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 What are you reading Thread

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Drunkalilly
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Fri 30 Sep 2016 - 18:25

The only one I really get is when she introduces the time turners then has to get rid of them before they undermine everything, but JK herself goes to great lengths to make them as dangerous as they are useful and she even admits it was a bad idea to bring them into the books.

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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Tue 4 Oct 2016 - 3:46

Getting back in to Way of Kings after a break that was in no way ended because of a difficulty spike in Digimon Cyber Sleuth demolishing me and I'm immediately reminded just why I loved this book in part one.  The three short chapters in "Interludes" immediately grabbed and drew me in even if the events in them are yet to visibly relate to the main story, it's always a good sign that one has to tear themselves away from a book to get to sleep.  And I see Sanderson is up to something with the pre-chapter text again, can't wait to see what it all means!
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Wed 12 Oct 2016 - 22:45

Finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban this afternoon.

I originally got the first three books as a box set, before the release of the fourth. I was obsessed, like most kids back then, and read all three cover-to-cover multiple times. Since the release of the fourth, I've only read them each once, on release, so it had been a long time since I read the originals. Since then, multiple viewings of the films had clouded my memories of the books.

They're actually so much denser, and generally better. Characters and concepts relevant to later books are teased or introduced in earlier ones. The mysteries and stories all seem to make much more sense when they're peppered into a larger narrative, and the books genuinely make it feel like a year has passed. In the films, everything has to happen in a couple of hours, so moods seem to swing and Harry bumbles through a series of very convenient coincidences.

Rereading, my mind is blown all over again. What excellent books!

After Halo: Broken Circle, I'll be onto book 4, where Rowling starts matching the lengths of the big fantasy epics. I wonder if they'll feel bloated after these excellent, tight stories?
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Fri 14 Oct 2016 - 19:55

I never really got on with the movies post-Chamber of Secrets, after that point I feel the books just had too much in them to be properly adapted to the screen in a single two hour movie. They were fun in a novelty sort of way, seeing highlights of the books adapted to flashy big screen, but yeah, ultimately you just can't beat the books for the definitive Harry Potter experience!

Probably doesn't hurt that I really like it when a book is meaty and spends time showing you a world and a cast of characters as they make their way through that world, and that's one of if not the biggest aspects of the books that doesn't transfer all that well to the big screen.


Speaking of big books, don't want to be a pest but I'm dying to know when you'll be continuing Mistborn! Any hints how close Well of Ascension is to the top of the to-read pile? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Fri 14 Oct 2016 - 21:54

Well of Ascension is right after Goblet of Fire! So I won't be waiting much longer at all.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Sat 15 Oct 2016 - 16:04

Excellent.  Looking forward to your impressions!
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Fri 28 Oct 2016 - 20:13

I just finished Goblet of Fire. This was the first one where the adaptation to the films really bothered me- Hermione was reduced from an interesting character with one of the book's best subplots to "pretty girl one".
Continuing to bloody love Harry Potter. It's british in the best way- it hates the establishment. The real villain is never the outwardly evil Voldemort. The villains are the machinations of the ministry, the propaganda of the press, the upper classes who look down their noses at people without an acceptable name. This was written by an English woman who grew up in poverty and it is dripping with all the lessons she learned about people's true colours. Fantastic stuff.

And yes, Athrun, this does mean what you think it means.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Sun 30 Oct 2016 - 9:33

Excellent. Let the journey through the rabbit hole begin!


And since I'm raving about stuff today, I'll just end my day by raving about another Sanderson novel, The Way of Kings, which I've slowly been plodding through the last month or so (it's really big. Like, two mistborn novels big). Sanderson has honed his craft over the years, and so far its produced a novel of absolute brilliance. It's only the first quarter so far and already the world depicted is engrossing, the main cast are absolutely brilliant and fascinating to watch as their somewhat tragic lives unfold, and the story, slowly unveiling itself, has absolutely gripped me.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Fri 4 Nov 2016 - 22:33

My current book is Creativity Now. I've had it for ages but only started to get into it now. We're in a position at work where creativity is being encouraged, so I want to get my severely atrophied creativity muscle pumping again. One tip to get yourself in t'zone that Balla will like is listening to classical music; I'm going to go down another road and buy a yo-yo. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Tue 8 Nov 2016 - 7:19

OMG Everyone needs to read the Way of Kings and read it now!!!


