Yearly Reading Targets 2020

  • 67 Replies
  • 9355 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 5855
  • One of the other conditions of possibility
    • View Profile
« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2020, 05:56:07 pm »
A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie (33)

Abercrombie is a great character writer, I've got to give him that. A Little Hatred takes place maybe 20ish years after the events of First Law, which means that its largely a new cast of main characters. Its fun to see the old faces lurking in the background, bringing a nice nostalgia factor with it, while still allowing plenty of space for the young and reckless to take center stage. That said, I don't think its altogether his best work. Some scenes are fantastic, but there is not the same overall sense of awe that I had with The Blade Itself. Something is missing, though I can't honestly put my finger on it.

I'll be looking forward to reading the rest, but I'm not feeling an immediate need to start The Trouble With Peace.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

The P

  • *
  • Suthenti
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
« Reply #61 on: November 03, 2020, 09:02:50 pm »
I'll be reading this closer to the release of book 3.  I assume the series will improve by each book.  I appreciate Abercrombie's method of plotting the whole trilogy from the start.  It gives me hope even after a subpar start.

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 5855
  • One of the other conditions of possibility
    • View Profile
« Reply #62 on: November 04, 2020, 02:11:42 pm »
Yeah I think I'll wait for the 3rd release and read them together. Its not bad, and I still recommend fans of Abercrombie read it, but its a good thing this is the opening to the second trilogy rather than his debut novel.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 5855
  • One of the other conditions of possibility
    • View Profile
« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2020, 03:42:31 pm »
Hyperion by Dan Simmons (34)

Hmmm. You know what, it wasn't as good as I remembered. The first time I read it was something like 5 years ago, and what was a few hundred books ago, frankly fairly early on in my reading career (when judged by read count). So the reread was somewhat disappointing, not quite the incredible book I remembered. That said, its still a great book. The various pilgrims' stories are fun to listen to, though Simmons struggles with making interactions centered around romances any kind of believable.

The setting, the worldbuilding, remains the primary interest. Each individual story is largely interesting by itself, but it doesn't weave quite the cohesive narrative as I original remembered. Brawne Lamia's story is the weakest of the bunch, but it does work nicely to reveal aspects of the universe to the reader.

Altogether, its still one of my top scifi picks, but it might no longer remain at the top. We'll see how it goes with The Fall, and perhaps the rest of the Cantos.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

The P

  • *
  • Suthenti
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
« Reply #64 on: November 10, 2020, 02:15:34 am »
I enjoyed Hyperion a lot.  I agree the strength is in the setting.  I like slow building of tension as we learn more about what brought them all on the pilgrimage together and the growing threat of the shrike.
The fall of hyperion is very good, probably my favorite of the cantos.

The P

  • *
  • Suthenti
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2020, 02:38:20 pm »
The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

I think I liked this more than the first one.  It opens up the world more from the very localized setting in book one.  There are some interesting ideas and world-building going on that I think the first book needed in order to be more engaging.
This book really solidified what was a nagging complaint I had with book one, and it continues here; there is little emphasis put on relationships between characters, but those relationships end up being huge motivators for their subsequent choices.  Maybe I am not picking up on the author's subtleties, but it reads like these interpersonal motivators are very ad hoc to move the plot along.  In a similar way, the settings and ambience of scenes seem underdeveloped.  I guess the other side could end up with a bloated story (not that this book is short), but there needs to be more.
Despite it all, I will read the next and the one after it whenever it comes out.  It is one of the better new fantasies I've read.

The P

  • *
  • Suthenti
  • *
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
« Reply #66 on: November 20, 2020, 02:56:11 pm »
Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man: Collected Stories edited by Nick Braccia and Michael Monello

My friend has a horror themed podcast and got to interview the editors of this.  He was very excited about it, so I listened to the Video Palace podcast (it's like a 10 episode radio play), then read the book.  I don't normally dig on anthologies, but this was pretty good.  My only real complaint about it is the inconsistency as it concerns the framing.  The through line of the anthology is these are stories and accounts gathered by some professor concerning the titular figure.  But some of the stories are written in third-person omniscient, which kind of took me out of any immersion.  There are some good stories in here and some mediocre ones, but nothing either amazing or awful.

The related podcast is pretty well done, and worth listening to if you are bored.  The book doesn't require you to have listened to the podcast.  There are a couple references and just one story directly related to it.  I think they put a couple of the stories up for free as audio files there as well; I haven't checked.

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 5855
  • One of the other conditions of possibility
    • View Profile
« Reply #67 on: November 30, 2020, 06:01:13 pm »
The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons (35)

The Fall is definitely an important part of the Hyperion saga, and it really does make Hyperion a better book. That said, it still wasn't as good as nostalgia memories say it ought to have been. I'm not exactly sure what I missed this time around, but its still a great pair of books. The Ousters remain some of my favorite "aliens" - despite them not technically being aliens at all.

I really must say though, after all the philosophizing, calling The Void Which Binds a consciousness that grows as consciousness in animals grows, but then reducing back to simply being "love" is something of a letdown.

I dont think I'll make it to my goal of 40, but hopefully I can get to one or two more this year.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 06:09:28 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.