Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Mr. Nemo
Feb 4, 2016

A roc and a hard place



TommyGun85 posted:

Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke


Its also short at 250ish pages, definately worth a read.

Glad you liked it, it's an amazing work. Could you spoiler part of your review? I'd consider it pretty strong spoilers. A lot of that isn't known at the beginning of the book and may ruin the experiece for potential readers.

Edit: oh sh, i had quoted the spoilers, fixed. Go read childhood's end!

Mr. Nemo fucked around with this message at 01:53 on Feb 21, 2021

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006





Your reviews are blatant spoilers. Please donít do this.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


ketchup vs catsup posted:

Your reviews are blatant spoilers. Please don’t do this.

Sorry about that

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


It was like book cover blurb level spoilers, it was fine.

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Every translator of great literature is obligated to spoil the book's plot in their introduction, and they're right to do so.

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


Mr. Nemo posted:

Glad you liked it, it's an amazing work. Could you spoiler part of your review? I'd consider it pretty strong spoilers. A lot of that isn't known at the beginning of the book and may ruin the experiece for potential readers.

Edit: oh sh, i had quoted the spoilers, fixed. Go read childhood's end!

spoilers are dumb

if spoilers ruined anything then noone would ever read a book again, because it would have been ruined

they do, and enjoy it as much if not more

therefore: spoilers do not ruin anything

ty for coming to my ted talk

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


sebmojo posted:

spoilers are dumb

if spoilers ruined anything then noone would ever read a book again, because it would have been ruined

they do, and enjoy it as much if not more

therefore: spoilers do not ruin anything

ty for coming to my ted talk

seb. I like you and your posting. But not this one. Spoiling an experience is one of the rudest things you can do, so don't do it. Takes you like three seconds to slap a spoiler tag on something in here, and that way people can choose if they want to know what happens or not.

BlankSystemDaemon
Mar 13, 2009

System Access Node Not Found



It's the most fun when you get probated for using a spoiler tag too much.

Jolly Jumbuck
Mar 14, 2006

Cats like optical fibers.

Lockback posted:

Just finished Baudolino by Umberto Eco (translated by William Weaver). I really, really like this, more so than The Name of the Rose. Baudolino is sorta like conman Forrest Gump 800 years earlier with a act of Gulliver's Travels mixed in. And it really lets Eco get weird in places. Compared to Rose (the only other Eco book I read) I liked that the tangents were more contained and more interesting. Monks discussing if Jeses laughed for the 3rd time was getting a bit dull, hearing about the history of heresy between the people with a huge umbrella foot vs the people with stomach faces was way more engaging, not to mention the super hot goat women.

Baudolino himself was a very good narrator (via Niketis), unreliable as he may be. A liar, a conman but earnest and loyal he was a fun storyteller for the book. I recommend this book a lot, especially if you liked Rose but want something maybe with a bit more story beats. And, of course, the ending was also pretty awesome.

I liked Baudolino but felt that the descent into pure fantasy was a little too much. I did love the conman aspect though - and the guy's expression when Baudolino embarrassingly explained the source of one of the bizarre, fake relics being sold in Constantinople

Raspberry Bang
Feb 14, 2007



So this year I made a resolution to read the entire Wheel of Time series. I had originally tried to do this before the last book came out in 2012 but only made it through book 6. So anything beyond that is new territory to me.

Anyway I just finished Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan or as I like to call it ďMat and the Girls Search for a BowlĒ. Few notable things happened in this volume that progressed the overall plot of the series. To me it felt like Randís actions toward the end of the book were kinda just tacked on to give his character something to do.

I felt let down with Randís battle with Sammael. In the past books it seemed like Rand was planning a big military assault around Illian only to say gently caress it and gateway in there with some forces. I mean he could have done that when ever.

At the beginning of the series it seemed like each book had its own self contained story arc while being able to move the overall plot forward. Now I fear, with each subsequent novel, Iím just going to be getting little pieces of the overall plot without a self contained story to keep my interest high. Which I guess is fine? Seeing how Iím reading these all in one go. But I canít imagine waiting years between each novel.

sephiRoth IRA
Jun 13, 2007

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."

-Carl Sagan


Raspberry Bang posted:

So this year I made a resolution to read the entire Wheel of Time series. I had originally tried to do this before the last book came out in 2012 but only made it through book 6. So anything beyond that is new territory to me.

