Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 591166 times)

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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3795 on: June 19, 2017, 09:19:13 AM »
That sounds great Gus. I'll confess here to being a total Rome Whore when it comes to all their power-hungry, mad Emperors--- so unlike what we have today of course.  ::)   This guy was supposed to be 8ft. tall! The other book is one of my favorites too( Hitler Strikes North). The authors have written a bunch of WWII books about the war in the Med and N. Africa. I'll check-out Sidebottom. Thanks for the tip.  O0
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3796 on: June 19, 2017, 12:13:42 PM »
I've only read the first two Warrior of Rome books by Sidebottom but they are both excellent. I have books 3 & 4 waiting on my to-read shelf. If you would like me to ship 1&2 down to you send me a PM.
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3797 on: June 19, 2017, 01:10:48 PM »
When I get caught-up I'll probably do just that. Thanks Gus.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3798 on: June 19, 2017, 01:28:12 PM »
You got it.
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Offline Bison

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3799 on: June 19, 2017, 01:36:23 PM »
Stopped by Barnes and Noble to pick up Gene Wolfe's Shadow and Claw, but they wanted over $20 for a paperback.  Ridiculous.  I'll be scouring used book stores for this one.

Offline Gusington

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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3801 on: June 20, 2017, 08:45:52 AM »
Aliens: Bug Hunt kind of sucks, in retrospect. The stories are pretty rookie and not well-written. Some are better than others for certain, but overall it's pretty mediocre.

Offline jamus34

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3802 on: June 23, 2017, 05:22:48 PM »
Anxiously awaiting Oathbringer.

Beyond that waiting on Butcher to finish the next Dresden Files book...seems like he's taking a page from GRRMartin's playbook
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Offline mirth

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3803 on: June 24, 2017, 09:35:43 AM »
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline Crossroads

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3804 on: June 24, 2017, 11:43:31 AM »
Thought I'd try something different so bought this sci-fi thingie for a light summer read:



The free sample was pretty good, with the protagonist leading a platoon of the 173d Airborne in the thick of it at Afganistan. Once they rotate out, they get a task to participate in the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landing, jumping into Normandy on period gear as part of the anniversary celebrations. Only, the ghost C-47 drops them to actual D-Day.

It all started very nicely, but soon got quite tedious, as the lost platoon mostly tried to stay out of everyone's way in fear of changing the flow of history, not to mention few other plot twists I did not much care for.

A neat idea for sure, but not something I'd recommend at the end. Too bad, really, it had promise, and the free sample covering the Stan part was pretty cool.

Stay clear...   :(
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Online JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3805 on: June 24, 2017, 04:58:08 PM »
^ So, kind of like Martin Caidin's The Final Countdown then?
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Online JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3806 on: June 24, 2017, 05:21:08 PM »
The time has come for another MtG novel review from the original HarperPrism series. LOOK AWAY NOW LEST YOUR BOREDOM OVERCOME YOU!  >:D

I'm now up to Teri McLaren's Song of Time; and the book itself has finally returned to a plot set in "Dominaria", the main MtG plot continuity. Sort of. At this time, Wizards of the Coast (who own MtG, and eventually used profits from it and other games to buy TSR's title rights including freaking Dungeons and Dragons of all things) had released several decks dedicated to building actual stories into the game and its history. But authors still weren't trying to write those stories. SoT uses the war of the Brother Artificers as a backdrop to start the story in the first few chapters, and then skips ahead (past the Dark Age and the Ice Age) to an undefined time for a story that really has nothing to do with the plot of the cards anymore. It's better than no continuity, but still not what a fan would really want.

Despite having more plot connections to actual 'cards' in the game, the story itself (like all the series from Book 5 onwards) still seems like it was originally designed (if perhaps not written yet) as an independent fantasy novel and then got retrofitted to MtG details. The magic system is still quite generic (aside from some basic color-effect connections), and the plot connections to the Artificer War are so token that the Armageddon Clock in the story is totally different than what the card text talks about -- it isn't slowly killing everyone in the world (or both fighters or whatever), it's just a key to unlock a prison where a cockatrice has been trapped. And the cockatrice, a popular card back then, is a world-destroying monster (sort of, somehow) now nicknamed the Beast of Hours for no real reason, instead of being just this flying thing about the size of a horse (or large rooster) which turns victims to stone. (The back cover does at least show the relevant cards that the story is 'based' on.) The plot itself recognizes that a cockatrice shouldn't be that much of a threat, with some lampshading about how this one is unexpectedly stronger and more dangerous due to being summoned from another world. But it's still only the size of a horse.

Other connections to the card game are just as tacit and offhand. The main hero and his adopted dad (I think?) hails from the land of Argivia, which in the cards was the one nation (heavily invested in green cards) that was able to keep itself from being sucked into the world war between the brothers. But the story doesn't happen there, and that war has been done for thousands of years, and the only plot connection is just a side effect of the wars. Bleh.

The story itself, on its own merits, is just as competent as the prior ones so far in the series. Amusingly, like most prior authors, this one also has strong thematic connections to folk anthropology, and this time more directly to archaeology! It runs just over 288 pages, and packs quite a bit of plot and to-ing and fro-ing into that run (especially in the last half). But the author ends, not with a cliffhanger, but with an overt acknowledgement that the plot hasn't been resolved and that the story will continue.

Which it doesn't. Anywhere, as far as I know. HarperPrism's final MtG novels have nothing to do with this plot, and when WotC took back the rights to publish novels directly they ignored that this story was hanging.

So, while the book itself isn't bad, a good solid B overall and maybe stronger than that in context of its subgenre (of short adult magical fantasy based on another property), I'd have to recommend it last out of the entries I've covered so far, if anyone looked into picking up the series. What's there isn't strong enough to make the book worth reading on its own, over-against the unfinished story. That's admittedly subjective, but I can imagine going back and reading the prior books someday. I don't care to ever read this one again. It sounds harsh to say, but while it isn't a bad waste of time it was a waste of my time. (When I realized the story didn't seem likely to arrive anywhere solid in the remaining chapters, I thumbed through them quickly. Thus I was not disappointed. ;) )

A few more of these to go, but I've got to build up enough 1:5 'credit' reading some other things first.


Edited to add a link to my eventual review of the final two of this oddity of a "series": http://www.grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=564.msg676495#msg676495
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 07:50:50 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline bbmike

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3807 on: June 24, 2017, 05:22:21 PM »
^ So, kind of like Martin Caidin's The Final Countdown then?

Are you actually suggesting to stay away from The Final Countdown?  :o  :knuppel2:
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Online JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3808 on: June 24, 2017, 05:27:37 PM »
I honestly can't remember if I've read the original book. If I have, then I guess, um, yep?  >:D

I remember seeing the cover of it, and I have a vague recollection of 'reading' it. It is, however, possible that all I read was a novelization of the film. Caidin's actual novel might be better.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline mirth

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3809 on: June 24, 2017, 05:31:45 PM »
The Caidan book was simply a novelization of the film. It was an okay read.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 09:51:05 AM by mirth »
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