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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on Today at 01:17:48 pm »
The Poppy War, The Dragon Republic, and The Burning God by RF Kuang (4, 5, 6)

Well I finished the series, rereading the first two before reading Burning God. Its a pretty good series, but not a great as I wanted it to be. The first book is fun but a somewhat disjointed mashup between magic-school and war-fantasy. The second book is largely forgettable unfortunately. The third book is much better than book 2, fleshing out the storylines that you care about and giving you more of that sweet drug-fueled-shaman-massacre  that you want. It does drag on a bit, but there was no way to wrap everything up given the way things ended in book 2, and Kuang at least had the talent to pull it off.

The last part of Burning God is where it all comes together. The war ends in the way you would expect, but then there's still about 20% of the book left. What remains is a rare discussion about what happens after a war. Ruling a fractured, failing empire ravaged by years of total civil war. And then after all that, an ending that would do even Bakker himself proud. I have a deep appreciation for authors who stick to the story they are telling, ending it the hard way, and Kuang does just that.

I was pretty on the fence about the whole series but the ending solidified it as a very good series. Its got its flaws, but if you want a Chinese inspired, brutal war fantasy, with crazy magic, this is definitely something you're going to want to read.
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General Earwa / Re: Gregory Sadler's Worlds of Speculative Fiction Series: Bakker-verse
« Last post by H on April 07, 2021, 08:43:01 pm »
Link for the next in the series, on The Warrior Prophet, premieres on the 10th of this month.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P on April 07, 2021, 12:09:52 pm »
The Darkness Under the Trees by Ricardo Pinto (6)

There has been a decent amount of darkness in these books so far, but this one really leans into it.

My biggest complaint about this series is that we mostly only ever get the point of view from one character.  He's more or less sane/normal and provides a relatable view for the reader in witnessing the insanity around him.  The problem is that he is not a principle agent for a lot of the big events going on.  Keeping such a limited scope makes for a tighter story, but also not as exciting or compelling as it could be.

There has been mention of gods before this book, much like in PoN the gods are assumed to at most be inactive entities if they are even real.  With this fourth book, the idea of the gods as active agents is... possible, hinted at, maybe a thing.  This is where I'd like a broader viewpoint as a reader, and I really hope this potential supernatural aspect is explored more in the coming books.
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General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by H on April 05, 2021, 02:15:14 pm »
Possibly interesting in a Bakker-Crash-Space related way (probably in the same sort of way that Upload was) Made for Love debuted 3 episodes and was pretty good.  I'd recommend it (if it matters though, it's not particularly appropriate for kids, language/sexual content).
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General Earwa / Re: Gregory Sadler's Worlds of Speculative Fiction Series: Bakker-verse
« Last post by H on April 05, 2021, 02:12:33 pm »
I still haven't watched this, H. Did you enjoy it?

Honestly, I was a little disappointed, but it was decent.

Maybe the post-video meet-up was more interesting, but I wasn't home at the time, so I wasn't able to join.
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I still haven't watched this, H. Did you enjoy it?
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General Earwa / Re: Gregory Sadler's Worlds of Speculative Fiction Series: Bakker-verse
« Last post by H on April 02, 2021, 02:12:10 pm »
Next video in the series should be premiering April 10th, link to come when it gets put up.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on April 01, 2021, 01:18:19 pm »
You're making a very strong argument for me to read Stone Dance of the Chameleon. Sounds very interesting.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P on March 31, 2021, 05:05:10 pm »
The Standing Dead by Ricardo Pinto (5)

This is my favorite of this series so far.  The action does pick up, though it is still rather reserved in its delivery.  I think part of this is the story being told from the perspective of only one character.  A lot of times he isn't sure what is happening around him, or just gets glimpses of the bigger picture.  In the barest of senses, the series has so far been the hero's journey; the protagonist comes from remote isolation, we learn the world as he learns it.  He's kind of destined for greatness, depending on how you look at it; or kind of stumbles into greatness-adjacent.  In this book we get the major road block to the path, and through it get an in depth look at the wider world and how people live there.

The major draw to me so far is the uniqueness of the setting.  It's unlike anything else I've read, which makes it a little challenging as there are very few familiar touchstones.  The prose is nothing special, but it is very tight narrative style.  A lot goes unsaid and is left to the reader to extrapolate.  There is not a lot of exposition on the setting, plot, motivations.  Spans of narrative time pass quickly.  I don't know how much of that is due to it being a second edition.  The author says he cut a lot, but also added portions in.

This book ends abruptly.  Like the first two, books three and four of the second edition were one book in the first edition.  The divide of the first felt natural, but book three ends right in the middle of something.  Not a big deal, since they are all released and I'm going right into the next.
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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on March 25, 2021, 06:25:19 pm »
Sobriety is a farce. No matter how drunk you get, there will always be someone stupider than you sober. So why be sober?

- Goathead Keene


Didn't Tool write a song about this? ;-)
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