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2018 fox's reading

The Green Dragon

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1reading_fox
Jan 3, 1:31pm Top

Which is a lot of foxes! I don't really have targets or goals for reading, but I've a lot of series I want to try to finish a bit more, so maybe some re-reading to catch up on them.

It opens with
dragonwing being the 1st of the death gate cycle. I read some of these as a teenager, but don't think it was ever finished while I had library access. Charity shop had the whole series in good paperback condition so I thought I'd try again. Haplo and his Dog explore the Realm of Air and find interspecies politics hasn't changed much. I remembered a lot more Labyrinth than there actually was. Probably won't read them all in one sitting.

2Peace2
Jan 3, 5:15pm Top

Happy New Year. May there be lots of exciting books in the future for you.

3SylviaC
Jan 3, 9:31pm Top

Happy New Year! Enjoy your reading.

4BookstoogeLT
Jan 3, 9:33pm Top

>1 reading_fox: Ahhh, I liked the Deathgate Cycle books. It was probably my first real introduction to Dualism in fantasy books.

5Sakerfalcon
Jan 4, 7:47am Top

Happy New Year! I hope you find many books and many foxes!

6reading_fox
Edited: Jan 7, 3:16pm Top

Elven Star 2nd in the series. Haplo and his dog visit the world of fire - mostly notable for the lack of fire, and the annoying insertion of Fizban from Dragonlance. Maybe we'll find out why later on.

and my first Santathing - thanks Ladyoflorien Hunger makes the wolf - A pair of sisters decide to take on the corporation that's running their planet, with the aid of their 'witchiness' and the motorcylce gang they run with. Good fun.

7reading_fox
Jan 15, 6:02am Top

collapsing empire Another Santathing success. Similar in feel to behind the throne without the gunrunner history of the unexpected Empress. She still has to deal with a lot of politics involving the machinations of trade guilds trying to profit from a potential failure of hyperspace wormholes.

Fire sea
Haplo and his dog visit the third world - Stone (mostly fire) and find some unexpected Sartan necromancers. Alfred is not happy
serpent mage
Haplo without his dog - Xar wasn't happy at his last conduct - visit the final world, Water, and discover a source of pure Evil plus some proper Sartans. Alfred doesn't like them much either but at least has Haplo's dog for company.

8majkia
Jan 15, 7:43am Top

>7 reading_fox: Oh!!!!! I loved Behind the Throne so hearing Collapsing Empire is similar is great. I'll have to find time to get to it sooner then! I'm planning on reading After the Crown in February

9Sakerfalcon
Jan 15, 8:27am Top

>7 reading_fox:, >8 majkia: I have The collapsing empire on kindle. I'll have to bump it up the tbr pile for the same reason as majkia!

10reading_fox
Edited: Jan 23, 9:16am Top

Hand of chaos Haplo and dog discover pure evil has spread

Starfish Another Santathing. Not such a big hit for me, it's very well written (think sphere but better ) but I never liked any of the characters and couldn't get into their motivations.

Into the labyrinth Haplo and the dog are recovering while his Lord subvert's his girlfriend into spying on Haplo. Meanwhile the Sartan explore and evil abounds.

the seventh gate

Boo it's all over. Haplo and his dog try to find a happy ending together with all his friends, the mensch live without gods and the question of the higher power remains suitably ambiguous. I'm still not sure about the dog.

11clamairy
Jan 28, 11:14am Top

Just checking in to your new thread, oh and happy anniversary to you and mrsfox. :o)

12reading_fox
Jan 29, 4:48am Top

>11 clamairy: Thanks! We had a lovely weekend.

13NorthernStar
Jan 29, 1:41pm Top

>6 reading_fox:, >7 reading_fox:, >8 majkia: too many book bullets! Several interlibrary loan requests and one hold placed.

14reading_fox
Jan 30, 4:45pm Top

Something from Nightside Last of the Santathing, thanks Ladyoflorien good choices and enjoyable reading.
Urban fantasy with a dark twist as London has a nightmare shadow, but if you're strong enough it's still possible to have fun and earn money as a PI with a talent for finding things. I'm interested in where the series will go, especially if it's not just John finding things and fighting different monsters.

Adventures underground
Caving memoirs, that don't quite tell enough excitement about the hard work of finding new passage in the Yorkshire Dales.

15AHS-Wolfy
Jan 30, 6:19pm Top

>14 reading_fox: I've read the first 4 books of the Nightside series and quite liked them. A similar feel to them as with the Felix Castor books by Mike Carey (though not as good). I might get around to picking this up again now that you've reminded me of its existence and I still have an unread omnibus volume sitting on the tbr shelves.

16reading_fox
Feb 11, 1:16pm Top

How to tame a fox

Wonderful pop-sci account of the very long term experiment raising fur foxes in russia - and how the science of epigenetics tamed them to almost pet within a very few generations. The experiment is still ongoing. Some very touching pictures.

rise, grant

A collection of (all so far) short stories set in her Newsflesh world. I still think this is some of her best writing, better than Toby Daye, et al. Good timepoints from the earliest outbreak to the latest on Shaun etc. Also a few flashes from around the globe reminding us that mira did think of more than the US.

bathwater conspiracy

ER title - not bad. Crime in a world where all the men have disappeared a few decades ago. Society is much changed (but not that much) refreshing (and a little odd) to have every character female.

murder in a very small town

Er title - among the worst I've read. Very bad attempt at a US remake of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

(Full reviews of all on the work pages, or via my profile).

17reading_fox
Feb 11, 4:50pm Top

Beyond the empire - sneaked in a rush across the weekend. Great conclusion to the wonderful space opera trilogy as the Indurian civil war draws to a dramatic close. Clever and fun.

18Sakerfalcon
Feb 12, 6:39am Top

The fox book sounds really interesting. I'll look for it at the library.

19reading_fox
Feb 28, 1:57pm Top

Three weeks of update!

Caliban's war - 2nd of the Expanse. Feels very similar to the first, which is disappointing somehow.

No Middle Name - Jack Reacher short stories. Kind of fun, a little bit of backstory here and there. Some of which I've read before. The 'new' story is an excerpt from the next novel, which is not exactly a good way to sell either.

Wizard of the Pigeons - I didn't like this, it's early urban fantasy, and somehow I was expecting more fantasy and less unreliable narrator.

The Litigators - re-read, classic Grisham, no better or worse than others.

Agents of light and darkness - I'm not going to bother with more of this, John is too powerful and the enemies even more so, but nobody dies or gets destroyed, which is just contrived and silly.

I've been on strike for 5 days, and actually read less than usual because I'm not getting breaks at work. Striking in the cold is not fun.

20ScoLgo
Feb 28, 3:09pm Top

>19 reading_fox: "Wizard of the Pigeons - I didn't like this, it's early urban fantasy, and somehow I was expecting more fantasy and less unreliable narrator."

Bummer... I liked this book - but then, I have a thing for unreliable narrators. I also grew up/live in the Seattle area so am familiar with many of the settings.

21reading_fox
Mar 7, 6:08am Top

star fraction lots of future british left wing politics, and AI. I'm british and sort of left wing, and it still went over my head.

22reading_fox
Mar 14, 1:07pm Top

Pushing ice a Reynolds' standalone, deep time again, some very strange and improbable aliens along with lots of politicking between the humans and a bit of future technology.

23reading_fox
Mar 15, 2:56pm Top

Persuader start of the decline of the series. They're never bad but this isn't the best. Jack gets involved in an "off the books" attempt to entrap a drug dealer. I guess US geography really is so vast that the setting is believable, but it seems very odd to this UKian.

24clamairy
Edited: Mar 16, 7:35am Top

Maine is indeed vast, and still very wild in its northern interior. And it's 1.3 times the size of Ireland, if that helps you with perspective.

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maine_population_map.png

25reading_fox
Mar 20, 6:14pm Top

>24 clamairy: - thanks. I'm pretty sure there's nowhere in the entire UK that's that isolated. I think some of the extreme's of the scottish mountains might be close, but then there's no roads or houses there either.

the dreaming tree CJC's pure fantasy, which she doesn't write very much of. The Shidhe are fading with the intrusion of Man. But they aren't yet all gone. Several generations of human's pique the fancy of the defender of the last truly wild wood. Slow and dreamy as the best faerie ought to be, with gripping characters.

the real story Dark SF - like Game of Thrones but in space. This is the prelude novella introducing the three main characters, and a little of the setting. Best read when combined into book 2 if you can get it.

26reading_fox
Apr 3, 5:14pm Top

The rest of the gap story, mostly consumed over Easter.
Forbidden Knowledge, A dark and hungry god arises, chaos and order, this day all gods die which includes some of the best titles ever conceived. The darkest point is book 2, by the end of that Morn has begun her redemption and fight back against the brutality enacted against her. The rest is just politics and war, revenge and the fate of humanity.

27clamairy
Apr 3, 8:38pm Top

>25 reading_fox: Maine has huge uninhabited swathes, as well. And then there are people who live 'off the grid' in some of those inhospitable spots.

I might have just taken a BB with that Cherryh book. Going to go read some reviews.

28JannyWurts
Apr 5, 5:47pm Top

I loved The Dreaming Tree - are you going for the sequel? The Tree of Swords and Jewels was just as wonderful. I wished like crazy she'd done more with this beautiful little duology.

29reading_fox
Apr 6, 4:59am Top

>28 JannyWurts: - Dreaming tree is the duology in one volume, so yes I read both, the dreamstone is the first book.

I wish she'd write more fantasy in general. I enjoy foreigner, but not to exclusion of all her other universes. I'm sure it's hard switching from a universe you've invested a lot of time defining, and publisher only ever want more of what's already sold well, but readers always want something new!

30JannyWurts
Apr 6, 10:12am Top

The one really broke my heart was the Fortress in the Eye of Time series - gorgeous work, thought provoking idea (total innocence meets the machinations of human politics and ambition) - dropped before completion of the second trilogy.

I am a huge CJ Cherryh enthusiast - both her SF and her fantasy. The Paladin probably one of the finest realistic representations of a female warrior ever done. Sweet little standalone, and almost no one has read it.

The only works of hers I really cringe over (WAY too scary) are the Outer Edge books that truly hit notes of terrifying horror - nothing wrong with the writing! - delving that far into the scary weird was just too unnerving. Terrified me more than anything, ever, since catching a clip from the movie, Haunting of Hill House when I was six.

31reading_fox
Apr 6, 12:00pm Top

I never thought of Fortress as unfinished. I do so enjoy that CJC writes complete books and leaves things pretty much wrapped up without having to leave a hook for the next. I agree the innocence is a stunning writing.

I don't think I've read all the outer edge books (some are really hard to get now) but of those I have yep they're intensely weird.

32reading_fox
Apr 13, 9:34am Top

ready player one re-read. Still just as much fun. I intend to watch the (presumably very different) film if I can persuade OtherHalf.

Also a truly terrible ER title on 'the alkaline diet' that made no sense at all.

33reading_fox
Apr 26, 11:44am Top

Wired, brooke was a better ER title, although still not great, regarding the perils of being addicted. Unremittingly depressing, but not actually believable in the specifics.

the last good man was another of Linda Nagata's Mil-SF ideas, but not as good as the Red trilogy. Robotics supersede the need for mercenary personnel, they mind, but I'm not sure anybody else will.

Farewell my lovely re-read by chance. Only really interesting to note that 1940s america was very different to today! Even allowing for the exaggerations of crime writes. The style is surprisingly adjective riddled.

Fifth Season - As recommended by many GDers it is much better than Hundred Thousand Kingdoms but it's still muddled in places, especially the worldbuilding. I don't like the unnecessarily contrived chronology, and don't feel it adds anything to an already complex world. It is slow, but the characters are well drawn with strong motivations that align with their actions, but it is very much the first of trilogy and I can only hope that there is more explanation and action in the remaining volumes.

34YouKneeK
Apr 26, 5:38pm Top

>33 reading_fox: I’m glad you liked The Fifth Season better than her other work that you’ve tried. I actually liked the first book the best of the trilogy, although I liked all three. The things you didn’t like as much were the things I particularly enjoyed, so I’ll be really interested to see your reaction to the rest of the books if you continue. :) The next two books do provide a lot more answers from what I remember.

35AHS-Wolfy
Apr 27, 6:37am Top

>33 reading_fox: I read Farewell My Lovely earlier this month too though was for first time and not a re-read for me. Really enjoyed it.

Still haven't read anything by N. K. Jemisin as yet thoiugh do have a couple of first in series books sat on my tbr shelves so I will get there eventually.

36reading_fox
Apr 30, 4:25pm Top

hunting party foxhunting in space. I'm very much not a fan of fox-hunting, but the setting was clever and I liked the heroine, sadly a muddled POV didn't aid the story.

>34 YouKneeK: - Unlike HTK I will probably continue with this. Is the rest of the trilogy? published yet?

37YouKneeK
Apr 30, 5:16pm Top

>36 reading_fox: Yes, the whole trilogy has been published. The second book is The Obelisk Gate (published in 2016) and the third book is The Stone Sky (published in 2017).

38reading_fox
May 9, 11:58am Top

The rook and Stiletto

What made the Rook innovative cannot be repeated, and this I suspect is the reason why the sequel is just not as good. It is innovative, but not to the same degree, with far more attempts to be gross and funny, neither of which really works.
Kind of fun, but trying too hard.

39reading_fox
May 18, 6:04am Top

solarpunk summers ER collection of short stories, happy dystopia, which seems a contradiction in terms but works quite well. Mostly some form or post apocalypse with lots of reliance on solar energy, features characters surviving happily together, finding relationships and improving their lot. One lovely tale about the arrival of the librarian a figure of power.

Signatures re-read - still one of the best ER titles I've ever recieved. Really well worked UF, magic with consequences clever antagonists and just good writing

Dragon's eye start of the trilogy by the same author in a different (similar) universe. More very rural Maine.

40reading_fox
Jun 1, 5:53am Top

dragon's teeth the sequel, not quite as good. Dragon's bones cute little short story int he same world. ghost point unsure if this is a prequel or the actual start of the series. It's the generation before, and as good as Eye.

All set in rural main with Native American Witches looking after women and Viking/Welsh settlers (pre Mayflower) bringing their ancient powers with them more or less in harmony now. Set in the 70s/80s and so a little dated but well handled. Kids with actual cassette boomboxes in GP was especially notable!

Freyja's daughter ER title, very rushed plotting could have been a lot better but not actually bad. Groups of different Wild Women - harpies, mermaids, dryads etc, must meet and overcome their differences to survive the persecution of the Templar-alikes. Predictable and all too easy.

Altered Carbon better than I remembered it to be, still very dark though. Anyone know if the rest of the series gets darker or more of the same?

Now onto the beta read of the third instalment in my friend's YA political SF. It's very good, and I hope she gets published!

41reading_fox
Jun 17, 5:07pm Top

Update for couple of week's reading, including a few hours on a train which makes a lot of difference. Mostly recommendation from various GD threads that have seemed interesting, all worked some better than others

The dragon's path 'low' fantasy, without much magic, a long set-up I suspect this gets better several books in, the characters eventually became interesting but took a long time to do so - dragons mutated humanity before their demise, allowing normal human politics to come to the fore. Sadly this didn't involve the sub-types very much.

Our lady of the ice
Interesting takes on what it means to be human with a blend of true, cyborg, android and robots in a city in Antarctica. Didn't quite get the balance/differences clearly enough distinguished, and perhaps gangster noir wasn't the best setting for it.

Midnight line
Jackk Reacher yet again, being himself. Much better than some of the latter ones, with a good balance between action and deduction, and a slightly more reasonable premise.

trading in danger - really enjoyed this, good fun, would recommend crystal soldier and the liaden universe for something similar, and also has a Bujold feel to it somehow. Young daughter takes her first command of her family's trade ship - on a gentle run, until she diverts to somewhere a lot more interesting than she expected.

42Sakerfalcon
Jun 18, 5:56am Top

>41 reading_fox: I need to get around to reading some of Moon's non-Paksennarion books. This one sounds great.

43YouKneeK
Jun 18, 6:36am Top

>41 reading_fox: The Dagger and the Coin series (The Dragon’s Path) did have a pretty slow and meandering start. I liked it from the beginning, but I did think each book got progressively better.

44reading_fox
Jul 8, 5:03pm Top

An Ebook title and it's precursor in the series laird of duncairn and oak seer

Faerie Fantasy set among victorian scotland engineers. Almost steampunk, but not quite pulling it off.. I was annoyed by the whisky/whiskey error all the way through both books which soured my attraction to the plots. The 1st had lots of other similar copy edit errors, but it was less noticeable in the 2nd. Half-breed fae attempts to save humanity by leading both fae and humans against some fae gods who've been accidentally released. She has to fight against the constraints imposed on her gender too.

Libriomancer much recommended. Good fun light hearted and implausible. Anyone know how the series progresses, because it seems like most of the good ideas for the plot have been used in this one?

Another ER - solarpunk - more solar punk short stories, beset a little by poor translation.Some fun ideas though.

45hfglen
Jul 9, 4:58am Top

>44 reading_fox: I had Codex Born out of the library a year or 2 back -- they evidently think it's a standalone. My overwhelming memory of it is so much gratuitous violence that it became a DNF.

46reading_fox
Jul 26, 6:49am Top

>45 hfglen: - thanks
I'm remisss at writing reviews, but have at least synopsis to go. Currently on re-reads.

The stone canal More 70s politics interspersed with a logical outcome of anarchic capitalism thrown deep into the future. Tangled around a classic 70s love triangle. Surprisingly readable, but not exactly easy.

House of shattered wings - I think this was a short story author I enjoyed enough ti seek out a full length novel - weird but not bad. Hard to review, even in synopsis on this thread. No longer gay Paris, post WW2 not only did the world fight, but heaven and hell did too, and fallen angels resurrect in Paris and form Houses of allegiance, but they no longer have all the power they used to. The first Fallen was the most powerful of all, but he's been missing for 20 years.

sleeping giants - recommended on various LT threads, this is indeed great fun. A series of interview reports from an unknown agent running a project to discover why there are parts of at least one giant statue buried around the world. The report format works a lot better than you might expect, although I'm not sure how it will cope for the sequels, but I plan to read them anyway.

47reading_fox
Jul 31, 5:30pm Top

pirate cinema re-read of Cory's upbeat look at copyright infringement and the urban mash-up video culture - plus an unduly optimistic teenager runs away to the Big City and does well subplot.

planetfall which I've read before but somehow never managed to review. A new colony discovers the secrets of it's past when a stranger arrives across the alien desert. Disturbing at times, it's cleverly written.

48reading_fox
Aug 21, 5:32pm Top

Re-read of the crossorads trilogy because I'd failed to review them last time around.
spirit gate shadow gate traitor's gate which are all set in the Hundred, a peaceful nation where the gods established Guardians to maintain Justice and reeves (on giant eagles) to keep order. But time has passed and Justice has become corrupted by personal greed and fear, leaving the nation open to the different cultures that surround it. Various characters from various nations follow their own personal and interweaving journeys for their own reasons. The initial book is average at best setting up the characters and introducing the cultures, the jumps between people mean there is little empathy for any of their stories although none of them are that dark. However by the final book we are thoroughly engaged and gripped at the various dilemmas that are raised - without answer. Who and how is justice for, what appeal should you have, how do you live? Pasing through how cultures intermingle how people behave, comparative religion and many other topics. Well worth reading just for the final book.

Nexhuman - rubbish. Literally and figuratively. Supposedly a philosophical look into the issues of consciousness upload inot AI, but actually drowning in it's own filth.

Seventh Decimate - The start Donaldson's latest epic begins again at barely novella length, as a Prince attempts to find a magical library to save his nation from conquest, but he has little comprehension of the forces arrayed against him, or indeed his own desires and honour. Features no women at all.

49reading_fox
Sep 9, 7:56am Top

waking gods and only human the conclusions. Far from as enjoyable as the first, the novelty has worn off, the main character has been killed off and the replacements not as good. Gives the chance for some political commentary, but it's quite onesided even if I basically agree with the points made.

oathbringer far too long. far far too long. 1300 pages is ridiculous. Very little happens to justify the length. Althought the characters and the world remain fun.

50Sakerfalcon
Sep 10, 5:12am Top

>49 reading_fox: I just read and enjoyed Sleeping giants but think I'll leave it there based on your reaction to the sequels.

Group: The Green Dragon

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