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Why I love (I mean hate) the books


1Brotherbill
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Actually I'm starting to hate the books.

 

I was walking around the library today looking for a series that I can dive into. And I kept measuring up everything I saw against the Wheel of Time and found them lacking.

 

Most of the series out there are all the same.

 

Elf, dwarf, orc, or some sub human race of people. Check

Dragons. Check

Everyone speaks the same language. (Well that is Wheel of Time but I lived with it) Check

Zombie's or vampiers or some trendy paranormal creature. Check

 

Ok lets look at science fiction. I would if people actually wrote Sci Fi outside of Star Trek.

 

I'm in desperate state of being here. I need a series to read for a few years again.

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Malazan Book of the Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson are epic in scale and are well enough to keep even the most hardcore reader occupied for a good few months. And luckilly the last one has not long since been released.

 

You could also check out Alistair Reynolds' books if you are into Sci-Fi

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Sci-fi wise you cant really go wrong with Frank Herberts Dune... but lately i've been reading Safehold by David Weber which is quite a good read as well

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I like:

 

Tracey Harding - none on your list in there;

 

and Robin Hobbs, I'm partway through the Liveship series. There are dragons there but they're not your usual fire breathing kind.

Edited by YouMayCallMeElci
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and Robin Hobbs, I'm partway through the Liveship series. There are dragons there but they're not your usual fire breathing kind.

 

I really like her trilogy of trilogies, the best were the liveship ones. I loved the concept of the living figureheads and the subsequent reason for it.

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I really enjoyed N K Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy and would recommend it to anyone. There's a few series I've begun that have been really good so far - Malazan Book of the Fallen, Tad William's Shadowmarch, Nights of Villjamur (Legends of the Red Sun). Celia Friedman's Black Sun Rising was very good in places, worth a read - haven't read the rest of the series yet though. There's plenty of stuff out there I'm sure. My to read list is now four pages long.

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Actually I'm starting to hate the books.

 

I was walking around the library today looking for a series that I can dive into. And I kept measuring up everything I saw against the Wheel of Time and found them lacking.

 

Most of the series out there are all the same.

 

Elf, dwarf, orc, or some sub human race of people. Check

Dragons. Check

Everyone speaks the same language. (Well that is Wheel of Time but I lived with it) Check

Zombie's or vampiers or some trendy paranormal creature. Check

 

Ok lets look at science fiction. I would if people actually wrote Sci Fi outside of Star Trek.

 

I'm in desperate state of being here. I need a series to read for a few years again.

 

There are those who would say that Star Trek is not so much science fiction as space opera - and that includes those who (like me) thoroughly enjoy it nonetheless!

 

But for SF.. there aren't a great many 'series' in that genre, AFAICS. But there are a lot of good authors. Try:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Weber

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alastair_Reynolds

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Niven

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C_Clarke

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_asimov

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brin

 

And something completely different..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_pratchett

Edited by FarShainMael
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Since the Tolkien revival in the 60s every generic fantasy has been the same. Publishers have a hard time not publishing anything without dragons or elves. It has become even worse in recent years with the predominance of Harry Potter and Twilight clones.

 

If you want to find the good stuff you have to dig through alot of trash, because that is how the publishing world works.

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Not so much into sci-fi, so not alot to say there, but in terms of Fantasy, there are good ones out there.

 

These are some you might like, based on what you don't want/like in your post.

 

Can't go wrong with ASOIAF, it has it's problems, but it is brilliant nonetheless.

 

Malazan is good to an extent, but it is very scrappy. The epic scale is incomplete and lacking connectivity. Some of the stories are just random and pointless (like people who die multiple times for no good reason). The main problem is the deaths of characters. Unlike the first GRRM book, where the deaths in it serves a purpose, Malazan has a lot of deaths of main characters for no good reason. Having said that, the unique and diverse world does make it interesting, and certainly worth a read, it is entertaining.

 

Also reccommend Robin Hobbs, excellent trilogies (Farseer, Liveship Traders, Golden Fool) and great writing. Not to the scope of WoT, but emotionally engaging and good story.

 

Jim Butcher - Codex Alera. 6 books in the series, the first book started off pretty dodgy, but once it progressed I found it was excellent. Roman Leigion style world with some interesting magic systems and different races. The overall story is epic in scope, although it is narrowed down. Characters are excellently developed and interesting. Can't go wrong there.

 

I also reccomend the Legends of the Red Sun, Mark Charan Newton. Not really that polished, but very unique and interesting world. It also deals with a lot of real world issues, real world political issues (like Unions, free market) deals with real personal issues (homosexuality, racism) one of the main characters is actually homosexual, which is something relatively new (for a protagonist). It has an urban feel about it, while still grounded in your traditional fantasy roots.

 

Shadows of the Apt - Adrian Tchaikovsky. Interesting fantasy, unique with a dominant steampunk era theme, while also combining many different eras, feudal, renaissance, Roman, Greek, and a bit of Egyptian. Also the mix with insect-like humanoid races makes it different. Again, not the greatest structure or prose, but a good plot and interesting characters.

 

 

Also agree with Tad Williams Shadowmarch. It seems to be a bit inexperienced, or experimental, but the story, characters and such are interesting and unique. Definitely worth a read.

 

Finally, I recommend Brandon Sanderson if you enjoyed tGS and ToM writing style. While his books are not really RJ styled, they are very cinematic. Same with Shadowmarch, Mistborn feels a little bit inexperienced, but a good story, good characters and interesting and unique world. Way of Kings, the Stormlight Archive book one (the first of 10, the second is being written, so it will be a while) in my opinion was excellent, and you can really see how the WoT has influenced him as a writer. Again, Brandon has his weaknesses, but the story, scope, characters and unique world makes it excellent. Judging from the first book, Stormlight Archives has the potential to rival WoT in epic scope.

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Since the Tolkien revival in the 60s every generic fantasy has been the same. Publishers have a hard time not publishing anything without dragons or elves. It has become even worse in recent years with the predominance of Harry Potter and Twilight clones.

 

If you want to find the good stuff you have to dig through alot of trash, because that is how the publishing world works.

 

I guess it's a good thing I steered far away from these ideas for my series, I'm actually very excited with it.

 

I'd say look to the Stormlight Archives if you are looking for unique though.

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As far as Sci-fi goes, you can't beat the multitude of Star Wars books IMO. I also enjoyed Kevin Anderson's Saga of the Seven Suns, and I'll definitely jump on the boat and recommend Robin Hobbs, as well. The General Discussion forum also a has a nice list of recommendations that I was recently browsing through to find my next read.

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Malazan Book of the Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson are epic in scale and are well enough to keep even the most hardcore reader occupied for a good few months. And luckilly the last one has not long since been released.

 

You could also check out Alistair Reynolds' books if you are into Sci-Fi

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malazan_Book_of_the_Fallen

 

You have officially interested me.

 

I like:

 

Tracey Harding - none on your list in there;

 

and Robin Hobbs, I'm partway through the Liveship series. There are dragons there but they're not your usual fire breathing kind.

 

Who is Tracey Harding? I may have to check out the Robin Hobbs one though.

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I find Stephen Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant brilliant - completely unlike anything else on the market.

 

Or well, the first two trilogies at least. I haven't read the third, because after the first two it was definitely finished.

Edited by Lacanos
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I find Stephen Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant brilliant - completely unlike anything else on the market.

 

Or well, the first two trilogies at least. I haven't read the third, because after the first two it was definitely finished.

 

I am the type of person who will read a book all the way through once started. Even a really terrible one, just to see what happens and how they get there.

 

BUT...

 

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant were put away half way through the second book of the first trilogy. Despite the fact I had bought all three. I just couldn't get in to it at all. And it wasn't because of the 'Issue' (Not going to spoil if for anyone wanting to read it) that most people have with the books... I just found it soul crushingly and mind numbingly boring and unengaging. I tried, I really did.

 

Oh, a few more books to keep an eye out for is a trilogy called the Eldarn Sequence http://www.goodreads.com/series/54367-the-eldarn-sequence. Not to mention one of me favourites of all time The First Law Trilogy http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11706669-the-first-law-trilogy (Warning: VERY adult content)

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Wheel of Time is one of the most shallow and vain fantasy series out there, it's basically a housewife's soap opera set in a magical medieval world. The author resorts to numerous extremely cheap shots at trying to pique the reader's attention span, like countless cryptic letters/messages that are left unopened for numerous books, and character's thoughts written in a way that deliberately obscures vital information for no other reason than to keep the reader in the dark. The main themes and basic character interactions are strained and improbable, there is very little character development (other than every main character becoming a king, queen, or fashion legend of some sort, simply for the sake of being the main character), and very single romance is a variation of the "handsome muscular warrior man bewildered and emotionally abused by his beautiful super-intelligent independent ice queen".

 

Oh, and the descriptions. The countless, detailed, ineffably boring descriptions of irrelevant people's clothes, bosoms and eyebrow positions, of passable and inconsequential locations, of village house's roofs, doors and barnyards, of armor that never takes any blows, of nobles that do nothing but rub together palms and sip wine.

 

By contrast, battles are usually written in a dry, uninformative manner limited a sequence of sword forms (Cherry Blossom on the Wind, Youths Playing in a Haystack, Sparrow Sizzling on a Spit) or spells (a thousand ice shards in all directions, and the Trollocks fell dead; a million ice shards, and the Trollocks fell deader), that fail to paint any coherent picture in the reader's mind and have the suspense and emotional grip of a puddle of mud. It's fun seeing the hero and the villain exchange sword forms which have never been described or mentioned at any point in the books.

 

I can't imagine why you would measure anything against this very, very low standard. Of course, the notorious strength of a soap opera is that once it tricked you into reading/watching it long enough, you have to keep up until the end.

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Aside from WOT and Game of Thrones, I really haven't read much fantasy in years.

 

For Sci Fi - read Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein - amazing idea and a fun read, too. I'm not a huge fan of Heinlein at all but this book I love. Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End is a great read. The Foundation and Robot series are good stuff. I haven't read more than two books of his but Iain Banks writes some interesting Sci Fi. Very interesting. And, a lot of his sci fi has fantasy elements as the different worlds are at different stages of development. The first 3 books of Dune are pretty awesome (especially, the first book. Great, great stuff).

 

While I think the series kinda bombed at points in the last few books, The first four books of the Gunslinger/Dark Tower series by Stephen King were completely awesome.

 

When I was younger I loved Eddings, Tad Williams, Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman put out some decent stuff.

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Wheel of Time is one of the most shallow and vain fantasy series out there, it's basically a housewife's soap opera set in a magical medieval world. The author resorts to numerous extremely cheap shots at trying to pique the reader's attention span, like countless cryptic letters/messages that are left unopened for numerous books, and character's thoughts written in a way that deliberately obscures vital information for no other reason than to keep the reader in the dark. The main themes and basic character interactions are strained and improbable, there is very little character development (other than every main character becoming a king, queen, or fashion legend of some sort, simply for the sake of being the main character), and very single romance is a variation of the "handsome muscular warrior man bewildered and emotionally abused by his beautiful super-intelligent independent ice queen".

 

Oh, and the descriptions. The countless, detailed, ineffably boring descriptions of irrelevant people's clothes, bosoms and eyebrow positions, of passable and inconsequential locations, of village house's roofs, doors and barnyards, of armor that never takes any blows, of nobles that do nothing but rub together palms and sip wine.

 

By contrast, battles are usually written in a dry, uninformative manner limited a sequence of sword forms (Cherry Blossom on the Wind, Youths Playing in a Haystack, Sparrow Sizzling on a Spit) or spells (a thousand ice shards in all directions, and the Trollocks fell dead; a million ice shards, and the Trollocks fell deader), that fail to paint any coherent picture in the reader's mind and have the suspense and emotional grip of a puddle of mud. It's fun seeing the hero and the villain exchange sword forms which have never been described or mentioned at any point in the books.

 

I can't imagine why you would measure anything against this very, very low standard. Of course, the notorious strength of a soap opera is that once it tricked you into reading/watching it long enough, you have to keep up until the end.

 

Then why the flinging-flanging heck are you even here for? I wish I had never read that post for now I have to live the rest of my life knowing that you exist.

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Another rec for 1brotherbill.

 

R. Scott Bakkers "Prince of Nothing" & "Aspect Emperor" series. He is one of the most skilled fantasy authors out. His writing holds up outside of genre and unlike all too much fantasy you don't have to read down to it. It's a dark, layered world you can fully immerse yourself in. Just about best in class.

Edited by Suttree
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Wheel of Time is one of the most shallow and vain fantasy series out there, it's basically a housewife's soap opera set in a magical medieval world. The author resorts to numerous extremely cheap shots at trying to pique the reader's attention span, like countless cryptic letters/messages that are left unopened for numerous books, and character's thoughts written in a way that deliberately obscures vital information for no other reason than to keep the reader in the dark. The main themes and basic character interactions are strained and improbable, there is very little character development (other than every main character becoming a king, queen, or fashion legend of some sort, simply for the sake of being the main character), and very single romance is a variation of the "handsome muscular warrior man bewildered and emotionally abused by his beautiful super-intelligent independent ice queen".

 

Oh, and the descriptions. The countless, detailed, ineffably boring descriptions of irrelevant people's clothes, bosoms and eyebrow positions, of passable and inconsequential locations, of village house's roofs, doors and barnyards, of armor that never takes any blows, of nobles that do nothing but rub together palms and sip wine.

 

By contrast, battles are usually written in a dry, uninformative manner limited a sequence of sword forms (Cherry Blossom on the Wind, Youths Playing in a Haystack, Sparrow Sizzling on a Spit) or spells (a thousand ice shards in all directions, and the Trollocks fell dead; a million ice shards, and the Trollocks fell deader), that fail to paint any coherent picture in the reader's mind and have the suspense and emotional grip of a puddle of mud. It's fun seeing the hero and the villain exchange sword forms which have never been described or mentioned at any point in the books.

 

I can't imagine why you would measure anything against this very, very low standard. Of course, the notorious strength of a soap opera is that once it tricked you into reading/watching it long enough, you have to keep up until the end.

 

Then why the flinging-flanging heck are you even here for? I wish I had never read that post for now I have to live the rest of my life knowing that you exist.

 

He had to be trolling.

 

Seriously.

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What does it say about the quality of the series when a fairly important character is killed off completely at random and for no reason, and his killer remains completely secret for the rest of the series, until the goddamn glossary of the second-to-last book. It's not like Jordan had any plot-relevant reason to hide the fact that Graendal killed Asmodean, he just couldn't pass an opportunity to pull a cheap mystery out of his ass. We saw Graendal's thoughts after Fires of Heaven, she could have easily considered the fact of Asmodean's death explicitly enough for the reader to understand what happened. Instead Asmodean was simply never mentioned again, except for a few throwaway references by Rand and the Dark One. As far as Rand knows, Asmodean may still be alive and kicking, why isn't he ever wondering what his former mentor/enemy is up to?

 

A mystery for the sake of a mystery, and a character discarded like a pawn when it's convenient. How WoT-ian.

Edited by Wool-headed lummox
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Many readers did understand and quite correctly guessed what happened. In fact a fan wrote a sherlock holmes style scenario that nailed it long ago.

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What does it say about the quality of the series when a fairly important character is killed off completely at random and for no reason, and his killer remains completely secret for the rest of the series, until the goddamn glossary of the second-to-last book. It's not like Jordan had any plot-relevant reason to hide the fact that Graendal killed Asmodean, he just couldn't pass an opportunity to pull a cheap mystery out of his ass. We saw Graendal's thoughts after Fires of Heaven, she could have easily considered the fact of Asmodean's death explicitly enough for the reader to understand what happened. Instead Asmodean was simply never mentioned again, except for a few throwaway references by Rand and the Dark One. As far as Rand knows, Asmodean may still be alive and kicking, why isn't he ever wondering what his former mentor/enemy is up to?

 

A mystery for the sake of a mystery, and a character discarded like a pawn when it's convenient. How WoT-ian.

 

 

Actually, as far as WoT-bashing goes, you've come the closest that I've seen to expressing your problems with it legitimately. Having said that, starting a flame war that is totally off-topic won't earn very many brownie points.

 

Onto the original topic.

 

I like Fiona McIntosh's Quickening Trilogy, but some others don't. If you mean to pick it up, be warned: BAD THINGS HAPPEN.

 

It's been said above, but Brandon Sanderson doesn't do elves, dwarves, or dragons. He does original, engaging magic systems and intricate, interweaving plot. Worth a read, in general.

 

I recently started The Black Prism, by Brent Weeks. Pretty good, and wholly original as far as I know.

 

Loki by Mike Vasich is traditional, but in a very different way. A must-read for fans of Norse mythos.

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That is a typical fanboy response which does not address the issue. The author isn't responsible for the fans guessing or writing deductive fanfics, the author is responsible for his series. His series left a very important fact undisclosed for ten books, for no good reason. In fact, Jordan makes a habit of mystifying the reader by omitting information which should logically be present in the text of the novels (not interviews, not fanfics, not guides, not merchandise - NOVELS). Moirane's letter, Verin's letter, the Dark One's message to Demandred, Finn's answers to Rand. There is absolutely no reason for Rand to reveal one of the answers he received in his thoughts but not the others. This is simply bad writing and deliberate manipulation on the author's part. Like revealing that Juan Maria Pedro Francisco is not Cecilia's real father, and rolling the credits right before she says the name to make the viewer watch the next episode. When an author has to resort to artificial trickery to keep the reader interested, his writing simply isn't very good.

Edited by Wool-headed lummox
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Wheel of Time is one of the most shallow and vain fantasy series out there, it's basically a housewife's soap opera set in a magical medieval world. The author resorts to numerous extremely cheap shots at trying to pique the reader's attention span, like countless cryptic letters/messages that are left unopened for numerous books, and character's thoughts written in a way that deliberately obscures vital information for no other reason than to keep the reader in the dark. The main themes and basic character interactions are strained and improbable, there is very little character development (other than every main character becoming a king, queen, or fashion legend of some sort, simply for the sake of being the main character), and very single romance is a variation of the "handsome muscular warrior man bewildered and emotionally abused by his beautiful super-intelligent independent ice queen".

 

Oh, and the descriptions. The countless, detailed, ineffably boring descriptions of irrelevant people's clothes, bosoms and eyebrow positions, of passable and inconsequential locations, of village house's roofs, doors and barnyards, of armor that never takes any blows, of nobles that do nothing but rub together palms and sip wine.

 

By contrast, battles are usually written in a dry, uninformative manner limited a sequence of sword forms (Cherry Blossom on the Wind, Youths Playing in a Haystack, Sparrow Sizzling on a Spit) or spells (a thousand ice shards in all directions, and the Trollocks fell dead; a million ice shards, and the Trollocks fell deader), that fail to paint any coherent picture in the reader's mind and have the suspense and emotional grip of a puddle of mud. It's fun seeing the hero and the villain exchange sword forms which have never been described or mentioned at any point in the books.

 

I can't imagine why you would measure anything against this very, very low standard. Of course, the notorious strength of a soap opera is that once it tricked you into reading/watching it long enough, you have to keep up until the end.

 

Then why the flinging-flanging heck are you even here for? I wish I had never read that post for now I have to live the rest of my life knowing that you exist.

 

He had to be trolling.

 

Seriously.

 

http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/not-sure-if-gusta-face.png

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That is a typical fanboy response which does not address the issue. The author isn't responsible for the fans guessing or writing deductive fanfics, the author is responsible for his series. His series left a very important fact undisclosed for ten books, for no good reason. In fact, Jordan makes a habit of mystifying the reader by omitting information which should logically be present in the text of the novels (not interviews, not fanfics, not guides, not merchandise - NOVELS). Moirane's letter, Verin's letter, the Dark One's message to Demandred, Finn's answers to Rand. There is absolutely no reason for Rand to reveal one of the answers he received in his thoughts but not the others. This is simply bad writing and deliberate manipulation on the author's part. Like revealing that Juan Maria Pedro Francisco is not Cecilia's real father, and rolling the credits right before she says the name to make the viewer watch the next episode. When an author has to resort to artificial trickery to keep the reader interested, his writing simply isn't very good.

 

Did you seriously just call me of all people a fan boy? Learn the lay of the land before you start making ridiculous claims [Removed - yoniy0]. When it comes to being rationally critical of the series I am one of the more outspoken members on this forum.

 

Btw all the info for figuring out did come from the novel. [Removed - yoniy0]

Edited by yoniy0
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