Shatformers! More Than Meets The A**e
 
HomeHome  TwitterTwitter  YouTubeYouTube  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  GintendoGintendo  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)

Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1 ... 7 ... 11, 12, 13, 14  Next
AuthorMessage
JayMoyles
I'M SO LONELY
avatar

Posts : 10495
Points : 10153
Join date : 2013-01-21
Age : 24
Location : Courtroom No. 3 at 10am.

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Fri 20 Oct 2017 - 20:04

Athrun888 wrote:
Currently reading Guards! Guards! from the Discworld series.  Only fifty or so pages in so far, but I'm absolutely loving the scenes with the brotherhood.  

I need to get back into Discworld. I read the first few books years and years ago, but never got around to the rest.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.jamesjmoyles.blogspot.com
Balladeer
Disciple of Koizumi
avatar

Posts : 16821
Points : 16087
Join date : 2013-01-16
Age : 28
Location : Chasing the mole holding my golf ball

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sun 22 Oct 2017 - 15:34

That one is a must-read in my eyes, one of my favourite novels and series. How did you find it, Athers?

I did read Hydrogen Sonata a while back. It was definitely harder to sympathise with the giant AI spaceship thingies. I found it tough even to envisage them for most of the time. Player of Games was a good one, though. Not read Use of Weapons.
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://balladsandwords.wordpress.com/
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sun 22 Oct 2017 - 23:42

Balladeer wrote:
I did read Hydrogen Sonata a while back.  It was definitely harder to sympathise with the giant AI spaceship thingies.  I found it tough even to envisage them for most of the time.

I didn't find that an issue, but I love robots and spaceships and stuff. Also, I spend a large part of my life talking to friends who are just words on a screen whom I can barely envisage. . .
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
ZeroJones
I'M SO LONELY
avatar

Posts : 10465
Points : 9425
Join date : 2013-01-15
Age : 37
Location : North Midlands, England

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Mon 23 Oct 2017 - 8:01

Drunkalilly wrote:
Balladeer wrote:
I did read Hydrogen Sonata a while back.  It was definitely harder to sympathise with the giant AI spaceship thingies.  I found it tough even to envisage them for most of the time.

I didn't find that an issue, but I love robots and spaceships and stuff. Also, I spend a large part of my life talking to friends who are just words on a screen whom I can barely envisage. . .

I wouldn't do that if I were you, Dave Drunka.

On a more topic-related note, I've finished Career Of Evil (and, disappointingly, sort of guessed what was going on) and put my bookmark* in Les Misérables. Now that is a tome. Pale

*A receipt. For a book.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Athrun888
Dry Metal Baby Princess
avatar

Posts : 3293
Points : 3340
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : The Cognitive Realm

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Mon 23 Oct 2017 - 16:04

Balladeer wrote:
That one is a must-read in my eyes, one of my favourite novels and series.  How did you find it, Athers?.

Yeah t'was a good 'un.  Once the Dragon returned to Ankh Morpork under its own power things were non-stop laughs for a while, particularly loved the "business lunch" of the various guild leaders and Wonse.  If anyone's after a good re-entry point I'd definitely recommend Guards! Guards!


Currently reading Throne of Jade from the Temeraire series.  Looks like we're headed to China soon, seems they weren't too happy about one of their premier dragon eggs being nicked by a common-born navy captain.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Balladeer
Disciple of Koizumi
avatar

Posts : 16821
Points : 16087
Join date : 2013-01-16
Age : 28
Location : Chasing the mole holding my golf ball

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Mon 23 Oct 2017 - 19:24

Huzzah! Another fan made! Grin
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://balladsandwords.wordpress.com/
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Tue 31 Oct 2017 - 7:38

Just finished Japan: A Short History by Mikiso Hane.
I read a similar book a few years back, covering the broad subject of the whole country, but retained very little information. This one was really well written, dividing each era into social, economic and political developments. It also did a great job of telling the stories of how common folk lived, and how women and minorities were treated. I feel like I now have not only an overview of the actual events in Japan's history, but also the cultural identity and the beliefs that lead to those events.

