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Re: [Fantasy_Books] Re: This month I have been mostly readin'...

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  • William Marnoch
    ... I d disagree that Toll The Hounds is the weakest in the series, although I wouldn t say it was the best either. It does have a similar structure to House
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 27, 2008
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      On 27 Oct 2008 at 14:52, Leigh L. wrote:

      >
      > > My most recent reads have been "Toll the Hounds" by Steven Erikson
      > > which I did struggle to get through it, the tempo and style (very
      > > slow) was for me a lot different to the earlier books in the
      > > series. The ending was unexpected and did redeem the first two
      > > thirds. Toll the Hounds is the eighth book in the Malazan series
      > > and continues some of the story lines from earlier books but
      > > overall is the weakest in the series.
      >
      > Really? Hmm, that's a shame. I only recently realised how far behind
      > I've Fallen (ahaha) with the Malazan books, and had hoped to address
      > that soon. I read Midnight Tides earlier in the year, and while it
      > didn't really measure up to previous books, I've made enough of an
      > investment in the series by now that it'll take more than one
      > slightly shaky effort to scare me off - from what I've heard things
      > pick up again with The Bonehunters and Reaper's Gale, but hearing
      > that Toll the Hounds is the weakest yet doesn't bode well this close
      > to the end of the series.
      >
      > Ah well, it'll have to wait anyway as I've just started catching up
      > on China Mieville with The Scar, and that's not exactly a compact
      > little volume either...
      >
      > - Leigh

      I'd disagree that Toll The Hounds is the weakest in the series, although I wouldn't say it
      was the best either. It does have a similar structure to House of Chains, The
      Bonehunters and Reaper's Gale in that there's a lot of build-up before a couple of
      hundred pages of action at the end. I'd probably rate it above Bonehunters and Reaper's
      Gale since I felt the conclusion in TTH was more satisfying than in the previous two
      books where I felt some elements of the ending were a bit flawed. Overall I did like Toll
      The Hounds, although I still have to question whether it really needed to be 900+ pages
      long.



      --
      William Marnoch
      william@...
      http://www.voidhawk.com/ - Film and Book Reviews
    • Phoebe Matthews
      This week I finished Lilith Saintcrow s Night Shift first book in her new Jill Kismit series, and now I m reading the second, Hunter s Prayer. I liked the
      Message 2 of 18 , Nov 10, 2008
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        This week I finished Lilith Saintcrow's "Night Shift" first book in her new Jill Kismit series,
        and now I'm reading the second, "Hunter's Prayer." I liked the first one, but I think the
        second is better as the characters become more alive. Pace is always fast. (Mudflat series
        - http://phoebematthews.com)
        --- In Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com, "Leigh L." <leighlo@...> wrote:
        >
        > Just a few thoughts on recent reads to try to spur a bit of life back
        > into the list and outweigh the spam messages :)
        >
        > The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
        > Multiple recommendations on this list swayed me into reading this,
        > and I found it... good, but not great. The past/present structure is
        > interesting, the dialogue classy and the setting beautifully
        > realised, but the plot drags almost unbearably for the first few
        > chapters and doesn't really pick up until the halfway point when the
        > Grey King is introduced. It's also a bit implausible just how much
        > punishment Lynch's characters can take and keep on fightin'. Still,
        > it did get me invested enough by the end to care about the sequel.
        >
        > Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman
        > Very brief novel (more of a short story) written for World Book Day.
        > It's a lighthearted take on Norse legend with the feel of a parable
        > or fable, though I'm not sure what exactly the message was. Beyond
        > that there's nothing particularly bad about the execution, although
        > the length doesn't allow for any real depth of plot or character, or
        > for the unmistakable Gaiman magic to shine through.
        >
        > Infernal Devices - Philip Reeve
        > Third in the sequence that began with Mortal Engines, and sadly not a
        > patch on either that or the second book, Predator's Gold. Reeve seems
        > to have lost interest in both the story and the readers to the point
        > where he's either sidelining or actively demonising his previous
        > characters, and the new ones just don't match up. It didn't feel like
        > he enjoyed writing this at all, and the feeling can't help but rub
        > off after a while. Still, maybe it's all a big setup and everything
        > that felt wrong about this volume is neatly resolved in the final
        > book...?
        >
        > Any counter-opinions? Anybody else read anything worth mentioning
        > lately?
        >
        > - Leigh
        >
      • Sharon
        Message 3 of 18 , Nov 10, 2008
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          << Anybody else read anything worth mentioning
          > lately? - Leigh >>>


          Since the third of the Bujold "Sharing Knife" I've been in a real reading slump. However I picked up the newest Mercedes Lackey book "Foundation" ... apparantly the first of a new "Companions" series ... and sat up until waaay past my usual bedtime so I could finish it.

          I liked her other series in this world, I mean let's face it, a horse person is going to like telepathic horses with human level intelligence, though I think this may be my favorite of any of them so far ...

