Yearly Reading Targets 2021

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The P

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« on: January 08, 2021, 05:44:03 pm »
I guess I'll make this since I finished a book.

I'll keep my goal for the year at 30, since it is usually achievable, and I like to be successful.

Some series getting completed which I expect to read in the coming year, in no particular order:
Stone Dance of the Chameleon, 2nd edition (7 books, one I read last year)
Song of the Shattered Sands (6 books and a prequel novella)
Books of Babel (4 books)
The Expanse last book (I really thought it was coming out in 2020)
Last King of Osten Ard (4 including the bridge book)
*Edit* Abercrombie's Age of Madness (3 books)
*Edit* The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison (stand alone sequel of sorts)

Some others either stand alone or older series
John Marco's Tyrants and Kings, two left
Something by Laird Barron, probably a short story collection
Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God
Gemmel's Legend
Stover's Acts of Caine; I read the first a long time ago, but just never got to the rest
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 12:05:38 am by The P »

The P

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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2021, 06:29:40 pm »
The Burning God by R. F. Kuang (1)

I was very disappointed with this book.  The first book was decent, the second improved and showed some real promise, but this final was... not good.  I actually liked the ending.  The last chapter, while it didn't make up for the 600 pages that came before it, actually was well done.
The dedication at the front of the book made me wary at the outset; "To my dear readers, who stayed with this series until the end, and came prepared with a bucket for their tears."  I had really no emotional investment in any of the characters or their relationships after two books, so the author presuming she'll make me cry (which isn't an impossible task) did not sit well.
The story itself, even from the first book, is pretty shaky.  People working hand in hand with others who've been trying to kill them without taking a moment to reflect on the matter.  Characters do really stupid things, which is fine if they are a stupid person, but even supposed geniuses or savant constantly make poor decisions.  I only know they are geniuses because the author says they are.
Frequently it seemed like the author didn't know what was going on in her own story.  Some examples (there are many more): A group of refugees flee through abandoned mines; they emerge and we shortly get a description of supply wagons they brought with them, which I find hard to imagine they could bring through.  There are dirigibles from another country;  one crashes (it is noted the balloon is deflated), and a "genius" character looks at it a while, then makes it work; I'm not sure where he found the gas to fill it, there is no mention of it being a heated air situation either.
The whole book seemed slapped together without any real thought.  Things happened because the author wanted/needed them to without any real logic or flow.  It also seemed like before every page break or chapter ending, the author wanted to throw in a really cool, dramatic, poppy (yes), line; but they invariably fell flat for me, and I think I might have physically rolled my eyes a couple times.
Don't read it, unless you though the first two were absolutely amazing.  I thought they were ok.  This book needed a better editor or more authorial diligence.  But the ending (last chapter) was pretty good at least.

Wilshire

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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2021, 09:19:27 pm »
Placeholder for goals. I'm thinking 30, will fill in specifics later.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2021, 09:24:21 pm »
I guess I'll make this since I finished a book.

I'll keep my goal for the year at 30, since it is usually achievable, and I like to be successful.

Some series getting completed which I expect to read in the coming year, in no particular order:
Stone Dance of the Chameleon, 2nd edition (7 books, one I read last year)
Song of the Shattered Sands (6 books and a prequel novella)
Books of Babel (4 books)
The Expanse last book (I really thought it was coming out in 2020)
Last King of Osten Ard (4 including the bridge book)

Some others either stand alone or older series
John Marco's Tyrants and Kings, two left
Something by Laird Barron, probably a short story collection
Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God
Gemmel's Legend
Stover's Acts of Caine; I read the first a long time ago, but just never got to the rest

This is a fascinating list.

Stone Dance is one that a long term member really loved but I never managed to get around to it.

Books of Babel I'd love to hear your opinions on as you go. I got through book 2 and decided I didn't like it, but it was an interesting idea/book and it has an interesting publication journey. I hope its better than I think it is.

Expanse I stopped after the first book. Nothing wrong with it, but it didn't really grab me. That said, the story was fun and I wish I had the time to finish it.

Tyrants and Kings, or at least book 2 Grand Design, is Madness' favorite fantasy (TSA aside AFAIK).

Legend is the only Gemmel book I've read, and for what it is I was very impressed.

