dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
[personal profile] dangermousie
I have been on a fantasy/scifi kick lately and read a number of fun things:



* Redshirts by John Scalzi - in the future, the newest crewmembers of a spaceship notice than whenever a crewman goes on an away mission with one of the five officers, something bad always happens and someone always dies. It's a hilarious parody of Star Trek but it's also clever and unpredictable...

* Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs - one of the books in his 'Barsoom' series, this follows the misadventures of Tara, princess of Helium (and daughter of John Carter) and Gajan, jed (prince) of Gathol. It's got romance, it's got crazy adventures, and is not deep or meaningful but it is pulp at its best. Plus, bodyguard-who-worships-the-ground-princess-walks-on is my favorite trope.

* Live and Let Drood by Simon R. Green - the latest in his Secret Histories series. The Drood hall is seemingly destroyed and all the Droods slaughtered - Eddie is the sole Drood left and must avenge his family. SRG is my favorite working author and SH is one of my favorite series. Nothing I can say that won't be spoilery, so I say - read it! Eddie/Molly are an amazing OTP as always, the adventures are great, and some family mysteries (finally, we learn about Eddie's parents!) are revealed.

I saved the best for last - by pure chance, I stumbled on Brandon Sanderson's Elantris, that rarity-of-rarities, a standalone 'traditional' fantasy novel. The city of Elantris used to house demigods - people who could perform amazing magic with a sweep of their fingers, who glowed and lived almost forever. It wasn't a hereditary thing, either - anyone could become Elantrian - a transformation would happen at night and the person, rich or poor, man or woman, would wake up transformed. However, all of this ended 10 years ago - after a great cataclysm, Elantris fell apart and all Elantrians turned from demigods into pitiful, disgusting, mindless creatures. After initial upheaval, the country transformed and continued on, and Elantris was locked up and abandoned. One problem - the transformation still takes place, still at night, and still taking anyone - only it now transforms them into hideous cursed beings and their fate is to be thrown into the ruins of Elantris, never to be seen again. When the novel starts, Raoden, the Crown Prince, wakes up to discover he has been transformed. His father, too ashamed to admit what has happened, proclaims him dead and has him thrown into Elantris.

The novel follows three people - Raoden, who tries not only to survive the hell of Elantris but both to make sense of what happened and to protect the fellow sufferers within, Sarene, Raoden's wife-by-arranged-marriage (the two had never met), who has been told her husband had died and who stays on to protect the kingdom and counteract the influence of the third protagonist - Hrothden, a highly-ranked functionary of a militant religion intent on taking over the world.

I loved this book! It's clever - with a good plot and solid world-building, but what really got me was the characters - even the tertiary characters come alive, but I fell madly for both Sarene and Raoden (and also Sarene/Raoden), who deal with some majorly heavy stuff while remaining true to themselves. SO VERY GOOD!!! Now I need to read more of his stuff.

Date: 2012-07-17 01:55 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The Mistborn Trilogy is amazing, as well as Warbreaker

Date: 2012-07-17 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
i just got them both on Kindle. So excited!

Date: 2012-07-17 05:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mionenoelle.livejournal.com
I have nothing else to say except YAY! Welcome to the amazingness that is Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn Trilogy is AMAZING, but my personal favorite is Warbreaker.

Date: 2012-07-18 02:26 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-17 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hipployta.livejournal.com
No...I hate the ending of Mistborn...seriously. I bought the final book the day it came out and to say I was upset...well...I should have seen it coming based on how the first and second book went really

I never managed to finish Elantris but I did get the Mistborn series when it came out based on enjoying Elantris because he does this in depth Author Note for every chapter online

Date: 2012-07-17 05:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadowkeeper.livejournal.com
Brian Sanderson's an interesting author. Besides the Robert Jordan books he finished up, all his fantasy books are supposed to take place in the same universe, which is some pretty epic world building.
He does a pretty good podcast called 'Writing Excuses' with a few other sci-fi/fantasy writers talking about a lot of issues and topics that writers could run into. I didn't love Elantris, but hearing his thoughts on writing has made me appreciate it more

Date: 2012-07-18 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Ooooh, the podcast sounds interesting. Thanks!

Date: 2012-07-17 11:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timescout.livejournal.com
Oooo, thanks for the rec! I haven't read a good standalone fantasy for ages.

Have you read 'Among Thieves' by Douglas Hulick? It'a also a standalone, though in this case I wouldn't mind reading more stories set in this universe. I thought the book was a darned good read indeed. I found the world really interesting too. Hmmmm.. I think I might actually re-read it....

Date: 2012-07-18 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Thanks for the rec. I'll definitely check it out.

Date: 2012-07-18 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timescout.livejournal.com
I re-read Among Thieves today, LOL! I was only going to read a few chapters but before I knew it, I'd finished the darned thing. It's still very good! I really like his writing style. He's a historian and it shows in the details. I think you might like it. There's no romance, loads of great characters though and I rather love the rogue who's the protagonist. *g*

Date: 2012-07-17 10:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estel-913.livejournal.com
Elantris! I loved that book! I'm also reading the Wheel of Time books (and have been since I was about 12 or so - has it really be 12 years?!), and I appreciate the way he's tying everything together and staying true to Robert Jordan's original ideas and style. Obviously he's a different writer, and it shows, but I appreciate the obvious effort.

I heard a rumor somewhere that he's actually planning on writing more books about the Elantris characters, but I haven't heard anything official yet. I haven't really gone looking, either, so someone else might know for sure. I think the Elantris story has a lot of substance and more than enough plot and background to sustain more novels. On the other hand, I read the first of the books in the Mistborn series after a good friend of mine raved about them for months and didn't really like them. It's an awesome concept, but the execution was so dark and I didn't really like any of the characters so I stopped after that first one.

Date: 2012-07-17 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estel-913.livejournal.com
Ooooh, I went on a (blind) date a few months ago where this guy raved about Brandon Sanderson for more than a half-hour. Now, I love books, and I love a good conversation about them, but this guy just kept going on and on and on until I was just making the appropriate noise in the right places. It takes a lot to get me to that point. That had nothing to do with your post, but it made me think of that experience, heh.

Date: 2012-07-18 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Bwahahahahahhahahahahaha

Date: 2012-07-18 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Ooooh, I would love more Elantris stuff!

I got a whole bunch of his books, we'll see how it goes.

Date: 2012-07-17 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hipployta.livejournal.com
I never finished Elantris...even though I was following the Author's Notes and everything. Zombie just don't pull me in.

Did anyone here read the new Mistborn book yet? It's steampunk era.

Date: 2012-07-18 02:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I didn't even connect it with zombies - perhaps because nobody ate brains :)

Date: 2012-07-18 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hipployta.livejournal.com
Well they have a zombie like appearance and are undead so mentally I go, "Zombies."

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