I know I tend to gush a lot after finishing things.  From anime series to video games to, indeed, novels.  I like to gush a lot while in the afterglow of a piece of entertainment that I enjoyed.  

So when I come in here, yet again gushing over something, I understand entirely when one would simply wave a dismissive hand, "it's just Athrun888 gushing over his newest obsession, let him be and enjoy it while not looking in to it" you may think.  

Well, allow me to silence the doubt.  For When I gush over The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson I do so not just because I highly enjoyed it, but because it is the Real Deal.  


I know I've gushed over this book progressively over the last few months as I've slowly made my way through it and its rich worldbuilding.  Let that not cloud your mind over this latest raving, for I have now finished the tome of a novel.  I call it the real deal for good reason.  The opening novel in Sanderson's long planned and ongoing fantasy epic the Stormlight Archive is dense, rich with exquisite world building and engaging characters.  The beginning of what may very well become his Magnum Opus.  


Those who have read previous books by Brandon Sanderson, including my much beloved Mistborn Trilogy, know this, Way of Kings is a mandatory read.  Everything that made Mistborn so brilliant is on display in The Way of Kings, only grander.  Sanderson has grown in skill over the years, and it shows in how finely crafted this novel is.  The world is fantastical and brutal yet never overbearingly so, the main characters are colourful yet multidimensional and fascinating, constantly growing.  The story, while only just beginning, slowly yet surely becomes more and more gripping becoming more and more a un-put-downable page turner.  



So much text yet so little details, it is time to change that.  The story revolves around four key players in a world engulfed in war, constantly buffeted by cyclonic storms.  Culture and ecology has adapted around this phenomenon, grass retracts in to shells for protection and so forth.  

The players are from all walks of life, nobility, poverty, and in-between.  An apprentice surgeon forced to abandon his studies to become a soldier and endure the harshest trials life can inflict, a highprince once highly respected now considered cowardly as he turns to introspection, a young lady forced to commit become a thief to save her now falling house, and an assassin who despises killing while being unable to do anything but.  

The sheer scale of the story makes it hard to truly detail without spoiling things.  More astounding is how much more there is left to tell, upon finishing the novel, while satisfied with the climax (and boy was the climax awesome) it also makes it abundantly clear there is much we don't yet know, and much left to come, both for Roshar and the Cosmere as a whole.  




I called the book un-put-downable.  One might wonder what that means for me.  I've been slowly chipping away at this a few chapters a night for several months.  I read the last 500 pages in under two days.  That is how gripping the novel became.  Safe to say that I consider this book an absolute must-read for anybody who enjoys fantasy fiction.



Up next! Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, as I join Drunka in a re-read of the series.

As tempting as it is to dive straight in to book two of the Stormlight Archive (and believe me words cannot describe how itching it is to not walk over to my bookshelf and simply start reading) it's time to digest what I've just read and enjoy a bit of a pallet cleanse and break, with the wander down childhood that will be the beginning of my Harry Potter read-through.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Tue 8 Nov 2016 - 10:51

I've got a feeling I will, like yourself, work my way through all of Sanderson's work eventually. Gonna take a while though!
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Mon 14 Nov 2016 - 21:56

I just finished reading The Well of Ascension.
Oh. Oh my. That was really something.
I remember saying, after finishing The Final Empire, that I liked how it had a satisfying ending and didn't feel like an obvious first book in a trilogy. I was happy to wait a while before reading the next book. That is not the case this time!
The Well of Ascension does what the best Star Wars novels did, pointing out that killing the Emperor won't instantly fix anything and throwing the heroes out of the frying pan and into the fire. Every assumption from the first book is turned on its head, and from there things go from crazy to crazier.

The action was great, the story was full of twists and turns but it all felt logical. Like the first book, if you explained the plot it sounds like nothing happens for 80% of the pages then it all kicks off, but to me it felt brilliantly paced. Instead of feeling bored and wanting it to hurry up and get to the action, I was in the characters' shoes and dreading the battle.

When Zane was introduced, I was worried it would be a fairly trite love triangle, but this never gets too obvious and becomes Twilight or The Hunger Games. The characters are complex, and real, and interesting. I'm dying to read the next book now, but I won't be able to buy it until Friday at the earliest. Also, my own rule means I have to read at least one other thing first.