It did do the same annoying thing as that earlier book, though: Everything from 10,000bc to around 1800 is covered in the first 60 or so pages, then the next couple hundred are given over to more recent history. This means the Samurai and so on are glossed over pretty quick. I understand that the last couple of hundred years have seen big changes which shaped the modern nation, and more recent history is better sourced, but still.

I have bought some other books in a similar vein though, and among them are ones specifically about the samurai and the ninja, so I'll get to that soon enough Smile
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
Athrun888
Dry Metal Baby Princess
avatar

Posts : 3293
Points : 3340
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : The Cognitive Realm

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Wed 1 Nov 2017 - 17:57

The second book of the Temeraire series, Throne of Jade.  

I've seen some call this one slow, boring, and other such degenerate remarks about its slow pacing.  Personally I found it engaging and interesting, action is all good and well but unless it's contrasted with quality character and world development it ain't worth a pig's fart.  Both of those were crammed into the book, with the voyage bringing some quality character growth for Temeraire, and both during and after the voyage saw some quality world building of the best kind: the kind that both expanded the world, leaves a lot open for future stories, and also has an immediate impact on character growth and interaction.  

Overall another impeccable novel.  Laurence and Temeraire continue to have fantastic chemistry and engaging character growth, the action continues to be exciting when it pops up, and the adventure continues to be a blast.  


Now I had planned to follow this up with another Discworld novel, specifically Wee Free Men, but ever since I got home from holiday its gone missing and I fear it may be lost.  Lost or thoroughly mislaid.  So instead I'm jumping straight into the next Temeraire novel Black Powder War, time for the fallout of the trip to China which I can already see looming given the explosive conclusion of Throne of Jade.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Athrun888
Dry Metal Baby Princess
avatar

Posts : 3293
Points : 3340
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : The Cognitive Realm

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Mon 6 Nov 2017 - 14:00

Black Powder War finished, and what an excellent novel this one was. Packed with adventure, war, and mysteries, the journey back from China was jam packed. From mischievous feral dragon packs to traitorous ally nations there wasn't a dull moment, but at the same time the book never felt too fast paced, allowing us to savour each development.


Haven't decided what to read next, Wee Free Men seems to definitely be lost (I begin to suspect I threw it in the trash while doing some cleaning while under the influence of the flu) so I suspect it's time for Discworld's Going Postal to break up the epic fantasy.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Thu 9 Nov 2017 - 9:53

Just finished I Am Missing the seventh (I think) in the David Raker mystery novels by ex NGC editor Tim Weaver. These are really good, addictive, tense crime thrillers about a dude who finds missing people. On this occasion, the fella wasn't missing but had lost all of his memories.

Amnesia as a plot device is hella overplayed, especially if you play games, but here it was handled well. Not the best in the series, but our NGamer boy continues to make good. Recommended!

Edit: It was the eighth book!
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Tue 14 Nov 2017 - 9:56

I'm gonna talk about something I didn't read: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And I'm so glad I didn't! I saw it on stage this weekend and it was absolutely phenomenal. The magic, the sets, the music, the emotion, it was probably the best theatrical production I've ever seen. If you're a fan of Harry Potter, I cannot recommend strongly enough going to see this play, and doing so with as little prior knowledge as possible.

JayMoyles wrote:
I rattled through Harry Potter and the Cursed Child over a couple of days. Naturally, you'd be better off experiencing it as intended on stage, and I think it'll translate very well to the stage based on the script. There's moments of cloying theatre cheese, but in general it's a surprisingly sad look at Harry's later years. Some of it does read like fan fiction though, but as it's come from the creator herself, I can't fault that.

I can agree with most of what Jay's saying.
Spoiler:
 
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
Athrun888
Dry Metal Baby Princess
avatar

Posts : 3293
Points : 3340
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : The Cognitive Realm

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Tue 14 Nov 2017 - 10:30

'Member when I said I wasn't going to read another epic fantasy just yet?  Well I lied, and devoured the last two hundred pages of Book 1 of The Dagger and The Coin: The Dragon's Path this morning.  

This one'd appeal to those who like a more grounded fantasy, and it did something that, at least in my admittedly humble excursions in the genre, isn't typically done.  That is to say it focused not on epic struggles between pure evil and good, with over the top magic and so on and so forth.  No, instead the main focus was on banking.  