          Sharon in KY



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        • kara fitzpatrick
          Hi, I was just wondering who the author of Path of Fury is so that I can read his/her books. Thanks ________________________________ From: Sharon
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 11, 2008
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            Hi, I was just wondering who the author of "Path of Fury" is so that I can read his/her books. Thanks




            ________________________________
            From: Sharon <sportpony@...>
            To: Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 3:57:25 AM
            Subject: Re: [Fantasy_Books] This month I have been mostly readin'...


            <<> am going to try and track down a copy of "Path of the Fury" just to see what had been changed or added to. Dale >>>

            I haven't read the "expanded" version so not sure where that started or if there was more detail in later sections but "Path" starts with the raid on the family homestead which killed all of her family and "introduced" her to the Fury.

            Sharon in KY

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          • Sharon
            The author of Path of the Fury is David Weber. He s a very prolific author and I ve liked a lot of his books ... have a lot of them on my personal
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 11, 2008
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              The author of "Path of the Fury" is David Weber. He's a very prolific author and I've liked a lot of his books ... have a lot of them on my personal bookshelves that I enjoy re-reading.

              His "Honor Harrington" series is probably his best known series. I have all of the early Harrington books ... they are great and read something like "Path". I also particularly liked "The Apocolypse Troll", a stand alone and the "Mutineer's Moon" trilogy.

              He does have a strong tendency to get carried away with political involvement, especially noticeable in the last few years and while I did read the last two of the Harrington books, just to more or less finish out the "story" ... I don't own them.

              Sharon in KY

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            • William C. Garthright
              ... I agree, Sharon. I enjoyed David Weber s first two Honor Harrington books, though they followed the now-standard pattern of C. S. Forester s Horatio
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 11, 2008
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                > His "Honor Harrington" series is probably his best known series. I have all of the early Harrington books ...
                >
                > He does have a strong tendency to get carried away with political involvement, especially noticeable in the last few years


                I agree, Sharon. I enjoyed David Weber's first two Honor Harrington
                books, though they followed the now-standard pattern of C. S. Forester's
                Horatio Hornblower (except for being set in space), always ending with
                the usual climactic battle against overwhelming odds. But they were
                enjoyable, if you didn't take them too seriously.

                As the series went on, though, they got increasingly talky, and
                heavy-handed into politics, though I kept reading for awhile. Later, he
                started writing similar books, set in the same universe, but with
                different characters. "The Shadow of Saganimi" was pretty good, I
                thought, though it followed the standard space navy formula exactly. But
                I couldn't believe how bad "Crown of Slaves" was (though it was
                co-authored by Eric Flint, who's one of my favorite authors). Too much
                talk, and ridiculous characters!

                I've enjoyed other David Weber books, including his collaborations with
                Steve White ("Insurrection," "Crusade," etc.), which are more space navy
                warfare books (again, they're all alike, but they're exciting enough)
                and others with Eric Flint in Flint's "1632" series. I've also got his
                1995 fantasy, "Oath of Swords," but I must admit that I don't really
                remember it.

                Bill

                --
                There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its
                people became too reasonable. - Sam Harris
              • Sharon
                Message 7 of 18 , Dec 12, 2008
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                  <<<But I couldn't believe how bad "Crown of Slaves" was (though it was
                  co-authored by Eric Flint, who's one of my favorite authors). Too much
                  talk, and ridiculous characters! Bill >>>>

                  Eric Flint is one of my favorite authors too ... I have re-read "Mother of Demons" I don't know how many times and same for the first two books in the 1832 series. The first book ... by Eric Flint only, is just a great fun read. The second, co-authored with David Weber, gets a lot more involved with history and politics ... you can sure see the Weber influence. After that, for me, unfortunately, it was all downhill. The last two I picked up at the library in the hopes that it might improve again I don't think I even finished. Too many people, too much history, too much politics ... and while I can handle some of that if the characters are really great, since I insist on character-driven books for the most part ... a couple of the co-authors he's using with this series don't seem to be able to do characters well.

                  Oh, well ...

                  Sharon



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                • William C. Garthright
                  ... Yes, Sharon, same here. I ve re-read Mother of Demons many times. And the 1632 series as well. At his best, Eric Flint writes entertaining stories with
                  Message 8 of 18 , Dec 13, 2008
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                    > Eric Flint is one of my favorite authors too ... I have re-read "Mother of Demons" I don't know how many times and same for the first two books in the 1632 series.


                    Yes, Sharon, same here. I've re-read "Mother of Demons" many times. And
                    the "1632" series as well. At his best, Eric Flint writes entertaining
                    stories with wonderful characters. His fiction is always optimistic, and
                    his characters aren't supermen, but they're very capable and
                    unrealistically decent. That doesn't bother me, though. I guess I'm just
                    a sucker for that kind of thing.

