Book Recommendations?

I was just thinking today that Robin Hobb has a bunch in common w/ Martin. Not that their style is similar, but she focuses so much on the impacts of violence on her characters. I couldn't think of another writer who has the impacts of violence drive the story rather than the violence itself.

It's a grim task, but I might vote for Martin's friend Daniel Abraham. He's not a knock off, but he shares Martin's knack for having the plotting drive the action, rather than just having it be the thing that happens between action scenes like so many other writers.

Oso wrote:

I was just thinking today that Robin Hobb has a bunch in common w/ Martin. Not that their style is similar, but she focuses so much on the impacts of violence on her characters. I couldn't think of another writer who has the impacts of violence drive the story rather than the violence itself.

It's a grim task, but I might vote for Martin's friend Daniel Abraham. He's not a knock off, but he shares Martin's knack for having the plotting drive the action, rather than just having it be the thing that happens between action scenes like so many other writers.

I've read a lot of Robin Hobb; she's a fantastic author and not at all afraid to put her characters through hell(Soldier's Son trilogy anyone?), but stylistically they're leagues apart. I haven't read Abercrombie or some of the other folks mentioned, but I feel that if you're going to have someone finish out a series, there needs to be a large amount of similarity there beyond what I think are some of the more broad base stuff.

I liked Ex-Heroes a lot, although the final fight shouldn't have been as difficult or costly as it was.

Unfortunately my (fairly well-stocked) library system doesn't have the second book. Luckily the second one is only $3 on Google Play, so I picked it up. For some reason the four novels are three different prices, but the second one is the cheapest, so whatever.

Squee9 wrote:

Finished Republic of Thieves moments ago. It was riveting and pretty good, but not great. Or maybe it's just unfair to think that any of the later books can be as good as The Lies of Locke Lamorra. More thoughts later.

Anyone have an opinion on The Darkness That Comes Before by R Scott Bakker? I believe I'm about to start it.

I really like it. It draws a lot on the Crusades, and I like how he describes the magic in that world.

I don't think Martin will have someone else finish the series in book form. The TV show will have to be enough. It is possible that other people could tell other stories there, but I cannot imagine him allowing someone else to write that story.

He's said that he would not, although I'm not sure if he has the willpower to hold to that promise as the end of the series becomes more clear in his notes and plans...

NathanialG wrote:
Squee9 wrote:

Finished Republic of Thieves moments ago. It was riveting and pretty good, but not great. Or maybe it's just unfair to think that any of the later books can be as good as The Lies of Locke Lamorra. More thoughts later.

Anyone have an opinion on The Darkness That Comes Before by R Scott Bakker? I believe I'm about to start it.

I really like it. It draws a lot on the Crusades, and I like how he describes the magic in that world.

I don't think Martin will have someone else finish the series in book form. The TV show will have to be enough. It is possible that other people could tell other stories there, but I cannot imagine him allowing someone else to write that story.

I generally like his work though all his female characters are sexual playthings for the males, IMHO. I finished the White Luck Warrior which is the second book in his second trilogy and It was pretty bad and atypical for him. I got the feeling he was just throwing dark stuff just for dark stuff's sake, the plot was uneven.

Thanks for the enabling Nathanial, I'll let you know how I end up liking it or not.

I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down AnimeJ, especially about how the three stories wrap up. In addition to that, I think Lies shines a lot more because of the autonomy that Locke has to make plans. It's great fun watching Locke and Jean slip out of impossible situations, but in books two and three it seemed like that was all they were doing, like they were always on the defensive. In Lies, they get a lot more chances to showcase their talents, and we get to watch them plan and execute a genius level heist. Gah, now I need to go read Lies again.

Otherwise I'm still working through Dreams of Steel (Black Company 5) and Victorious (the last Lost Fleet).

Squee9 wrote:

Thanks for the enabling Nathanial, I'll let you know how I end up liking it or not.

I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down AnimeJ, especially about how the three stories wrap up. In addition to that, I think Lies shines a lot more because of the autonomy that Locke has to make plans. It's great fun watching Locke and Jean slip out of impossible situations, but in books two and three it seemed like that was all they were doing, like they were always on the defensive. In Lies, they get a lot more chances to showcase their talents, and we get to watch them plan and execute a genius level heist. Gah, now I need to go read Lies again.

Otherwise I'm still working through Dreams of Steel (Black Company 5) and Victorious (the last Lost Fleet).

I'm about six hours into the audiobook of RoT so far - I'm enjoying it, but not over the moon, the way I was for Lies, similarly to many in the thread. I will say that the narrator (who also did the other books in the series) is fabulous.

Dan Simmons' new book is out - "The Abominable", which covers an expedition to Everest after Mallory's death on his expedition. I'm sure it's wordy, but I do so love his writing. Should be fun.

Robear wrote:

Dan Simmons' new book is out - "The Abominable", which covers an expedition to Everest after Mallory's death on his expedition. I'm sure it's wordy, but I do so love his writing. Should be fun. :-)

I've heard decent things. I've also had the ending spoiled for me accidentally by looking for more information on it. I suggest not doing any internet searches for the book until after you read it.

Interesting. I loved Hyperion and Illium. Is The Abominable sci-fi or fantasy at all, what's the genre here? I want to read it, but suddenly I'm nervous to research the book. (thanks lobster )

Nevin73 wrote:

An old series, but I think it is about time for my annual reading of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

I wonder how well I'd enjoy that today. I loved it at the time, but I haven't been able to get into anything else Tad Williams wrote.

lostlobster wrote:

Interesting. I loved Hyperion and Illium. Is The Abominable sci-fi or fantasy at all, what's the genre here? I want to read it, but suddenly I'm nervous to research the book. (thanks lobster )

Heh. If all you've read are those, then my post must have been cryptic. Simmons has taken to writing books about various historical periods, in period style. He wrote one about an ill-fated expedition to the Arctic, and another about the last years of Charles Dickens. This one is about a 1920's mountaineering expedition to Mt. Everest.

In each of these, he adds a frisson of horror, impending doom, etc. But I would not call them fantasy. It's more like reading Mary Shelley than Tolkien.

An old series, but I think it is about time for my annual reading of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

Edit: Btw, has anyone checked out Tad Williams' Bobby Dollar series? It caught my eye and I think I might need to listen to it on Audible.

Tanglebones wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

An old series, but I think it is about time for my annual reading of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

I wonder how well I'd enjoy that today. I loved it at the time, but I haven't been able to get into anything else Tad Williams wrote.

I really enjoyed the War of the Flowers and Tailchaser's Song was different, but yeah, most of his other stuff kind of lost me.

Robear wrote:
lostlobster wrote:

Interesting. I loved Hyperion and Illium. Is The Abominable sci-fi or fantasy at all, what's the genre here? I want to read it, but suddenly I'm nervous to research the book. (thanks lobster )

Heh. If all you've read are those, then my post must have been cryptic. Simmons has taken to writing books about various historical periods, in period style. He wrote one about an ill-fated expedition to the Arctic, and another about the last years of Charles Dickens. This one is about a 1920's mountaineering expedition to Mt. Everest.

In each of these, he adds a frisson of horror, impending doom, etc. But I would not call them fantasy. It's more like reading Mary Shelley than Tolkien.

What Robear said.

Sorry for the search fear, Squee, but I went to a couple of the first links that came up while searching The Abominable and both were discussing the ending which pretty much spoiled it for me.

Nevin73 wrote:

Edit: Btw, has anyone checked out Tad Williams' Bobby Dollar series? It caught my eye and I think I might need to listen to it on Audible.

I listened to The Dirty Streets of Heaven on Audible last year. It's the only Tad Williams book I have read, which itself probably says something about what I thought of it. While it wasn't horrible I didn't enjoy it very much and won't be continuing with the series.

My favorite part of who would finish his series is that no one spoke up and said "no way, he'll finish it before he dies." *grin*

bandit0013 wrote:

My favorite part of who would finish his series is that no one spoke up and said "no way, he'll finish it before he dies." *grin*

I'm not intimately familiar with his health(go figure) but going based on appearances coupled with how long it's taking him to get books out, I'm less and less certain that he's going to finish writing this.

Eh, I think Martin will finish his series, but why spoil the fun for everyone else by piping in?

Robear wrote:

Dan Simmons' new book is out - "The Abominable", which covers an expedition to Everest after Mallory's death on his expedition. I'm sure it's wordy, but I do so love his writing. Should be fun. :-)

I like Simmons, but I haven't read his Hyperion series, yet. A good writer, but from what I've read he starts strong but then fails to deliver.

Natus wrote:
Robear wrote:

Dan Simmons' new book is out - "The Abominable", which covers an expedition to Everest after Mallory's death on his expedition. I'm sure it's wordy, but I do so love his writing. Should be fun. :-)

I like Simmons, but I haven't read his Hyperion series, yet. A good writer, but from what I've read he starts strong but then fails to deliver.

That describes the Hyperion series.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Natus wrote:
Robear wrote:

Dan Simmons' new book is out - "The Abominable", which covers an expedition to Everest after Mallory's death on his expedition. I'm sure it's wordy, but I do so love his writing. Should be fun. :-)

I like Simmons, but I haven't read his Hyperion series, yet. A good writer, but from what I've read he starts strong but then fails to deliver.

That describes the Hyperion series.

That's a litte unfair. Hyperion is a great book. Unfortunately the sequels turned out to be only pretty great. Still well worth reading.

I forget how strong my emotions were about Illium->Olympus. My fuzzy recollection is that neither the beginning nor the ending was stellar. Plenty of great characters, interesting premise, and riveting scenes, but he has a tendecy to crawl up his own philosophizing butt, and then you have to finish watching the story unfold from an anal periscope. Still worth the read though, I thought they were great.

The Darkness That Comes Before by R Scott Bakker. I read the first chapter and already I'm down like a clown for this man's writing style. I've already made some notes to mark some good quotes and scenes. Startin' off strong if nothing else.

Squee9 wrote:

That's a litte unfair. Hyperion is a great book. Unfortunately the sequels turned out to be only pretty great. Still well worth reading.

Duuuuude, not even a little unfair.

Spoiler:

The secret power is LOVE.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Squee9 wrote:

That's a litte unfair. Hyperion is a great book. Unfortunately the sequels turned out to be only pretty great. Still well worth reading.

Duuuuude, not even a little unfair.

Spoiler:

The secret power is LOVE.

Natch.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Squee9 wrote:

That's a litte unfair. Hyperion is a great book. Unfortunately the sequels turned out to be only pretty great. Still well worth reading.

Duuuuude, not even a little unfair.

Spoiler:

The secret power is LOVE.

I just imagined Raul was played by Bruce Willis and it worked for me.

For fans of Red Country:
Abercrombie's Some Desperado, "an exclusive reprint of a new story by Joe Abercrombie originally published in 'Dangerous Women'."

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Natus wrote:

I like Simmons, but I haven't read his Hyperion series, yet. A good writer, but from what I've read he starts strong but then fails to deliver.

That describes the Hyperion series.

Agreed. Not since Michael Crichton has there been a writer who struggles so greatly to produce a reasonable ending.

Finished Ex-Patriots yesterday. During a bit more than the middle third of the book I was starting to get pretty annoyed with it. It had a bit of a "Meet the Parents" vibe in that lots of simple coincidences and misunderstandings were, instead of being easily remedied, instead started to explode into huge problems. It also seemed to be stumbling into other cliches it was explicitly stating it was trying to avoid.

By the last parts of the book, however, those events were, IMO, very well justified, and by the time I had finished it a liked it very much, perhaps more than the predecessor.

FYI You can get the Kindle versions of all the Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) books for less than $20 combined right now.