Yes, you heard that damn right, the book focused on banking.  And it was bloody brilliant stuff.  In the real world wars are fought over money, territory, and other such matters, and like the real world that was the trigger for a heck of a lot of the conflict in this.  

That isn't to say it was a dull book, or that we didn't also have a magical history, oh no, not for a second.  Fascinating character portrayals left me turning each page to see where the four protagonists were headed and what would happen next, and the political intrigue kept building until I couldn't put the book down.  With the reveals of the last few chapters I eagerly await the next volume which I shall order fairly soon.

With all that said there was one other aspect I particularly liked about the book, that despite the grounded setting and story it wasn't grimdark like a lot of grounded stories tend to be.  That isn't to say there weren't heavy or adult themes (an entire town got razed with the people still inside, as well as various other things), but it didn't linger on details that could make things become overly depressing, and so rather than constantly trying to shock the reader it instead left its rather brilliant tale to the job of keeping you reading.


Top tier book, one of the best I've read this year, and while the person who rec'd it to me won't actually see this they have my gratitude for the recommendation.  Definitely an underrated hidden gem this one.



As for Harry Potter, can't really say anything given I'm not a fan of the fact it was only released as a script as opposed to a novelisation and there's next to zero chance I'll ever get the chance to see the play living in the middle of nowhere like I am.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Tue 14 Nov 2017 - 10:56

I reckon it'll run and run, and tour a lot of the world, so you might be in good stead. I also wouldn't rule out filmed, televised, novelised versions coming eventually.
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Mon 20 Nov 2017 - 15:15

I recently finished A Brief History of the Samurai by Jonathan Clements and I cannot recommend it enough. It concentrated on the most interesting periods of Japanese history, for my money, while deftly touching on how the Samurai and their philosophy shaped later events and continues to impact modern Japan. It also does a really good job of exploring the facts and the myths, and how the two sometimes intersect.

I love the samurai more than ever before. They were obsessed with proving their bravery and toughness, regularly choosing idiotic deaths over being considered cowards. They were the original bald men. Their whole ostentatious armour thing was just soit would be obvious who as performing the coolest battlefield feats.

They were thugs and bullies and idiots, but they were committed, loyal and brave to a fault. The Samurai have been rightly resigned to history, but I appreciate their spirit and hope I can evoke a little of their best traits myself.

I also read Bad Soldier by Chris Ryan. Not my normal thing at all, but a fella read it while eating his dinner sat at the bar on work and at the end he wrote his twitter handle in the front page and gave it to me. I read most of it in one day yesterday, when I had some long dull coach journeys to see my sister's play, and it was exciting and tense stuff. There was a lot of military bravado, but it also did a good job of showing multiple viewpoints and why sometimes cooler heads ought to prevail.
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sat 16 Dec 2017 - 16:06

I forgot to mention: I recently finished Ten Things Videogames Can Teach Us (About Life, Philosophy and Everything) by Jordan Erica Webber and Daniel Griliopoulus. A highly recommended read! It mostly posits that, because of the medium's interactivity, games are the best place to explore philosophical thought experiments that cannot be ethically or realistically recreated in real life. It uses this premise to then explore a huge number of philosophical, psychological and sociological ideas through the lens of classical and modern thought and videogame examples. A really good read which only rarely does that lame pop culture philosophy book thing of quoting some philosophy idea and going "this is a bit like XYZ in Angry Birds". For the most part the book is a deep, interesting read by two people who are passionate about the philosophy they discuss and the games.

Plus, it makes a great example of why choice in games is A Good Thing.
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
Athrun888
Dry Metal Baby Princess
avatar

Posts : 3293
Points : 3340
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : The Cognitive Realm

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Mon 18 Dec 2017 - 10:48

Sanderson does it again in Oathbringer!   Stormlight Archive is without a doubt one of the best fantasy series around, and Oathbringer continues the form of the second half of Way of Kings and all of Words of Radiance.  

This instalment bucks the idea that Sanderson only does "light" fantasy (a claim I've seen thrown around and a claim I would frankly say anyone who makes doesn't bother to actually comprehend the text they read) with the darkest events we've seen him put to paper.  

