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Old 06-20-2013, 09:49 AM   #31
Tachikoma
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Lindsay Buroker - The Emperor's Edge (a high fantasy in the era of steam)

I know it's bad to rag on self published authors, but this book was terrible. Not so much the writing style, as I think this author could do some really good work, it's just the painful plot elements such as the female lead asking a guard to let her out of prison... then the guard does... or the fact that even the title makes it out to be a steampunk-esque victorian story, but the only references to steam are the fact there's steam trains, steam trucks and steam bulldozers. I think these are used a total of 7 times in the entire book.

I try to read a lot of self published book as there's some absolute gems there like G Wells Taylor, I pretty much spent the last two weeks only reading his books.

I'm hoping that Lindsay improves in later books, and I might download another of her work, but the first book in this series has killed off any enthusiasm I had for these characters and the world.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:18 AM   #32
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I read the first two Thomas Covenant series. I remember that summer. I basically devoured them. One of those "I read that much already?" type reads. I found the books to be quite good.
This is the perfect example of how bad reviews can be useful recs. JSWolf hates LeGuin, loves the Covenant series: his "awful" books could well be my "must-read"s. To test this out, JSWolf, what do you think of (a) Margaret Atwood and (b) Robert Jordan?
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:39 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachikoma View Post
Lindsay Buroker - The Emperor's Edge (a high fantasy in the era of steam)

I know it's bad to rag on self published authors, but this book was terrible. Not so much the writing style, as I think this author could do some really good work, it's just the painful plot elements such as the female lead asking a guard to let her out of prison... then the guard does... or the fact that even the title makes it out to be a steampunk-esque victorian story, but the only references to steam are the fact there's steam trains, steam trucks and steam bulldozers. I think these are used a total of 7 times in the entire book.

I try to read a lot of self published book as there's some absolute gems there like G Wells Taylor, I pretty much spent the last two weeks only reading his books.

I'm hoping that Lindsay improves in later books, and I might download another of her work, but the first book in this series has killed off any enthusiasm I had for these characters and the world.
I actually enjoyed this one. It was a lot of fun. However, as I wrote in my review of the second novel, "...what worked in the first novel, didn’t work in the second."

It was all just a bit too camp the second time around. I think I would have enjoyed it as a television show more. You're right, the writing itself is good, but I just don't think it's targeted at me. I don't know if I would call it bad fantasy, just "not me" fantasy.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:37 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachikoma View Post
Lindsay Buroker - The Emperor's Edge (a high fantasy in the era of steam)

I know it's bad to rag on self published authors, but this book was terrible. Not so much the writing style, as I think this author could do some really good work
I haven't read this one, but I did enjoy Flash Gold which was a steam punk short story of hers. I haven't read the continuation yet, but I plan to in the future.

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I try to read a lot of self published book as there's some absolute gems there like G Wells Taylor, I pretty much spent the last two weeks only reading his books.
I really enjoyed him too, although I tired of hearing about hernias in the first book. I have read the first in his series plus the short story follow-up (Painkiller) and plan on continuing this series too.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:11 PM   #35
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I really enjoyed him too, although I tired of hearing about hernias in the first book. I have read the first in his series plus the short story follow-up (Painkiller) and plan on continuing this series too.
Yeah the hernia thing got old quite quickly, but there's some genuinely novel concepts in the horror genre, and very well written. I followed up with his WildClown series, and it's hard to get into initially as it's such a silly concept (ghost possesses a sex obsessed detective wearing clown makeup and solves crimes in a changed world where the dead rise, but return as they were... just... dead)

Again though, there are touches of genius here and some unsettling parts that creep you out without going too far (forever children)

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I don't know if I would call it bad fantasy, just "not me" fantasy.
Yes, I think this is a better definition, I won't pick at the book any more as it wasn't a painful read, just a confusing mash of cliches.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:50 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by meeera View Post
This is the perfect example of how bad reviews can be useful recs. JSWolf hates LeGuin, loves the Covenant series: his "awful" books could well be my "must-read"s. To test this out, JSWolf, what do you think of (a) Margaret Atwood and (b) Robert Jordan?
I've not yet read anything by Margaret Atwood. She is on my to get and read list though.

The only Robert Jordan I've read has been some of his Wheel of Time series. He can be both good and bad in the same book.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:36 AM   #37
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Oh dear. Let's see, I've had bad luck, from time to time. My friends all loved Tad Williams, so I tried Dragonbone Chair. I couldn't get through the first 50 pages. I also wasn't happy with Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentices (that he's less assassin than the title implied irked me) but I've tried her a few more times. Still not the top of my favorites list but she redeemed herself somewhat. I can't think of many that might land on my "OMG never again list." however.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:46 AM   #38
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Tad Williams is definitely on my No Thanks list. Dragonbone Chair was lethally boring, and when I tried a few of his other works I couldn't stand them either.

David Eddings *flees*

Other than that, I don't really remember. I just forget books I don't like, which can be a real blessing.

Mostly, I like some works by an author and some not. Jim C. Hines is a good example - some of his books work for me, but there are several where he comes across as pushing his own worldview too strongly, or the characterization get sacrificed for a joke. So I'm wary of books by him until I read reviews.

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Old 06-27-2013, 11:09 AM   #39
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David Eddings *flees*
To each his own. I rather like Eddings, even if he tends to write the same story over and over with the names of the protagonists filed off, much like Ludlum did and Cussler still does.

No masterpieces any of them, but nice mind candy.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:38 AM   #40
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I rather like David Eddigs and Tad Williams.

Now what I am wondering is if we can come up with some truly bad fantasy that nobody here will like.

I'll give an example (SF though) of really bad is L. Ron Hubbard. Just awful (being very kind here).
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #41
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I enjoyed the Belgariad the first time I read it, when I was the same age as Garion (12-13), but came to see the flaws in it later. I think it might still work as an introductory series. I believe I also read the second set, but can't remember much about it.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:54 AM   #42
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The way I look at it, if the author cannot be interesting in 140 pages, it's not worth bothering with.
I disagree with this statement. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss starts out really slow and boring. I was just about to give up (and I am a compulsive reader, I have to finish unless the book in unbearably crappy) when things picked up, and it turned out to be the best fantasy book I read that year.

And I have read the entire Kushiel's Dart (Phedre) trilogy and I recognize that they also start slow and that the author's style is unpolished in the first half of the novel. But then things get better and more interesting. It's not the kind of fantasy that keeps you at the edge of the seat, but for me it was still entertaining, I liked the whole concept of whoring as a religion .
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