Community Book club - What are you reading and what have you read recently

His Majesty

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Dec 31, 2018
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Finished this one. Again, I loved it even though Fitz feels like he makes all the dumb decisions possible and I hate Regal so much :minos_angry:

Also Nighteyes :cat-heart-blob:

Gonna take a break to play Arcanum but I'm excited to continue reading this series :heroblob:
My favourite fantasy series, you've still got a lot of amazing books to look forward to!

I'm currently reading Robots and Empire, pretty good but I'm not such a big sci-fi fan.
 
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Gevin

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OSatan That was largely my feeling on the series when I read the first book decades ago. But that's also my main issue with the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books and everyone adores them. Maybe absurdist humor just isn't for me (in writing, at least).

Finished The Shadow of the Torturer (The Book of the New Sun #1) which is book one of five of The Book of the New Sun series but 1 of 12 for the total Solar Cycle series? I think that's made up of three series that are all in the same universe but I'm not sure how much they're directly tied together?

Mixed feelings but I'll keep going (somewhat because I bought the five book set for the value). I started the first book not really caring for its storytelling. It dropped being overly descriptive finally and started moving events along and having an actual direction so I got into it and that largely kept up. I don't like dream sequences, or scenes that feel like they're written purposely obtuse, and this book has those sprinkled in with a lead character that doesn't seem to question anything so nothing feels like it makes any real sense. The ending (of which that's being courteous to call it that) would have been an insult if the books were new and this was the only one out with no knowledge there would be a second book. Not only was there zero closure or any sort of rising climax with a resolution but it also just ends abruptly. I thought there would be one more chapter but as the story is plodding along it ends within a page right as an event happens. Like something is suddenly happening and two paragraphs later it's narrator going "I"ll stop this now but I assure you my adventure was just beginning". Okay, fuck you.

Oh, and the author has a completely ridiculous Afterwords at the end of the book where he seemingly throws himself into the fiction of the world? I don't even know.

Anyhow, second book already started and it at least feels like it more quickly moves into actual storytelling but in typical fashion it starts kind of randomly but I'm game to see how he gets around to explaining how things got to where they are now.
I don't want to talk too much cause I love the series and think part of the magic is figuring out stuff on your own. But keep in mind Severian is the narrator, and as such there're some things you need to think about carefully (specially re. what he doesn't narrate). Btw small detail, did you figure out what is Severian doing at the moment of writing his story?

My favourite fantasy series, you've still got a lot of amazing books to look forward to!

I'm currently reading Robots and Empire, pretty good but I'm not such a big sci-fi fan.
Yep, I'm loving it so far, started Book 3 last night and really like the direction it's going.
 
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gabbo

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Dec 22, 2018
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I never read The Martian, so from a literary standpoint I can't compare the two. I'm around 40 pages from the end of this and the man can write tension and humour, and I certainly didn't see the plot twist coming. At least not the way it comes about.

It's not too hard on the sci-fi, in fact, the moon seems to be merely the backdrop to the shenanigans and goings on, which is good. The pacing is really quick and focusing more on the science of things would bog everything down
 
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EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
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Currently on the fourth and final of my Patrick Robinson submarine based thrillers called USS Seawolf.
They're much better than i anticipated, certainly not amazing works of literature but i've enjoyed them for a look back at 90s Cold War themes and i got them cheap second-hand so i don't feel cheated.

Next up is some "light" reading in the form of finally getting around to reading "Blood and Bone" and "Assail" both by Ian C Esselmont set in the world that he and main writer Steven Erikson created many years ago. I really think that the Malazan books are amongst my favourite fantasy works. So many memorable characters and situations come to mind even though it's been a few years since i read the main threads. I'm looking forward to these side-works though i should have got around to them sooner.
 
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Pranooy

Pranooy

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Sep 8, 2018
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I finished book 1 and 2 of Riyria Revelations. And now on to the 3rd book of the series. I am digging each new book more than its predecessor.
 

OSatan

OFather OSun
Done with "Consider Phlebas" by Iain M. Banks.

This is Rube Goldberg Machine the novel.

I loved the concept, presenting The Culture from the point of view of their enemies and people of other planets is legit inspired but the story to get there is so fabricated.

For being a super futuristic time the author sure loves to use normal live tropes, I wanted more of the epiloge and the dramatic personae addendums super weird out there stuff.

Like he get us to belive that
the Iridan-Culture war is this epic scale between the most advanced civilizations but lol they are barely middle tier and the others just let them go a it, like he puts the Iridian like this species that will swallow the universe and lol they are well under the Homomdans.
or the way contraceptives work tells me more about The Culture than a lot of the words he wrote.

I loved The Culture just not the story that took me there, and worst the next book is about a game and the Damage game was the worst part of the book.
 
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Gevin

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Done with "Consider Phlebas" by Iain M. Banks.

This is Rube Goldberg Machine the novel.

I loved the concept, presenting The Culture from the point of view of their enemies and people of other planets is legit inspired but the story to get there is so fabricated.

For being a super futuristic time the author sure loves to use normal live tropes, I wanted more of the epiloge and the dramatic personae addendums super weird out there stuff.

Like he get us to belive that
the Iridan-Culture war is this epic scale between the most advanced civilizations but lol they are barely middle tier and the others just let them go a it, like he puts the Iridian like this species that will swallow the universe and lol they are well under the Homomdans.
or the way contraceptives work tells me more about The Culture than a lot of the words he wrote.

I loved The Culture just not the story that took me there, and worst the next book is about a game and the Damage game was the worst part of the book.
I love the Culture series :cat-heart-blob:
 

Milena

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Almost finished with The Lost Fleet Beyond the Frontier. I really loved both The Lost Fleet and this sequel series. It really shows that the writer has spent a long time in the military (navy) and it's an interesting point of view compared to most sci-fi I've read.

I'm trying to decide what to read next: I've restricted my choice between 2 Sanderson book, either the Mistborn series or his newest book, Skyward. Maybe I'll stat with Skyward... it's shorter :coffee-blob:
 
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Gevin

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I finished Assassin's Quest a few days ago, and with that the Farseer Trilogy.



I felt this one was overly long (it's like double the first book after all) and a lot of parts seemed repetitive or unnecessary. Regardless, the last 10% is amazing and makes up for it.

Overall the trilogy is really good and I recommend it to all fans of fantasy. I'm excited to continue reading the next books in the series.
 

OSatan

OFather OSun
Done with The Player of Games, The Culture second novel.

Yeah I love the concept of the culture :minos_anarchy: but the characters are just we¡rd and the plot is not as clever as it thinks it is but the author never hides that fact, he always shows his hand to the reader but a novel full of winks and nods...

Thank the emperor's fire that Morat and Yay fucked at the end, I would have dropped the series! OTP if I ever saw one.
or did they??? dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun lol ok that twist that everything in the book was out of the circuits of the drone was good.

Def better than the damage game but I hate he just "describes" the game.

Now onto the third novel, another "an external agent narrates the culture".... yay :minos_sleepy:
 
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Gevin

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Done with The Player of Games, The Culture second novel.

Yeah I love the concept of the culture :minos_anarchy: but the characters are just we¡rd and the plot is not as clever as it thinks it is but the author never hides that fact, he always shows his hand to the reader but a novel full of winks and nods...

Thank the emperor's fire that Morat and Yay fucked at the end, I would have dropped the series! OTP if I ever saw one.
or did they??? dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun lol ok that twist that everything in the book was out of the circuits of the drone was good.

Def better than the damage game but I hate he just "describes" the game.

Now onto the third novel, another "an external agent narrates the culture".... yay :minos_sleepy:
Third book is considered the best by many, not by me in particular. My fav is Excession.

I read Fingersmith by Sarah Waters



It was pretty good but felt the second half was a step down from the first, even though it has the major plot twists the novel is famous for.

I recommend it and also its Korean adaptation, which is superior imo. The Handmaiden (2016) - IMDb
 
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Gevin

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Finished Ship of Magic a couple of days ago, first book in the Liveship Traders trilogy (part of the Elderlings universe)



It was pretty good, if again a bit longer than it should imo (seems to be a pattern in Hobb books). I liked the switch from only 1 perspective in the Farseer trilogy to like 10 (or more) different characters in this one, it really helped to keep things fresh and interesting the whole way.

There are a few intriguing misteries that've been laid out and some passing mentions of stuff that seem to be related to the first trilogy so I'm looking forward to keep reading (I'm 30% into the 2nd book).
 
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EdwardTivrusky

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Dec 8, 2018
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Amazing. It took all of 20 seconds for me to get into the book. I'd forgotten just how much the Malazan books click with me and two paragraphs in i was hooked again. Even though i haven't re-read the other books in years it all came back to me reading this. After bouncing off Gardens of The Moon a few times all those years ago, i'm glad i gave it another go as i was fed up of the sterile, generic fantasy books regarding "The Chosen One" the big names were pumping out and the Malazan books are anything but that.

I can't wait to read more of the Assail and Jaghut. Bring it on!
 
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Wibblewozzer

Robot on the inside
Dec 6, 2018
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Finished the next book in the series, The Claw of the Conciliator (The Book of the New Sun #2)

I can't tell if I'm continuing to read it because I want to see where it goes or if it's because I bought the five book series so I feel like I need to get through them instead of waste my money.

Definitely not my style and two books into a five book series and there's still been zero real conflict set up. It's just following the life of a lead character that doesn't always act logically (both for what people would do and within his own character) in a world that frequently has no real logic to it, seemingly. And then in this last book they did their damnedest to get me to skip whole chapters by twice including books within the books (or more technically a play within the book).

I'm already somewhere around 1/5 or 1/4 of the way into the third book and it seems like yet more of the same but I'll keep chugging along.

The one nice thing is that they're short books so it takes me around two weeks of halfway reluctant reading before I get to the next book. I'm nearly halfway done with the series so I'll continue.
 
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Wibblewozzer

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Oh nice! I'm currently reading the first book of the series (y)

I don't yet have opinion of the style yet, only 100 pages through. Need to write some stuff after the book.
Despite my complaints I've written about both books I think it's more that it's not my preferred style vs it being a bad book. I'm sure for a lot of people it's interesting and engaging. Hopefully you're enjoying it!
 
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Gevin

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Mad Ship finished yesterday.



Again, I liked it a lot. Even though I still complain of Hobb's books being longer than they should, the pace is pretty quick and the rotating PoVs help a lot. There were also some really interesting revelations and more nods to the previous trilogy. I´m loving Hobb's universe so far.

Also I'm like 60% into the final book so I'll prolly finish it today.
 
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OSatan

OFather OSun
Use of Weapons - The Culture Book 3 - Iain M. Banks
I just don't like his characters at all, I just don't.

This is basically the second book but with the framing device of the first one, not much about the culture (or a lot depending how you interpret the narrative)you know the good stuff about this series.

I think it lacks a proper way to decode the ending, I feel the why is never given to the reader and I can't for the love of me parse the bookend poems.

Onwards with the series, I just love the culture that much.
 
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Gevin

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Ship of Destiny done.


Not sure what's really the problem, but to me it seems like Hobb struggles to end her stories properly. There are some pretty slow parts, and then everything gets kinda rushed in the last 10%, including the disappearance from the plot of a third of the main cast for hundreds of pages only to be addressed later as "all turned out OK".

Other than that the book was great, I realized there's a pretty strong link to a major character in the previous trilogy which was cool. The journey is well worth it and the prospects for the future of the Elderlings universe is pretty tantalizing :coffee-blob:
 
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Milena

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Jan 4, 2019
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Just finished Skyward from Brandon Sanderson


It started maybe a bit slow, but it really grew on me with each passing chapter and now I'm really looking forward to the next book (already pre-ordered it on Audible) :cat-heart-blob:
I really liked the humor in it and there's something about Sanderson's writing that makes me really care about the characters in his stories.

So now I'll start another Sanderson book, the Mistborn series :coffee-blob:
 
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gabbo

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Dec 22, 2018
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My book club give some interesting novels for our Secret Santa, and this was mine this last year.
My Greek mythology isn't exactly razor sharp these days, so I'm going in with little backstory but so far, it's an interesting take on greek mythology from the POV of one of the lesser gods, but I'm only about 80 pages in and not a lot has happened. Hopefully it's not just rebel against god parents, make them see the good in their ugly duckling child.
 
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Wibblewozzer

Robot on the inside
Dec 6, 2018
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Alright, book #7 complete of the 25 goal for the year: The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun, #3)

Apparently that puts me one book ahead of goal.

I really, really hope things largely tie up by the end of the final (fifth) book. It honestly just feels like the author is just pulling randomly shit out of the air for each new story segment. He's not like Terry Goodkind who forgot characters and plots with each new book (and those books are just shock value and bad) as the author here at least constantly references past events. But there is no clear direction of how events occur and the direction of the plot is tenuous at best. Four books in and I still don't even know what the conflict really is.

Often the outcome of plot threads feels extremely random and more of a wink and nudge followed by, "Pretty weird, huh?"

But it's a car crash I can't look away from. And I bought all five books together and I'd prefer not to waste it. I'll likely be done with this next book within ten days so I'll be back to bitch some more.
 
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Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu


I don't read, not on a daily or even a monthly basis (reading OCD), and as an historically avid reader this is killing me. So here's that.
And I can't even say I finished this book, I still have to schedule one short story.
That being said I just felt the need to talk about it.

-

The Paper Menagerie is a short stories collection by author Ken Liu. It's pretty varied genre-wise, many sci-fi and some magical realism but yeah, difficult to say this is this or that.
What I can say is Ken Liu is the first author since forever for whom I nearly feel like writing to in order to just thank him for being... him. I would sincerely advise anyone not 100% allergic to sci-fi concepts to read it. Not every story is a home run, it's not my point, what I'm trying to articulate here is the sheer humanity that permeates through Liu's writing. The man obviously cares about his characters and I would say people in general, it shows through every nook and crannies of his stories. I wouldn't go full hyperbole in saying other writers don't, but it was evident here.
And it feels good. So good.

So yeah, I really should write this man to thank him for being a good human being.
 
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Pranooy

Pranooy

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Sep 8, 2018
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Finished Volume 2 of Riyria Revelations which contains 2 books - Nyphron Rising and The Emerald storm. And i loved it. The series is getting better and better. Especially "The Emerald Storm" which had the 2 main character infiltrate a Empire ship in Pirate waters and everything went to shit by the end of the book.
Anyways gonna start the last volume/book 5 today. Super hyped to know more.
(I don't like the cover of this volume. :( )


I don't read, not on a daily or even a monthly basis (reading OCD), and as an historically avid reader this is killing me. So here's that.
:hugs:

Just finished Skyward from Brandon Sanderson


So now I'll start another Sanderson book, the Mistborn series :coffee-blob:
I impulse bought this a month back, but yet to even open it. I will soon hopefully.
And speaking of Mistborn, i finished 1st book and haven't gotten past the first part of book 2. Should get to it once i'm done with Riyria.
 
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Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
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Yo, I'm finishing another book ! (don't tell anyone but I'm cheating, these are all short story anthologies I dropped because I'm stupid and for which I have few pages left).



Book of Blood volume 5 by Clive Barker

One of the solid volumes from the Books of Blood, not the best, but I have some real fondness for some stories or parts of them.
The story that inspired Candyman has some powerful ideas in it, and the uninteresting finale doesn't change that. Then you have a sorta Lovecraftian story that goes full nonsense or just nowhere. I loved the next one, Babel's Children, seen as the lesser one by some critics. The 'personification' of the world's madness stunned me. Nonsense, in a good way. Great.
Then the fourth story, the one where I dropped the ball some years ago. Interesting and humanist tale of prisoners mixed with some heavy Charles Dexter Ward vibes. It's not bad per se, and I'm glad I read it again from the beginning, but subtle it is not (ok, Barker is maybe not the one you think of first when you say subtle) and you can see a mile away the 'good guy slowly fucking himself in an hellish corner' syndrome.

Not the best, not the worst, an honorable volume in the series.

If you can get past some of the more gory stories of the Books of Blood, which there are surprisingly few of, and some of the stellar missfires, you will discover in Barker a unique horror voice. I'm personally particularly interested in how the man can write about otherness. Yeah, I should read Nightbreed.
 
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Wibblewozzer

Robot on the inside
Dec 6, 2018
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The Citadel of the Autarch (The Book of the New Sun #4)

Book four done. And the way it's written and the next books begins gives me the feeling that this is where the series was intended to end yet he went for one more book.

And such bullshit. It gets nowhere close to trying to explain anything, things don't tie up well at all, and I still don't feel it ever really had a proper conflict to then allow for a climax and resolution. Shit just happened randomly and it kept chugging along making no sense.

The fifth book is the final one I own so I'll make it through it but at this point the author has just given up and decided to lose any semblance of sense and it's even more ridiculous. It's the longest book in the series but it should still be a fairly easy read taking around two weeks of lazy reading on public transportation. Can't wait.
 
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Pranooy

Pranooy

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I finished reading "Evil has a name" which is the first true crime novel I've read. It is about the 2 decade long investigative work that was focused on finding the Golden State Killer. I really enjoyed it even though I knew a ton of stuff about the case from the news, when it was solved last year. I really liked the style of narration too btw.

 
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Milena

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Finished the first book in the Mistborn series: The Final Empire


Loved the setting, characters and details of the magic system, so everything as expected from a Sanderson book.
I already started the second book, I can't wait to see where this goes!


I'm also listeining to 1356 by Bernard Cornwell


A sequel to its series "The Grail Quest", set 10 years after the event of "Heretic". I'm not enjoying as much as the rest of the series, and The Grail Quest is already my least favourite among the series I've read from Bernard Cornwell. I much prefer when he writes using the first person, instead of a third party narrator point of view. I find it more engaging and less analytical.
 
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Wibblewozzer

Robot on the inside
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Finished the first book in the Mistborn series: The Final Empire


Loved the setting, characters and details of the magic system, so everything as expected from a Sanderson book.
I already started the second book, I can't wait to see where this goes!
I’m in the minority here but the deeper I got in that trilogy the less I cared about the events and likes the books. It wasn’t bad by the end but I loved the first book and felt much differently about the third book. Regardless of that I have lined up the later books in my reading list this year so I’m willing to try out more.

I do generally like Sanderson’s work, though.
 
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Pranooy

Pranooy

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Finished the first book in the Mistborn series: The Final Empire


Loved the setting, characters and details of the magic system, so everything as expected from a Sanderson book.
I already started the second book, I can't wait to see where this goes!
I read this in February and loved it too. Started the second book in graphic audio and it wasn't to my liking; both the graphic audio and the start of the 2nd book. I'm pretty sure i will love the book if i had read it normally. Hopefully i will get to it soon.


Anyways i got 2 credits in audible. Can you guys recommend a good fantasy book with really good narration?
 
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Milena

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Anyways i got 2 credits in audible. Can you guys recommend a good fantasy book with really good narration?
Stand-alone or is it ok to recommend the first book(s) in a series?

I haven't listened to a lot of stand-alone books, I think only Elantris and Warbreaker in the fantasy genre, both from Sanderson. I liked both performances, but I'm not sure if I'm the best at recommending books based on this, as english isn't my first language, so there's an adjustament period with every new narrator and I've only disliked 3 so far.

For fantasy series: I liked The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett, I found it really easy to follow. Yes, it might not be super original in certain parts, but it kept me engaged for all 5 books. And there are some interesting women in it, so it's a huge plus for me!
Oh, I've read the version narrated by Pete Bradbury, which doesn't seem to be available anymore on Audible for my region.
 