The next Desolation seems to once again upon the world, and Dalinar Kholin finds himself tasked with trying to unite the world in the face of the return of an enemy whose ultimate aim is the extinction of mankind.  It's not a task that will come easy for a man whose past is soaked in the blood of his opponents and whose reputation is that of a genius of war.  

Meanwhile Shallan Davar finds herself struggling with issues revealed in the past novel, proving that just because you acknowledge a deep trauma doesn't mean you're even close to over it.  And kaladin is at long last on a quest to find his parents whom he lost contact with after his conscription years ago, his journey will lead him to discover the motivations of the enemy and revelation that their anger towards mankind may not be as simple as it would appear.  

This is without a doubt "Dalinar's Book".  Each Stormlight book always preferences some of the major characters over others, with one character always getting title billing and flashbacks, another having enough screentime to essentially share the mantle of main character, and the third to tie everything together.  After Kaladin has spent the last two novels essentially being the main character (even in spite of Shallan being Words of Radiance's main focus!) he finally takes a step back and allows veteran Dalinar to take the stage with Shallan taking secondary protagonist billing.  

It's a refreshing focus for a series whose main focus has been, up to this point, on the younger cast members (even if Kaladin's already gone through more than most people ever could).  Up until now we've had the lingering theme of redemption, but it comes to the forefront in a big way with Dalinar.  The flashbacks to his life make a excellent contrast between the man he was and the things he is trying to do in the present, and his arc concluding in a confrontation that will either lead to salvation or damnation is an absolutely gripping one.  

I said earlier that this book was dark, but don't misunderstand me when I call it dark.  It is at times incredibly dark, but it's not the all-encompassing sort of grimdark that can be found in more gritty novels.  It's as dark as it needs to be when it needs to be (and believe me at times that means it gets very dark, this being the first Sanderson novel that, if I had kids, I likely wouldn't allow them to read), but it doesn't do what other grittier works sometimes do and dance around relishing in its own darkness and brutality.  It's an approach that, in my opinion, leaves a greater impact.  When the penny drops and the s*** goes down it becomes breathtaking, tragic, and absolutely fascinating.

Speaking of the "Voidbringers", the enemy race of the series, I like that Sanderson made a point in the novel to flesh them out, make them genuine, and not just make them "generic evil race of warmongers" like so many other series would be tempted to do.  At the same time he doesn't pull a complete subversion, which in itself is also fairly cliche.  Instead what he does is make them believable, their rage genuine, and their actions at times almost just, while also making sure there is no doubt that there is something far larger going on here.  

-------------------

I could go on and on and on about this novel and series.  It's easily the best the Cosmere has to offer and some of the best the genre has to offer, with excellent world building, character development, and epic conflict whose ultimate result is likely going to have cosmic repercussions.  But it would be ultimately irrelevant, the only people reading this haven't gotten to the point of the Cosmere where they'll want spoilers and everyone else could likely have the book become the next Harry Potter and still not read it (if only because they fell off halfway through Way of Kings.  These are not short novels after all!  Indeed Oathbringer alone is so large it at times felt like a trilogy, complete with multiple climaxes throughout the novel).  That said when you read a novel this large, dense, and epic, it does one good to sit down and genuinely take the time to collect your overall thoughts before moving on.  

I will however say this, if you do plan on reading Stormlight Archive along with the rest of the Cosmere then absolutely read Warbreaker before this one.  It may not be the strongest of Sanderson's novels, but, well, lets just say there'll be payoff for it.  

Up Next: Mort, as a break from epic fantasy that I said I would do after The Dragon's Path.  Although I'm certain absolutely nobody believed for a second I would actually take a break with Oathbrigner collecting dust on the shelf given my previous bloated posts!  Laughing
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Athrun888
Dry Metal Baby Princess
avatar

Posts : 3293
Points : 3340
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : The Cognitive Realm

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Fri 5 Jan 2018 - 18:16

Okay, so before I launch into a "review" of the last book I finished (Mort by Terry Pratchet if you want to know without reading the rest of the post) I figured it might be fun to try and spark a bit of chatter.  2017 has ended and 2018 has begun, a perfect opportunity to reflect on the years reading and muse about what might lie ahead!  Feel free to cover such topics as favourite reads, amount of reads, and anything else that tickles your fancy!