Anyway, 10/10, OMG, get it read, The Well of Ascension is totes amazeballs.

Athrun888 wrote:
Well of Ascension had its fair share of dull parts, and could have easily been a hundred or so pages less instead telling us some stuff rather than showing
This didn't bother me too much. I'm a pretty quick reader. Once I got really absorbed, I read the last two thirds or so in two days. I can definitely see where you're coming from, though. Sanderson likes to write long books, but also to put all the juiciest stuff in the last couple of parts.

Quote :
Once again the book managed to straddle the line between depressing and enjoyable with its mix of light and likeable cast and dark almost hopeless world (which got VERY hopeless in the final hundred pages or so).  

I've always loved stories that do the cheesy thing of making the situation very hopeless and depressing, but giving a little glimmer of hope the having the ending turn around at the last minute. Did you get a little Attack on Titan vibe when it was Mistborn vs Koloss at the end there?
Quote :
while weaker than the first book it was still by and large a engrossing read

Not by a huge margin, mind. I think it follows on from the first book very well, and the twists it puts on the assumptions I had from that book were all clever. It just suffers a little from "middle of the trilogy" syndrome, and I think the lack of Kelsier hurts it somewhat. He was such an interesting protagonist, lovable and heroic but so obviously a broken, almost bad man.
Quote :
I am very very excited to see how this trilogy closes out.  I once again also say, if you haven't read this series you are missing out.
Seconded, a million times.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Tue 15 Nov 2016 - 4:32

I really had to keep tight lipped about the ending to Well of Ascension, tempting as it was for me to say you'd probably want Hero of Ages on hand for when you finished the book I didn't want to spoil the nature of the ending.  

If you liked how it turned things on their head you're going to love Hero of Ages.  By the end of the book everything, and I mean everything, clicks together like a beautifully crafted yet delightfully unexpected puzzle.  I often say that a ending is as important to the quality of a story as the entire thing, with it holding the ability to either bring the thing to a close so well that it can even elevate the story, or ruin it entirely. Hero of Ages is the former.  

What did you think of the
Well of Ascension twist:
 

Oh, and if you missed Kelsier you'll very much like one of the characters in Hero of Ages, I won't spoil anything but another character gets a big role and a sizeable amount of chapters from their perspective that scratches the itch Kelsier left, they did for me anyway!  You'll also likely really like a character in the Way of Kings (when you eventually get to it) who often gets compared to Kelsier for reasons you'll likely get as soon as you start reading.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Tue 15 Nov 2016 - 11:36

Athrun888 wrote:
What did you think of the
Well of Ascension twist:
 
I actually loved that bit! It was so obvious once it happened, but I didn't see it coming at all. I really liked the OreSeur/ TenSoom character overall. I really enjoy fiction that gives you magic with a set of rules then plays with those rules, like Death Note, so slowly learning about the Kandra in general and the character in specific was really nice.

How did you feel about it?
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Thu 17 Nov 2016 - 6:52

It was a brilliant twist, just as you say it's obvious in hindsight yet completely blindsides you when it's revealed.  It's probably not a big spoiler to say

Spoiler:
 

either.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Fri 18 Nov 2016 - 8:23

Finished Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone last night. A good opening act that set laid the foundations for the rest of the series and introduced the main players. I'll admit it felt a bit weaker than I remembered, whether that's because my tastes have changed (it has been over a decade after all) or because it is, when everything is said and done, the most "child novel" novel of the series I can't really decide. Perhaps a bit of both. It likely doesn't help I came straight off of reading Way of Kings, which took its sweet time setting its world detail by detail and introducing us to the cast with lots and lots of (glorious) introspective views, harry potter on the other hand would gallop over great swathes of time for most of the novel and I can't help but admit I felt a bit of whiplash once we arrived at Hogwarts and sped through the year.

Still despite all that it remains a solid book, the cast remain charming ( Cool ) as ever, the interactions as punchy and amusing as I remember, and the world still leaves you with a craving for more. The stage is now set! And now, onwards to The Chamber of Secrets!

PS: Snape best teacher!
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Fri 18 Nov 2016 - 10:20

I'm reading Order of the Phoenix just now and thinking it could do with getting to Hogwarts a bit quicker!

This one seemed a bit long and dull when I first read it. I wonder if that will feel different now I'm a bit older and more politically aware? I've heard it described as a critique of New Labour.

