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What books are you currently reading?


Books

8,451 to 8,468 of 8,468 << first < prev | 160 | 161 | 162 | 163 | 164 | 165 | 166 | 167 | 168 | 169 | 170 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think my library has Aaronovitch, but one of my friend's brother is THE guy who decides what books the library buys. So I'm gonna make a new best friend!!!!


Good idea! And they're probably happy to know what people want to read.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Definitely!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

'The Crimes Of Love' by the Marquis de Sade

And 'Dwellers in the Mirage' by A. Merritt, which was superb.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

'Synthetic Men of Mars' by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Also been back on the Gardner F. Fox - 'Kothar, Barbarian Swordsman' and 'Kyric - Warlock Warrior', to be precise, even if Kyric does absolutely no warlock-ing whatsoever, preferring to spend all his time eating and perving over young women instead, the lazy git.

And for non-fiction, 'Selected Works of Alexandra Kollontai', by the late Soviet ambassador to Helium.

The Soviet Ambassador to Helium, Helium, Helium
The Soviet Ambassador to Helium
Is a woman that I revere, etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm taking a break from Chapelwood by Cheri Priest. A lot of the POV characters are doing very repetitive stuff and there hasn't been a lot of action.

So I started The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson. It's the first of the Repairman Jack series. It's been updated from 1984 to 2004, so that's cool, too. :-) It's really good so far. It also has a bunch of POV characters, but they're all third person, not first person "letters."

The Exchange

SmiloDan wrote:

I'm taking a break from Chapelwood by Cheri Priest. A lot of the POV characters are doing very repetitive stuff and there hasn't been a lot of action.

So I started The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson. It's the first of the Repairman Jack series. It's been updated from 1984 to 2004, so that's cool, too. :-) It's really good so far. It also has a bunch of POV characters, but they're all third person, not first person "letters."

Welcome to the repairman Jack universe! you are in for some really sweet books.

Make sure to read The keep, too, before you get to book 4 or so in the Repairman Jack series. It is a prequel that's very important for understanding fully the plot of later books, and it is a smart enjoyable read on it's own. I liked it more than The Tomb, for example.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thanks!

It seems like the Secret History of the Repairman 'verse has an odd chronology, and also features books outside of the Repairman Jack series. Is this true? Is there a recommended order of reading them?

The volume I have has a list in its back.

The Exchange

SmiloDan wrote:

Thanks!

It seems like the Secret History of the Repairman 'verse has an odd chronology, and also features books outside of the Repairman Jack series. Is this true? Is there a recommended order of reading them?

The volume I have has a list in its back.

the subject is overly confusing. Essentially, there's all the Repairman Jack books which should be read in order, and there's the "adversary cycle", which includes, in this order:

The Keep
(The Tomb)
The Touch
Reborn
Reprisal
(Nightworld)

the books in brackets intersect with the Repairman Jack series. You can read the first two RJ books without reading any of the Adversary Cycle, but you SHOULD read up to Reborn before reading Repairman Jack #3, where the plots begin to converge. Nightworld is the final book for both series.

Keep in mind that the Adversary Cycle books actually vary wildly in genre and style - I for example enjoyed the pulp adventure / horror themes of The Keep but connected less with the medical thriller style of the The Touch. The same is somewhat true with Repairman Jack - keep an open mind, because some of the books in the series are very different in tone than the others.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I'm reading a re-edit of The Tomb for 2004, so there are DVDs and cell phones and flatscreen TVs and not many typewriters anymore.


Nearing the end of Perfidia. Ellroy is still in fine form, keeping me up way past my bedtime. Dudley Smith remains my favorite villain in all of literature, by a wide margin.

The Exchange

SmiloDan wrote:
I'm reading a re-edit of The Tomb for 2004, so there are DVDs and cell phones and flatscreen TVs and not many typewriters anymore.

The way I found out about these re-edits spooked the hell out of me, as I encountered a casual Harry Potter Reference in a book supposedly written in the 80's.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Lord Snow wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
I'm reading a re-edit of The Tomb for 2004, so there are DVDs and cell phones and flatscreen TVs and not many typewriters anymore.
The way I found out about these re-edits spooked the hell out of me, as I encountered a casual Harry Potter Reference in a book supposedly written in the 80's.

Hahahaha!!!

I hate being freaked out by books. I remember being in church, and there was a reading from the Book of Habbakuk, and I was like, "from Dragonlance? WTF?" but it was just a crazy random happenstance. Just like Raistlin's magic incantations are all Indonesian, which I studied a bit 15 years after first reading Dragonlance. I was like "why do some of these words seem so familiar?" And didn't find out about until 10 years after that.

Those crazy Weis & Hickmans! ;-)

The Exchange

Finished listening to The First Fifteen lives of Harry August, and if this will fail to be the best book I've read this year then I am a very lucky man for finding another masterpiece so quickly.

Next up in audio format is Proxima, by Stephen Baxter, another of the SFF books I bought blindly in a sale, so another risk. I have somewhat of a bad record with these, but we'll see.

First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August:
Such a wonderful, wonderful read. Well, I didn't quite read it, I listened to it from the Audible version - which for once actually upgraded the experience for me, as the performance of the narrator was revelatory. It's not merely that he made the point of view character of the book come completely alive - an incredibly complex personality voice perfectly - but had amazing intonation and varied his voice very well to differentiate minor characters, both male and female.