For me 2017 was the beginning of new horizons and the end of old ones.  At the start of the year I entered Goodreads challenge, setting myself the target of 25 books by years end.  It was a target I was slightly surprised to see achieved, for most of my books in the last year have been fantasy epics.  Not just any fantasy epics though, plenty of them ranged in the 600+ page count, and one very special novel measured in at the 1200 page mark (methinks the trade paperback of that beaut will probably be around 1500 pages).  

Last year saw me finally finish two series I'd been focussing on for the prior year and a half.  Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere kicked off my year and arguably ended it, with first his first published work Elantris, followed througout the year by the second Mistborn series, and capped off by the deadly weapon that was Oathbringer, his latest work.  It also saw me polish off another long series, The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey.  

For most those alone would have saked their thirst, but having started to taste the joys of fantasy I decided to expand my horizons.  Not something I tend to do very often, I've always been a person who sticks with the tried and true, until last year I'd try out something new every few years.  

I sought new series, and I got them.  The Riyria Revelations, a series of three omnibus volumes that I devoured in short order and left with plans to check out the prequels at some point.  The Dagger and the Coin, a five volume saga that shall be the main bread and butter of the start of 2018.  Terry Pratchet's famous Discworld series, the Death and City Watch subseries in particular.  Naomi Novrik's Temeraire series to fill the void of Pern, another series likely to pepper my reading platter throughout 2018.  

2018.  I've mentioned it several times in this post, and now it's time to consider what it shall bring.  The foremost is the reading challenge, following 2017 I decided to up the ante and challenge myself to 30 novels, considering several of the books in 2017 were two-in-one's and one was the size of three full novels it's a target I'm confident I can meet.  Discworld, Dagger and the Coin, and Temeraire are all locks to appear during the year.  Perhaps this year I might even finally get the chance to read Dune at some point, should I feel like finally having a break from Fantasy.  

Whatever way I go I have no doubt that it's going to be a kickass year as far as the books are concerned.  

---------------------

Finished Mort, a Discworld novel and first of the Death subseries.  I actually finished this over a week ago, but haven't been around enough to post my thoughts.  T'was a fun novel, Pratchett's full whimsical lunacy was again on full display, turning what would have been a potentially dark subject in another author's hands into something fun and enjoyable.  Suffice to say it has cemented a return to Discworld sooner rather than later, they seem to be good novels to break up the more traditionally epic'y stuff that typically litters my plate.  

Up now: book 1 of the Lightbringer series, The Black Prism.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
ZeroJones
I'M SO LONELY
avatar

Posts : 10465
Points : 9425
Join date : 2013-01-15
Age : 37
Location : North Midlands, England

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sat 6 Jan 2018 - 8:50

Firstly, let me say that I'm glad you enjoyed Mort, Athers! Very Happy It's a fine book and I'm delighted to read that you're into the series now. There is so much more to come, so much richness, joy and smarts.

I read far too few books in 2017 and am going to try to rectify that in 2018. The only two (!) I can clearly remember finishing up were Blue Monday by Nicci French, which was very disturbing, and The Elephant In The Staffroom, by Chris Eyre (a former colleague - the book is on the topic of staff wellbeing and one of the stories he uses to illustrate a point is about me (!)), which was extremely practical.

I've got bookmarks in about five things at the moment: Fluke, Mindset, Flip The System UK, American Gods and Les Misérables. Some of those will not be read by the end of the year but I am hoping to do better. I read an amazing tweet yesterday that someone had stopped bringing their phone with them to the toilet but had instead left a book in there (as she said, "like we used to do"!). I might try that. Wink Thumbs Up!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sun 7 Jan 2018 - 12:40

ZeroJones wrote:
American Gods

Very good and delightfully weird! It has a surreal, dreamlike quality which the TV show never captured, for me.
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
Balladeer
Disciple of Koizumi
avatar

Posts : 16821
Points : 16087
Join date : 2013-01-16
Age : 28
Location : Chasing the mole holding my golf ball

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sun 7 Jan 2018 - 16:06

2017 in review... It's weird, most of the stuff I read now is stuff that I read either for my monthly book club, or at my dad's recommendation. That means a large variety of genres, but few authors that I love enough to move forward. The last one I did that for was Nick Harkaway.

