Chaos

What Are You Reading, Part 2

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Jim Butcher, Small Favors.

I read both Proven Guilty and White Night yesterday, and they were really good, especially Proven Guilty.

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Starting The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. I only recently read his Night Angel trilogy and thought it was pretty good, so I thought I'd give Prism a shot.

Just finished rereading John Brown's Servant of a Dark God, and I still love it. Prior to that, I read Abercrombie's Best Served Cold, which I didn't like (and I might add, it bothers me that it didn't like it, as, according to every rational reason I know of for why I like books, I should like Best Served Cold. But for whatever reason, it just didn't work for me).

Hopefully this one and my few remaining unread Pratchett books will get me through until I can read The Crippled God and The Wise Man's Fear. And Republic of Thieves, should it come out in the near future like I keep hearing it's going to.

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I'm reading Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens.  Also Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when I exercise.  I'm on a bit of a comedy bent if you couldn't tell. XP

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Starting The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. I only recently read his Night Angel trilogy and thought it was pretty good, so I thought I'd give Prism a shot.

Just finished rereading John Brown's Servant of a Dark God, and I still love it. Prior to that, I read Abercrombie's Best Served Cold, which I didn't like (and I might add, it bothers me that it didn't like it, as, according to every rational reason I know of for why I like books, I should like Best Served Cold. But for whatever reason, it just didn't work for me).

Hopefully this one and my few remaining unread Pratchett books will get me through until I can read The Crippled God and The Wise Man's Fear. And Republic of Thieves, should it come out in the near future like I keep hearing it's going to.

I keep meaning to pick up The Black Prism, but I never really manage to get around to it...

I've been considering a reread of Servant of a Dark God as well. I found it to be a mediocre book, to be honest, although I can see his potential as an author. However, I keep seeing rave reviews for it, including your statement above, so I'm thinking I should give it another read.

Best Served Cold... I started that months ago, and every so often I manage to read another chapter or two, but it's hard to stick with. Abercrombie is a great writer, but I have such a hard time actually liking any of his characters, it's difficult to stick with a book. Had the same problem with The Blade Itself. Then again, gritty low fantasy isn't my preferred subgenre... but I'll stop there. I have a whole rant to write up regarding that.

Anyway, as previously mentioned, I finished I Don't Want To Kill You by Dan Wells, and was blown away. Best book I've read in the last year. Currently reading The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks, which is a very strange but very enjoyable book.

One of these days I need to take a picture of my 'To Read' pile...

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Best Served Cold... I started that months ago, and every so often I manage to read another chapter or two, but it's hard to stick with. Abercrombie is a great writer, but I have such a hard time actually liking any of his characters, it's difficult to stick with a book. Had the same problem with The Blade Itself. Then again, gritty low fantasy isn't my preferred subgenre... but I'll stop there. I have a whole rant to write up regarding that.

I agree with your point on Blade Itself. I started reading it, but I haven't picked it up in, wow, a long time. Also, I didn't like the lack of coherent plot direction its beginnings had. Characters are great and all, but it's still hard for me to stick with a book if there's not a plot or interesting setting/magic to grab my attention. Low plot + low magic does not make Uncle Chaos a happy camper.

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Best Served Cold... I started that months ago, and every so often I manage to read another chapter or two, but it's hard to stick with. Abercrombie is a great writer, but I have such a hard time actually liking any of his characters, it's difficult to stick with a book. Had the same problem with The Blade Itself. Then again, gritty low fantasy isn't my preferred subgenre... but I'll stop there. I have a whole rant to write up regarding that.

I agree with your point on Blade Itself. I started reading it, but I haven't picked it up in, wow, a long time. Also, I didn't like the lack of coherent plot direction its beginnings had. Characters are great and all, but it's still hard for me to stick with a book if there's not a plot or interesting setting/magic to grab my attention. Low plot + low magic does not make Uncle Chaos a happy camper.

I'll be honest, the book is really good, but it has the same problem that I felt Gardens of the Moon did - it takes far, far too long for the plot to makes itself really present, and even longer for it to form into something that you actually care about. Unlike Gardens of the Moon, though, the writing is fantastic and it has a more satisfying ending. Of course, an ending where everybody dies is a more satisfying ending than Gardens of the Moon had...

