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View Poll Results: Vote for your choice.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman 15 25.42%
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 6 10.17%
The Voyage of the Minotaur by Wesley Allison 5 8.47%
Kraken by China Mieville 8 13.56%
The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany 8 13.56%
The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley Beaulieu 1 1.69%
Nation by Terry Pratchett 5 8.47%
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson 6 10.17%
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin 2 3.39%
Oath of Swords by David Weber 3 5.08%
Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-21-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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May 2012 Mobile Read Book Club First Vote

May 2012 Mobile Read Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the May 2012 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 4 days, followed by a 3 day run-off poll between the two* top vote getters. The vote this month will be viewable**.


We will start the discussion thread for this book on May 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:

1) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
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Description: Neverwhere 's protagonist, Richard Mayhew, learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished. He ceases to exist in the ordinary world of London Above, and joins a quest through the dark and dangerous London Below, a shadow city of lost and forgotten people, places, and times. His companions are Door, who is trying to find out who hired the assassins who murdered her family and why; the Marquis of Carabas, a trickster who trades services for very big favors; and Hunter, a mysterious lady who guards bodies and hunts only the biggest game. London Below is a wonderfully realized shadow world, and the story plunges through it like an express passing local stations, with plenty of action and a satisfying conclusion. The story is reminiscent of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , but Neil Gaiman's humor is much darker and his images sometimes truly horrific. Puns and allusions to everything from Paradise Lost to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz abound, but you can enjoy the book without getting all of them. Gaiman is definitely not just for graphic-novel fans anymore. --Nona Vero Starred Review. Gaiman assumes the role of narrator for his latest book, offering an intimate reading that steals one's attention almost immediately and keeps the listener involved throughout. As the story is based in the United Kingdom, Gaiman is a quintessential raconteur for the tale, with his charming Scottish brogue instilling life and spirit into the central character of Richard Mayhew. Pitch perfect, with clear pronunciation, Gaiman invites listeners into his living room for a fireside chat, offering a private and personal experience that transcends the limitations of traditional narration. The author knows his story through and through, capturing the desired emotion and audience reaction in each and every scene. His characters are unique, with diverse personalities and narrative approaches, and Gaiman offers a variety of dialects and tones. The reading sounds more like a private conversation among friends with Gaiman providing the convincing and likable performance the writing deserves. A Harper Perennial paperback (Reviews, May 19, 1997). (Nov.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (from Amazon.com)


2) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
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Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves. With cover art from the major motion picture, this first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.


3) The Voyage of the Minotaur by Wesley Allison
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Description: In a world of steam power and rifles, where magic has not yet been forgotten, an expedition sets out to establish a colony in a lost world. The Voyage of the Minotaur is a story of adventure and magic, religion and prejudice, steam engines and dinosaurs, angels and lizardmen, machine guns and wizards, sorceresses, bustles and corsets, steam-powered computers, hot air balloons, and dragons. (from Smashwords)


4) Kraken by China Mieville
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Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears? For curator Billy Harrow it's the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins. It might just be that the creature he's been preserving is more than a biological rarity: there are those who are sure it's a god. A god that someone is hoping will end the world.


5) The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany
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Come with me now for awhile, for we have worlds of magic to explore, and the Land of Dreams is close at hand.

If you’re tired of fat, cheesy fantasy novels that really do stink, and you want to experience what Fantasy writing once was and could have been, before a few lame-brained idiot writers took Fantasy down a dark alley and stabbed it in the back, then you should read Lord Dunsany’s beautiful prose.

This is writing that sings to the heart.

From http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9626.phtml

"A proper fantasy story would, of course, devote nine or so books to traveling very slowly through the elfish countryside, slowly accumulating plot tokens in order to complete the quest. Dunsany spends one chapter on this journey, then gets to the real point of his story, which is what happens when a girl from Elfland is forced to live in the mortal world, and what happens when the two worlds collide. It’s 1924, and already the good baron is overthrowing tired and worn out fantasy cliches. Lord Dunsany’s story has more in it of culture shock and the price of novelty than magic mcguffin hunting and evil overlord overthrowing.

"The prose itself is some of the finest and most magical in all of fantasy literature. It is like Tolkien without the idle sentiment, or like Lovecraft with a greater gift for language and more synonyms for “odd”. A brief sample should suffice:

"'Near the Castle of Erl there lived a lonely witch, on high land near the thunder, which used to roll in Summer along the hills. There she dwelt by herself in a narrow cottage of thatch and roamed the high fields alone to gather the thunderbolts. Of these thunderbolts, that had no earthly forging, were made, with suitable runes, such weapons as had to parry unearthly dangers.'

"Lord Dunsany’s prose can fairly be described as “oft-imitated”. It is the sound of fantasy. Rarely has it been surpassed."


This critic says this:

"Much of what we call modern fantasy is a pale, predictable mesh of cliches. It is a bookshelf filled with stories that bear far too much in common with one another. Sometimes indeed it feels that originality, which ought to be the cornerstone of fantasy seems to be all but evaporated. Lord Dunsay is - different. He is one of those illusive pre-Tolkien fantasy writers and you will be shocked at how much of modern fantasy derives from him. And then doubly shocked to find he still did it better. Lord Dunsay writes beautiful and elaborate prose. He weaves stories in which magic is not some work-a-day technology but rather a brooding, powerful and very nearly living force."

There is no better prose stylist who touched both the heart of Fantasy and the heart of the Reader.

Like all the books I assemble on MobileRead, this too was assembled to reflect human intervention and artistic judgment.

I hope you enjoy it.

Don [MobileRead's own Dr. Drib]


6) The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley Beaulieu
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From Publishers Weekly

Debut novelist Beaulieu paints a detailed and realistic portrayal of individual fates bound up in social responsibilities as well-grounded cultures clash. Prince Nikandr Khalakovo, facing an arranged marriage, also suffers from a wasting disease plaguing the Anuskaya islands. When the rebellious Maharraht loose a fire elemental and kill the visiting Grand Duke Stasa Bolgravya, civil war erupts, and all factions seek to capture a mysterious autistic boy who straddles both the spirit and the material worlds. Beaulieu skillfully juggles elements borrowed from familiar cultures (primarily Russian and Bedouin) as well as telepathy, airborne ships, and magical gems. Viewpoint shifts are occasionally confusing, but the prose is often poetic—airborne skiffs under attack "dropped like kingfishers" and "twisted in the air like maple seeds"—and the characters have welcome depth.


The Winds of Khalokovo is filled with clean prose, intelligent language, and brilliant imagination. Reading this fantasy was like sinking my teeth into a rich and exotic dessert. --Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show

Elegantly crafted, refreshingly creative. --C.S. Friedman, Bestselling author of The Coldfire Trilogy

Well worth exploring... --Glen Cook, Bestselling author of The Black Company

The boldly imagined new world and sharply drawn characters will pull you into The Winds of Khalakovo and won't let you go until the last page. --Michael A. Stackpole, New York Times bestselling author of I, Jedi

Exactly the kind of fantasy I like to read. --Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of The Saga of the Seven Suns


7) Nation by Terry Pratchett
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Description: Starred Review. Grade 7–10—In this first novel for young people set outside of Discworld, Pratchett again shows his humor and humanity. Worlds are destroyed and cultures collide when a tsunami hits islands in a vast ocean much like the Pacific. Mau, a boy on his way back home from his initiation period and ready for the ritual that will make him a man, is the only one of his people, the Nation, to survive. Ermintrude, a girl from somewhere like Britain in a time like the 19th century, is on her way to meet her father, the governor of the Mothering Sunday islands. She is the sole survivor of her ship (or so she thinks), which is wrecked on Mau's island. She reinvents herself as Daphne, and uses her wits and practical sense to help the straggling refugees from nearby islands who start arriving. When raiders land on the island, they are led by a mutineer from the wrecked ship, and Mau must use all of his ingenuity to outsmart him. Then, just as readers are settling in to thinking that all will be well in the new world that Daphne and Mau are helping to build, Pratchett turns the story on its head. The main characters are engaging and interesting, and are the perfect medium for the author's sly humor. Daphne is a close literary cousin of Tiffany Aching in her common sense and keen intelligence wedded to courage. A rich and thought-provoking read.— Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Critics praised Nation as a hybrid, deeply philosophical book aimed at young adults, but one likely to appeal to adults as well, much like Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy or J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. With echoes of William Defoe and William Golding, Nation takes the form of a “classic Robinsonade ,” notes the Washington Post —that is, a book in which characters on a desert island recreate civilization. As his characters grapple with questions of leadership, humanity, and survival, Pratchett explores fundamental ideas about religion and culture. This might all sound rather heavy, but there is plenty of originality and humor—and cannibals, spirits, and secret treasures—to go around. In the end, Pratchett offers a vision of a deeply humane world. “In some part of the multiverse there is probably a civilisation based on the thinking of Terry Pratchett,” writes the Guardian , “and what a civilised civilisation that will be.” Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC (from Amazon.com)


8) Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
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Brandon Sanderson, fantasy's newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.


9) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
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Description: Starred Review. Convoluted without being dense, Jemisin's engaging debut grabs readers right from the start. Yeine desires nothing more than a normal life in her barbarian homeland of Darr. But her mother was of the powerful Arameri family, and when Yeine is summoned to the capital city of Sky a month after her mother's murder, she cannot refuse. Dakarta, her grandfather and the Arameri patriarch, pits her against her two cousins as a potential heir to the throne. In an increasingly deep Zelaznyesque series of political maneuverings, Yeine, nearly powerless but fiercely determined, finds potential allies among her relatives and the gods who are forced to live in Sky as servants after losing an ancient war. Multifaceted characters struggle with their individual burdens and desires, creating a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists. (Mar.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Yeine Darr, mourning the murder of her mother, is summoned to the magnificent and beautiful city of Sky by the king, her grandfather. He names her his heir but has already assigned that role to both his niece and his nephew, so what he’s now done is set up a competitive and thorny three-way power struggle. Yeine, looking more like her Darre father than her Arameri mother, may be a baroness in the Arameri world, but in the matriarchal North she is a chieftain of her people. She is also terrified and fascinated by the gods who roam Sky, including the nocturnally monstrous Nahadoth and the childlike Sieh. In just a few days, Yeine discovers that every action has consequences when she inadvertently sets up Darre to be attacked and realizes that her role in the succession to the throne may be that of a human sacrifice. This complex tale of politics, assassination, racism, and gods too intimately involved in the lives of humans is a challenging read and a notable authorial debut. --Diana Tixier Herald (from Amazon.com)


10) Oath of Swords by David Weber
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Whom the gods would recruit, they first tick off . . . Our Hero: The unlikely Paladin, Bahzell Bahnakson of the Horse Stealer Hradani. He's no knight in shining armor. He's a hradani, a race known for their uncontrollable rages, bloodthirsty tendencies, and inability to maintain civilized conduct. None of the other Five Races of man like the hradani. Besides his ethnic burden, Bahzell has problems of his own to deal with: a violated hostage bond, a vengeful prince, a price on his head. He doesn't want to mess with anybody else's problems, let alone a god's. Let alone the War God's! So how does he end up a thousand leagues from home, neck-deep in political intrigue, assassins, demons, psionicists, evil sorcery, white sorcery, dark gods, good gods, bad poets, greedy landlords, and most of Bortalik Bay Well, it's all the War God's fault. . . . (from Baen WebScriptions)



The fine print:
* Should the first vote produce a 3-way or more tie for first place, or 2-way or more tie for second, the second poll will have more than two choices.
** Yes, I realize that this was suppose to be a hidden month, but since I messed up last month, this will get us back on schedule.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 04-21-2012 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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I'm going with Nation. It looks very interesting and I'm considering reading it whether or not it wins.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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I've voted for Neverwhere, as I want to read this, but would be happy for Nation to win, as I'm a big Pratchett fan, but haven't read this one.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #4
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I'll stay with my own nomination but I'm sure I'll enjoy whatever is chosen. It's a fine selection.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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Somewhere down the road I'd like to read The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany. Don's description makes it seem really enticing. But since I'm nowhere near somewhere yet, I'll probably vote for the Gaiman or the Pratchett.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Of all the books in the list to be voted on, the one I would not vote for is Nation. I've started reading it and it didn't really catch my fancy. I have read two other books of Gaiman's and I found them pretty good.
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:47 PM   #7
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I think I'm leaning toward Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, but Nation by Terry Pratchett sounds interesting, also. The idea of Pratchett using survivors on a remote island to exploring cultural and religious viewpoints appeals to me. Still, there's that line in the book's description about Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere being reminiscent of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker series but darker that really makes me lean in that direction. I'm a huge fan of that five book trilogy.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:33 AM   #8
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Interesting to see that even though Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman has jumped to such a lead the votes are still being spread widely. The runoff should tell all.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:54 AM   #9
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I wouldn't really equate Neverwhere with Hitchhikers. There's one aspect that is sort of similar, but not really. I enjoyed Neverwhere a lot, but I voted for Nation. I could probably still participate in the discussion since I read Neverwhere this year.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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The Lightning Thief has an average 4.13 star rating out of five stars and 188,444 ratings. That has to say that this is a good book worth reading and worth voting for.

The King of Elfland's Daughter only has an average 3.92 star rating out of 1,279 ratings. So overall, not as good.

Neverwhere has an average 4.11 star rating out of 68,700 ratings.

So based on all of that, the best book is The Lightning Thief.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The Lightning Thief has an average 4.13 star rating out of five stars and 188,444 ratings. That has to say that this is a good book worth reading and worth voting for.

The King of Elfland's Daughter only has an average 3.92 star rating out of 1,279 ratings. So overall, not as good.

Neverwhere has an average 4.11 star rating out of 68,700 ratings.

So based on all of that, the best book is The Lightning Thief.
Jon, don't you realize that when you start aggressively pushing for, or pushing against a book, that there are people who will vote against your wishes just for spite?

Leave it alone, please.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Nyssa View Post
Jon, don't you realize that when you start aggressively pushing for, or pushing against a book, that there are people who will vote against your wishes just for spite?

Leave it alone, please.
That's one reason we have hidden votes. But seriously, I feel sorry for anyone who would vote out of spite. The spirit of the voting is to vote for what we want to read regardless of how the voting is going and to vote based on how someone else voted is just sad.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:51 AM   #13
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I voted for what I want to read based on my own perceptions, not ratings from others. I will admit that, for me, one consideration is cost. Given equally interesting books, I will vote for one that's free or available from the library.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:59 AM   #14
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Remember, if the book you want is NOT a book from the price fix six, then you can use one of the various coupons to by it fairly cheap.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
That's one reason we have hidden votes. But seriously, I feel sorry for anyone who would vote out of spite. The spirit of the voting is to vote for what we want to read regardless of how the voting is going and to vote based on how someone else voted is just sad.
I know, and there are some of us who do vote for what we want, but we're dealing with human nature here, and if you look at past statements and actions you'll see what I mean. I'm just asking that you not push so hard.
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