This book is clever, very well written, touching, and extremely stimulating. It builds up a wonderfully deep character in the strange and intriguing situation of living the same life over and over and over again, a stagnant immortality. The writing is the exact pitch it should be, developing the character even as it combines beauty, humor, and a unique tone.

The structure of the book is very much perfect for representing the recollections of an immortal with untarnishable memory. It wonders and jumps back and forth, inserting scenes lifetimes away from "current" events as something reminds Harry August of them. The plot, such as it is, only comes into coherency in the second half of the book, and is much more understated than a drama about the betrayal of friendship and the end of the world would suggest - but it works very very well, especially in conjunction with Harry's character and how he would describe these events.

I do have some reservations, as I always do - as always, the "time travel" mechanic that drives the story completely baffles me and appears inconsistent (if anyone who read the books actually understands how it works, I would dearly love an explanation) and I don't really appreciate the surprisingly luddite theme of the story, which suggests that accelerating technological growth will end mankind. As if the only "stable" rate to discover technology is the one that actually happened, and as if immortals don't have the time to experiment more gently with time, to change very small things which over generations will have extremely positive effects.

However, this time the issues that bother me truly feel trifling, and did not for a moment stop me from enjoying the story or connecting to it emotionally.

Anyone has an opinion about Claire North's other books? which should I read next? (including those she wrote under other names)

The Exchange

Finished reading Promise Of Blood (Power Mage #1 by Brian Mcllelan... pr something. Seriously, what is this name) and am on to Half The World (Shattered Sea #2 by Joe Abercrombie) which already shows signs of excellency, as I came to expect.

A Promise Of Blood thoughts:
Among the many failings of "Jupiter Ascending", a movie most people probably already forgot about, one came to mind as I was reading this book. Relatively early on in the movie, there's a chase scene involving multiple alien airplane-things going after our heroes, who fly on levitating rollerblades. It's a supposedly exciting moment, filled with high speed stunts, danger and adrenaline.

It turned out to be incredibly boring and I felt like the scene was 30 minutes long, even though it was probably no longer than five. The reason I couldn't scrap together the enthusiasm to care is that even as energy blasts tore apart concrete and glass as the villains and the heroes flew around skyscrapers trying to kill each other, the camera never focused on the characters themselves.

See, what's exciting about a chase is not that the cars are moving really fast - it's the people inside the cars, choosing to slam the paddle into the metal despite knowing how dangerous that is. It's about what the people do and why they do it. There has to be some sort of emotional connection. In that action scene I described earlier, I never once caught a glimpse of the expression of any of the characters, I was just watching cool vehicles moving about and things exploding. It never felt like those things were happening to people.

This same fault drags down A Promise Of Blood. It was just so freaking boring, and that's an achievement for such an action packed novel that takes place in a solid fantasy setting. I imagine the story may have made for a good movie, in capable hands, but as it is written, there's simply no opportunity to ever care about what happens. Emotions are never described, none of the characters have *any* inner voice, and the flatness of the characters flattens the book as a whole.

It's a shame, because I enjoy a lot of the ingredients in the story. You know how old monarchies used to claim an actual divine right to rule? Imagine a French Revolution where it turns out that God is real, and yes, he actually did promise to those kings that their lineage will always be in power, and He is coming to have a stern talking to with the revolutionaries. It's the story of a world where progress is threatened, clutched in place, dragged backwards by darker forces. It could have been really good, if there were actual people living in the world and not just organisms that advance the plot with all the passion of amoeba eating enough to split in half.

A final note: the author is a student of Sanderson, which is part of what drew me to try his books out (the awesome cover art helped in that regard too). While you can certainly see aspects of Sanderson's style influencing this book, it is it's own thing, and in the less superficial details, nothing at all alike Sanderson's writing. So if like me you are looking for more things that feel like Sanderson, turn elsewhere, and if you dislike Sanderson know that that isn't a strike against this book.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Promise of Blood stuff:

I really liked it. However, I was confused as to WHY the Field Marshall rebelled. He doesn't seem to give 2 $#!+s about the common people. I think he just got bored and thought a civil war would be a challenging diversion.

The characters DO get more depth in the later books. Also, probably the funniest character is mute, which was probably a mistake. The private inspector guy, in particular, has some really good motivations.

Also, not a big Sanderson fan. He named his slave race after ska music, which is just awkward. It's hard to treat a race called the jaz or pungk seriously, you know.

The Exchange

SmiloDan wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Tamas's motivation is explained to be 30% conviction in the belief that democracy is better than monarchy, 30% nationalistic pride (what triggered the coup was that the king was about to sign over the kingdom to the Kez as a vessel) and 40% revenge for his dead wife.

It's not that I can't see the mechnical motivation for the characters, it's that it is so dry and distant. When reading a Nila chapter, for example, I never feel the overwhelming surges of feelings she has - hate for Tamas, love for Jacob. When she decides to essentially sacrifice her life to take care of him as Lord Vetas kidnaps the both of them, it just reads something like: "she looked at the man holding her. She could probably escape. She prepared. Suddenly she saw Jacob who was happy to see her. She went into the carriage without a fight." Cold, distant, thoroughly uninteresting.

Really, the book could have worked as a movie, where actors could give life to the characters with facial expressions and body language and such. But as the book is written, this aspect of it is seriously lacking.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

response:

I guess I just interpreted everything really differently. I flew through the trilogy last summer! I really liked it.

Half-a-World is great, too! Really different, but great.

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