Heck, I would have loved it if everyone died at the end of that book...

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Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind.

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Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind.

Fairly good series no matter all the Goodkind bashing. Very long story that seems to keep having the same thing over and over throughout the entire book. Kinda pissed now that he's writing 3 more books for it even though he said he was done.

I've been reading lately:

David Farland Brotherhood of the Wolf

Joseph Cambell Hero with a Thousand Faces

and re-reading as needed various chapters out of the Cosmere stuff.

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Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind.

Fairly good series no matter all the Goodkind bashing. Very long story that seems to keep having the same thing over and over throughout the entire book. Kinda pissed now that he's writing 3 more books for it even though he said he was done.

Ah, Goodkind... I couldn't get past the third book. My issue with Goodkind, though, is Goodkind himself. I've seen interviews and read stuff about him, and he comes across as an overly pretentious jerk. I could deal with this if his books were any good, but (opinion alert!) they aren't. He keeps writing in the same series, I think, because he has no ideas outside of it, or he's afraid of trying anything else. Even his 'thriller' Law of Nines was directly related to Sword of Truth.

And, keeping on topic, add The Hunger Games to what I'm currently reading, although it's actually an audiobook.

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Hero With A Thousand Faces, eh?  Heavy stuff, but very interesting.  I haven't read the whole thing, it had to go back to the library before I was finished, but what I read was pretty informative.  The psychology of it is a little hard to get into, though, lots of weird concepts I basically had to pick up as I went.

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When it comes down to it, a lot of famous artists of all genres are jerkfaces. As a musician, I got used to realizing that all my favorite musicians and composers were all jerkfaces. Particularly jazz artists. They were merciless to each other and fans.

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So, I'm liking this topic, because now we're also discussing what we're reading :D

Best Served Cold... I started that months ago, and every so often I manage to read another chapter or two, but it's hard to stick with. Abercrombie is a great writer, but I have such a hard time actually liking any of his characters, it's difficult to stick with a book. Had the same problem with The Blade Itself. Then again, gritty low fantasy isn't my preferred subgenre... but I'll stop there. I have a whole rant to write up regarding that.

I agree with your point on Blade Itself. I started reading it, but I haven't picked it up in, wow, a long time. Also, I didn't like the lack of coherent plot direction its beginnings had. Characters are great and all, but it's still hard for me to stick with a book if there's not a plot or interesting setting/magic to grab my attention. Low plot + low magic does not make Uncle Chaos a happy camper.

I'll be honest, the book is really good, but it has the same problem that I felt Gardens of the Moon did - it takes far, far too long for the plot to makes itself really present, and even longer for it to form into something that you actually care about. Unlike Gardens of the Moon, though, the writing is fantastic and it has a more satisfying ending. Of course, an ending where everybody dies is a more satisfying ending than Gardens of the Moon had...

Heck, I would have loved it if everyone died at the end of that book...

Well, I'm glad I wasn't off-base my analysis there. I mean, I enjoyed what I read, but not enough to propel me through it.

Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind.

Fairly good series no matter all the Goodkind bashing. Very long story that seems to keep having the same thing over and over throughout the entire book. Kinda pissed now that he's writing 3 more books for it even though he said he was done.

I've been reading lately:

David Farland Brotherhood of the Wolf

Joseph Cambell Hero with a Thousand Faces

and re-reading as needed various chapters out of the Cosmere stuff.

I once read the first few pages of Wizard's First Rule to see if it really was something to avoid. And, well, I'm not upset that that series is never going on my to-read list.

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Currently I am reading Factotum, Dracula, The Written, The Book of Five Rings, Zombie Survival guide and re-reading, Sabriel, Deadhouse Gates, Way of Kings, Imager, and Stormfront.

yes, all in the same day.  No, i don't get the plot-lines mixed up.

I have read Blade Itself, and really didn't like it.  I want more magic!  :)

Tried reading whatever book comes after Wizard's first rule, but got bored and dropped that author from my read-these list.

