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Books books books

[001] Re-read Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale and while its a slash story with lot of dark elements (addiction, violence, murder etc.) it feels like a light read rather than something meaty. Somehow I wish there'd been more focus on the relationship or if that had not been possible, some more dialogue/interaction in the middle of all the investigating. Here's hoping Turnskin clicks better.

[002] Have got some ebooks and am planning on getting some more from Amazon and the library. However, I was wondering if people had tried any of the books and what they thought about them:


Mainly Male Protagonists

Mainly Female Protagonists

Yeah, quite a few titles listed there, which is why, any opinions would be AWESOME ^^
I read a good lot of the Wheel of Time series (minus the most recent one I think...). While it's an absolutely detailed fascinating world it's a huge read. The plot strands get intense and everything changes and by mid-way through you're wondering where the people you were introduced to went/changed. The characters are fascinating though and the world intriguing as. It begins off really as just another good vs. evil and from what I remember goes into a political entanglement. It's definitely worth a read as one of the most detailed fantasy series out there. Just, good luck with it.

As for Stephen Lawhead, while I haven't read the exact ones you mentioned I did read most of his the pendragon cycle (although this was about 5/6 years ago now) and definitely enjoyed that. Don't really know about these ones though. Although, come to think of it, he could get a bit dry every now and then...

Edited at 2009-03-25 01:52 pm (UTC)
I just read the synopsis for the Dragon Keeper Chronicles and my god did I flash back to Eragon - the premise seems like a carbon copy...
Read Eragon a long time ago and it didn't really click - DKC would be a bit of lightreading since I have the ebooks - but wasn't all that interested though.
I keep going back and forth between light reaidng and wanting something incredibly meaty and WoT seems to be the latter - been recced it before but wasn't sure ^^

There've been a lot of Lawhead books around but I srsly don't know which to try out first >_> There was that Robin Hood book of his that first caught my eye...
Yeah, WoT is definitely the latter. I don't think I've ever come across something quite like it. If you're good for meaty then go for it I figure. As I said, it's a good series.

Haha yeah, that can be a problem. But both of those look good so either/or. From what I remember the guy does research his books a good bit and so they come out really quite good in that respect.

2: Yeah, Eragon's a bit... undeveloped. That book seems a bit better but I'd still be leaving that...

Edited at 2009-03-25 02:07 pm (UTC)
I haven't read a lot of those, but I CAN vouch for American Gods. Neil Gaiman is amazing. I'm about halfway through The Graveyeard Book right now which is also pretty fantastic.
I'd gotten AG a while back but never got around to reading it and had to return it to the library D: Now I have the ebooks of both so I was considering trying it again :)
Graveyard Book's good. We keep running out of it at the bookstore, always need to order and restock, so. I'm guessing it's good.

I used to be a huge fan of Wheel of Time. I am still quite fond of it but my obession has waned over the years quite a bit. It actually has a huge mixture of male and female characters (there are like 1000's of characters though). It's good points is when it is good it is excellent and epic but the books are long and Robert Jordan can get a bit tedious with his descriptions so there are lull parts. Also while I absolutely love some of the characters (in fact one of the characters Mat Cauthon is one of my absolute favorite characters ever) there are tons of characters that annoy the hell out of me. Another important thing is Robert Jordan sadly passed away and the last book will be finished by another author based on his notes.


On another note Grave Yard Book is A++++++, definitely read that one.
I have read:
American Gods
Graveyard Book
Wheel of Time series.

American Gods - FANTASTIC book of magic fantasy that borders on reality. Shadow is a fantastic character, and one of Gaiman's best books to date.
Graveyard Book - Won the Newberry Award this year. TBH it was good, but not that good in my eyes. It didn't fill me with the same love that past newberry winners did.
Wheel of Time series - while it technically has a male protagonist, there are 3 major female protagonists who take up a HUGE chunk of story. If you are going to read this I recommend that you read all of the books in one shot. It is really hard to pick up if you put one down, lol. The first book is strong, but is also very stereotypical fantasy. The main character, Rand, his character becomes more 2 dimensional in the later books (I am currently re-reading the 6th(?) book now). I also have all of the book in .lit files at home, if you are interested i can upload them for you later on tonight :)
Okay, here we go.

American Gods: I lurved this book. Lurved it to bits and bits.

Wheel of Time: I stopped reading this series at book 5. I found the pacing off at times (or a lot of the time) but it's good for what it is and has dedicated legions of fans. It is meaty in the epic fantasy sense though and has a decent balance of male & female characters. This is the series to rec people who loved Lord of the Rings and want more like it, except maybe with more female presence.

Bewitching Season: A concept we've all seen and done before but it's very well done and sidesteps all of the pet peeves that set me off in similar works. (frex: Twins fighting over the same boy. YAWN.) I loved the relationship between the twins.

Daughter of the Flames: Non-caucasian heroine, which I thought I was great, but I thought it didn't quite live up to its potential. There were good ideas but they never quite took off in some ways. Also, the villain is meant to be tragic but struck me as terribly cliche in his tragicness.

Graceling: So many people loved this book and I feel like I should have too because the heroine is right up my alley. But it has the rough spots that so often characterize first novels; except for one notable exception (the idea of the Graces), the setting is so traditional generic medieval-lite I could almost puke; and I felt things were so very, very easy for Katsa. I felt like she was never challenged by anything that happened in the book nor does she really change internally. Also, the villain had the potential to be super creepy but ended up ridiculously cardboard.

The Orphans Tales: Much, much love for these books! The interlocking fairy tales are awesome!
American Gods is one of my favorite books. When it comes to Neil Gaiman, I've discovered I like his darker, more "adult" books better than his lighter, fairy tale-type works (like Stardust, for example).

