What are you reading at the moment?

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books' started by Readsalot, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Level 11 (Thief) Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    I bet y’all thought I was exaggerating how much I read, didn’t you.

    Anyway, after being driven away from the litRPG genre for a break by a veritable flood of schlock, I decided to skip the space opera and go back to dabble a bit in litRPG again. Consider me pleasantly surprised by Beginner’s Luck (Character Development #1), Allen Jay’s freshman entry to the genre.

    It boasts an intriguing take on genre tropes and hits a lot of my personal high points of what I hope the litRPG genre becomes. Usually in litRPG, when you see a character “punching above their weight”, it’s because they got über lucky somehow. Well, in this book that is very much not the case (I can see where an argument could be made, but it’d be a flimsy one at best).

    It also strikes a decent balance between real world and game world action, which is another thing I’ve rarely seen authors do well (outside of the Continue Online series, that is). The MC isn’t an all powerful monster, he’s strictly bound by game mechanics and at every turn he is actively hampered by the rules, the corrupt leaders of society, and even other players of the game - including his best friend. The methods by which he prevails are solely on his wits and clever strategies/usage of what little he does manage to get.

    The book even managed to throw me for a loop and shocked me a time or two with some very clever twists and other unexpected events. I’m eagerly anticipating the next release, which from the way the author set up the ending is going to be focusing on one of my favorite things to do in games - settlement building.

    It’s available on KU, and everyone here should read it!
     
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  2. Alexis Keane

    Alexis Keane Level 9 (Burgler) Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    Damn... I was hoping I could do that first. Oh well... my core won't have an avatar so all's well that ends well
     
  3. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 9 (Burgler) Citizen

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    Morningwood
    Everybody loves large chests

    [​IMG]

    I mean serious just look at this. I had to get it!

    I was expecting cheese and puns galore.... well it didn't deliver on that front but it's still a fun read.
    Plot = Mimic eats adventurer. mimic levels up. mimic likes it and is now actively seeking more adventurers to eat!

    It's fun and silly. It could use some polish... who am I kidding, it NEEDS some polish! But overall a fun read. I question the writer's view of women, they all seem to be boobs on a stick that he repeatably murders in elaborate detail... like seriously the group would be four guys and one girl yet that's where the spotlight is. they're personalities are all twisted and perverted while the men are poor shlucks just trying to get by.... I question this author!

    Even with that, it was fun, the humor is hit or miss. I'd recommend it for some giggles so long as you don't look to deep into it.
     
  4. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson.

    It sort of picks up interest after the first couple of chapters. Interesting world/magic in the story.
     
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  5. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Level 11 (Thief) Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    Sanderson books always start out slow and constantly repeat his magic systems over and over and over and over as nauseum ad infinitum (I’m looking at you, Mistborn, with your “I burned tin” nonsense).

    Still usually worth the read though; one thing he excels at is writing compelling action scenes.
     
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  6. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Level 7 (Cutpurse) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    The Emperor's Soul is my first Sanderson book. It was good but not one, for example, I would re-read.
     
  7. Viergacht

    Viergacht Thunderdragon Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    I got Octavia Butler's Xenogensis series, the whole thing is $3 atm on Amazon. I have the paperbacks but its always nice to have a portable version on Kindle. Absolutely first-rate sci-fi.

    Basic idea is that humans nuke themselves and just about everything else into extinction. Survivor Lilith, who had already lost her family and was slowly dying of radiation sickness, awakes healed in a small, featureless room, completely alone and with no idea what happened or where she is. As it turns out, the few remaining specimens of humanity have been collected by aliens, the Oankali, who have kept them in suspended animation as they restored as much of Earth's ecosystem as possible. Now they're looking to re-introduce small groups of humans back onto the surface, and they are testing Lilith as a possible leader for one of these groups.

    There's more than a bit of a catch, though. The Oankali are "traders", who improve and adapt their species by mixing their DNA with that of intelligent species they find in their travels. They don't give humans much of a choice - the next generation will be human-Oankali hybrids, while the Oankali will retain a "pure" strain of themselves to run their ships. Don't like it? You can spend the rest of your life infertile, but it doesn't really matter because the Oankali can still use your DNA or make a clone of you whenever they want. The first book follows Lilith's struggles to accept humanity's fate and to get a group of angry, confused, combative humans to work together long enough to form a functioning group the Oankali will allow down to a surface colony where they may have a chance to escape.

    The next two books follow two of Lilith's offspring. Akin is the first male hybrid born from a human mother, as until now the Oankali have considered human males far too dangerous (intelligent but hierarchal). It should be mentioned the Oankali have three genders - male, female, and oolai. The oolai extracts and injects DNA via trunklike appendages and can sense it at an instinctual level, and reproduction is impossible without one. Currently "families" consist of one human couple, one Oankali couple, and their mutual oolai, and the construct children. Akin is kidnapped as a (creepily precocious) toddler by human resistors who try to live without Oankali control, but are unable to have children. As he grows, he tries to understand the psychology of the two very different species he's created from, and what he can do to give humanity the freedom he becomes sure it needs.

    The third book follows Jodahs, another first - an oolai hybrid who is created by mistake. Until now the only oolai have been pure Oankali, because a hybrid has the potential from its human heritage to change living organisms, not just alter the DNA of the next generation, and it could create monsters or become a walking plague. The Oankali agree Jodahs should be isolated on a ship where it can do no harm, possibly even put in permanent storage, so Jodahs and its family run away from the colony, while Jodahs struggles to control its growing powers and instinctual drives and prove it can live safe freely, meanwhile discovering a hidden colony of fertile humans with a terrible secret.
     
