James Patterson, with a bullet. Man...
Yep. That said, when major bookstore chains muscled most of the indies out of business and then Amazon/online/ebooks muscled most of the chains out of business, it's something of a feat that Dreamhaven is still open at all even in its limited way.
Discovered that I still had the free eBook version of Ventus on my Kobo, had downloaded it months ago but never got around to reading it. So after finishing up Iron Sunrise, I took up Ventus. I knew Schroeder wrote good stuff from the Candesce novels, and Ventus is just as good. Very interesting worldbuilding. At first it looks kind of medieval-fantasy-ish, but before long the technology becomes pretty obvious. Entertaining read.
The Iron Druid books are lots of fun.
Yea, I've read 3 of the Iron Druid books. Very "Dresden Files" humor and storylines.
The 4th book is on my e-book want list.
I just finished up the 2nd Mistborn book by Brandon Sanderson. On the whole I would say I was basically bored. The first 2/3 of the book consists of main characters talking about what they are going to do after the events of the first book. It is only in the last 1/3 to 1/4 of the book that they actually DO anything. After reading deeper into the reviews, this appears to be a common complaint.
I took a look at the comments about the last book in the series (there is a 4th that I just might skip to- 100 years after the trilogy where the society enters a industrial age) and decided to wait a bit.
So in my infinite wisdom, the kind that happens on a Kindle at 11PM on Sunday night, where you just want to read for 10 more minutes and you have to buy a book now, I picked up 11/22/63 by Stephen King and at just under 900 pages it is practically a short story for him. I am a fan and I actually enjoyed The Dome, so I have pretty high hopes for it.
Just read the Chronicles of Amber books 1-9. I like a lot of Zelazny's stuff, but I just find it lazy and unimaginative when authors just throw in elements of real world mythology (the tree and the crow) or use other people's characters (lewis carroll) especially in ways that don't seem to add much. Or go from something I can immerse myself in, to something that seems arbitrary and unbelievable. Like in these novels there is the stuff I like set on earth, then the hodge-podge of almost nonsensical stuff in shadow and Amber and what-not. At this point I'm just trudging through book 10 in order to get the series over and done with finally.
After what happened to the Anita Blake series, I have been staying far away from most urban fantasy novels.
I'll have to give this series a try.
Finished up Emissaries from the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro last night. I hadn't actually intended to, thought I'd spend a few hours last night on something else, but I had a hard time putting it down. Very enjoyable read. Here's what I said about it on Goodreads.
I've read some short stories from Castro in Analog (the magazine) so I knew that I liked his writing style. I even knew a little of the Andrea Cort backstory. I wasn't sure how well the mystery-in-the-future style would translate to a full novel, but I needn't have worried. Emissaries From The Dead is just as engrossing as the shorter stories. I particularly liked how the author explores the psychology of the characters, and not only the human ones.
Only two minor complaints: I felt that the cylinked duo needed some more backstory (perhaps that's in another book). And I felt that the identity of the Heckler was telegraphed, to the point that I knew who it would be fairly early on, around the time Andrea first talks to the AIs. There's still plenty more to the ending that surprised me, but that particular point seemed too easy to guess.
Now reading Stacy Schiff's 'Cleopatra: A Life.' Absorbing stuff.
Sadly I can't argue you into liking the Amber series, but your reasoning seems a bit odd. The whole idea of Amber is that our world's mythology is based on variations on people, places, and events from Amber and other shadows, so it's not reasonable for Zelazny to use that world concept *without* tossing all kinds of references around.
Finally, I must concede that though it has some cool stuff and is still quite enjoyable for me to read, that the second Amber series is not Zelazny's best work. I would have been happy for the series to end with the original 5. All the new characters in the second series are a big step down from their parents and predecessors in terms of heroism and mythic stature. This was no doubt intentional, but I don't think it works nearly as well in the setting. Moreover, Merlin is just a douchebag for most of the series; he takes too long to grow up, and Luke isn't much better.
I always liked the Amber series except for the drawn out shadow walks.....the descriptions were too long as I recall.
There was an attempt to start a third series about Corwin's dad (Oberon):
The Dawn of Amber series by John Gregory Betancourt
The last book was never published (Wikipedia states the publisher went bankrupt)
I finished up Mayflower (audiobook), which had been sitting in my "really ought to listen to" bin for a while. Not having been too familiar with the Plymouth colony beyond what I learned in 4th grade, I found it to be very interesting.
After reading John Scalzi's Redshirts a while back and liking it, I read his Old Man's War series (The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony fill out the trilogy). Good, snappy Sci-fi, lots of aliens, lots of shooting, lots of big ideas. I haven't read the genre much since high school, and this was a fun reminder of what I've always liked about it.
On a bit of a reading binge on account of summer vacation and racing to complete my 52 books in 2012 resolution. I finished earlier in the week The Primal Blueprint, which is a book about the paleo/primal eating lifestyle (they don't like it when you call it a diet). I'm following the primal eating philosophy at the moment (eliminate sugars and grains, eat meat, vegetables, eggs, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds and fruits, and limited dairy), and it's left me feeling more energetic and well. The book can probably be condensed a lot, but it elucidates the philosophy behind the primal diet quite well. I'll keep following it and see how it goes.
The other book I'm reading which is blowing me away is A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I'm in the last 100 pages or so of the novel, reading it for a book club. It's slow but not meandering, sweeping in its narrative of the injustices and love in 1970s India, very Dickens-esque in its attention to detail and descriptions of the filth and grime, the moments of transcendence, and banal evil the characters encounter every day.
Started Hearne's Hounded after seeing praise for it in this thread, and after two chapters I think I may like it better than the Dresden books which I read earlier this summer. I loved the Dresden books for the most part but they didn't really mature or improve as the series progressed, and all the characters had the same voice and personality, it felt like at times. It's too early to judge but Hounded, so far, feels a little more sophisticated.
Last edited by barstein; 08-22-2012 at 07:52 PM.
Just finished the new Faye Kellerman pb Gun Games.
I like this series, but she has introduced a new 15 year old character and his love scenes smack of child porn.....
Just finished Matter, by Iain M. Banks. Lengthy and somewhat slow, with some seemingly irrelevant details and digressions that I think might be genuinely irrelevant in this case, and then an explosive hurry-up finish that's very much more the Banks I remember. I wonder sometimes if he's getting tired of the Culture setting? Still, some impressive set-pieces, and the Shellworlds, with their different explanations and uses (interconnected defensive (?) installations, habitats, battlefields, hideyholes for an ancient and senile alien race) are all kinds of provocative and interesting, though it's not clear to me if Banks has anything in particular in mind for them other than "cool setting." I'm not sure what to make of the mentor/patron parallels with David Brin's Uplift universe, either, but I don't necessarily disapprove.
I imagine there are a fair number of variations on the theme, but the one I was thinking of is Farewell, My Lovely, starting about chapter 25.I recall Marlowe getting drugged at least once by a bad doctor, but I think the initial scene is more directly lifted from one of Ross Thomas's Lew Archer novels, though I don't remember which one offhand.
Man, now that it comes to it, it's been a while since I've read any Chandler -- or Hammett, for that matter. Good thread, this!
I'm a big fan of Ross Macdonald but haven't read the other Ross or MacDonald yet. Thanks for the tip.
Amazon has a bunch of Kindle edition books discounted today ($1.99). I just picked up Kitchen Confidential but won't be able to get to it for a while.