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Books for the week of 8/18-8/25

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The good thing about working is that there’s a LOT of downtime in the trailer, which I don’t use productively by writing, of course I read fantasy books!  And I’ve read 3 of varying personal satisfaction in the last week or so.

Starting with my FAVORITE (which I ran out and bought the next two just tonight)

 I posted both covers because I wanted to see which one people liked better.  I received the red one in the mail and, having read it, I really think it fits the tone of the book better, even though there’s a McCheesy on the cover.  He’s not popping biceps out of his jerkin though, so I’m on board with it.

Just judging from book #1, this is totally right below Fire and Ice series for me, I couldn’t put it down.  The mythology was really interesting to me, I actually stopped to read the song lyrics and poems (which I usually skim for some stupid reason) and I was really invested in the characters, even the royal family, poor nobility.  There were some surprising twists I didn’t see coming (it could be argued that they came TOO out of nowhere, but I liked being surprised), and it had that great gritty atmosphere that so many new series have lately.   I really think that the fantasy genre is riding high now, it makes me glad to be a reader 🙂  Anyway, I can’t recommend it higher, and #1 is in paperback, so…you have nothing to lose!  I think someone recommended it to me in a thread, so thank you that person.  Feel free to claim credit.  I read this book in one day, I couldn’t put it down.

Next, not as glowing a review, much to my sadness for I LOVE this author:

Er, ya.  If anyone read the Curse of Chalion series, or her Vorkosigan SF saga, you know this author is AMAZING.  Definitely worth picking up everything….but this book I’m afraid.  This is basically a romance novel, with a little fantasy thrown in.  It almost reads like a young adult novel sometimes, the main character can be so childish and irritating at points, and there’s almost no conflict between the main two characters, because they are in love instantly and…well, there is some interesting world building, but it was a pretty weird side trip for an author who I adore.  Oh well, everyone is entitled to try something different.  🙂  Definitely LOVE the Curse of Chalion, can’t recommend that one more if you haven’t read it.

Last but not least,  the first novel of an author I am really liking; Michelle Sagara West.  It was recently republished.

I have no idea what to say about this book.  I enjoyed it, but it depressed me so much I can never see myself reading the rest of the series (there are 4).  There’s a very interesting love story in here, and I could criticize consistencies in the story, but for something to make me like, SO DEPRESSED is really a feat, LOL.  I would love to hear from anyone else who read this.  It definitely reminded me of one of my VERY FAVORITE books The DarkAngel by Meridith Ann Pierce.   Man epitomizing utter darkness, girl of light…but in the Sundered series…I know you’re supposed to get your main character in trouble to create conflict, but this poor main character, sometimes I wanted her to just die and get it over with, the pain she’s put through in this book.  And that’s just #1.   I really like this author and am working my way through all the other things she’s written.  I would not dissuade you from reading this, but be prepared for a lot of darkness.

Anyway, those are my round-up reviews for this week.  Love to hear from anyone else who read them.  If you’re a boy, I would definitely only recommend The Briar King.  Oh, and the Curse of Chalion.  The other two are very vaginal fantasy. 😀

  • Joe

    As a male, I prefer the more crimsony cover. The purple and yellow cover with the viney accent just doesn’t appeal to my masculine nature (Hey, I scored a 25!)

    Also, not sure if you’ve checked out Jasper Fforde and his Thursday Next series, but you’d really like them. There’s mystery, time travel, literature and the ability to jump into aforementioned literature, er, literally. Very intelligent reading.

  • Jeff

    I’ve gotten away from fantasy ever since I’ve been out of school and the Wheel of Time started getting repetitive (though I guess that happened in the middle of the 90s…lol), but I suppose that’s more contemporary and less high fantasy. Also kinda got distracted by the Ender’s game series…hehe.

    Ice and Fire, Farseer Trilogy, and I guess now the Briar King I’ll try and put on my long to-read list.

  • OMG I LOVE the Thursday Next series, I have the Next one on my sidetable waiting to be read! I also like his Nursery Crimes series, they’re very witty as well.

    I know what you mean by Wheel of Time burning your fantasy desire away. I remember being obsessed with that series as a kid, but book after book became such a let down, and now I can’t even pick one up, it’s so disappointing. I hope he can bring it home for the ending though, he says he’s known the ending since he started the series. Let’s get to it already!

  • Edgar

    I’ll have to get The Briar King and possibly the Curse of Chalion and stay away from “vaginal fantasy” (c) Felicia Day 2007…

    I too enjoy the more masculine red book and not the yellow one.

    I might end up reading Wheel of Time, though I should wait until I get some others under my belt.

  • Jeff

    Felicia: I went to a book signing for the 7th book (Crown of Swords) – he’s from my original hometown – and ended up asking the most unoriginal question when chatting with him: “When will you be done?”. Ugh, writers must hate that kind of obvious question because he gave me the stock answer he’s been giving in interviews – that he has the ending in mind and that he’s just working towards it now, it’s just taking a while (this was in 1996, lol). As you say, hopefully it’ll be good, I have some faith. I mean, J.K. Rowling said the same thing about Harry Potter, and that turned out okay, right?

    Think I’ve stopped like 2-3 books ago, so I have catching up…lol.

    A co-worker has suggested to me the “His Dark Materials” series, which has received many accolades in children’s literature. I just want something that goes down easy so I can get excited about fantasy again (Harry Potter doesn’t count, heh).

    Edgar: Eh, I’d suggest waiting on the WOT series until it gets back on course. Sounds like there’s plenty out there that I’ve been missing out on.

    Or at least stopping at book 4, the first 3-4 books have a nice arc. Possibly 5.

  • His Dark Materials is soooo good. Be sure to read book one before the movie comes out this Christmas! The last book was a little weird for me, but still a great great series.
    I’m crossing my fingers for Robert Jordan to bring it home, maybe it will erase the memory of the last 2 or 3 books from my memory and leave me with the childhood obsession for Rand from books 1-3 😀

  • Jeff

    I hope your obsession comes back too, for the sake of storytelling. Heh.

    Yeah, as soon as my co-worker told me about it I saw the trailer for “The Golden Compass” before Harry Potter. It looks good; I’ll definitely have to read it before it comes out.

    Kinda disappointed by “The Dark Is Rising” trailer though. The movie looks so…generic. Remember the books being better.

    Wonder what other classic fantasy series they’re going to adapt. Audition now, Felicia. lol.

  • James H Shewmaker

    In Lois McMaster Bujold’s writings have you read the Vorkosigan books. There are three books that are about Miles’ Parents and how they met as well as the Miles Vorkosigan books.

    You might also look at C. J. Cherryh especially when she is writing about the problems of Semantics in Cross Cultural Communications such as she does in the Chanur and Foreigner series, but those are SF. For Fantasy you may want to check out the Fortress series, not as much semantics but quite intriguing.

    BTW, Twitter is providing Twitter Account Verification if you’re interested. So far, @wilw is the only STNG star. I think I saw Shatner but don’t remember seeing any1 else from an ST series.

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