Tag: Steven Erikson


Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 10 March, 2015 by in General / 11 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “ten books for readers who like _____”. I’m gonna go with epic fantasy, since I do love a good epic fantasy and it can be difficult to find ones that are to your taste. I’m going to assume that Tolkien’s work is a given, in this category…

  1. Poul Anderson. He did a lot of sci-fi stuff, but also some fantasies. I love The Broken Sword (I posted my old review as one of my Flashback Friday posts here) and Three Hearts and Three Lions. This is fantasy that isn’t directly affected by Tolkien, so it doesn’t have all the same aesthetics — but The Broken Sword in particular draws on some of the same sources, and has some of the same interests. The poetry, for example, in The Broken Sword — there’s definitely comparisons there with the way Tolkien used verse.
  2. David Eddings. No, okay, I know all his series are basically the same stories and characters recycled, so I’d only recommend reading one. But for brain candy, I do like a bit of Eddings. Personally, I would go with The Diamond Throne et al. I think Sparhawk was my introduction to Eddings, and I still have affection for those books.
  3. Jacqueline Carey. Specifically Banewreaker and Godslayer for a flipped around version of The Lord of the Rings, something that goes into a lot of shades of grey and finds that few people are irredeemable, and that there’s more than one side to any story. If you like court politics more, then Kushiel’s Dart is more likely to be your speed. (And she’s even written some urban fantasy more recently, too.)
  4. N.K. Jemisin. I liked her more recent duology, but it was the Inheritance Trilogy that really hooked me. Court politics, gods and men. And women. Interesting mythology, various different perspectives, and it’s not a multi-volume epic. Each book doesn’t stand completely alone, but one level of the plot is certainly accessible without reading the other books. Lots of interesting narrative voices, too.
  5. Raymond E. Feist. This is a case of a multi-volume epic. I’ve never read them all, but I do love his Riftwar Saga. It’s something I want to come back to. I fell for so many of the characters and ideas, and this is a case where there is a ferocious amount of world-building. You’re never gonna go off the edge of Feist’s maps and find the writer’s forgotten to account for the world outside his tightly controlled setting.
  6. Robin Hobb. So many characters to love and to hate. I’m not at all sure what I think of the Soldier Son trilogy — there were some persistent themes in them that I just didn’t like — but the Farseer books are great. Assassins, quests, dragons, magic, animals, politics… It has a little bit of so many things that I love, with a convincing narrative voice too.
  7. Steven Erikson. Willful Child was really disappointing to me, but I loved Gardens of the Moon, and I can’t wait to dig into the rest of the books. And this is another of those wide worlds with lots to dig your teeth into.
  8. Tad Williams. The Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books are awesome. I started reading them and thought it all fairly typical — you know, kitchen boy is probably going to turn out to be a hero, etc, etc. I was probably reminded of David Eddings, actually. But there’s a lot of world building, a lot of other characters to love, and I found it all so compelling that I read all four massive volumes in less than a week.
  9. Scott Lynch. I hardly need to say this, do I? The Lies of Locke Lamora is great; the world the books take place in is rich and full of wonder (things the characters wonder at, and things that the readers wonder at while the characters take them for granted). “High” fantasy? Maybe not; we’re not dealing in princes and kings, nor even kitchen boys who turn out to be knights, just a bunch of orphans from the streets who turn out to be real good at scamming people. But there’s epic background.
  10. Guy Gavriel Kay. Particularly the Fionavar Tapestry books, which seem like a synthesis of so much else from the genre. There’s hints of Stephen Donaldson, Tolkien, Anderson, so on. These were his first books, but he was already very powerful with the details of character and relationship. Tigana is also highly recommended, and stands completely alone, with all the politics and magic you could wish for.

I thought I’d find this week’s hard, but actually, I quite enjoyed doing this. Let me know what you think — and let me know what you’ve posted about!

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Review – Willful Child

Posted 15 January, 2015 by in Reviews / 4 Comments

Cover of Willful Child by Steven EriksonWillful Child, Steven Erikson
Received to review via Netgalley

This is… nothing like the Malazan series, if that’s what attracted you to the idea of reading this book. It’s a parody/homage of Star Trek, mostly Captain Kirk era, with references to Kirk’s tendency to fist fight, get his uniform ripped, venture into dangerous situations the captain of a ship should probably avoid… And various other staples of the Star Trek series, like his way with women and his bullheadedness, etc, etc.

I thought this would appeal because a) the Malazan books are well thought out, very intelligent and carefully constructed, so I expected similar even in a spoofy story, and b) I grew up on Star Trek, among various other series. I have no problem with laughing at Star Trek, particularly the Kirk era. Buuut, as I’ve acknowledged on my blog before, I do not have the greatest sense of humour. I never quite know how to take a lot of jokes, particularly when the humour is fairly silly, and that happens a lot here. Along with the main character picking his crew for the way they look, making sexual suggestions to them all the time, getting assaulted by a female alien, and a whole dodgy bit where it somewhat implies he may have raped an officer he dislikes. Most of the humour revolved around ‘lol sex’, usually in a laddish way that just doesn’t appeal to me.

I feel like I can’t say much about the plot/writing/etc, because all of it just deflates for me under the influence of that horrible main character. He’s a caricature, and it influences the whole book. Not a fan. I much preferred John Scalzi’s Redshirts, which had somewhat more intelligent humour.

Rating: 1/5

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Top Ten Tuesday

Posted 13 January, 2015 by in General / 8 Comments

This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is ‘Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To’. I probably just need to look back at my Netgalley account for this one, ha.

  1. Willful Child, Steven Erikson. A spoof on Star Trek, by Steven Erikson? Yes, please. I had this as an ARC, but… Yeah.
  2. The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley. I’m just hangin’ my head here, guys.
  3. Half a King, Joe Abercrombie. Uh, ditto.
  4. The Dead in their Vaulted Arches, Alan Bradley. Had an ARC. Am terrible. ’nuff said.
  5. Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Laini Taylor. I love this series. I think I might be a bit afraid to read the last book.
  6. Landline, Rainbow Rowell. In fairness, I didn’t ‘discover’ Rowell’s work until Landline was already due to come out.
  7. Illusive, Emily Lloyd-Jones. Superpowers! Heists! An ARC I still need to get round to…*
  8. The Girl With All The Gifts, M.R. Carey. I think I picked up a library copy of this near the start of 2014. I dread to look.
  9. Of Metal and Wishes, Sarah Fine. I’ve seen some mixed reviews, but I wanted to pick this up just from the cover… I don’t quite know why.
  10. The Falconer, Elizabeth May. I picked this up a few months ago and still haven’t got round to it. Gah.

There’s just too many books, too little time, am I right?

*I should perhaps at this point note that I will get round to every ARC I’ve received, though in many cases I have to order them from libraries or buy them now that they’re no longer available to download.

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