And finally the Acts of Caine I was gushing about last year. I hope others find interest in it as I did, its a good story but it does take a rather strange after book 2. Kinda disappears into its own naval but still a great read regardless.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 04:14:57 pm by Wilshire »
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Madness

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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 09:47:59 pm »
Tyrants and Kings, or at least Jackal of Nar, is Madness' favorite fantasy (TSA aside AFAIK).

Specifically the second book, The Grand Design, though Jackal of Nar is pretty cool too. And I can't say it's my favorite fantasy aside TSA, though that specific book I recommend like Speaker for the Dead (for which you have to at least be familiar with the events of Ender's Game, to the audience ;)).

Legend is the only Gemmel book I've read, and for what it is I was very impressed.

I devoured most of Gemmell when I was like 14. So many great books.

And finally the Acts of Caine I was gushing about last year. I hope others find interest in it as I did, its a good story but it does take a rather strange after book 2. Kinda disappears into its own naval but still a great read regardless.

I liked the first two like I like Hyperion/Fall of Hyperion. Definitely worth the read for Bakker fans.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 12:20:38 pm by Madness »
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MSJ

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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 11:17:14 pm »
The Trouble with Peace, by Joe Abercrombie (1). Liked it as well as anything by Joe, but i have no clue where he goes with it. Orso has grown a spine....about time.
“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,

The P

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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2021, 02:43:56 am »
Oh yeah, I forgot that series is completing this year, too.  Guess that's on my list, too.  I've heard enough to temper my expectations, but I'm glad you say it's as good as any Abercrombie.

MSJ

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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2021, 07:16:58 am »
I agree with what Wilshire said, it doesn't have the same feel as the first series. But, Abercrombie is just so easy to read. So, it never feels like a slog. Easy reading.
“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,

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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2021, 03:56:58 pm »
I agree with what Wilshire said, it doesn't have the same feel as the first series. But, Abercrombie is just so easy to read. So, it never feels like a slog. Easy reading.

An MSJ sighting!   :o
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

MSJ

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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2021, 10:12:52 pm »
 ;)
“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 #10 on: January 12, 2021, 11:24:33 pm »
I am actually just getting back into the swing of reading again. Alot of personal changes in my life kinda put reading on the back burner.  I have a few books already queued, atm.

Hell's Library Trilogy,  by AJ Hackwith. Two books are out at the moment.

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London, by Garth Nix

The Dragon Republic and The Burning God, by R.F. Kuang

The Fires of Vengeance trilogy, by Evan Winters. Which i dont think is completed, but the 1st two are.

The Dark Star Trilogy, by Marlon Jones. Rec'd by The Honorable H.

The Girl and the Stars, by Mark Lawrence. Which i was about half way through when I picked of Abercrombie's latest and put down. Im gonna finish next.

Last book of the Book of Babel is supposed to be released.

So, thats just a few I have in mind or already picked up. If I can do 15 this year I'll be very pleased. We shall see.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 01:19:32 am 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,

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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2021, 03:13:31 pm »
Last book of the Book of Babel is supposed to be released.

Indeed and I think Marlon Jones has said the next in the Dark Star Trilogy might be coming out this year too, but who knows now with the Pandemic.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

MSJ

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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2021, 01:15:56 am »
Quote from:  H
Indeed and I think Marlon Jones has said the next in the Dark Star Trilogy might be coming out this year too, but who knows now with the Pandemic.

H, how have you been? Still delving into the deeps, I see. I have never started that series, and have continually heard good things. I'll add that to the list.
“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,

H

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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2021, 03:59:27 pm »
H, how have you been? Still delving into the deeps, I see. I have never started that series, and have continually heard good things. I'll add that to the list.

Alright, hanging on, doing what we can, haha.

I honestly haven't been reading much fiction at all.  In fact, I am not even sure I read a fiction book all of last year (although I probably did and just can't recall).  Pretty much all I read now is philosophy.  I think Red Wolf, Black Leopard is really good but it is nontraditional in several key ways that probably make it not appeal to most readers (both in it's depiction of sexuality and in the structure of the narrative).

Hope you been well yourself!
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

The P

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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2021, 12:04:01 am »
Another book coming out this year, which will probably be a prioritized read: The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison