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What are you reading?

  1. #1150902018-10-29 21:44:50DarkChaplain said:

    I just finished Guy Haley's Dark Imperium and was mostly satisfied with it. Obvious setting of the stage for advanced background, and prepping for the rest of the trilogy, but really well realized.

    Next to that, I've been reading Hammerhal & Other Stories, an Age of Sigmar anthology which... kinda sucks? Not even as far as the included stories go, but that most of them are parts of serialized novels, or blatant extracts from others.

    https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1508609649l/36452896.jpg

    There's one novella (Hammerhal) in it, then the rest are all taken from either anthologies or basically part one out of eight of a novel. That ain't fun at all. I mean, it's still only a 6-7€ book, with Hammerhal on its own recently having been put to print for five bucks, so I guess it's not too bad as introductory material, but I'd be pissed if I'd started this not knowing about the contents.
    The follow-up out next weekend, Sacrosanct & Other Stories, actually includes mostly previously available material as well, but as far as I can tell, they've all been standalone short stories at least. Anthologies like that I can get behind, just not this predatory nonsense here.

  2. #1153172018-12-07 13:28:16DarkChaplain said:

    Trying to get through some of my backlog, especially seeing how The Horus Heresy is almost finished...

    https://i.imgur.com/bYEvxz2.jpg

    This one's... alright, I guess. It's got a multitude of issues, not least of all that the companion plotline (which ends around 3/4s into the book) is more compelling than the primary story about Vulkan and his journey to Terra. He's passive for a lot of the journey until the final quarter, and his accompanying three sons don't get developed much either.

    Shadrak Meduson and the Iron Tenth are more interesting, but again, I feel that crucial developments just aren't elaborated on enough. His nemesis, Tybalt Marr, appears in what feels like two chapters only, and it just doesn't live up to the short story / audio drama about him, which precedes this novel. Meduson also feels a bit too... strong-headed, considering his pasts actions. It felt a bit too convenient in the end.

    It's not terrible, I've read worse, but it just screams "wasted potential" at every turn. It doesn't help that the previously considered "The Iron Tenth" novel was canceled and rolled into this one, which might explain why the book doesn't synergize as well as it should.


    https://i.imgur.com/AbbS1lx.jpg

    This one I picked up as an audiobook, since Stephen Fry narrates it himself. I was hesitant, after the disappointing, heavily abridged and charmless Norse Mythology retelling by Neil Gaiman, which I read last year, but this one's about three times as long and actually goes into a decent amount of depth, all with wit and humor.
    The sequel, Heroes, goes into more detail on some of my favorite characters, though, so in a sense, this is prep-work for me, just to refresh my own memories of Greek mythology and family relations. I'm having a good time with it, and it was a nice companion farming in games this week already. Not too taxing, not too shallow, and entertaining all throughout.


    https://i.imgur.com/NwfahUR.jpg

    SukaSuka finally ended up on my doorstep last week, so I've been eager to get going with it.I already checked the anime adaptation again to compare a few scenes, and actually think the anime might have done things a disservice here and there. As much as I adore it, there's some switcheroo business in it that makes sense within the audio-visual medium at relatively short episodic runtimes, but felt more compelling the way it was actually written.

    The light novel style is still a bit cringeworthy to me overall, though. I mean, I'm not as big on overly expressive prose as many people, which might have something to do with a higher focus on character work and dialogue on my end, and also on reading primarily in my secondary language, but the often abrupt, reductive and sometimes stilted writing, whether due to the quality of translation or original writing, is something that I have a bit of an issue with. I guess they're not called "light" novels for no reason, and I collect and read them anyway, but it's hard for me to keep apace with releases as a result. I just need more meaty stuff in between.

    Either way, though, I'd highly recommend this series. I'm already bracing myself for the inevitable tears and drama.


    Besides these, I also just received my hardback copy of the first Katanagatari omnibus last Friday, so there's something I'm looking forward to digging into. Later this month, I should be getting Legend of the Galactic Heroes Vol.8: Desolation, unless Amazon decides not to deliver it til January. Again.

