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Old 09-06-2011, 09:18 PM   #10741
ATDrake
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Finished Pierre Pevel's The Cardinal's Blades, 1st in his The-Three-Musketeers-With-Dragons-In-It version of Richelieu-dominated France which I went and got from the library after having read and liked the 2nd book in the series, The Alchemist in the Shadows. Apparently this volume has won a number of awards in both French and English.

Again, it was a fun sword, sorcery, and secret societies intrigue and swashbuckling story. Having read the 2nd book didn't make the 1st any easier to predict, as some of the plot twists were very unexpected, even though I'd already known several character fates already from having read the previous book first.

This story also starts and wraps up within the single volume, but several hints are dropped which are obviously intended to lead to further adventures.

Recommended if you enjoy Dumas-type adventures in a fantasy AU and especially if you have a fondness for 17th century France.

I enjoyed it enough that I'm going to see if the library has or is intending to order further books in the series, or perhaps simply hunt them down in the original French instead of waiting for the translation. Although Pyr/Gollancz do seem to be putting these out at a decent rate, with this one translated/printed 2009 and the 2nd book in 2010 IIRC.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:39 AM   #10742
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The Picture of Dorian Gray, by whom we all know.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:37 AM   #10743
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Finished Enclave by Ann Aguirre. It's the first in her Razorland series. I really enjoyed the first half which takes place underground but when they moved "topside" things went metaphorically south quickly. Then it just became another weak post-apocalyptic story. And cannot hold a flame to Earth Abides. Aguirre's book left many things unanswered, described gory violence and yet no mention of the mundane day-to-day activities. Also, there were several grammar mistakes usu words missing. I'd grade it a C- [2 stars]. The book is rated very highly on Goodreads so I am the outlier. Perhaps, because it's written for young adults and ... well ... one of those I am not.

Just started The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein. It's not going well so far but will stick with it for a few more pages.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:52 AM   #10744
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Finished Enclave by Ann Aguirre. It's the first in her Razorland series. I really enjoyed the first half which takes place underground but when they moved "topside" things went metaphorically south quickly. Then it just became another weak post-apocalyptic story. And cannot hold a flame to Earth Abides. Aguirre's book left many things unanswered, described gory violence and yet no mention of the mundane day-to-day activities. Also, there were several grammar mistakes usu words missing. I'd grade it a C- [2 stars]. The book is rated very highly on Goodreads so I am the outlier. Perhaps, because it's written for young adults and ... well ... one of those I am not.

Just started The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein. It's not going well so far but will stick with it for a few more pages.
I've only read one Ann Aguirre, and that's the way I felt--strong first half and then it just started falling part with over-dramatized scenes that felt pasted in, some cliched action, weirdness and while it sort of pulled together to finish the plot, it was pretty messy.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:20 PM   #10745
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From recommendations I've read here (thanks, y'all!!) I've finished in the past week...

Infected and Contagious...both by Scott Sigler -- LOVED them.

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson...LOVED this one, too, and did not want it to end so soon!!

Started World War Z last night to do the comparison I've read so much about...we'll see.

Have Lev Grossman's The Magician and The Magician King lined up next.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:23 PM   #10746
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Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson...LOVED this one, too, and did not want it to end so soon!!

Started World War Z last night to do the comparison I've read so much about...we'll see.
Glad you liked Robopocalypse. I'd be interested in hearing what you think after having read World War Z.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:29 PM   #10747
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That was such a fun read for me! I really didn't want it to end lol...was hoping we'd learn more about the characters 'after' everything was over with. Definitely high anticipation for the movie version (I'm thinking it will be great)!

I'd read some people thought it was a rip off of WWZ, so it got me curious...I'll let you know for sure.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:09 PM   #10748
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Cool charlie chan

i'm currently reading the first of a series of 6 Charlie Chan mysteries called The House Without A Key by Earl Derr Biggers. wow, is the character of charlie chan ever different than the ones protrayed in hollywood movies over the years by a handful of (non-asian) actors.

i'm enjoying it and plan to read the other 5 as well. got all 6 at gutenberg australia.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #10749
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Just finished a decent book this week that was a light, engaging read called HEROs Metamorphosis by Kevin Rau. It's a sci-fi book set in a similar world where people can end up with superhero abilities. It starts out with 3 friends who are changed and how they deal with it, with enough action to keep it going. Sounds like he's working on an entire series, which I think I may have to look into!
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:46 PM   #10750
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Just finished The Second Coming by David H. Burton. I like my chocolate and my fantasy dark. This novel is certainly that. I review it on my site.

Now I'm reading The Scavenger's Daughter by Mike McIntyre.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:46 PM   #10751
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i'm currently reading the first of a series of 6 Charlie Chan mysteries called The House Without A Key by Earl Derr Biggers. wow, is the character of charlie chan ever different than the ones protrayed in hollywood movies over the years by a handful of (non-asian) actors.
Yeah, that's kind of gone into by my current read-in-progress, William F. Wu's A Temple of Forgotten Spirits, which is the kind of thing you'd get if you mashed up Jack Kerouac and urban fantasy and took a Chinese-American guy on a cross-country roadtrip of personal/cultural heritage discovery. He's got a specific story about the ghost of Charlie Chan in Asian-American culture.

Chang Apana, the real detective that Charlie Chan was inspired by was apparently much, much more interesting, to the point where after Earl Derr Biggars met him in person after writing the books, the latter started revising the character to be somewhat more of a person and somewhat less of a caricature.

As for me, just finished reading Sethra Lavode, the 3rd book in the Viscount of Adrilankha trilogy in Steven Brust's "Paarfi" set of Dragaera novels.

Somewhat surprisingly, it turns out I hadn't actually read this earlier like I thought I had (although it's possible I've just entirely forgotten the story, as all the Paarfi books tend to blend together for me due to the writing style).

Anyway, a neat wrap-up of all the plot and character points started throughout the "Paarfi" portion of the series, and nice to know how the resurrected Empire got its restart. Although it really is kind of a rather superfluous set of tales, as even the characters we encounter "later" basically stay as they always were, it's just we get details of what they were doing X years ago filled in.

The Paarfi books are a nice read if you already like the Taltos series, but really too self-involved to be all that enjoyable outside that context, in my opinion.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:28 AM   #10752
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Next, another recent purchase: Children No More by Mark L. Van Name
Another novel in the series about Jon Moore and Lobo — pilot and warship.
Very good indeed. Certainly up to the standard of the previous books. Perhaps a bit darker because of the subject matter — child soldiers.

Next was: Asimov's SF, October/November 2011 by Dell Magazine Authors
Which was a good double-issue with several stories I really liked.

And now straight onto: Analog SFF,November 2011 by Dell Magazine Authors
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:25 AM   #10753
din155
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I finished the first two books "Furies of Calderon" & "Academ's Fury" from Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher, enjoyed reading both the books. Now the series seems to be building towards grand politics and fight for survival of human race. The characters are quite complex, the story is fast paced and full of suspense. There were times when I could not wait to finish a part of story and went ahead to know what is going to happen next
I especially liked the battle descriptions and Marat clan. There were times when some characters felt like super dud and predictable like the son of Lord Kalare in the academy who were introduced for increasing the length of the story but if you can ignore those parts, it is a very good series.
I don’t remember enjoying any series this much after the Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov. I am planning to read the third book "Cursor's Fury" in the series this weekend.

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Old 09-08-2011, 10:45 AM   #10754
DiapDealer
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I finished The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt this morning. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Eli and Charlie Sisters are quirky, sociopathic gunslingers—and I'm fond of quirkiness... in fictional characters as well as real ones. I was reminded of a Cohen brothers film as I was reading it. I saw one blurb that suggested that if Cormac McCarthy had a sense of humor, he might have written a Western similar to this. I find that to be an apt description. It was a fairly short book, but I would still say that the page-count outlasted the bulk of my enthusiasm by just a tad. The journey can be the greatest journey in the history of the world, but if the destination is a dentist office..... well, you get the picture. This was another title from the 2011 Man Booker Prize long-list. A first-person narrative told in the dead-pan manner of Eli Sisters... the Romantic of the two killers.

I'm going to read Terry Brooks' latest duology (Bearers of the Black Staff and The Measure of the Magic). I waited until they were both published. These are purely nostalgic reads for me, as the luster has mostly worn off of Terry's writing (for me I'm talking here), but I feel the need to reward any fantasy author who writes a series that is ONE BOOK AWAY FROM BEING A STAND-ALONE STORY!!

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Old 09-08-2011, 12:33 PM   #10755
alansplace
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Cool i think not...

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...the son of Lord Kalare in the academy who were introduced for increasing the length of the story....
but that's not why he's introduced
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