I'd say my book of 2017 was Mogworld, by Yahtzee Croshaw. You might know the name, he occasionally does some videogame-related chat thing on the Interwubs. Anyway, it was delightfully weird, and a must for all gamers. Despite that, though, I've not got around to picking up his other works. So maybe the problem is me...


I'm obviously chuffed that Athers' Terry Pratchett fandom has gone from strength to strength. American Gods is an interesting one, that rambled a bit too much without pacing for me to truly enjoy it. (Then again, I did read all of Les Mis...)

And I have my full collection of Switch Player in the loo! That I still reject in favour of my 'phone. Embarrassed
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://balladsandwords.wordpress.com/
Jimbob
Ice Climber
avatar

Posts : 2844
Points : 2863
Join date : 2013-01-15
Age : 35
Location : Meeeeelton Keeeeeynes

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Tue 9 Jan 2018 - 21:48

Jimbob wrote:
Sorry about this - it's not as classy as what you lot were reading, but I have to recommend:
(An Illustrated History of Football by David Squires)
I know half of it is pictures, so It doesn't really count. Sport-based humour is usually dumb, entry-level or cringe-worthy; however David Squires is an absolute genius - everything is much cleverer than the topic of football should normally be. If nothing else, I'd recommend reading his weekly Guardian strips; he throws some ace topical references in there.
You've reminded me there - I'm now reading the follow up to this book, the Illustrated Football Hall of Fame, focusing on individual players this time. I don't know why it reminded me. Basically I'm not reading anything that everyone else is. Er... carry on.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://jimbobsonofriber.tumblr.com/
Athrun888
Dry Metal Baby Princess
avatar

Posts : 3293
Points : 3340
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : The Cognitive Realm

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Fri 19 Jan 2018 - 13:20

Another book bites the dust (cue music!)  The Black Prism, book one of the Lightbringer series.  

This one didn't immediately grab me, I have to admit.  The first eighty or so pages, if I'm honest, had me tempted to put the book down and pick up something else.  There was promise here however, and despite the books several big flaws (which I'll get to soon enough) that promise was enough to keep me chipping away at it chapter by chapter night by night.  

A world where magic uses light as its source of power, interesting concept.  Main character Gavin Guile is the Black Prism, the most powerful man in the world, for he can access the entire spectrum of colours where most can only access two at best.  Early on Gavin was the large reason I kept reading, Kip, our secondary protagonist, wasn't really doing it for me, and Karris is just plain unlikable.  Gavin however was immediately interesting.   Quickly made apparent to be firmly in the morally grey area, the sort of protagonist one might expect to see in a novel whose story is about morally ambiguous people vying for power rather than a hero of a fantasy epic.  The way ones perception of him changes over the novel is well executed, one chapter he feels like a pragmatic hero, the next possibly a villain.  For him alone I'd give the book 3 out of 5 stars.  

With that said he wasn't the only reason to read.  Like all good books it slowly but surely sunk its hooks into me, and by the midway point despite the arrival of some new books my attention was fixed firmly on this one.  

It isn't all positive though.  Perhaps Sanderson's works over the last few years have spoiled me, but I'd say the weakest aspects of the novel were its handling of female characters and violence.  Female characters would frequently be described in such a way that felt akin to leering at them during their introductions, and Karris, one of two female perspective characters, wasn't exactly portrayed well.  To be blunt she came off as a cliche'd raging bitch.  Liv was a fair bit better once she was introduced, but again things sometimes strayed from realistic to a bit tasteless during the first half of the novel, at times crossing the line between bawdy humour into less savoury feeling incidents (although to be fair here embarrassing accidents weren't exclusive to her, if it weren't for the aforementioned introductions of female characters this likely wouldn't be worthy of remaking on given Kip's own share of embarrassing situations).  