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Wibblewozzer

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Anyways i got 2 credits in audible. Can you guys recommend a good fantasy book with really good narration?
Not sure if this is much help but there's an award for audio books and this is what won in the Fantasy category since it was established:


  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. Narrated by Kate Reading (2018)
  • The Hike by Drew Magary, Narrated by Christopher Lane (2017)
  • Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. Narrated by Vikas Adam (2016)
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2 by Brandon Sanderson. Narrated by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer (2015)
  • Wisp of a Thing: A Novel of the Tufa, Book 2 by Alex Bledsoe. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki (2014)
  • Anita by Keith Roberts. Narrated by Nicola Barber (2013)
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Narrated by Khristine Hvam (2012)

Kate Reading on that list did half of the Wheel of Time series shared with Michael Kramer (who you can see did a Brandon Sanderson book together, not too surprising considering the connection). They are very well regarded so I recommend their stuff. They do a fair number of voices, and being very familiar with the Wheel of Time series, I do occasionally find a few of the voices annoying but it's typically appropriately so as it's usually for loathsome characters.

Anyhow, I don't really have much experience outside of The Wheel of Time and Harry Potter audio books (both high quality!) but both are fairly known quantities and a very large time commitment.
 
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Pranooy

Pranooy

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Stand-alone or is it ok to recommend the first book(s) in a series?

I haven't listened to a lot of stand-alone books, I think only Elantris and Warbreaker in the fantasy genre, both from Sanderson. I liked both performances, but I'm not sure if I'm the best at recommending books based on this, as english isn't my first language, so there's an adjustament period with every new narrator and I've only disliked 3 so far.

For fantasy series: I liked The Demon Cycle by Peter V. Brett, I found it really easy to follow. Yes, it might not be super original in certain parts, but it kept me engaged for all 5 books. And there are some interesting women in it, so it's a huge plus for me!
Oh, I've read the version narrated by Pete Bradbury, which doesn't seem to be available anymore on Audible for my region.
I don't read much stand-alone and prefer series when it comes to Fantasy. Will check out the Demon cycle. Thanks.

Not sure if this is much help but there's an award for audio books and this is what won in the Fantasy category since it was established:


  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. Narrated by Kate Reading (2018)
  • The Hike by Drew Magary, Narrated by Christopher Lane (2017)
  • Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. Narrated by Vikas Adam (2016)
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2 by Brandon Sanderson. Narrated by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer (2015)
  • Wisp of a Thing: A Novel of the Tufa, Book 2 by Alex Bledsoe. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki (2014)
  • Anita by Keith Roberts. Narrated by Nicola Barber (2013)
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Narrated by Khristine Hvam (2012)

Kate Reading on that list did half of the Wheel of Time series shared with Michael Kramer (who you can see did a Brandon Sanderson book together, not too surprising considering the connection). They are very well regarded so I recommend their stuff. They do a fair number of voices, and being very familiar with the Wheel of Time series, I do occasionally find a few of the voices annoying but it's typically appropriately so as it's usually for loathsome characters.

Anyhow, I don't really have much experience outside of The Wheel of Time and Harry Potter audio books (both high quality!) but both are fairly known quantities and a very large time commitment.
I bought book 1 of The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World, a month back and yet to jump into it.

Anyways I'm still debating on reading Stormlight vs listening to the audiobooks, especially since it is an epic fantasy with lot of characters and complicated terms. What would you recommend? (I know that Kramer/Kate are insanely great narrators)
 
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Wibblewozzer

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I bought book 1 of The Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World, a month back and yet to jump into it.

Anyways I'm still debating on reading Stormlight vs listening to the audiobooks, especially since it is an epic fantasy with lot of characters and complicated terms. What would you recommend? (I know that Kramer/Kate are insanely great narrators)
The Wheel of Time is kind of an acquired taste. I've always loved it and the amount of time I've spent reading and rereading (and listening) easily eclipses anything else I've read. It's my comfort food. But I recognize there's some annoyances with his writing style and the middle books aren't great in comparison. But I still think it's a good read as long as you have time to get through them.

I've only read half of the first Stormlight book. I really liked what I read but something interrupted me and it became tougher to return so I stopped and decided I'd return when more books were out (at the time there was just the first book). The Wheel of Time also has a billion characters and plots and I thought the audio books were easy to follow but I listened after having read them once or twice each so it's a little difficult for me to compare. If you'd prefer audio I think you'd be fine but it also depends on how much you'd be focusing on the story. From the half of the first book I read I don't recall anything being too difficult to follow but I'm sure that expands as you get deeper into the series.
 
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