Fun fact: OOTP was the longest book and shortest film.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Sun 20 Nov 2016 - 14:03

They compressed ootp in to the shortest movie? Afraid Geez, I always thought it had a hundred pages of fat that could've been trimmed but that sounds like a recipe for a bit of a mess if I'm honest.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Sun 20 Nov 2016 - 16:09

Honestly, rereading the books is making me seriously re-evaluate the films. They just butcher the characters into the thin sliver that is relevant to Harry, and even his character is far less interesting and likeable. Gone is his sarcastic sense of humour, his natural kindness and his well-developed teenage angst. Reading Order at the moment, his moodiness and his crush on Cho is so real, whereas the film just made him a stroppy git.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Thu 24 Nov 2016 - 12:59

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I didn't particularly like this book the first time round. I thought it was slow and dull, stuck in a holding pattern waiting for the Second Wizarding War to kick off.

This time around, I felt very different.

The critique of modern schooling was on point. "This class is sufficient to get you through your examinations, which after all is what school is all about!" Umbridge is so easy to hate, such a believable example of a very horrible person.

Harry is a stroppy teenage git, but so believably! His frustrations and emotions and misunderstandings are exactly those of a 15 year old boy.

And in the bigger picture, the tension of the character knowing the world is on the brink of disaster while the rest of society goes on trying to pretend everything is fine. How prescient . . .

Oh, and that death still gets me Sad

Next up: You Died: The Dark Souls Companion
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Sat 3 Dec 2016 - 8:51

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which I bowled over before going to sleep this morning.  The long and short of it?  All the issues I had with the first novel were things of the past.  Rowling got her voice in this novel, and the result is a positively magical, charming, and oft times witty ride.  As a child I never quiet picked up on how sinister and dark the world of Potter could be, things like a noose killing X number of muggles just flew right over young me's head, not to mention the underlying themes of racism and classism.  As an adult it adds some nice bite to the series.  The magic that made a entire world Potter mad was evident in this one.


And now on to my most anticipated read of the year.  That's right, the second Stormlight Archive novel that I somehow, through what can only be described as herculean self-control, managed to stave off reading until an appropriate time where it could be properly appreciated. Ironically enough at this point I'm now fighting with myself to avoid plowing straight on with Harry Potter, the second book really got its hooks in to me.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Sat 3 Dec 2016 - 16:45

Yassss! The gulf between Stone and Chamber is immense. It goes from very much a children's book to the beginnings of a fantasy series that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the bigg'ns. It did do a good job of setting things up, though.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Tue 6 Dec 2016 - 2:53

Oh god, I'm not two hundred pages in and Words of Radiance is already pulling twists that leave me   



On the bright side I can happily say the book has lost none of the momentum established at the end of The Way of Kings!
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Fri 9 Dec 2016 - 20:50

Today I finished:

You Died
Keza Macdonald and Jason Killinsworth

To the surprise of nobody, I absolutely loved it. I can't recommend this book highly enough to any Dark Souls fan. Sections on the lore, the community, the creation, the initial reaction, the challenge runs . . . every aspect of Dark Souls you can think of, analysed in depth, with great interviews and brilliant writing. There's an area-by-area reminiscence of the game, chats with Miyazaki . . . I loved it.

Next up: Half-Blood Prince!
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread   Mon 12 Dec 2016 - 12:19

Just finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and found it utterly unputdownable. I think this might be the book that suffered most in moving to film. So much of the book consists of things happening in Harry's own head: his suspicions and paranoia, his loves and losses, his development from boy to man. Even the titular Prince is almost an afterthought on screen.

In the time since my original readings of the novels, I've not really though of myself as a big Potter fan. I'd read and enjoyed them, obviously, but they didn't define me and there are other fantasy worlds I'm more attached to. I felt the same way about Star Wars, but as the two have returned to my life I'm reminded how much I love them. I think maybe the cultural importance of them makes them a little harder to take ownership of than things like Transformers and Dark Souls which, while still popular, still feel like "my thing" even among my other geeky friends.

Next up is the latest Tim Weaver novel, then it's Deathly Hallows and on to the Hero of Ages. When Harry Potter and Mistborn are both wrapped up, I know I'm going to feel that profound emptiness of saying goodbye to beloved fiction.
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