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The Great Ordeal / Re: (TGO SPOILERS) Ishterebinth
« Last post by mrganondorf on January 09, 2021, 06:35:56 pm »
I wonder if the nonmen near the bottom of the well achieved the objective of finding the darkness in between the gods.  The gods come across as eaters of souls (whether heaven or hell) and the nonmen whose souls were reduced to a personality-less fog (not the Tall at the very bottom but the nonmen just before that, the pig-catchers) might just be repugnant enough to avoid consumption.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P 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.
Literature / Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P 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
General Earwa / Re: Did the Consult change Esmenets womb to withstand Kellhus's seed?
« Last post by H on January 06, 2021, 05:21:09 pm »
I think it is fair to suppose that almost every biological aspect of an Inchoroi has been genetically modified in some way, although maybe with some teleological/technological aim but possibly just as side-effects of other grafts.  In the end, it probably has much more of a narrative aim of enforcing just how "alien" they are, that the color is inverted from what we might expect.
General Earwa / Re: Did the Consult change Esmenets womb to withstand Kellhus's seed?
« Last post by The P on January 05, 2021, 09:10:37 pm »
Yeah, I don't buy into the Consult preparing Esmenet's womb, but I like the idea of gray goo as part of the Tekne, toeing the line between biohorror and advanced technology.
General Earwa / Re: Did the Consult change Esmenets womb to withstand Kellhus's seed?
« Last post by Madness on January 05, 2021, 08:37:59 pm »
There was a discussion, once upon a time, that the Consult mediated the eventual Kelmomas with the gray goo cum ;).
General Earwa / Re: Did the Consult change Esmenets womb to withstand Kellhus's seed?
« Last post by The P on January 05, 2021, 06:23:12 pm »
I was thinking about the black semen.  It could just be a gross alien biology thing.  But it could also be something akin to the "gray goo" of science fiction.  Some tiny nano machines at the root of the tekne.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« Last post by The P on December 31, 2020, 06:02:53 pm »
The Jackal of Nar by John Marco (29)

This was decent.  It's kind of strange it is touted as military fantasy.  The plot deviates enough from standard fantasy to be interesting.  I think the world building was lacking, almost feeling like the world was just built around the story instead of the story fitting in to the world.  It might not be a bad way to go about writing a fantasy novel, but I think it is better the other way around.  There is good potential for the story going forward, I will continue the series.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab (30)

Hey, look!  I hit my goal of 30 books right on the nose.  Schwab is a pretty good writer.  I still think my favorite of hers is Vicious.  This one was enjoyable, but really falls well toward Romance rather than SFF.  But it does so without getting too sappy or boring or steamy.  It is a nice representation of the "deal with a devil" trope; there are some fresh twists thrown in, but nothing mind-blowing.  I sometimes jokingly call myself a literary misogynist, but Schwab is one of the female authors I enjoy every time.  It's worth reading any of her books.  I'd place Addie LaRue below Vicious, but above the Shades of Magic trilogy.
General Misc. / Re: Board Games and Miniatures
« Last post by The P on December 31, 2020, 05:27:58 pm »
My intent is to buy it tonight, H!  Provided I don't forget.
General Misc. / Re: Board Games and Miniatures
« Last post by H on December 30, 2020, 06:23:27 pm »
I've constantly forgotten to get it on sale, but this time I actually remembered: Tabletop Simulator.  Maybe at some point we could try to get some games on there (although at the moment I am definitely short on time).
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