    There's the first Gotrek & Felix Omnibus sitting next to my bed, which I want to re-read sometime, as they finally decided to do a full new print run of them, and I missed the last one (which had superior covers to now, sadly). It's probably a pipedream, but I hope to finish the entire series as per omnibuses before long (4 volumes), followed by the continuity-free adventures, and the End Times duology that wraps it up. So about... close to 20 books. Great!

    I'm also considering reading Le Morte D'Arthur one of those days, depending on how high a tolerance I can build up to Arthur's bs.

  3. #1160682019-03-21 21:04:32Kirn said:

    https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1352173057l/287861.jpg

    After getting the news that there's a movie coming, by Peter Jackson, I hunted down the book. Apparently, it's a first in series of 4, and it's about world thousand years after some sort of world war, that nearly wiped out humanity, but gave birth to something called 'Municipal Darwinism'. Apparently, to escape world catastrophes, cities were made mobile, and able to 'eat' other cities - consume and process resources. Now, the idea itself is very weird, and I am actually very grateful to the movie for presenting imagery like it did - it's really hard to imagine mobile cities without some good preparation.
    The first book is, in a way, a pretty standard coming of age story - young guy gets caught up in all sorts of event, has adventures, grows from it and becomes better than he started. Happy and sad coincidences and plot contrivances are present, as they are in this sort of genre. Though, focus is not always on the hero, and in the end there's some alright character twist and some story facts that made me amused.
    The main attraction here is, of course, the world. Humanity had a whole millennium or so to rebuild after the 'end of the world', so at the time of book events there's thriving culture, there's new technologies, there are even lost technologies both from pre-war time and the ones that were created and lost after the war. To be honest, setting is not what you would initially expect, and at times it can get quite confusing.

    I cannot say that this is a great book, but it's amusing enough to read, and I am kinda interested in knowing more of the world there.

  4. #1162932019-04-20 10:22:35Kirn said:

    So, I think I went and done it... wanted to do it for a while now, but never got around to it, but now... gotta go all the way.

    https://cdn.flickeringmyth.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/discworld-1-600x338.jpg

    That's right, I have finally decided to sit down and read ALL of Terry Pratchett's DIscworld novels. There are 41 of them total, and I red 39. Then he died, and I decided not just reading the final ones, but going through all of them in order. Took long time to get to it, but now I do, and I feel I am into it, and not gonna be stopping any time soon.

    By now I have red 5 of the first ones.

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/the_colour_of_magic1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/the_light_fantastic1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/equal_rites1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/mort1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/sourcery1.jpg

    And actually these five I would consider to be the ones where Pratchett was still maybe not exactly sure what he was doing. On the other hand, he definitely knew what he was doing. First two books are actually closely tied together - second starts exactly where first one finishes - and it's a parody on heroic fantasy. Well, all books are parody on something, but here the idea felt really basic - let's take some unlikely adventurers, make it as if gods play dice that decide their fate, and make them meet a lot of epicly weird magic stuff. It's entertaining, but still very simple.
    On the other hand, there was already the whole concept of Disc, locations and continents, basic geography... the world was still rough, and things changed along the way, but the main ideas and constructs were already there.
    As Rincewind - main hero of books 1, 2 and 5 (and others further along) - was a wizard, wizards actually got a lot of attention in books 3 and 5, and some in book 4. I mena, book 3 is about wizards all being male, anf that one is a great paredy on job equality. Or inequality. Made in 1987. Death of Discworld was already there, from book one, but book 4 really introduced us to him and to where he lives and what kind of actual person he is. And then book 5 was about wizards again, and how bad nuclear war is (yes, really) and how dangerous science can be - because that's what wizards of Discworld are parody of - they are basically a university of scientists, some smart and aggressive, some just content with their position in hierarchy, who sometimes make really weird stuff which sometimes goes boom.
    Also wizards are good indicator on how uncertain Pratchett was at the time with some aspects of world building - they kept changing and main wizards died a lot and got replaced with new ones. Later there would be just one guy who would join the list of constant characters in the world.

