Are these books up my alley?

Discussion in 'Other Literature' started by MorteTorment, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Regular Member

    Looked into several titles, and found a lot of promising ones. Figured I'd ask everyone who's read them if they're up my alley or not.

    And by up my alley I mean

    -Nothing with Tolkien level world building,(IE: World building is fine, but not too much world building.)

    -Not Secretly Young Adult(unless it's something truly great)

    -Not something that isn't actually sci-fi or fantasy

    -Oh, and fuck it. Giving books which have a lot of politics a chance again! This is no longer a deciding factor!

    Alright, here's every series that I've looked into:

    The Broken Earth



    Devil's Isle1

    The Demon's Cycle

    Star Force

    Certain Dark Things

    Chronicles of Elantra

    Shadows of Salem

    Daniel Faust

    Pale Queen

    Soul Eater

    The Kingkiller Chronicle
  2. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Have moved to the relevant sub-forum, it was more 'other books' than 'scifi books'! I haven't read most the titles on your list, so I'll pass.
  3. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have only read the first book of this series, The Name of the Wind. I liked it but didn't love it. It was very entertaining though...
    I think it would fit your criteria.
    Did you have a go at The Skinner and Koban. I'm currently on the second book in Koban series, and it is great.
    kenubrion likes this.
  4. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I've only read the first volume of Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle. And like @Elvira, it kept my interest while I read the novel, but I didn't have much inclination in continuing after I was done. Florid yet without any memorable style, and with an annoyingly precocious protagonist. Also, while it is decidedly not a 'young adult' novel, there was nevertheless something a little pubescent about it. Can't remember if it was because of the wish-fulfilment type character or more generally because of some of the themes and motifs. I've forgotten most of it.

    You should read the great David Gemmell. He fulfils all your requirements. A good starting point (definitely the most often recommend starting point) is with his blockbuster first novel, Legend. Pretty much all of Gemmell's books are great, and there are a crapload of them.
  5. TomTB

    TomTB Administrator Staff Member

    Good call B, Legend is superb and hopefully will tick Morte's boxes. In fact I'd go as far to say that if you don't like Legend you should give up on the fantasy genre :p, it's got so many good things going for it!
  6. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Yep, Gemmell writes these wonderfully self-contained, lean yet descriptive sword-and-sorcery type fantasies with plenty of action and great characterisation. Since they are not the 'epic' type of fantasies, the world-building is at a minimal and expertly included in the narrative without any exposition. And what's even better is that these are not 'grimdark' fantasies. They are in essence heroic tales, but always tinged with a good dose of melancholy yet also intermingled with hope. Sometimes though, they can be very dark like with Morningstar, which is probably his closest in approaching the 'grimdark' label. The overarching and recurring motifs through almost all of Gemmell's books are duty and fealty, I'd say. And he does a masterful job of presenting them. I was absolutely addicted to Gemmell during my teens after being burned with the most subpar series like Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth. Gemmell is truly a master storyteller.

    And while I love the Drenai tales of which Legend is the first published, most of my favourite Gemmell novels are the non-Drenai books. Most of his books are best experienced in published order rather than by internal chronology, especially the Drenai sequence, all of which are independent and self-contained stories.

    You should also read Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. Another one of those perfectly lean novels with excellent forward momentum and character depth. And while I think that Card's Speaker for the Dead is his real masterpiece and undoubtedly his most skilful, deeply psychological, ethical and humane work within the Ender saga, based on your criteria and what you seem to prefer, you should skip it. Just read Ender's Game.
  7. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Regular Member

    Well I imagine that most will have read 3 books tops on this list. The idea is to comment on those that you know. Oh, and most people on this board are more likely to stick to the science fiction board? mind if I remake this topic with just the sci-fi books?

    Spatterjay I read for about 100 pages. For the life of me I coudn't get immersed in it so I dropped it. Please, don't think that you shouldn't recommend anything else like Koban still seems promising, and I plan to read it 7 books from now. And yes, I do have a reading order set up. I'm gonna make a topic about it. he really insecure, super nervous around extremely well endowed girls who hit on him, and a loner? :p

    I'll look into it. Thanks Tom, and thanks B.

    Fuck yeah! :D

    I don't know, Orson is this truly deplorable person

    Brain: But you're marathoning Hercules on netflix, and are able to look past the actor and see this incredibly entertaining, campy experience.

    Ok, I see your point, but it's young adult, isn't it?

    Brain: But you said that you'lll make exceptions if it's something truly spectacular.

    Ok, you win! I'll add it to my to-read list.
    Diziet Sma and Boreas like this.
  8. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Sure thing. Actually, I think we can include fantasy in the 'Science Fiction' sub-forum, too. There's not much traffic on this forum anyway, plus many science fiction authors also write fantasy and vice versa, so might as well include it all in one sub-forum. If this forum ever gets very active and there are a lot more people reading fantasy on a regular basis, then maybe we can think of making a separate sub-forum or moving it back to 'Other Books'. But I doubt that'll happen. As I see it, if you're reading fantasy, you can also mention it on the 'Science Fiction' sub-forum.
    You didn't find it interesting at all? Seriously? It might not have had a lot of action in the beginning, but I thought just about every freaking thing in the novel was so damn interesting and weird. The life cycle of the native fauna? The mystery of the Hoopers longevity? Windcheater? Didn't like any of it? I'd say that this is one of the few books I've read with a fairly large cast where everyone was interesting for me, literally even the goddamn fish. Maybe you should give Asher's Ian Cormac novels a go. They have more action, but there too the first book takes a little bit to get going. The 5-part Ian Cormac series is probably the most action intensive narrative I've ever read in science fiction besides Westerfeld's Succession duology. Maybe give the Succession books a go? They start off with action from page 1 and aside from a few short lulls, the action never stops.
    It deals with children, but I've never thought of it as 'young adult' at all. Definitely worth a read. And I can hardly make a judgement on the person based on one personal stance of his. If you don't want to buy it, you can borrow it from the library. It's a very good novel. Great even, though not exactly top tier for me any more, even though I'd probably rate it 4/5 or maybe even 5/5. In terms of pacing, story, characters, themes & motifs, structure, ethics, etc., it's got everything going for it, especially those wonderfully descriptive games sequences. It's a light novel yet with quite a bit of depth. It does have flaws and it's a little rough around the edges, but I've always felt it's one of those books that latches on and doesn't let go until you're done, which makes it a great reading experience. In my opinion, it's one of the few genre books that is almost universally friendly as an introduction into science fiction. A relative of mine doesn't like reading science fiction at all (although she loves Tolkien and Harry Potter). She grudgingly read it years ago at my insistence and loved it. She still doesn't read science fiction, but she loves this book.
  9. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Regular Member

    But all of these are either fantasy of sci-fi.

    It's not a matter of it being interesting or not. If I can't get immersed in something, I can't enjoy it. It has NOTHING to do with anything that's in the book. Oh, and I'm not sure why I couldn't get immersed, sorry.

    You apparantly didn't read the entire conversation that I had with myself. Adding it to my to read list now :p

    That said, it's aimed at young adults, and is trying to teach young adults something(which is something like to believe in yourself or something.)
  10. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    No need to apologise, dude. If you couldn't get into it, then you couldn't get into it. We're all different. But I'm sad, because I thought it was such a fun book.
    I did! And I liked your conversation with yourself. I just included my two cents on the matter anyway.
    I'm afraid I still don't feel it's a young adult novel. I actually don't think it's deliberately aimed at juveniles, in the same way that Lord of the Flies wasn't deliberately aimed at juveniles, and this despite both novels dealing with children and being accessible to younger readers as well. And Ender's Game doesn't try to tell kids to believe in themselves. It's more about morality; the morals of destructive action and possible atonement. And the extremely young age of the protagonist and his two siblings (who also have significant roles that the film just completely glossed over) makes their thought processes a scary prospect. Kids should not be thinking like that.
    MorteTorment likes this.
  11. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    It's really not a YA book (my personal grrrrr - just because something has a teen protagonist doesn't make it YA - look at To Kill a Mocking Bird.) it doesn't deal with the YA themes of growing up, getting the girl, relationships et al.

    I'm no fan of Card's personal stance - but his writing can be fantastic and Ender's Game is (although i'd recommend the short story over the novel and Songmaster over anything else he has written).
    Boreas likes this.
  12. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Regular Member

    Well I'm sad, because I'm afraid that I've got another person who is gonna be afraid to recommend things to me.

    Hehe, I know, and thanks :D

    And yeah, don't worry about me considering Ender's Game YA too much. If anything, it'll be a gateway to me reading more YA.
  13. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Definitely want to read more Card and this novel is one of three that are at the top of my list by him.
    But it's not YA. Hope you like it, though.
  14. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    It's really really not YA...

    For Card, Boreas, I'd recommend his Maps in a Mirror collected short work. It contains the original short of both Singmaster and Ender (iirc) and Songmaster, in particular, is better in that format I think.
  15. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Noted! I actually felt the same way about Greg Bear's Blood Music. I read the novel first and really liked it. But some years later, I came across the short story in an anthology and thought it was overall a lot tighter as a narrative.
    jo zebedee likes this.
  16. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Shame, but if it doesn't grab you then...
    Koban might be more your thing. The story builds up more quickly, although I'm personally enjoying more the second book than the first one. I'm not saying Koban wasn't good, not at all, but I'm finding it more fun and engaging the story and structure of The Mark of Koban. ;)
    kenubrion likes this.
  17. MorteTorment

    MorteTorment Regular Member

    Looking forward to it.
  18. EdwardOrozco

    EdwardOrozco Regular Member

    So have you already done it? Will enjoy it with love!

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