as well as branching into sci-fi/fantasy (he did a bit of that with Pandaemonium, I thought it was just going to be a one off thing, but at least one of the new novels is straight up sci-fi). Everything I've heard also tells me he's dropped the satirical nature and dark and twisted humour as well, which was the primary reason I read his novels, since I'm not big on straight forward crime fiction. This may be the death knell of my love of his work, but we'll see what happens.

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