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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2022
« Last post by Wilshire on June 13, 2022, 07:20:34 pm »
The Wisdom of Crowds Joe Abercrombie (8 )

I liked this series. Abercrombie actually did a good job not falling into his own standard format, which was refreshing. Its a fun series, with predictably a bunch of easy to love and hate characters. Overall the story wasn't your typical fantasy revolution story, and the industrialization setting was also pretty unique. As The P mentioned above, the last 10%ish of the book is a bit odd. It just takes way too long to finish after the plot climax. This doesn't ruin the book, but its a clumsy finish.

Overall it was good, but I still enjoyed First Law better.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2022
« Last post by The P on May 27, 2022, 12:29:12 pm »
The Long Game by K. J. Parker (17)

He keeps churning them out.  This is another novella ~100 pages.  Excellent of course.  I don't think he'd ever write a novella I didn't love.  This one doesn't have any characters in common (I think) with Prosper's Demon or Inside Man, but it also deals with a "demon" and possession.  It's great fun, I laughed a couple times, typical Parker.   I know I've said it before, but I highly recommend any Parker novella.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2022
« Last post by The P on May 26, 2022, 12:39:16 pm »
Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (16)

I liked this quite a bit.  It has the framing everyone seems to use lately, where we start at the end of the story the bulk of the narration is relating how we get to that point.  Sometimes I find it annoying, but here it works very well.  Possibly aided by the story not taking multiple books to get back to that point.  The author does a good job of knowing what to skip.  Plenty of things happen off-page, and years of the protagonist's life are briefly summed up to keep the narration from bogging down.  I'll definitely read the next two books (it's a trilogy of course), and am interested to see how it's framed, since we caught back up the timeline in this first book.
The No-God / Re: Any news from Bakker?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on May 26, 2022, 05:43:05 am »
Checking in again... any news/updates at all that I have missed over the last few years?
Not so much, no.
The No-God / Re: Any news from Bakker?
« Last post by Conditioned on May 25, 2022, 04:44:44 am »
Checking in again... any news/updates at all that I have missed over the last few years?
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2022
« Last post by The P on May 16, 2022, 05:13:00 pm »
Faithless by Graham Austin-King (15)

I think this must have been free on Kindle at some point, but I don't remember ordering it.  It's...ok.  There is a good story in there, but there were enough little things to detract from it being great or even good.  Part, I think, comes down to editing.  There were more than a few awkward sentences.  Sometimes a line would say nearly the same thing as one a couple paragraphs before.  Sometimes a sentence would have a description at odds with what had earlier been described.  The biggest issue is how the story was structured.  It is basically told in two parallel stories/povs, which at points are too similar. 
(click to show/hide)

It sounds terrible, but I didn't hate it.  There were some neat ideas in there, and it wasn't too long.  There were occasional glimpses of what could become a good author.  I just think he needs a good editor or better feedback on early drafts.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2022
« Last post by Wilshire on May 13, 2022, 12:12:08 pm »
The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie (7)

Gratifyingly, this was better than A Little Hatred. The trouble with the first book, in comparison to Blade Itself, is that it spent a tremendous amount of time being an introductory novel (which Blade Itself never did). This one felt like it flowed a lot better, and was more of what I expected from Abercrombie. He continues to be a great writer, writing characters that you really want to succeed or fail depending on who they are, and then smacking you in the face with those wants as he turns things upside down. Where I was uninterested in continuing the story after A Little Hatred, here I am definitely excited to start The Wisdom of Crowds right away.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2022
« Last post by The P on May 09, 2022, 01:29:59 pm »
Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks (13)

This was quick.  It's basically journal entries and some interviews about this little tech commune that gets stranded when Mount Rainier erupts, then bigfoot attacks.  I never read Brooks' more popular zombie stuff, but he seems to do well in this niche of epistolary, multi-source, faux accounting of terrifying events.  I was surprised at how good the characterization was.  I expected it to be very shock, plot, action focused.  But within all that, Brooks managed to flesh out some nice character arcs.  It's been many years, but I think Crichton did the scary primate assault better.  Congo was certainly better researched and grounded, but I guess a bigfoot story has to be silly if you look too closely.  It was an enjoyable read that didn't require too much brainpower.  Recommended if you want some quick palate-cleanser or something.

The Judging Eye by R. Scott Bakker (14)

This continues my eternal rereads of TSA in between other books.  I just had from the sranc attack in Cil-Aujas to the end.  Very good, highly recommend.  :)
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2022
« Last post by The P on May 06, 2022, 02:32:01 pm »
The Fall of Babel by Josiah Bancroft (12)

This was a good conclusion to the series.  Again, the big issue I have is the pacing; starting over with a new perspective of events that have already happened.  I think it would work better with pov chapters alternating in a more linear layout.  But still, I enjoyed it.  Good writing and character development, satisfying climaxes.  Very, very steampunky with lots of hand-wavey anachronistic tech, but it doesn't take itself too seriously, fortunately.

It sounds to me like the author either didn't like, or didn't feel comfortable, writing human characters, but that's just a guess. I dislike fantasy being set in half built worlds with lazy worldbuilding stapled onto real world places/histories. Making up lore is one of the prime factors that set Fantasy apart, so doing a bad job at it ruins the book, at least imo.

Normally this would bother me, but the story is so short, it's a minor quibble.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2022
« Last post by Wilshire on May 05, 2022, 02:43:31 pm »
Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood (6)

This book was... not good. My primary dislike is that there's nothing exceptional about it. Its bland and generic throughout, making it difficult to read. All the characters are flat and have little to no growth, the prose style is very bland and uninteresting which makes the book feel like it goes on forever, and there's little to no descriptions of the apparently complex/intricate worlds/religions/gods/politics/etc. so everything feels dead and lifeless (and leaves the impression of being under construction, with strings and scaffolding still visible). Beyond that, the book is split into 3 parts, which combined make the book take much too long, but individually are too short to tell a reasonable story. There's really just no reason to read this.
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