Anyway I just finished Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan or as I like to call it ďMat and the Girls Search for a BowlĒ. Few notable things happened in this volume that progressed the overall plot of the series. To me it felt like Randís actions toward the end of the book were kinda just tacked on to give his character something to do.

I felt let down with Randís battle with Sammael. In the past books it seemed like Rand was planning a big military assault around Illian only to say gently caress it and gateway in there with some forces. I mean he could have done that when ever.

At the beginning of the series it seemed like each book had its own self contained story arc while being able to move the overall plot forward. Now I fear, with each subsequent novel, Iím just going to be getting little pieces of the overall plot without a self contained story to keep my interest high. Which I guess is fine? Seeing how Iím reading these all in one go. But I canít imagine waiting years between each novel.

Which one is the book where Rand is transported to an ice continent or whatever and fucks yet another woman in a cave? Book 5? 6? That's about when I gave up.

Raspberry Bang
Feb 14, 2007



sephiRoth IRA posted:

Which one is the book where Rand is transported to an ice continent or whatever and fucks yet another woman in a cave? Book 5? 6? That's about when I gave up.

That would be book 5.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


I gave up during book seven. Can't remember where exactly.

Mr. Nemo
Feb 4, 2016

A roc and a hard place



February book report.

Collected tragedies by Aeschylus. It was interesting to get a 1st hand look into ancient Greek culture. I wish I'd read an annotated version though. Lots of references to the Illiad and stuff I haven't read. Xerxes from 300 is the main character in one play.

The ministry for the future. Kim Stanley Robinson quickly becoming a favorite. COP 25 establishes a division to fight for the rights of future generations. Covers 2025 to ~2055. Hard sci fi, no magic bullets for climate change, but even then I thought it too optimistic. Lots of infodumps. Great book. We are so hosed.

Murderbot Diaries 1. Martha Wells.A favorite of the Book barn. It's okay? Short, funny adventure of a rogue AI.

16 ways to defend a walled city. KJ Parker/Tom Holt. Very funny book about defending a medieval capital city from a siege. Main character is an engineer that somehow ends up in charge of the city. You'll love it if you like "problem solving" books. The game doens't try to pull any fast one on the reader, the facts are always laid out.

History of the pelopponesian war. Thucydides. Actually I'm like 16% of the way through. Gonna be a slow read between other books. The annotated version i have is fantastic, really gives you all the info you need. It's hard to give it my attention for too long though. Part of it ties to the background of the Tragedies i read, so that's great!

eke out
Feb 24, 2013



Mr. Nemo posted:

Collected tragedies by Aeschylus. It was interesting to get a 1st hand look into ancient Greek culture. I wish I'd read an annotated version though. Lots of references to the Illiad and stuff I haven't read. Xerxes from 300 is the main character in one play.

feel like aeschylus might be the single hardest classical greek drama to read without lots of annotations and context, since he's literally the oldest of them all and tends toward being stuffy and old-fashioned (so much so that later on his name would kind of represent the Good Old Days Where Men Were Men, as people like him that fought at Marathon/Salamis/Plataea are like their version of the Greatest Generation )

plus he was writing while that kind of drama was in its earliest stages, so it's much simpler than Sophocles or Euripides and tends towards just being long monologues rather than what we think of as staged drama, since they were still quite literally inventing the form

eke out fucked around with this message at 02:57 on Mar 1, 2021

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

eke out posted:

feel like aeschylus might be the single hardest classical greek drama to read without lots of annotations and context, since he's literally the oldest of them all and tends toward being stuffy and old-fashioned (so much so that later on his name would kind of represent the Good Old Days Where Men Were Men, as people like him that fought at Marathon/Salamis/Plataea are like their version of the Greatest Generation )

plus he was writing while that kind of drama was in its earliest stages, so it's much simpler than Sophocles or Euripides and tends towards just being long monologues rather than what we think of as staged drama, since they were still quite literally inventing the form

I have the Oresteia on my shelf and presumably read it long ago but I can recall sweet gently caress all about it, might have to expand the to read pile yet again

sebmojo
Oct 23, 2010


Legit Cyberpunk


StrixNebulosa posted:

seb. I like you and your posting. But not this one. Spoiling an experience is one of the rudest things you can do, so don't do it. Takes you like three seconds to slap a spoiler tag on something in here, and that way people can choose if they want to know what happens or not.

i didn't say you shouldn't, i just think the concept of Knowing What Happens as Spoiling Your Enjoyment is nonsense. There's a tiny fragment of not getting a particular surprise emotion, but that's it, and that doesn't deserve the vast cultural currency it's gained.

