For those that like reading fiction

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Midnight
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For those that like reading fiction

#1 Post by Midnight » 14 Feb 2012 12:54

Hi there.

So I've just finished reading The Wheel of Time series and I have to say it was one of the best things I've ever read. It took me roughly 10 months to read all those 11 000 pages, however, it was worth the effort. A marvelous world - one would say. With deeper meaning but not as deep that it would annoy you. So if you ever happen to waver if to read it or not - just as I did those 10 months ago, then definitely go for it. At least for the first few books of the series.

Anyway, the things is that once again I'm on a crossroad. I'd like to read something new - probably another series. And I'd like to ask you guys, what you would recommend. I've been thinking that I might try something a bit different this time. Either The Dark Tower by Stephen King or Otherland by Tad Williams. I honestly don't know, which of these two is better and since both the series are quite extensive I'd rather ask somebody who has read them. However, if you haven't, I would very much appreciate tips for different books and if you could include the main reasons why to read it. My favourite genre is high fantasy but as I have said, I'm open to something different this time.

Thanks for your replies and have a nice day :)

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t.a.j.
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Re: For those that like reading fiction

#2 Post by t.a.j. » 14 Feb 2012 14:36

Screw all that. Set your sights on:
Joe Abercrombie - The First Law series (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, The Last Argument Of Kings)
George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game Of Thrones. A Clash Of Kings, A Storm Of Swords, A Feast For Crows, A Dance With Dragons, with two books still to come)

If you're feeling adventurous, try China Mieville - Perdito Street Station or R. Scott Bakker - The Prince of Nothing series (The Darkness That Comes Before, The Warrior Prophet, The Thousandfold Thought)

Out of the two you mentioned, I would recommend Otherland, which I found a good book all in all, though it often just drangs on, losing tension. It really lives by the various odd scenarios the colorful cast of heroes is thrown, but the general plot, the treatment of the central mystery and most of all the horribly deus ex machina resolution, that really comes out of nowhere all add up to make it less than perfect. It does have a strong black woman as the main protagonist, which I found very refreshing.

Concerning The Dark Tower, I just find King boring and bland and basically unreadable and this goes double for the mumbo-jumbo filled Dark Tower series.

But to end this comment on a more up-beat note, here are three more books worth reading:

Neil Gaiman - American Gods. When Shadow gets hired by Mr. Wednesday to accompany him on a road trip through the USA, he didn't expect to meet talking Ravens and the Gods of Old. Excellent book.
William Gibson - Idoru, Virtual Light & All Tomorrow's Parties. William Gibson got famous for co-inventing Cyberpunk and has over time moved the future ever closer to the now, this is his middle triology and it mostly concerns itself with the question of the virtual becoming real. Like all of Gibson's work you'll find strong observation of social realities here, starkly and poetically painted pictures of lives lived in the margins of a world in decline.
Neal Stevenson - Snow Crash. This is funniest book you'll ever read. And it is funny in a very smart and literary way, too.
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Dragon Guardian
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Re: For those that like reading fiction

#3 Post by Dragon Guardian » 14 Feb 2012 17:48

Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen

There are a total of 10 volumes in the main series, with the author and his friend with whom he created the world Ian C Esselmont contributing aditional novels.

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Re: For those that like reading fiction

#4 Post by wade-newb » 14 Feb 2012 22:30

Dragon Guardian wrote:Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen

There are a total of 10 volumes in the main series, with the author and his friend with whom he created the world Ian C Esselmont contributing aditional novels.
This. Please... This.
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Re: For those that like reading fiction

#5 Post by Led Guardian » 16 Feb 2012 07:14

wade-newb wrote:
Dragon Guardian wrote:Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen

There are a total of 10 volumes in the main series, with the author and his friend with whom he created the world Ian C Esselmont contributing aditional novels.
This. Please... This.
It's worth it. It's got major flaws like all those sprawling epic series, and parts of certain books drag. They have plenty of parts that are beyond amazing and very emotionally powerful. Be prepared for another ten months though.

As for ASoIaF, I won't read it until all the books are out (assuming he doesn't die first like Jordan), but you might want to be wary of it. The first 3 books are by all accounts incredible, but the last two have dragged and just not been terribly good according to a lot of reader reviews, as well as a friend of mine who always recommends me books and has yet to lead me astray. I suggest waiting as I am. Take that for whatever it's worth.

I agree with t.a.j. completely on Otherland, first book was great but it got dragged out to long, and the ending is a messy info dump telling you what just happened. I agree on The Gunslinger as well; it wasn't bad, but really wasn't my style and was pretty boring.

It's different than what you're thinking about reading, but I can't pass up the opportunity to recommend The Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear so far) by Patrick Rothfuss. Probably some of the best prose I've ever read, and a good character-driven series. Also enjoyed Robin Hobb's Assassin trilogy of books. Also filled with well-developed characters, probably some of the most human I've read, and quite well written.

If you want something darker, Glen Cook's original Black Company trilogy. The rest of the series was only okay to good, but the original three books were some of the best things I've read. Read them. In some ways it's like Malazan Book of the Fallen, but with less kudzu plotting and a manageable length and number of characters. Which makes sense considering how much Erikson was influenced by Cook.
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Midnight
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Re: For those that like reading fiction

#6 Post by Midnight » 16 Feb 2012 13:05

Wow, thank you for your long replies. Since you agreed on Otherland and The Dark Tower being not as good as I thought I'll leave it for now. However, as for other books you mentioned, I can't decide. I haven't started reading ASoIaF because of the fact you mentioned, which is that two books are still remaining to be written and Martin is quite old already. At least it narrows my list.

I'll think it through and see. So many books I wanna read and only one lifetime to live.

And again, thanks for your time.

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Re: For those that like reading fiction

#7 Post by Dragon Guardian » 20 Feb 2012 15:50

And yeah i fully agree with ASOIAF, just finished AFFC a few days ago. I just hope the wait for the last 2 books won't be nearly as long.

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Re: For those that like reading fiction

#8 Post by Palantyre » 23 Feb 2012 21:14

Because seconding ASOIAF recommendations is becoming very obvious and redundant, I'm going to instead second t.a.j's recommendation of Abercombie's The First Law trilogy. I've only read the first book so far, but goddamn if it doesn't kick all kinds of ass.
Like ASOIAF, it has awesome, interesting and flawed characters (Logen Ninefingers erryday!), and it's also rather gritty. Just not quite ASOIAF's "Everyone's fucking dead and there's a lot of puke and shit everywhere" levels of such. It's also much more of a straightforward adventure story, and frequently very funny.
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Re: For those that like reading fiction

#9 Post by Gasha » 20 Mar 2012 19:59

ASoIaF is great. To me, the last books were just as good as the first ones. "A Dance With Dragons" in particular stood out. They become increasingly complex, though: The number of characters keeps increasing, and the web of "who knows who"-connections becomes very intricrite. I think that's part of the reasons why some people dislike the last books, but it's all a matter of what you want/do not want in a good book. I like the third (A Storm of Swords) and the fifth (A Dance With Dragons) books best out of the entire series.

Also, definitely check out Patrick Rothfuss' "The Kingkiller Chronicles" (starting with book one, "The Name of the Wind"). One of the best series I've ever read. Fantastic writing throughout; frequently humorous without sacrificing any of the plot's darkness. Said darkness is very well balanced - the story feels remarkably alive and dynamic precisely because it avoids spiraling out of control into either grimness or lightness. Very character based and quite low-key, so not really similar to The Wheel of Time, but frankly, I'd recommend Rothfuss to just about anyone.

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