  :D but but I liked Gardens of the moon...

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Went on a bit of a Jim Butcher bender this weekend. Read Side Jobs, then reread White Night, Small Favor, Turn Coat and Changes. Soon to be followed with Simon R. Green's Secret Histories series and maybe a few Deathstalker novels.

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Currently I am reading Factotum, Dracula, The Written, The Book of Five Rings, Zombie Survival guide and re-reading, Sabriel, Deadhouse Gates, Way of Kings, Imager, and Stormfront.

yes, all in the same day.  No, i don't get the plot-lines mixed up.

I have read Blade Itself, and really didn't like it.  I want more magic!  :)

Tried reading whatever book comes after Wizard's first rule, but got bored and dropped that author from my read-these list.

  :D but but I liked Gardens of the moon...

That was another complaint I had with The Blade Itself. I prefer high-magic settings, and most of the 'dark and gritty' stuff I've seen tends to be low magic. And then people go an call it more realistic... um, why do you want more realism in your fantasy? Isn't that counter-intuitive?

Gardens of the Moon... I tried hard to like it, I really did. But it just never grabbed me. We never spent enough time with a single character for me to form any kind of connection, and half the book I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on and why I should care. I honestly don't understand how so many people rate these books so highly. The biggest crime was that as a whole, the book was IMMENSELY unsatisfying to read. I got to the end and just felt as if I had wasted my time. I don't care if "you really have to get to book X in order for it to get good", as Malazan apologists claim.

The first book in the series should be able to stand up on it's own as a satisfying rand complete story unto itself, even if it is part of a larger overarching plot. The Wheel of Time does this, A Song of Ice and Fire does this, Mistborn: The Final Empire does this. I did not feel that Gardens of the Moon did this. As it is, even though I own a copy, I have no desire to pick up Deadhouse Gates.

But I do not begrudge others for liking it. Read what you love, as I say :)

Whew... I've been holding that in for some time..

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Currently I am reading Factotum, Dracula, The Written, The Book of Five Rings, Zombie Survival guide and re-reading, Sabriel, Deadhouse Gates, Way of Kings, Imager, and Stormfront.

yes, all in the same day.  No, i don't get the plot-lines mixed up.

I have read Blade Itself, and really didn't like it.  I want more magic!  :)

Tried reading whatever book comes after Wizard's first rule, but got bored and dropped that author from my read-these list.

  :D but but I liked Gardens of the moon...

That was another complaint I had with The Blade Itself. I prefer high-magic settings, and most of the 'dark and gritty' stuff I've seen tends to be low magic. And then people go an call it more realistic... um, why do you want more realism in your fantasy? Isn't that counter-intuitive?

Gardens of the Moon... I tried hard to like it, I really did. But it just never grabbed me. We never spent enough time with a single character for me to form any kind of connection, and half the book I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on and why I should care. I honestly don't understand how so many people rate these books so highly. The biggest crime was that as a whole, the book was IMMENSELY unsatisfying to read. I got to the end and just felt as if I had wasted my time. I don't care if "you really have to get to book X in order for it to get good", as Malazan apologists claim.

The first book in the series should be able to stand up on it's own as a satisfying rand complete story unto itself, even if it is part of a larger overarching plot. The Wheel of Time does this, A Song of Ice and Fire does this, Mistborn: The Final Empire does this. I did not feel that Gardens of the Moon did this. As it is, even though I own a copy, I have no desire to pick up Deadhouse Gates.

But I do not begrudge others for liking it. Read what you love, as I say :)

Whew... I've been holding that in for some time..

I'm in complete agreeance on gardens of the moon. I really wanted to like it, and i heard great things about it. I just couldn't bring myself to care. At all. Reading felt like a chore, and i was dreading the time i always set aside for reading whatever book im currently reading. I quit it maybe 50 or 60 pages from the end. I just got the point i was like "ya know, i read to enjoy myself, and so far, this book has not given me any enjoyment. Why should i even finish it? There won't be any great epiphany that's going to make me love it, and i'm certainly not going to slog through a few more books until i get to the point where i'm supposed to start loving it"

Currently i'm reading: The andromeda strain by michael crichton. It's one of "those books" ive always wanted to read but never really got around to.

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1776 for my US history class and  Othello for my English class. Wish they gave us more options to choose from.

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Ah, Shakespeare, if you can pick apart the metaphors it's actually pretty good reading and you realize just how dirty minded most of his stuff is.  I'd recommend getting a version that does that for you.  I did that for Romeo and Juliet and enjoyed it.

Does Gardens of the Moon have good worldbuilding?  That's always my favorite part and a major reason that Brandon's my favorite author.

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Ah, Shakespeare, if you can pick apart the metaphors it's actually pretty good reading and you realize just how dirty minded most of his stuff is.  I'd recommend getting a version that does that for you.  I did that for Romeo and Juliet and enjoyed it.

Cheating and getting annotated versions are great for dumb people like me.

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Ah, Shakespeare, if you can pick apart the metaphors it's actually pretty good reading and you realize just how dirty minded most of his stuff is.  I'd recommend getting a version that does that for you.  I did that for Romeo and Juliet and enjoyed it.

Does Gardens of the Moon have good worldbuilding?  That's always my favorite part and a major reason that Brandon's my favorite author.

It has excellent worldbuilding. It's the one strength I feel Erikson has. But worldbuilding is not enough to carry a whole story. Character and plot have to as important as setting, and I felt he failed on both aspects. I think it really shows that the world was originally designed for a roleplaying game - all of the characters feel as if they are just there, thrown in because that's who they rolled up, and not because they actually belong.

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I'll agree that it felt that way for a bit. I actually was quite happy with the ending of Gardens, though, which was enough to propel me through the slow beginning of Deadhouse Gates. Once I got a couple hundred pages into that one, I was pretty much hooked on the series. I can definitely see why the Malazan books wouldn't appeal to everyone, though.

I don't remember who it was that said they thought Servant of a Dark God was mediocre, but I sort of half agree, in a sense. There were some flaws with it, most notably I felt like the pacing was slightly off most of the time. Overall, though, I still felt like it was a really good read, and like you mentioned, you can see that John Brown has a lot of potential. The second book in the trilogy should be interesting. The other thing is I think I really liked his worldbuilding, so I was excited for more stories in the same world.

And....wow. I sparked an Abercrombie-bashing fest. I don't think that's ever happened before that I can remember. Usually when I tell people that I didn't really care for an Abercrombie novel, they freak out at me. Nice to know I'm not the only one that feels this way. (Though I feel obligated to mention that I actually really did like the First Law trilogy. It just took me a while to get to the point where I liked it)

Goodkind....yeah. Wizard's First Rule is a genuinely good book. Stone of Tears is significantly worse. I don't actually remember what the third and fourth were called. The third, I thought was better than Stone of Tears but worse than Wizards first rule, and the Fourth was the worst of the lot. I doubt I'll be reading past that point, just because I really don't care anymore. That, and I can probably predict a large portion of the story very easily.

My biggest issue with Goodkind isn't his books, but Goodkind himself. As others have mentioned, he's kind of a hypocritical narcissistic jerkface. He is the only author whose books I have ever felt guilty for purchasing, knowing that I was fueling more of the same.

After I finish Black Prism, I've decided to resume Prince of Nothing. I read The Darkness the Comes Before and thought it was pretty good, so we'll see how the other two in the series are.

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Ah, Shakespeare, if you can pick apart the metaphors it's actually pretty good reading and you realize just how dirty minded most of his stuff is.  I'd recommend getting a version that does that for you.  I did that for Romeo and Juliet and enjoyed it.

I'm a fan of A Midsummer Night's Dream, myself.

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Ah, Shakespeare, if you can pick apart the metaphors it's actually pretty good reading and you realize just how dirty minded most of his stuff is.  I'd recommend getting a version that does that for you.  I did that for Romeo and Juliet and enjoyed it.

I'm a fan of A Midsummer Night's Dream, myself.

Indeed. The Tempest is another excellent one.

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