    I can probably rant more and more, and will later, but for now, these few weeks have been a really good experience of re-introducing this world to myself. Nostalgic feeling, and all that.
    Moving to Wyrd Sisters now, which is a parody on Shakespeare plays Hamlet and Macbeth. Good stuff.

  5. #1163282019-04-30 02:57:10armedzerox said:

    I am reading Schrodinger, Life and thought by Wwalter Moore.

    By looking at the past I believe we can know what should we do to achieve a certain future. I just started it so no review yet. But until know, the book is just to know more about Erwin Schrodinger, a theoritical physicist who discover the quantization of energy through wave mechanics. I hope there are keypoints I can learn from him to help me change the despicable me.

  6. #1163502019-05-10 15:08:28DarkChaplain said:

    So I just finished my run of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman after reading it on and off since January, and was quite pleased but also mightily surprised it ended when it did. What a strange novel.

    Besides that, I also finished Titandeath and The Buried Dagger, the final two Horus Heresy novels before the Siege of Terra begins in earnest this month (or last month, in the limited edition release that sold out within minutes...). I'm ready, John French! Bring it. The walls are manned, the defensive cannons loaded....

    https://i.imgur.com/RhH9phd.jpg

    But since that's not quite out yet for me, I'm still making my way through I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, which I had put on hold for the time being, and Maledictions, the first Warhammer Horror anthology - which is also quite pretty in print, with red-painted edges.

    https://i.imgur.com/g4lYJjV.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/11iAGOC.jpg

    But DC being DC, I'm in need of a classic to add to the reading pile. Currently contemplating Crime and Punishment, or maybe another Conrad story. We'll see.

    But most importantly:

    https://i.imgur.com/kyhLViY.jpg

    The Coil turns and twists once more. Peter Fehervari's 3rd novel is finally on the market and I couldn't be happier, even though I only managed to catch peeks at the prologue so far. This one's pulling together A LOT of strings from his other works, while opening even more questions, so damn me I am excited.

  7. #1164892019-06-25 04:08:25Kirn said:

    Basically, still reading all the Pratchett's books.

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/wyrd_sisters1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/pyramids1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/guards_guards1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/eric1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/moving_pictures1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/reaper_man1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/witches_abroad1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/small_gods1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lords_and_ladies_play1.jpg

    https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/men_at_arms1.jpg

    Still doing 1 book a week, of course. In this time, I went through 3 witches series books, which really just parody the stories, so to say - Wyrd Systers mess up with your general idea of Shakespearean play, Witches Abroad smash to pieces fairy tales and Lords And Ladies cut into old British tales about faeries and magic forests.
    Notable are 2 standalone books exploring the ideas and faults of religion - Pyramids and Small Gods. After those two, Pratchett didn't really write anything specific about religion in his Discworld books, but I think it's only natural - both books explore the topic enough.
    Eric returns Rincewind back to the Disk (though, it does not save him from constant troubles), Reaper Man allows to better understand Death of the Diskworld (always great character) and Moving Pictures explores a way of how wild ideas get into this world. That one is very heavy-handed in its story, but it establishes some world principles that are used - more subtly - later.
    And of course there is Guards! Guards! - my favorite book of the series, introducing characters of the city watch, including Captain VImes - cynical drunkard who hates authority and all the people, but can't help doing what's right. The book - and the continuation in Men At Arms - explores the idea of making unlikely extras into heroes. Also, this is the storyline that is mostly like a detective novel - there's crime and someone did it and the crime needs to be solved. By luck, magic or by fighting a dragon.

    15 books in, and still reading, and it doesn't feel tiring at all. At this point there's already a stable Archchancellor of the magic university, and the rest of faculty becoming distinct, and with establishment of the guard storyline world will start building upwards on its ideas. But first, there's Soul Music - next book, that has death and rock'n'roll in it.