Meanwhile the violence, well, to be blunt it often stepped over the line from realistic to edgy.  Instead of feeling visceral it at times came off as self-indulgent and over the top.  Fine, a couple of soldiers got themselves decapitated by the equivalent of a magical shotgun round to the head, but do we really need to have every little detail about the heads state after the fact?  At best it's gross and at worst it slows down an action sequence and interrupts the flow for the reader.  And don't even get me started about the main villain King Garadul, by the time halfway through the novel the idea that he had a decent rational for his atrocities was introduced we'd already seen him
spoilers I guess:
 

By this point we've been sitting on that little stomach-turner for basically three hundred pages, and it's well and truly far too late to start trying to give the act of brutality a good rational.  

It says a lot that despite the above flaws, and believe me they sometimes really got on my nerves, I left the book feeling satisfied.  It has flaws, definitely, but despite them it's a good yarn and well worth the time for those not bothered by the above-mentioned issues.  From the start Gavin Guile is an engaging and interesting character who changes our perception of him throughout the course of the novel, Kip by the mid-point grows on the reader until you suddenly find yourself actually interested in seeing where he goes next, and Liv when she isn't involved in bawdy accidents is a genuinely interesting character with some genuinely engaging character development.  All in all I look forward to seeing what happens next when I begin the sequel in a few months.

----------------------

Whoops, didn't think I'd have nearly as much to type as I ended up doing after that.  I guess that's the cost when you read a 700 page novel eh.  Up next, and likely to further delight Balla and co: another Discworld novel.  Either The Wee Free Men or Going Postal.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Balladeer
Disciple of Koizumi
avatar

Posts : 16821
Points : 16087
Join date : 2013-01-16
Age : 28
Location : Chasing the mole holding my golf ball

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Fri 19 Jan 2018 - 20:18

(pitches tent outside thread)
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://balladsandwords.wordpress.com/
Drunkalilly
Tenderloin Minimise
avatar

Posts : 9639
Points : 9758
Join date : 2013-02-25
Age : 27
Location : Osaka

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sat 20 Jan 2018 - 22:59

So, I recently finished The Alloy of Law. Good stuff! A much-appreciated continuation of the Mistborn world, while dealing with a nicely smaller scope. I like knowing that Sanderson can write slim, pulp novellas as well as big epics. Its also really refreshing to read a fantasy set not in a feudal world or a modern one, but something akin to the old west.

Next up is a history of the Ninja, but before the big volume on Hiroshima and Nagasaki I've got, I'm going to bash through the other two Wax and Wayne novels.
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://www.gintendo.co.uk
Athrun888
Dry Metal Baby Princess
avatar

Posts : 3293
Points : 3340
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : The Cognitive Realm

PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sun 28 Jan 2018 - 14:48

Glad to see you enjoyed the first volume Drunka, Wax and Wayne series is easily my second-favourite Sanderson series and you're in for a blast when you eventually continue it.  The sequel builds on everything that made Alloy of Law so good, the hints of complexity are tugged on and fleshed out and everything else does what the best sequels do.  

Just a word of warning about the second Wax and Wayne novel, avoid reading any of the blurb stuff for Shadows of Self.  A good half of the novel is basically a mystery novel and the blurb pretty much spoils that mystery.  

Speaking of spoilers there's several things on the tip of my tongue, but since you're about to hit the other two novels I'll keep my jaw shut.  Steris best girl woman though.

------------------------

Aye crivens I finished another novel, plot twist of the century aye. Wee Free Men, the first book in the Tiffany Aching sub-series of Discworld and my third Discworld novel overall.

This time we didn't see any of the normal frequented locals like Ankh Morpork, instead we escaped to the lands of chalk to meet young budding witch Tiffany Aching and her adventure with the unruly Nac Mac Feegle to stop an interdimensional incursion of a malevolent force.

It was the perfect break from the more "typical" epic fantasy I frequently read. Out with the storylines featuring a dozen characters and in with a small story focused on one character and her journey to save her brother and perhaps save the world in the process. As usual it was a fun (and often funny) and whimsical affair, and I'll have to check back in on young Tiffany and her further misadventures before too long.

Up next: book two of The Dagger and the Coin series, The King's Blood (gee what could possibly occur at some point in this one eh?)
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   

Back to top Go down
 
What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)
Back to top 
Page 12 of 14Go to page : Previous  1 ... 7 ... 11, 12, 13, 14  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
GNamer Forum :: GNamer Forum :: Off Topic-
Jump to: