Currently Reading?

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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by willpell » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:12 am

Wolfie wrote:Knowing how it ends in "Ghost King" makes me want to throw my collection through a window and then burn it.
I sorta get that. Lyda Morehouse's "Archangel Protocol" was enjoyable to me up until the ending, which made me retroactively have hated the whole book.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Unlucky-for-Some » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:16 pm

I quite enjoyed 'Legend' but most of Gemmell's stuff (what I have read of it anyway) is pretty same-y
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Gryphonic » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:12 pm

Wolfie wrote:I avoid them because I am such an avid reader. If I read a book that is in a series, I have to read the series from beginning to end, even if it encompasses more than one series, like the Drizzt books do. Knowing how it ends in "Ghost King" makes me want to throw my collection through a window and then burn it.
Ah, I guess I did read that far and blocked it out. Okay, yeah,I get it. The series had been through a depressing period (Wulgar), and then when it looked to be getting past that....arbitrary gloom and character death. Blah.
I think that's why I've only reread the first few; I can still enjoy making up what-could-have-been stories if pivotal early events had gone differently.
If you know of a fantasy series with a similar feeling (to the good parts) I can bury myself in, please let me know.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Liesmith » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:06 am

Ugh, I'm reading the second Uplift trilogy by David Brin, and it's driving me crazy. He shifts between characters too quickly in this new trilogy, with some characters only getting a page of internal monologue before it shifts to someone else. Rant commencing:
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I'm so frustrated with this book, but the plot itself is interesting enough to keep me going. It's such a shame to see an author create such nice sci-fi novels, then fall prey to Dan Brown Syndrome. That may have been excessively harsh...David Brin would have to suffer brain damage to write something only twice as good as The DaVinci Code.

Then there's the timeline of the books! Rant 2 commencing!
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The universe he constructs is so interesting, with a two-billion-year history and protagonists taking actions which will have consequences on the scale of millennia...but it's all such a tease. As much as I liked books one and three of the original trilogy, I can't recommend this series to people anymore.

Sorry for the rambling, I'm five books deep in this series and I haven't had anyone to discuss it with, so I have to take my nerdrage out on the internet.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by willpell » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:39 am

You say this is the second trilogy, and then mention six books. The only Brin book I've read is "The Uplift War", but I've also heard of "Startide Rising" and "Brightness Reef". Are any of these encompassed by your rant?

I thought The Uplift War was amazing. That's the sum total of my assessment so far.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by SamWiser » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:32 pm

Different perspectives can be hard to deal with. The most I've had is a book with 8 different characters, and that got hard to keep track of sometimes. And they were all human.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Liesmith » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:10 pm

Sorry for being so confusing...when I listed six books, I was listing both trilogies as one continuous series.

Uplift War is the third book in the original series, and it's also the one I read first (I didn't know about the others
"All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed."
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Liesmith » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:14 pm

Sorry for being so confusing...when I listed six books, I was listing both trilogies as one continuous series.

Uplift War is the third book in the original series, and it's also the one I read first (I didn't know about the others at the time). I liked it quite a lot, so I read the rest of that trilogy (the other two books you mentioned), then started on the "new trilogy".
"All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed."
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by LAYF » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:45 pm

Well.. not so much on the "fun side" for many...
but I've just started to re-read a java game programming book...
more on that here:
http://goblinsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 767#p80767
-Best regards LAYF

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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Liesmith » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:19 am

I just finished the final book of the second Uplift trilogy (also known as the "Uplift Storm" trilogy), and it's much more of a satisfying read than the previous two books. Instead of focusing on a horde of characters on a primitive planet, it goes back to focusing on just a handful of characters and the galaxy-wide events in which they're caught up.

The writing style is still aggravating; so many huge developments happen "off-screen" and are just mentioned after the fact by characters who were there. For instance, a character at one point is revealed (to the reader and no one else) to be a double-agent, and they sneak into a hidden room to speak to a secret high-value prisoner. The next time the traitor is mentioned, they've already been discovered by their comrades and imprisoned. This highly emotional moment is relegated to a few sentences of a different character's internal monologue, then not mentioned again.

By the end, there are still tons of plot threads left dangling, but the largest mysteries are resolved.

Spoiler-free rundown: The second book of the first trilogy, Startide Rising, is the start of the overarching plot of the series: Streaker, a ship crewed by Neo-Dolphins, with human advisers (and a Neo-Chimp geologist), discovers a billion-year-old derelict fleet of moon-sized ships in a region of flat spacetime that is supposed to be empty. They board one of the ships and retrieve several artifacts, including a mummified corpse. They broadcast news of their find to Earth, and instantly send a dozen factions of fanatical aliens into an uproar. The fanatics are intent on capturing Streaker and gaining control of the Derelict fleet for themselves, and they will kill or capture any members of Earthclan to achieve this goal. This all takes place (off-screen!) before the book even starts.

One of the biggest mysteries of the series is why the Derelict Fleet has caused such an uproar...why a single image of a mummified corpse stirred a dozen sentient species into action against the Earthlings. In Heaven's Reach, the final book of the second trilogy, this mystery is explained relatively early in the book, and the stakes just keep getting higher from there, until the whole of the Civilization of the Five Galaxies is in peril.

I guess I can now begrudgingly recommend this series, with the caveat that you can't really skip any books of the second trilogy, and large swaths of the first two books of that trilogy are like chewing cardboard.
"All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed."
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by willpell » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:08 pm

I believe I mentioned the Golden Compass earlier. I'm a chapter or two away from the end of that one, because I've ceased to find it compelling - it's an okay book, just not really speaking to me. But at about the 2/3 mark of it, I went to the library and checked out Iain M. Banks's "Inversions" (which is very peripherally one of his Culture novels, which I love...it has a lot of the same philosophical underpinnings, without any of the technobabble, so it worked for my preferences at least as well as The Player Of Games and much better than Excession). I found this to be a book I couldn't put down, and finished it completely in the same time I spent reading about three chapters of Pullman.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by WastesTime » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:39 am

I've just finished reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman (very good) and I'm about to delve into Mists of Avalon by Bradley. 1009 pages, font 10-11 - maybe it will finally last for more than a couple of weeks worth of reading :P
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Liesmith » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:43 am

WastesTime wrote:I've just finished reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman (very good) and I'm about to delve into Mists of Avalon by Bradley. 1009 pages, font 10-11 - maybe it will finally last for more than a couple of weeks worth of reading :P
American Gods is one of my all-time favorites! Have you read Good Omens? That's another great Gaiman (/Pratchet) novel; very funny also.
"All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed."
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by WastesTime » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:55 am

I can see that it's your favorite (your nickname :P). I will get to Good Omens most probably, cause I really did enjoy Gaiman's style of writing
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Unlucky-for-Some » Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:30 pm

Just started The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Literally just started reading it on the bus on the way to work this morning, so not far into it yet ... but so far I am enjoying it. Follows on the same story from The Name of the Wind, so I already know all the characters, which makes it easier to just leap it.

I have high hopes for this book, tempered by the fact that I am pretty sure that there will be a third book and thus far Mr Rothfuss seems to write even slower (if such is possible) than George RR Martin :)
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by willpell » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:37 pm

The late Iain M. Banks's last Culture Novel is so far looking to be one of his best. Instantly hooked me, even though I had read a summary of the concept that the book revolves around, and thought it sounded lame. I haven't reached that part of the book so maybe it will indeed turn out to be lame, but the rest of the book is certainly up to snuff so far.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Krulle » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:47 am

The Hydrogen Sonata?
Nearly through, but it's the first of the series I've read, so I have yet to read the other ones too....
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Liesmith » Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:21 am

Unlucky-for-Some wrote:Just started The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Literally just started reading it on the bus on the way to work this morning, so not far into it yet ... but so far I am enjoying it. Follows on the same story from The Name of the Wind, so I already know all the characters, which makes it easier to just leap it.

I have high hopes for this book, tempered by the fact that I am pretty sure that there will be a third book and thus far Mr Rothfuss seems to write even slower (if such is possible) than George RR Martin :)
I loved The Wise Man's Fear, and Rothfuss has confirmed that there will be a third book...though I don't believe it'll be out in 2014. I recommend taking your time with Wise Man's Fear.
"All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed."
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Unlucky-for-Some » Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:14 pm

I'd love to, but it's got its hooks in me now :)
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by willpell » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:13 pm

Liesmith wrote:I just finished the final book of the second Uplift trilogy (also known as the "Uplift Storm" trilogy)...I guess I can now begrudgingly recommend this series, with the caveat that you can't really skip any books of the second trilogy, and large swaths of the first two books of that trilogy are like chewing cardboard.
I just finished reading Brightness Reef, and while I agree that it's quite confusing, especially at first (the damn thing could really stand to come with its own Visual Companion Guide like they give to movies), I absolutely loved it nonetheless. Books with huge ensemble casts of characters with complex, multi-layered agendas are right up my alley, it would seem; this Brin work was "doing it for me" on a lot of the same levels as the Culture novels by Banks (another one of which is about to consume and be consumed by me, before I see about acquiring any more Brins). I am indebted to Liesmith for having spurred me to take this volume down off my shelf and actually read it, though I was annoyed to learn that it's not really a complete book in and of itself (some trilogies are loosely connected and you can read any one book by itself; this doesn't seem to be one of those, as it ends on a fairly serious cliffhanger).
Krulle wrote:The Hydrogen Sonata?
Yep, that was the one. Not a great place for someone to start reading the Culture novels; I enjoyed it all the way through, but it had a seriously unsatisfying ending (to both itself and the entire Culture series, what with Banks having become "no more, ceased to be, an ex-author" shortly after finishing it). Don't write off the series until after you've checked out "The Player of Games", as this is generally considered to be the best of them.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by nikohl » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:09 am

TPOG is my second-favourite MBanks novel. My favourite is a standalone non-Culture one - "Against A Dark Background" - I was lucky enough to pick up a signed copy for the princely sum of £4 at a convention I was working at. Mr Banks was at the con, but I couldn't attend any of his panels because I was working - the stall across from me laid out some books halfway through the con that they'd had signed by him. I'm pretty sure I've told that exact story before, possibly on the old forum ¬_¬

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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Krulle » Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:33 am

Looking forward to read the rest of the culture novels, and then the other books by Iain M. Banks.
But reading other things right now....
When money is less tight, I will amazon me the rest of his books, to read the series in one go.
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by lingrem » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:02 am

I'm currently reading Scott Westerfeld's "Leviathon" series.

And I just purchased "Hollow City" which is the sequel to "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs. I'm absolutely excited about this as I did not know there was a sequel coming out!!
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by SamWiser » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:49 pm

I love the Leviathan series. It's awesome!
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Re: Currently Reading?

Post by Unlucky-for-Some » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:21 pm

Just started "The Ode Less Travelled" by Stephen Fry.
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