Yearly Targets 2018

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Wilshire

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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2018, 03:46:52 pm »
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin (6)
Uhm, it was alright. Le Guin writes a lot of politically charged novels, this being no exception. The writing was fine, if a bit plain, and the story was interesting, if not thrilling. Not as good as the other novel I read by her last year (The Dispossessed), but it had some interesting commentary on society and gender.
3/5

I've got Blackout by Connie Willis queued up next.
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MSJ

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« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2018, 11:43:11 pm »
Finished Princep's Fury (5). I must admit that this series get better by every book. Started the last book First Lord's Fury last night. And, Butcher has done a very decent job at throwing curveball at you. Not Bakker level stuff, but I'm impressed.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

MSJ

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« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2018, 05:50:21 pm »
Finished First Lord's Fury(6) by Jim Butcher, The Codex Alera series. Wonderful finish to a great series. Predictable in a sense, and in other ways not so much. I would recommend to anyone. 4 out of 5 stars.

Onto The Emperor's Blades, by Brian Stavely. Never read any of his stuff before. The series is highly recommended through many sites, though. Read about a chapter last night til I fell asleep, interesting enough from the little I read.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2018, 01:05:05 pm »
You're a reading machine, lol. I ought to play less video games and read more.

Blackout starts similarly to other Connie Willis books - eerily similar. I'm hoping it goes off on a different tangent or else I fear I might not have much interest in it.
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« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2018, 12:20:08 pm »
Aren't you only like a book out from each other :P?

I love instilling the sense of competition but I'm afraid I really won't be able to keep up.

Either way, still maintaining momentum for the moment: VALIS - Philip K. Dick (7) last week.
The Existential Scream
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Wilshire

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« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2018, 12:30:21 pm »
Finished The Magician King by Lev Grossman (7)

Ok, didn't like the opening of Blackout - I don't think I'm going to enjoy the setting of it, might have to come back to it later.

Instead, the wife and I decided to watch The Magicians (syfy) based on Lev Grossman's novels. So instead of reading Blackout, I'm going to read The Magician King (book 2) because its clear after the first episode that the show includes at least part of the story line from book 1 and 2.

I feel like there's not a ton I can say about the book without spoilers. Overall I think it wasn't as good as the first, but still worth the read. It might have gone on a bit too long actually, I was wishing for the end with a few chapters to go, but it ended well. Worth the read if you enjoyed book 1.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 06:35:42 pm by Wilshire »
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MSJ

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« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2018, 11:06:43 pm »
Finished The Emperors Blades and almost done with the 2nd in the trilogy of The Unhewn Throne, The Providence of Fire(7 and 8 )

In all seriousness, best fantasy trilogy I've read since PoN. Plenty of intrigue, low magic, great characters and plot.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 11:08:43 pm by MSJ »
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2018, 02:44:55 pm »
Finished The Emperors Blades and almost done with the 2nd in the trilogy of The Unhewn Throne, The Providence of Fire(7 and 8 )

In all seriousness, best fantasy trilogy I've read since PoN. Plenty of intrigue, low magic, great characters and plot.

You know, I've been working hard not adding books to my list for a number of years now. Stop recommending things :P .
I'm going to seriously have to go through your post history and see your 'book reviews' (or whatever we can call you're one line recommendations like this one) and see if I can rule them out or not.

Finished The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi ( 8 ).
I hesitate to count this as an actual book lol, it wasn't even 100 pages, so more of a short story really. But what tipped the tide was that is been on The List for some time, so since I'm crossing it off I'm going to add it to my total.

If this was a competition to see who reads the most books, then I'm happy to take a penalty (-1) to my total should there be a tie breaker required lol.

That said, it was a fun read. Bacigalupi has a distinct thematic writing style centered around geopolitics, but he writes a compelling narrative regardless. As far as short stories goes, I'd probably give it a 4/5, though with only 100 pages to deal with I'm not really sure giving it a rating is fair.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 03:01:12 pm by Wilshire »
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MSJ

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« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2018, 11:42:01 pm »
Quote from:  Wilshire
I'm going to seriously have to go through your post history and see your 'book reviews' (or whatever we can call you're one line recommendations like this one) and see if I can rule them out or not.

