reading thread

General discussion.
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Saladin
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Re: reading thread

Post by Saladin » Sun May 01, 2016 04:30

Still haven't read the second one but yeah, it's really cool. I like how all of his books go out of their way to describe the alternate rule systems by which magic works. It's not hand waivey or mysterious, it's like science in their world.

Let me know what you think of book two. And I think you'll like mistborn if you ever get further in it.

Warbreaker is another one by him that's pretty cool. Just a one book story. A little hokey but about as good as stormlight.
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Re: reading thread

Post by kob » Sat Jul 09, 2016 07:55

finished Words of Radiance (Stormlight #2) today. it basically refined everything about The Way of Kings. the writing & dialogue, the plot, the characters, the action - all upgrades (sans this one part in the first third that was a complete eyeroller). i really liked that the pacing is quicker and more evenly distributed. like the first book was pretty slow, but WoR is a lot more balanced. it also focuses less on the overarching plot and more on the character plots up until the end. not my favorite decision as the overarching story is what intrigues me the most, but a necessary one. and that ending is really fucking good. it's obviously intentional, but i just love that all the storylines manage to line up naturally with each other and you're just jumping between everything that's happening and all of it is equally exhilarating and engaging. and the spectacle is downright incredible. i mean holy shit series end on the note this book left on. the ambition, creativity and scope here overall is fucking impressive.

there are some contrivances and cheap plot devices that irk me, but i can look past them because the series is just so damn entertaining. now i have to wait until the end of next year for #3 :-(

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Re: reading thread

Post by Saladin » Mon Jul 11, 2016 03:21

Haven't gotten through it yet but that sounds like a solid endorsement. I'll finish it and post my thoughts.
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Re: reading thread

Post by youdiedtooeasily » Mon Aug 01, 2016 02:19

due to KoB's constant nagging, I'm taking a critical reading course for the Fall semester and here is the list of books we're going to study: (and the reason I'm going to have to sell my body on the street to afford to buy them)

Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories
Lost Oasis/The Sargasso Ogre
Big Book of Adventure Stories
Eyes of the Shadow
Riders of the Purple Sage
Coming of Conan the Cimmerian


idk what that means to you guys but I'll be down to chat about them when Fall rolls around.

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Re: reading thread

Post by Saladin » Mon Aug 01, 2016 04:13

Oh snap, some big names on that list. Sounds like it'll be fun.
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Re: reading thread

Post by kob » Mon Aug 01, 2016 18:01

haven't read any of those but Lovecraft always gets praise so that one will probably be dope. either way seems like a fun course. probably help you with screenwriting too given how many books get adapted. i think there's a lot to learn about plotting and character development from novels.

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Re: reading thread

Post by youdiedtooeasily » Mon Aug 01, 2016 20:23

I think it'll help as well, that's why I'm taking it. idk how people adapt a novel into a screenplay, that's got to be the most frustrating job ever.

I'm in a phase where I prefer visual storytelling but having a deep narrative is also appreciated. My second screenplay I'm working on right now is almost entirely based on visual metaphors and colors but I'm eager to jump into novels and learn characterization and dialogue.

-side note-

What is your preferred method of reading? You like having a physical paperback copy, audiobook, tablet? Just curious. I have a Kindle fire that I never use so thinking about going that route.

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Re: reading thread

Post by kob » Mon Aug 01, 2016 21:21

physical copy for me. i've got a Kindle as well and i think they're great, but i just love the feeling of holding an actual book and adding them to my wannabe bookshelf

Kindle is usually cheaper so you might wanna pick 'em up on there if you're looking to save money. i remember hearing the Kindle Fire not having e-ink though? which would get really tiresome on your eyes. maybe they changed it.

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Re: reading thread

Post by youdiedtooeasily » Thu Aug 04, 2016 02:37

kob wrote: i remember hearing the Kindle Fire not having e-ink though? which would get really tiresome on your eyes. maybe they changed it.
explain plz

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Re: reading thread

Post by kob » Thu Aug 04, 2016 03:40

it's the difference between reading a book and reading off a computer screen. e-ink reads exactly like a book i.e. your eyes won't get tired reading it. the regular Kindles and Nooks etc all have it and it's great. but to my knowledge the Kindle Fire just uses a regular screen so your eyes may dry out and get irritated if you read for too long. the Fire is more like a tablet than an e-reader.

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Re: reading thread

Post by Saladin » Sun Aug 07, 2016 21:50

I just finished Words of Radiance as well. Kob pretty much completely summed up my thoughts on it, I don't have much to add.

I would say that this book is better in pretty much every way, so much so that the first book is almost irrelevant. It's basically just necessary back story for this one. I imagine the same will be true of the next one when it comes out.

I'm a little worried though because Mistborn followed a similar arc, with each one building off the last, and it couldn't sustain itself by the last book.

Still, each of his books are thoroughly enjoyable. So no matter what happens next, it'll probably still be worth reading.
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Re: reading thread

Post by kob » Sun Aug 07, 2016 22:14

yeah it's just an all around better book than the first, which says a lot because Way of Kings was excellent. what i kinda love about his style is that it's just all about the fantasy. yeah they're a little pulpy and immature at times, but it's all outweighed by the action, the creativity and the scope. i definitely agree re: where the series goes from here. i have no idea if he'll be able to keep building, especially since this is a 10 book series. although i heard it's being split into 2 5-book arcs with the second one taking place ~40 years or so after the first. that would make sense given Mistborn and all.

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Re: reading thread

Post by kob » Sat Dec 17, 2016 20:54

!!! Stormlight 3 comes out November 2017 !!!

been reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen series over the past few months. the series is an absolute monolith of fantasy. 2 writers have written like 20 something books between the two of them, essentially just fleshing out the world more and more. the main series, though, is the original 10 books Steven Erikson wrote. i'm currently on the 3rd book Memories of Ice and man this series is fantastic. the first book, Gardens of the Moon, was solid but nothing great. it gets a lot of criticism for being vague as shit and I totally agree. it's actually commonly recommended to follow Tor's re-read of the series to help make sense of what's happening. there's very little exposition. that's not to say the information to piece it together isn't there, but Erikson almost never outright explains terminology, plot lines etc. you're just dropped in media res into a world and left to figure out most of it yourself. it's kinda brilliant in a way because it makes his characters feel authentic. they're rarely info dumping to inform the reader - characters talk to each other like they understand the world. at the same time it's kinda frustrating because the learning curve is pretty brutal and it doesn't help this was Erikson's first published book so the writing lacks refinement. he's frequently jumping between POVs (sometimes multiple characters on the same page! grrr) and using vague language to tell the story when it's completely unnecessary. so some of the confusion comes from his story and some of it comes from his writing.

the 2nd book, Deadhouse Gates, is where he really hits his stride though. the writing is infinitely better within the first few pages, he's giving enough exposition to keep you on track and POVs only change when necessary. I love that seemingly throwaway lines are actually end up being important hundreds of pages later. and then when you start piecing together information it's incredibly rewarding and also impressive as hell. the fact he keeps things consistent when you consider the scope of the series is kinda mind boggling. so much of the world building and backstory is actually relevant, unlike a lot of fantasy books.

I love that Erikson turns a lot of tropes on their head (though he occasionally succumbs to a few of them). like there's two characters, Quick Ben and Kalam, that I originally pictured as white, but then there's a very brief mention of their black skin and you're like, "wait what?" same goes for gender. oftentimes he'll avoid pronouns and then you find out a few pages later that character was actually female. normally I don't care one way or the other for characterization tropes, but it's these little details that really make the series unique to me.

overall the series so far has been great. admittedly it's pretty dense and quite slow at times. it's no Hollywood blockbuster that's for sure. I'd definitely consider it a niche series for someone wanting very dark, brutal and mature fantasy. but if it clicks it's really hard to put down.

anyway just kinda felt like rambling about a cool series. y'all reading anything?

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