I've noticed that the majority of his fans also tend to lean toward one over the other (Stardust fans aren't overly in love with Neverwhere, etc).
Huh, I never noticed that but you make a really good a point. I definitely liked American Gods and Neverwhere a lot more than works like Stardust and Anansi Boys (which IMO is much lighter than AG). Good Omens stands apart, but since it was co-authored I guess it doesn't necessarily break the curve.
I completely agree about GO.

Although I didn't hate Anansi Boys, I had definitely expected something different. I never really thought about it before, but now that you mention it, it is much lighter than AG.
Oh, no. I can honestly say I have LOVED every Gaiman book I've ever read. But while I enjoyed Anansi Boys, I didn't get the urge to immediately re-read it. It wasn't epic and mysterious and gorgeous like AG.
This might be true but I am not a huge fan of American Gods or Star Dust but I love Neverwhere and also his two children's books: Coraline and Graveyard book. I also like Good Omens although it is not an absolute favorite. I think Neil Gaiman is an interesting author because he really does write a lot of different types of things and I am willing to give everything he writes a try at least.
(I watch your RSS feed?? I'm weird that way)
Having recently just read Dragon in Chains and loved it, I can most definitely vouch for it as an awesome read. Yes, it's got a male protagonist and so forth, but there are at least two kickass female characters that get to be fairly central to one of the major plotlines. It's basically a story about what might have happened if there *was* a chained dragon under the sea near fantasy!China, and is set firmly in fantasy!China.

Dragon Champion and the other books in the series are ones that I am more meh about than anything, especially since I *think* I saw the author agreeing over the recent explosion of RaceFail with someone firmly on the faily side. But even before that, I read all the books in this series pretty quickly, but never really got attached to the central characters followed through each book. I don't think that was to do with them being dragons, either; their stories just didn't grab me that way. There were a lot of climatic things happening in this last book, as it was the end of the series, but I barely noticed them, or cared. Eh.

I'd definitely recommend giving The Orphan Tales and The Stepsister Scheme a try; I've heard good things about both. I will warn you that the former is written in a very 'lush' and complicated fashion that annoyed me some way into the first book, which stopped me from finishing it since there were so many others I wanted to read at the time.

And I'd recommend War for the Oaks if it hadn't been written by Emma Bull, who was first mate on the first failboat earlier this year. She's one of the authors insisting that you needed to be intelligent and schooled in lit crit to 'truly understand' where another author was going with some questionable themes in her book. I remember that this book she wrote was a pretty interesting take on the whole usual faerie war thing, but in retrospect, I find myself wondering why the only PoC fairy character was some sort of glorified servant to the fairy queen. Then of course I shake my head and put away my criticisms; I'm certain that I'd fall into the category of 'not smrt enough' to criticize anything I found skeevy about her book.

Lastly, I haven't yet gotten round to reading Victory of Eagles, but have been vaguely intending to for a bit. If you liked the other books in the series, you'll most likely like this one too, I think.
(OMG, I have you on entry!tracking actually! Might as well just friend you XD)

I love fantasy with male leads and less focus on romance - which was why the male protagonist books were listed first, lol. Will add Dragon in Chain to my amazon cart :3 Can always return if it doesn't quite click ^^

After Anne Rice's crazy failboat actions with fanfiction et all, I try to divorce an author's identity from their books. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - some authors' hatred of fanfiction made me ignore their books. Might try the first few pages of DC and WftO in the far distant future haha

Definitely wanna try Orphan Tales but probably need to be in a certain mood for the writing me thinks XD

I enjoyed Naomi Novik's first few books in the series but the last book wasn't as great so was wondering how this latest one was in comparison. It's hard to find series where the books get progressively better or stay consistently good.

(I srsly just need to make a post of my rss feeds and entry tracking 'cause mutual stalking should not happen lolol)
(I await the coming of singularity Dreamwidth: where you will ALWAYS know who is watching ;D. Also HOMG did you know they have a closed beta date all set??)

Dragon in Chains will probably do it for you, then. There is a romance, but it's not central to the story; it's all about the dragon in this one :)

And man, Anne Rice is so apropos in this context! When I saw Emma Bull pull the "you are mis-interrogating dah text" thing out, I was just. Ai. Personally, I've gotten to the point where it's like, assy behavior online *is* going to impact whether I choose to read some author's books or not. There are so many good books out there, by authors whose crazy I haven't encountered up close and personal; why even have to wonder whether their crazy has somehow affected their work when there are other authors who won't raise such mental questions?

As far as the series problem, I dunno. I don't think there is a single series out there that doesn't have dips in quality. If you luck out, you get fairly consistent writing throughout, with occasional dips. If you flame out, you get a neverending series, or one that just rolls downhill or, worse, dives off a cliff as far as quality goes.

And I think I have used up my analogy quota for tonight. /slightly crazed comment
(Yeah, just found out about it in the past few hrs - END OF APRIL IS SO FAR AWAAAAAAAY)

OMG DRAGON LOVIN' - definitely getting then :) I'd only discovered Anne Rice's failboat antics after reading the Vampire Chronicles which made me all D: D: 'cause I love Lestat to bits but the author gives me Rage-fu :(

I worry that there might be a case where I miss a great story because of personal biases against an author (at least in regards to fanfiction!hatred). Though it doesn't quite work the same way with the racefail issue since the antics from authors is just ARGH.

Recently, I found Jim Butcher's Codex Alera actually got better with each book - the first book being the most...blah. For people who read on, that's great but for reccing that's hard, 'cause if people lose interest with the first book - they just don't get around to the others :(

Though yeah, even HP had issues with quality control and its definitely hard to find one that doesn't self combust after a book or two ^^

Limited analogy quotas ftw XD