Is be the worse reviewer ever. I would spoil the books. I don't know how to go into it without telling it. Here's a few must read series.

The Unhewn Throne (low magic)
Tower of Babel (low magic}
Traitor Son Cycle (high magic)

In that order. Seriously, TUT is full of mystery and intrigue. I'm on book 3 (the last) and I have no clue how this is gonna go. I have no complaints, from character, plot, prose or any other thing someone might bitch about. Just excellent.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2018, 03:04:05 pm »
I don't mean reviews per-say, but just the one liners you've been doing here and throughout - whether you liked it and usually you include something general about why and how it compares vaugely in terms of quality or content to TSA.

Those three, and I think there must be at least one or two more that i might pick up from your mentions :).
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MSJ

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« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2018, 07:18:45 pm »
@Wilshire, every review of Traitor Son Cycle has been its right up there with the best of the best, high magic that is.

Sci-fi rec, Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Its a trilogy. I've read a handful of SF series and this is by far the best.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2018, 12:02:30 pm »
So finished most of what I set out initially, except Red Knight. So with that, an updated list of what I'll try to read this year, in no particular order. These plus the 8 I've read should put me at the 20 that I put down.

Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence
The Reality Dysfunction (Night’s Dawn) by Peter F Hamilton
The Grand Design (The Tyrants and Kings book 2) by John Marco
The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle #1)  by Miles Cameron
The Colour of Magic by Terry Prachett
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Brandbury
Shards of Honor (vorkosigan saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold
Dark Moon by David Gemmel
The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan
The Time Machine by H G Wells
Lords of Light by Rodger Zelzany

Note - Anyone who can recommend a particularly great book by Bujold, Gemmel or Zelzany, please do. I forget how these particular ones ended up on my list, but I have no attachment to them other than that I want to read these authors. Suggestions welcome :)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 01:13:59 pm by Wilshire »
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Wilshire

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« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2018, 01:14:57 pm »
Blackout by Connie Willis (9)

Turns out i don't really like timetravel / historic fiction type books. Writing was fine, plots were entertaining enough, but time travel just doesn't do it for me. I'm not sure I will read the sequel All Clear, though I might if it is the only thing on my phone to listen to (like Blackout was).

What to do next ... Probably Prince of Thorns  to hit up some fantasy, then Reality Dysfunction for scifi.

Edited my initial post to make it easier to keep track of what I've done so far.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 01:24:46 pm by Wilshire »
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MSJ

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« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2018, 07:28:58 pm »
Quote from:  Wilshire
What to do next ... Probably Prince of Thorns  to hit up some fantasy, then Reality Dysfunction for scifi.

No, just no. A lot of people are comparing the Traitor Son Cycle to Malazan in terms of scope and greatness of the story. Its high magic, as I've said. But, man what a story.

Then, the Tower of Babel, low magic and not complete. But 1st two books are great and once You get started its one of the cooler worlds I've ever read about.

The Unhewn Throne is hands down my 2nd favorite series after TSA. Just excellent, low magic and more backstabbing intrigue than you could ask for.

Prince of Thorns is ok, but those three make it feel like a kids book. Which it isn't, its a harsh world also.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

Wilshire

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« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2018, 12:40:49 pm »
Finished Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (10)
It was ... unsatisfying. Seemed to rely very heavily on dues ex machina type plot mechanics to keep alive the important character - well, mostly Jorg I guess. I also don't appreciate the setting:

Plot and setting spoilers
(click to show/hide)

I might read the other two at some point as this was a quick read, but I don't feel terribly compelled to. Kinda reads like a YA novel with a couple of Fucks thrown in to make it more adult and violence to kick it into Grimdark.

Gotta be honest, I was hoping for a lot more, given his popularity.

EDIT:
On to Peter F Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction. Interesting start, going to be full flow heavy scifi and space opera. We'll see if I'm ready for it.

After that, probably The Red Knight by Miles Cameron, very excited to read this.

I might get sidetracked by La Bella Sauvage (Book of Dust 1) by Philip Pullman though. Its a sequal to his His Dark Materials trilogy that was published in ht late 90's. Very profound stuff for young teenager Wilshire. I doubt I'll be as enchanted nearly two decades later but I still want to read his long awaited sequel.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 12:53:56 pm by Wilshire »
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