                    However, Flint has become VERY prolific. He seems to have any number of
                    books he's writing at the same time, often with various co-authors. And
                    unfortunately, the quality is getting pretty uneven. I think he needs to
                    slow down.

                    If you haven't read them, you might want to try his Rivers of War
                    series: "1812: The Rivers of War" and "1824: The Arkansas War." They are
                    alternate history which start from a single small event. In this
                    history, unlike our own, the young Sam Houston escapes serious injury in
                    the War of 1812, and that leads to many eventual consequences, such as
                    the Trail of Tears migration of the Cherokee being taken voluntarily,
                    along with free blacks, to form their own homeland in Arkansas and
                    Oklahoma. I think it's fascinating.

                    I also like "Rats, Bats, and Vats" (2000) and the sequel, "The Rats, the
                    Bats, and the Ugly" (2004), both with Dave Freer. I actually like the
                    sequel the best, but they're both hilarious and exciting. (The romance
                    between the man, Fitzhugh, and his chocolate-craving rat, Ariel, is
                    great!) And I enjoyed "The Shadow of the Lion" (2002) and its sequels,
                    written with Mercedes Lackey and Dave Freer. Those are historical
                    fantasies, set in a 16th Century Venice with magic and gods.

                    I like Flint enough that I've been buying every book he writes, but I've
                    been disappointed often enough, too (especially lately). I just think
                    he's got too much on his plate these days.

                    Bill

                    PS. Another thing I like about Eric Flint is his work with the Baen Free
                    Library (http://www.baen.com/library/defaultTitles.htm). He's got a
                    large number of his own books there, free to download, including most of
                    those mentioned above. I want to own the books I like, but it's sure
                    nice to be able to try them first!

                    --
                    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely
                    foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. - Douglas
                    Adams
                  • Sharon
                    Message 9 of 18 , Dec 14, 2008
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                      <<<At his best, Eric Flint writes entertaining stories with wonderful characters. His fiction is always optimistic, and
                      his characters aren't supermen, but they're very capable and unrealistically decent. That doesn't bother me, though. I guess I'm just a sucker for that kind of thing.>>>

                      I read for entertainment and that is what I enjoy reading ... good story with great characters and DECENT characters. My other 'favorite' genre is mystery and I've really gotten disgusted with all of the "dysfunctional" characters there ... I mean, a serial killer cop as a HERO? Sorry ... doesn't work for me.


                      <<<However, Flint has become VERY prolific. He seems to have any number of books he's writing at the same time, often with various co-authors. And unfortunately, the quality is getting pretty uneven. I think he needs to slow down. >>>

                      That seems to have happened with several of the very popular authors ... other than Flint, David Weber and Anne McCaffrey come to mind. And it is often these co-authored books that end up losing me as a "buy it as soon as it comes out whether I've read it or not" customer.

                      I'm not sure just why it happens (money maybe?) but other authors, that I like just as well, seem to have managed to avoid that. I sometimes wish they would write faster, but seems like for most people one, possibly two, books per year seems to be the practical limit.

                      I'll see what else the library may have by Flint and try a couple of the other series if they have them.

                      Sharon


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                    • William C. Garthright
                      ... Me, neither. I like mysteries, but I HAVE to like the characters - I mean, really like them. Most mysteries don t do much for me. I prefer the
                      Message 10 of 18 , Dec 14, 2008
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                        > My other 'favorite' genre is mystery and I've really gotten disgusted with all of the "dysfunctional" characters there ... I mean, a serial killer cop as a HERO? Sorry ... doesn't work for me.
                        >


                        Me, neither. I like mysteries, but I HAVE to like the characters - I
                        mean, really like them. Most mysteries don't do much for me. I prefer
                        the old-fashioned kind of British mysteries like Agatha Christie and
                        Dorothy Sayers. Right now, my favorite author is Reginald Hill. I've
                        gotten hooked on his Dalziel and Pascoe series.

                        Oddly enough, though, I don't think I would have liked them much if I
                        hadn't seen the first one, "A Clubbable Woman," on TV. That gave me a
                        clear idea of the characters, which I don't think the book alone would
                        have done. As I continued to read the series, though, I got to know the
                        characters better and better (and he kept adding characters here and
                        there, as the series continued).

                        I like Sharyn McCrumb's Appalachian mysteries, too, though I don't
                        usually like fantasy elements (ghosts, etc.) in mysteries. I haven't
                        read her most recent books, though.

                        So, Sharon, what mystery authors do you like? Our tastes seem to be
                        similar, and I don't read enough mysteries to be very familiar with them.


                        > I sometimes wish they would write faster, but seems like for most people one, possibly two, books per year seems to be the practical limit.
                        >


                        And then, some authors don't write nearly fast enough. Connie Willis,
                        for example, is one of my very favorite authors, but I sure wish she'd
                        write more!

                        Heh! I guess I'm never satisfied, huh?

                        Bill

                        --
                        Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to
                        continue that counts. - Winston Churchill
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