Off topic so I shall hush, now, it just bugs me.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Raspberry Bang posted:

At the beginning of the series it seemed like each book had its own self contained story arc while being able to move the overall plot forward. Now I fear, with each subsequent novel, I’m just going to be getting little pieces of the overall plot without a self contained story to keep my interest high. Which I guess is fine? Seeing how I’m reading these all in one go. But I can’t imagine waiting years between each novel.

I was a regular on the Jordan newsgroup throughout that period, and it was painful. Jordan had written himself into a corner, he realised it, and he knew there was no way out except to write several books that moved people to where he needed them to be while very little actually happened. There's some really good bits in books 9 and 10, but the series doesn't get back on the rails until book 11 and book 8 is a slog - though thankfully it's also the shortest book in the series.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


Just finished Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell. I'm a fan of Mitchell for what I'd consider high quality popcorn reading. I was a little put off about Utopia Avenue based on middling reviews, but found I really liked it! It's tonally a lot closer to Black Swan Green, and it's only in parts connected to his bigger metaverse, which I kinda appreciated as I wasn't a big fan of "TGhe Bone Clocks" so I was happy to read something that was more a new story. I did find it annoying that the band kept running into icons that would resonate with 21st century readers. Like, I get that that would be a thing in London 67-68 but the book kinda slogged down sometimes playing fanfic.

Overall, it was solid and I liked it. Definitely hit the tone I was looking for.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


Finished The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir. It's a history of the titular wars starting with the origins of the conflict, the usurpation of Richard II by Henry IV, and goes until 1471 when the House of Lancaster was wiped out. Weir wrote another book about the later conflicts of 1483-1487 prior to this one, which I have but haven't read yet. Weir has written a lot of biographies and so she writes a lot about the personalities of the nobility. Overall it was a good introduction to the conflict, but there isn't a huge amount of depth with regard to things like "bastard feudalism". She does address myths that arose after the Wars, like how Henry VI was the subject of literal hagiographies after his death that made him out to be far better than he was.

BurningBeard
May 10, 2013


The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Iíve gotten really into Wodehouse and suchlike, so it was logical to end up here at some point.

A stunning, moody, and fascinating book about the nature of service, regret, repression, and the ways that people can be complicit in fascism in very, very, very ordinary fashion.

Ishiguro has a very keen eye for the ways we can deceive ourselves, and I think the neatest trick this book pulls is offering a portrait of someone who is by turns pathetic and very admirable all at once. Highly recommend.

Gonna take a run at Brideshead Revisited next, I think.

Raspberry Bang
Feb 14, 2007



Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

Despite my favorite character, Mat, being absence from this book I enjoyed it a whole lot more than the previous volume in The Wheel of Time series.

Things I enjoyed in this volume:

-That bowl finally being used + gateway explosions
-The queen of Andor running into Perrinís party
-Egwene bending the Little Tower to her will, in a way
-Rand pushing the Seachan back into the ocean while pushing his magic bros to the edge


Iím looking forward to what is being set up for the next novel.

All in all Path of Dagger > Crown of Swords

Instant Grat
Jul 31, 2009

Just add
NERD RAAAAAAGE


Infinite Jest

An inspiring story that teaches us that handicapped people can accomplish just as much as the rest of us, with or without legs. But; also a cautionary tale about how you shouldn't eat weird-looking poo poo you find in the back of the fridge, even if it looks really colorful and, like, mad tasty.

Truly, this book contains multitudes.

Drone
Aug 22, 2003

Incredible machine.





Children of Dune

I feel weird in that I don't really have much to say about this, other than that I liked it. It was definitely better than Dune Messiah in my opinion, but that's probably got less to do with the writing and the plot (though there was more plot to this than there was Messiah by a country mile, so there's that), and more to do with the fact that there are just more characters that I like reading. I totally understand and get the reasoning for Paul's arc, but his POV chapters in Messiah were just such a sloooog because he (understandably) became so unlikeable as a character. Children of Dune redeemed that a bit -- The Preacher is an interesting take on the evolution of Paul as a character.

Anyway, I guess I cared more about Children of Dune because there were just more characters that I actively enjoyed reading - more Jessica, some insane Alia, the twins (particularly Ghanima), Farad'n, Duncan. So much more enjoyable than Messiah, which really only gave me... Haytslash Duncan.

Anyway, the rule I've heard with Dune is to stop reading when you're no longer enjoying it because it won't get better. I enjoyed Children of Dune enough to definitely want to continue, but I'm very aware that the series apparently takes a nosedive very soon. Gonna need a palate cleanser first before I start in on God-Emperor of Dune though... there's only so much of Herbert's writing that I can stomach over long periods of time.

Fake edit: also coming to the realization that I almost like Dune not for its whole mystical "what is a human?" bent or the superhuman concept of the Kwisatz Haderach, but as a story that is ultimately all about a young man who goes insane after his father is assassinated and starts to have narcodelusions about being a god or some poo poo. And then it turns out his insanity is hereditary.

Drone fucked around with this message at 20:37 on Mar 5, 2021

BlankSystemDaemon
Mar 13, 2009

System Access Node Not Found



God-Emperor of Dune is the best book, according to the Dune thread consensus.

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


BlankSystemDaemon posted:

God-Emperor of Dune is the best book, according to the Dune thread consensus.

I like Dune best and God Emperor second, but I can see others reversing the two.

Drone posted:

I enjoyed Children of Dune enough to definitely want to continue, but I'm very aware that the series apparently takes a nosedive very soon.

Heretics of Dune, to be specific.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


Athiest Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David Bentley Hart. Published in 2009 when the New Atheists were a lot more prominent, the subtitle of the book was the author's desired title, but according to him his editors went with something that would move more copy by inciting controversy. Hart calls it an historical essay rather than a history since he's a theologian and philosopher, and he's not making any pretense to objectivity in writing the book. He argues in favor of the "Christian Revolution" which is the idea that the civilization that Christianity created represented a radical and rather unprecedented break from the Hellenistic pagan civilization it replaced, even if you can identify the existence of certain features in said pre-Christian society. Hart doesn't devote a whole lot of space to attacking the "Four Horsemen", since he finds them rather pathetic as philospohers/theologians (an attitude that is apparently common even among atheist thinkers) but uses them as an introduction to discuss the Christian Revolution and common arguments against it. The book isn't a triumphalist narrative, he frequently points out where and how Christianity as it is practiced has failed to live up to the claims and concepts derived from it. Even if one isn't a believer I think the book is a worthwhile read, Hart touches on a lot of interesting topics and while the book is short and thus he only briefly covers any one thing, he manages to convey a lot of information in the short amount of space he devotes to his chosen topics.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


White Coke posted:

Athiest Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies by David Bentley Hart. Published in 2009 when the New Atheists were a lot more prominent, the subtitle of the book was the author's desired title, but according to him his editors went with something that would move more copy by inciting controversy. Hart calls it an historical essay rather than a history since he's a theologian and philosopher, and he's not making any pretense to objectivity in writing the book. He argues in favor of the "Christian Revolution" which is the idea that the civilization that Christianity created represented a radical and rather unprecedented break from the Hellenistic pagan civilization it replaced, even if you can identify the existence of certain features in said pre-Christian society. Hart doesn't devote a whole lot of space to attacking the "Four Horsemen", since he finds them rather pathetic as philospohers/theologians (an attitude that is apparently common even among atheist thinkers) but uses them as an introduction to discuss the Christian Revolution and common arguments against it. The book isn't a triumphalist narrative, he frequently points out where and how Christianity as it is practiced has failed to live up to the claims and concepts derived from it. Even if one isn't a believer I think the book is a worthwhile read, Hart touches on a lot of interesting topics and while the book is short and thus he only briefly covers any one thing, he manages to convey a lot of information in the short amount of space he devotes to his chosen topics.

In all fairness, the four horsemen dont consider themselves to be philosophers or theologians...they are scientists.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


TommyGun85 posted:

In all fairness, the four horsemen dont consider themselves to be philosophers or theologians...they are scientists.

Dennett and Harris philosophers are according to their Wikipedia pages. But whether or not they identify as philosophers or theologians, when their work engages in philosophy and theology Hart finds them wanting and does offer some explanations as to why, although he doesn't go into great length since just dealing with those four isn't his primary concern.

Philthy
Jan 28, 2003



Pillbug

God Emperor is where I stopped. I disliked it immensely and I guess that's where I felt like he was sniffing his own farts. Dune on its own is amazing, the next two were enjoyable. If I could go back in time I'd probably just tell me to stop after Dune and be happy. The series is just weird, and I guess there is a charm to that alone for many.

Jolly Jumbuck
Mar 14, 2006

Cats like optical fibers.

Philthy posted:

God Emperor is where I stopped. I disliked it immensely and I guess that's where I felt like he was sniffing his own farts. Dune on its own is amazing, the next two were enjoyable. If I could go back in time I'd probably just tell me to stop after Dune and be happy. The series is just weird, and I guess there is a charm to that alone for many.

The original Dune was definitely my favorite of the series and one of my all-time favorites. I liked the rest, in seeing a change across large timespans, but can definitely understand people not liking some books beyond the first.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

[veryb52ishly] My own Duncan Idaho!

Pocket Billiards
Aug 29, 2007
.

I reread Dune once and I would again. But that time in my life where I would read 5000 pages or whatever about space Jews and man-worm God Emperors is behind me.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



I finished I Is Another, the second volume (of three) from Jon Fosse, following up from The Other Name. If the first volume details the character's childhood, and the formative events that establish his thought patterns in later life, the second volume follows the path to show us where a teenager might start walking to given a bit of their own freedom.

It's an amazing book (both volumes) dealing with art, religion, alcoholism, loneliness, friendship, death, afterlives, and the nature of who we are from the perspective of a man hitting old age. The big "gimmick" (it's not at all a gimmick) is that Asle, the protagonist, has a doppelganger (who we actually get to interact with in this volume.) It provides a strange effect for the reader, because we don't know how the narrator, one specific Asle, has access to this other Asle's history. Doubt is cast over who is who, and who is speaking from where (and this gets into the book's dealing of who we are,) but this doubt, at times, has an effect of drawing the reader in. It makes us doubt which Asle is which, who is speaking, and so we become a participant in the story, an active reader seemingly inhabiting the space between one Asle and another Asle as a reader-person within the books.

I think the biggest standout for me is how un-judgmental the storytelling is about all the "problems" the characters face. The two main strands are alcoholism and religion. Both Asles are alcoholics, one "recovered", who quit for love and religion. The book shows (so far at least, I'm eager for Volume 3) that both are more-or-less valid choices for how we cope with the pressures of the world, whether it's losing a wife, or not having the success we wanted, or simply to escape the noise that is every day (the book is written in "slow prose" where the main character's thoughts are repeated and repetitive.) There's parts where you can feel the trepidation of his beginning-drinking, later refusing drinks, and how his religion is just as much an escape or excuse as alcohol. And so from that we can't judge the other character's near-death from alcohol.

It's a phenomenal series. Probably some of the best storytelling I've ever read, with a style that may not climb to the literary showmanship of some great authors, but matches better and surpasses many of their efforts with the effect of aligning what we're experiencing from the events in the story with our view and expectations as readers.

I'd fully recommend both The Other Name and I Is Another to anyone. It's a thoroughly modern book that I hope will be looked at as a great in the future (if it's not happening already.)

an owls casket
Jun 4, 2001



Pillbug

Lockback posted:

Just finished Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell. I'm a fan of Mitchell for what I'd consider high quality popcorn reading. I was a little put off about Utopia Avenue based on middling reviews, but found I really liked it! It's tonally a lot closer to Black Swan Green, and it's only in parts connected to his bigger metaverse, which I kinda appreciated as I wasn't a big fan of "TGhe Bone Clocks" so I was happy to read something that was more a new story. I did find it annoying that the band kept running into icons that would resonate with 21st century readers. Like, I get that that would be a thing in London 67-68 but the book kinda slogged down sometimes playing fanfic.

Overall, it was solid and I liked it. Definitely hit the tone I was looking for.

I just finished this, too, but didn't like it nearly as much, and a big part of it is what I think you rightly describe as it feeling fanfic-y. I liked The Bone Clocks, and had finished reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet a couple months ago, so when they mentioned Marinus halfway through I was like "gently caress yeah, here we go!" only to have him show up briefly 150 pages later, fix Jasper, and then gently caress off outta-- felt pretty anticlimactic, although I'd be very surprised if Enomoto being transferred into someone else's body doesn't come up in a book in the future. I agree that it's close to Black Swan Green in tone, but I liked that more than I did this, easily.

Lockback
Sep 2, 2006

All days are nights to see till I see thee; and nights bright days when dreams do show me thee.


an owls casket posted:

I just finished this, too, but didn't like it nearly as much, and a big part of it is what I think you rightly describe as it feeling fanfic-y. I liked The Bone Clocks, and had finished reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet a couple months ago, so when they mentioned Marinus halfway through I was like "gently caress yeah, here we go!" only to have him show up briefly 150 pages later, fix Jasper, and then gently caress off outta-- felt pretty anticlimactic, although I'd be very surprised if Enomoto being transferred into someone else's body doesn't come up in a book in the future. I agree that it's close to Black Swan Green in tone, but I liked that more than I did this, easily.

Yeah, having those two show up for ten minutes felt a lot like a half assed crossover in a sitcom. I did like the whole enomoto stuff in general though. I thought that was cool and the Mongolian piece was cool.

Ultimately I think Mitchell is at his best when he deep dives into individual characters and their relationships, which I think it does. I can definitely see why it wouldn't stick as much though.

Raspberry Bang
Feb 14, 2007



Winterís Heart by Robert Jordan

Volume nine in the wheel of time inches closer to Tarmon Gai'don. Not much happens with Perrin, though I always thought his thread was the most boring. Egwene is barely in it but hey Mat comes back! Also Iím real interested in what Logain is up to and Cadsuane is really growing on me.

Some highlights:

Rand and the magic gang bang
THE loving CLEANSING


Aside from the dip in the seventh book this series has maintained a good overall quality and Iím looking forward to seeing what happens next.

I hear book 10 is the worst in the series. Hereís hoping itís not too bad!

Not the Messiah
Jan 7, 2018


Buglord

Finished Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth over the past week. Had a good time overall, but definitely a lot warmer to the first than its sequel. (edited caveat that I was a bit brain foggy when reading Harrow, which may have colored my opinion a bit)

Gideon: this was just a lot of fun - I really dug the way the plot unfolds and the sense of mystery from the setting. My main concern going in was that it would be a bit too YA for my tastes but didn't seem like that at all - tonally it was nicely balanced between shenanigans and more serious horror/mystery stuff. Really fun and nicely thought out characters as well. A good read!

Harrow: far more mixed feelings, and maybe some disappointment? I'd read some impressions saying it was very different and Bold and Unique etc in storytelling, which it certainly is - only problem is I didn't feel it helped the story out and actively confused me most of the time. The foreshadowing feels less like hints that make you go "hmm" and more bits to reward you for rereading, if that makes sense. So a lot of the story beats/reveals just seem to come out of nowhere. The new characters just didn't grab me at all, and even some existing ones felt just flat and lacking. My final complaint that I'll say here is that the meme references got increasingly obnoxious and really bashed my immersion over the head.
On the plus side I did finish it so it's not that bad - there's a good story being told (eventually) and two absolute standout scenes (soup bomb and matthias nonius' cameo) that were just joyful, but it's a lot of effort to get to parts where the plot starts actually being meaningful.

Not the Messiah fucked around with this message at 12:25 on Mar 14, 2021

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Raspberry Bang posted:

Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan

Volume nine in the wheel of time inches closer to Tarmon Gai'don. Not much happens with Perrin, though I always thought his thread was the most boring. Egwene is barely in it but hey Mat comes back! Also I’m real interested in what Logain is up to and Cadsuane is really growing on me.

Some highlights:

Rand and the magic gang bang
THE loving CLEANSING


Aside from the dip in the seventh book this series has maintained a good overall quality and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

I hear book 10 is the worst in the series. Here’s hoping it’s not too bad!

I'd say it's a toss-up between 10 and 8. Crossroads of Twilight has a few good bits and suffers from being the comedown from the climax of Winter's Heart, which is legit one of the high points of the whole series. Path of Daggers is shorter, but literally nothing happens and it left Mat stuck under a wall for nigh on four years.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

ScottyJSno
Aug 16, 2010


Flashman: The Flashman Papers, Book 1 by George MacDonald Fraser.

A very entertaining historical fiction book. Think rear end in a top hat coward James Bond set around the first Anglo-Afghan War. It might be a hard read for some because of time period appropriate strong language, rape, and general white people doing horrible poo poo.

I love reading about the 1800s England and other European powers. And it is good to have a reminder once and a while that colonization and Imperialism was/is some of the most gently caress up poo poo ever. I wonder if it was the authors intention highlighting this side of it. I fear a racist would take it all at face value, and say "That is how it should be done!"

On slightly related point, I am shocked to hear Meghan Markle faced some racism from the household staff of Queen.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply