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Official Recommendation Thread: Books

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by Marguerida, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Erandil

    Erandil Headmaster

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    I liked the first book and was quite disappointed by the second which soured the third for me. That said it is more than good enough for beach reading.

    The setting is entertaining and while the general plot doesn't exactly win any prices in innovation it is solid. I am torn about the characters, they are both the reason why I liked the books and why I stopped liking the further I got in due to me disliking certain developments and actions...

    I would give it a 3/5.
     
  2. Innomine

    Innomine Auror Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Yes, yes and yes. But as always, these are completely dependant on the person reading them. I liked all of the characters, they act believably within the context of the situations. SOme of the things characters do are quite frustrating, though believable.

    The setting is fantastic in my mind, a rich world full of history that becomes deeper as the story goes on. The plot is probably one of my favourite things, there are some fascinating concepts that when revealed make you go "holy shit".
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  3. Alistair

    Alistair Squib

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    Perhaps it is not of interest to everyone here, and slightly out of left field, but I would like to recommend 'The Vital Question' by Nick Lane. It is a genuinely well written book that aims to cover the importance of metabolism in life and through examination of mitochondrial function posit answers to some of lifes big questions.

    It is written for a layman audience although people with no background in the sciences might benefit from some background googling to clarify a few points. Certainly, as an undergrad in a related field I had no issue with following along. What makes it an enjoyable read for me is that it is rather more cohesive than many similar books and Lane is able to get to the pertinent points without getting bogged down in superfluous detail, an issue I have with Dawkins in particular. He also has a knack of tying in his points to situations that feel relevant to the reader.

    Negative areas are in my view a slight tendency to waffle in isolated areas, and an irritating formatting issue in my copy which leads to diagrams being referenced ending up on the previous page, or even several pages before the supporting text, which can hinder comprehension.

    This is probably not a book that can or indeed should be read cover to cover in a single sitting, but as something to dip in and out of during a commute for example it is great.

    TL;DR An interesting book that I would recomend to anyone who enjoys science with a strong narrative voice and the ability to link complex concepts to relevant real world examples. Also an absolute godsend in giving me ideas for my dissertation...
     
    Nae
  4. vgus

    vgus Squib

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    I've always wanted to read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but could never find an actual physical copy at my local library. It's been a while since I read a book, but I can confidently recommend The Time Traveler by H.G Wells, the imagery captivates you.
     
  5. The real jimmy neutron

    The real jimmy neutron Disappeared

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    I've been getting into the Iliad and the Odyssey recently. They definitely take a while to get into but they are definitely worth a read. Other than that I read a book called perfect state recently and I thought it was pretty well written and it definitely has a very original concept.
     
  6. Crabs

    Crabs Muggle

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    Just finished Prince of Fools, by Mark Lawrence, the first book in his 2nd trilogy.
    Its set in the same world and time as hist last trilogy, The Broken Empire Trilogy.
    If you have not yet picked up his scent I strongly recommend his work.
    Great fantasy set in a post nuclear apocalypse Europe, where the at some points since came so fare they changed the "Wheels of reality" opening for magic.

    for the classics: the "Great Dune Trilogy" a Sci-Fi epos on par with LotR, only more adult, less fairy tail feel over it, to bad the move that came in the mid 90' didn't do it justice.


    One of my all time favorites is Roald Dahl.

    And I'm not talking about his awesome works in the children department like Matilda, BFG, Boy or Charley and the Chocolate factory. These are great to and I loved em as a kid.

    I'm a realy big fan of his work targeting adults.

    "Over to you", a collection of short stories based on his time in the RAF as a Fighter pilot in WW II.
    And "Somone Like you".
    These are both realy addictive.
     
  7. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Huh . . .

    Just finished a series where I (and a number of people here, iirc) thought the first book was pretty much junk. The last book of the series just came out and I have to admit, the author took a major step in his writing ability in the middle of the previous book, and it carried on into the last book.

    The series? I am Number Four.

    I know, I know. The books don't get "smarter" if that makes sense, but the author does play with tropes/cliches and uses them in a smart way to set up scenes that you're not expecting in the final book. Power-ups don't make people invulnerable, even when you're expecting they will, because the other side's getting them too, in a different way - a way that actually is derived straight from the core of the backstory to the plotline.

    Deaths are handled well - they don't send people all-emo, but they're also not brushed off. The Big-Bad-untrustworthy Military stereotype is also played with (throughout the series, actually) but done well here.

    What I really liked, however, was the ending - it wasn't "And they lived happily ever after without another worry," but it also brought the story to a good close and left me satisfied as a reader—something a number of fiction series have failed to do in the last few years for me.

    So, if you started the first book, or read through the first couple of books and then stopped because you couldn't handle the writing (quite like HP PS and HoS, IMO), give it another shot. The writing improved after the second book and took a tremendous after the fourth book, finishing with two well-written (for teen popular fiction) books at the end.
     
  8. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    I've never heard of 'I Am Number Four,' and your post makes me feel like I should have. For anyone else floundering and trying to figure out WTF just got recommended, here's a blurb for what is apparently a popular YA Science Fiction series:

     
  9. Klackerz

    Klackerz Bridgeburner

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    There was a shitty movie about the book which got released a while back. I watched it and it don't even remember properly what it's all about.
     
  10. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Yeah, sorry about that. I posted more of a review than recommendation (including what the book was about).

    So, for those who haven't read it, it's a fun little twist on the Benevolent Alien Invasion/Humans Need Aliens tropes, along with the more common Alien Invasion tropes. The problem, however, is the first book really isn't that good. I only finished reading it because I paid for it. It's the "New guy in small town faces the football players after getting the head cheerleader (who's blond, of course)" cliche to a "T". And, for the first couple of chapters, the writing's horrible, IMO. But it clears up enough, quickly enough, to be readable.

    For specifics:

    Two alien civilizations fought, one (the Mogs-a shortened name) devastates the other (Lorienites- plant Lorien) in a surprise invasion that wipes out their entire world. However, the Lorien leader, Pitticus Lore, suspected something was coming, and had prepared to send 9 children to earth so their race might survive and someday, later return to revive Lorien.

    Only, the Mogs came to earth hunting them. Knowing this would happen, a charm was cast on the Lorienite children. Each child was numbered. If a Mog tried to kill a child out of sequence, whatever blow was dealt would be returned to the Mog. But, once the Lorienite children gathered back together on earth, the charm would be broken.

    And that's the setup.

    The story picks up when number 4 is a teenager. The first two were killed before the story began, and the third is killed in the prologue. Number 4, who, with his trainer from Lorien lives in Florida, is swimming with a bunch of new friends in their hundreth new location when a light erupts from his leg, burning a scar into it representing the Lorien number 3.

    The trainers, or Cepans are members of Lorien bifurcated society, those with "legacies", or special gifts like healing, flying, strength, etc. [the number of and strength of the gifts vary] which the children are, also called Garde, and the Cepans, or non-gifted ones, whose role it is to train up younger Garde).

    Number 4's Cepan immediately relocates them to a small town in Ohio. And that's where he meets the cute (ex) Cheerleader, her overbearing (ex) boyfriend, and a nerdy kid who becomes his best friend. Just a few pages in, he begins developing his legacies. The problem is, after a while, someone gets video of his legacy and puts it on Youtube. As it turns out, the Mogs canvass the internet looking for signs, and come after Number 4. Towards the end of the first book, a big battle ensues in the small town, and we get to meet a second Garde, number 6, whose a badass, goodlooking female (again, somewhat cliche-ish).

    The story moves on from there as they gather the rest of the Garde who now have all either developed, or started developing their legacies, and start a series of hit-and-run skirmishes and battles with Mogs, until eventually running into Setrakus Re - the bad ass and mastermind behind the Mogs, only, he's Lorien.

    Of course, there's the whole subversion of govts, tricking humans into serving him, etc. etc.,
    but overall, it's a decent read. I suggest it for down time, pick it up after a semester finishes and you want something to occupy your mind without really having to engage it for a couple of days while you rest up.

    EDIT: Damn, then I had to go and read the background of how the book came about. Slimy bastard, it seems.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
  11. Roarian

    Roarian High Inquisitor

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    I saw the movie, once upon a time - although I don't recall much of it, I'm pretty sure I was annoyed that the character who basically solves the entire plot was a deus ex machina, and that the story does Twilight-y romance nonsense in the middle for entirely too long when the main character is ostensibly being hunted down.
     
  12. Iztiak

    Iztiak Heir

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    I remember it was absolutely atrocious, one of the worst movies I've seen. Thankfully the details have faded from memory. Are the books actually better?
     
  13. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    lolNO . . . at least, not the first one or two. As I said, get them when you want to turn off your brain and lose yourself in a read. They were my mind-numbing agent through comprehensives. Although, I have to admit, I've grown fond of two or three of the characters.
     
  14. Sigurd

    Sigurd Fifth Year

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    Only redeeming characteristic of the movie was Timothy Olyphant and I felt like even he was phoning it in.
     
  15. sage1000

    sage1000 Third Year

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    Based on Scrubb's rec I decided to go back and finish The Lorien Legacies. The first few books were shitty and annoying but it gets better and overall was a decent time waster. I couldn't have asked for a better ending too. Thanks for that Scrubb.
     
  16. Tapi

    Tapi Second Year

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  17. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    No prob.

    Yeah, I thought the ending was done very well. It fit the internal logic of the story. The conclusion is one of the best conclusions I've read in quite some time, leaving the reader with enough information to satisfy without swerving into "happily ever after".

    Where did you think the turn in writing came? I thought the second book was a bit better, but it was at the end of the penultimate book that I put my tablet down and said, "Damn, that was a good scene."
     
  18. Rapscallion

    Rapscallion Groundskeeper

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    It sounds interesting but I'll probably wait for another book into the series before I pick it. I mean what happened with his debut series - felt like pure betrayal.

    Talking about his Raven's Shadow (I finished Queen of Fire few weeks ago). The debut book - Blood Song, I liked it so much. It had nothing extraordinary in its premises, nothing revolutionary but it was so simple, uncluttered, revolving around a character I liked so much and just enough intrigue. Even the side-characters were mostly likeable, each one of them having proper character development. Even being so strong, they didn't feel like mary-sue, because we saw them develop over years in such an environment. Especially there companionship.

    But then came the two subsequent novels. And wow, suddenly we have characters like Reva, Iltis etc. Talk about mary-sue now. We have too many sub-plots, threads going in tangent. And where are my favorite characters? Vaelin, Nortis, Frentis etc. It's as if they don't matter anymore. Where's Sister Sherin? Yeah, they do play a crucial part in the plot. But they are just a part, not like Blood Song where they were the plot themselves. Because it started feeling like that the basic premise crumbled under the grandiose for which the author aimed. It was a simle case of trying to overreach. Tl;dr It was disappointing to say the least.

    But its a testament to how much I liked Blood Song, that I still finished with the series. I hope that his new novels are good because I really want to like his work.
     
  19. Haze

    Haze Second Year

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    Decided to stop annoying everyone on the IRC by PM'ing this.

    Dungeon Defense

    I won't link the actual story but you can find it easily enough through Novelupdates. The site where its translated also has a quality epub.

    This has to be one of the best stories i've read when it comes to Light novels and those of its kind. I'm actually super picky when it comes LN's.

    I love absolutely everything about it. I've heard someone describe the protagonist as Lelouch from Code Geass aka he is extremely weak but just manipulates everyone.

    The english translation has to be one of the best i've seen yet. Its extremely smooth to read.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  20. Trig

    Trig Auror

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    Yeah, about that...

    I'm going to bite my lips strongly and stop reading thusly.