  8. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 7 (Cutpurse) Citizen

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    Reading The Weirdest Noob and loving it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 11 (Thief) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Just finished "Deadly Realm: Fighting for Freedom" and started back on "Black Friday" to try and understand why that was so popular. Yesterday I bought "King's Dark Tidings" by Kel Kade with I think is grimdark, but not advertised as such. It's also hugely popular for a few years (#90 in entire store). Epic fantasy.
     
  10. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 9 (Burgler) Citizen

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    Discworld. (colour of magic and the light fantastic)

    I had an "episode" last month where the theme was nostalgia. Anyway this made me come across an article about the late Terry Pratchett regarding Rowling and HP. now I was suspicious of the woman but that aside Terry's response to her was just the right level of sarcasm that I decided to finally take the plunge and give discworld a try.

    After a long and very tiresome fanboy discussion with a friend of my mine he lent me his CDs (yes he has actual cds of the books!)

    Since I read them both this week the events of both books blended together so reviewing them as one.

    A tourist appears in the world of magic. The tourist is from an old and very advanced civilization -please read normal world but fantastic- the guy is a typical tourist running around the place with his camera, giving gold coins out like they were nothing even though just one was enough to qualify as a king's ransom... oh and bring about the end of days. that too.

    A failed wizard is blinded by the gold and agrees to be his tour guide. the rest is an alice in wonderland story where the tourist is acting like a tourist with no sense of self preservation what so ever and the poor wizard fighting tooth and nail to stay alive.

    Oh and their's a magic chest that follows them around, because why the f**k not!

    When I read the first book I was sure I mis-read the label and that this was somewhere in the middle. Surely this world was established somewhere earlier and here I am jumping in somewhere along the line.... turns out this was how this author was. I've heard the word whimsical used to describe things that are kindda fun and colourful. This however was the first time I've ever felt like using it myself. And my favorite movie is willy wonka! (original from the 70's)

    This is so different that I'm surprised it made it to main stream. Things this odd don't usually get recognition until the author's been dead for at least half a century. Just the right level of self awareness that it doesn't reach the over used meta aspect as well balanced with the coolaid man smashing through the 4th wall chased by an albatross and three geese.

    I think this series is worth checking out. there is so much joy in it that I'm surprised the books didn't suddenly spring open with rainbows and party poppers randomly!
     
  11. Viergacht

    Viergacht Thunderdragon Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    The War on Horror

    I know everyone's tired of zombie apocalypse stories by now, but this one is well worth the read. It's more of a social satire with zombies standing in for various minority groups, and it mocks the far left and far right of American politics with a very dry, sardonic style and some really funny one-liners.

    The zombie apocalypse has been pretty much contained, with the few remaining strays and small outbreaks cleaned up by government contractors like Dead Rite, a small-time outfit the main character, Miles, works for. Like animal control officers, their job is to capture the undead, who are usually so slow and stupid as to be mostly harmless, and drop them off at a containment facility for a bounty payment. Miles's parents turned zombie and were slaughtered by neighbors, and the poor schlub has inherited the job of raising his teenage sister, and a heavy mortgage payment on the family home, which obliges him to rent half of it out to an incredibly obnoxious, infuriating hippie do-gooder and her freeloading friends. When one of his co-workers beats up his now-zombified former friend (who he found with his also now-zombified girlfriend, you do the math) and is caught on camera, the struggling zombie control company is heavily fined and the media inflames the situation into psychological warfare levels of conflict. In the background, a Trumpian candidate is milking the frenzy for every vote he can, heedless of how combustible the situation is becoming.

    Faced with looming unemployment and struggling with personal pressure, when Miles and his co-workers discover a whole isolated retirement village has quietly gone zombie, they decide not to report the outbreak and to make as much money possible by poaching them before their competitors find out what's going on. Of course, things start to go horribly, horribly wrong . . .

    There are a few things I can quibble about. Most of the book is, like I mentioned, making fun of extremist groups through the filer of a zombie apocalypse and the plot doesn't really kick in til about halfway through, and it's pretty simple. It would make an excellent film script in a Shaun of the Dead sort of style. As much worldbuilding as there is, the author never really explains why "zombie rights" became so popular, although I assume it's similar to "don't pull the plug/clumps of fetal cells = baby" sort of reasoning. And as a final nitpick, although it clearly takes place in America the author refers to a Prime Minister and uses Britishisms like a car's "bonnet" instead of a "hood", which seems a rather odd blind spot for writing that's otherwise quite sharp. It's possible it was deliberate to give the setting an otherworld feel, but if that's the case it isn't working. Still, it's free on Kindle and overall very enjoyable.
     
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  12. Wyvern

    Wyvern Level 8 (Thug) LitRPG Author Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    You know, one of my main disappointments in that book was there was never a smilodon like on the cover! I read the whole book waiting for one to show up. Never did.:(

    That was actually one of the things gave me the idea of a LitRPG that did have Smilodons!

    I'm currently reading...

    [​IMG]

    It's a nice read so far!
     
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  13. Viergacht

    Viergacht Thunderdragon Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    Well damn, I was thinking of picking this up for the smilodon!
     
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  14. Wyvern

    Wyvern Level 8 (Thug) LitRPG Author Citizen Beta Reader Aspiring Writer

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    Right? Without doing too many spoilers, he does get a cool pet or two? But never a Smilodon!
     
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  15. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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  16. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 9 (Burgler) Citizen

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    Paul is reading two dragons, two douchebags and one hippie XD
     
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  17. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen

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    And Kender!!!! lol
     
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  18. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 11 (Thief) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I loved the Dragonlance books.
     
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  19. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 7 (Cutpurse) Citizen

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    Artemis by Andy Weir. Looking forward to it!
     
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  20. Readsalot

    Readsalot Level 7 (Cutpurse) Citizen

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    Ooooh, got the newest Brandon Sanderson and Peter V Brett as well. Christmas came early this year.
     

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