Author Topic: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!  (Read 9175 times)

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Offline Sensei Jinx

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You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« on: March 26, 2005, 08:16:24 pm »
So, read any good books lately? Or maybe some horrible ones? Well, here's your chance to tell us all about it!

I'm not thinking of this as a full-fledged review topic, but rather one where you post a little about a book you've read recently (or not so recently) that you want to tell somebody about. You don't necassarily have to give it a rating or anything, although you can if you want. I'm just hoping that this can strike up some interesting discussions, and maybe help the Books board to liven up a little bit.

So I guess I'll start up with...

Singularity by Willliam Sleator

Yes, it's a "Young Adult" book. No, it's not by some world-famous author. But it's still one of my favorite sci-fi books of all time. Not just YA sci-fi, but ever.

You know, most people probably criticise YA books to be poor "literature". However, I think it's one of the most challenging areas to write in, because of the audience. They really have no preconceived notions of how a book should be--they just know that when a book catches them they'll read it, and if it doesn't then they won't. They could care less about how "artistic" or long it is. Or whether it's by some famous author or anything. They just want a good book, that keeps them interested.

And by golly, William Sleator does that better then nearly anybody. And if you want a prime example of this then read Singularity. It's a story about two 16 year old twins who's parents have just inherited an old home from their mysterious uncle, who just died. They end up staying there and stumbling upon a small shed where time happens to go extremely fast in. It's the opposite end of a theoretic "Singularity" caused by a black hole.

I won't spoil the story for you, but I'll tell you that it's fantastic. WS explains the science extremely coherently, and makes it believable. The relationship between the two twins is masterfully done, in a way the invokes pity, rage, and despair (Seriously :)). The story is dark and haunting, but in a plausible way that makes it much more eerie then you're regular "dark" book or film. (He doesn't make it "dark" by making crazy scenes that don't make any logical sense. *coughTimBurtoncough*) There are plot holes, but you end up realizing that these don't matter, since the real story is there in full force.

All said and done, this was an EXCELLENT book that I recommend to everyone.



Offline rustyzippo

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2005, 03:21:39 am »
Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy
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I know most eveybody here has probably read this but, if you somehow missed it.  It's kind of silly but, definatly check it out.  Search Amazon, I'm too tired to write a longer review

Offline Scipion

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2005, 10:02:13 pm »
Good Omens

Oh yeah, great book about the end of the world...co-written by a great comedy authur Terry Pratchett. It's a must read
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Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2005, 04:40:36 pm »
I want to respond to this thread, but I am away right now and using my laptop, which is a total pain to type with. But some of the best books I have been reading recently are books from Robin Hobb and her Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders, and The Tawny Man series. The Farseer Trilogy was quite good, I really enjoyed the first two books in the trilogy, but the third book was sort of flat. But when you start to read the rest of the books in the series it actually makes a bit more sense (all three trilogies take place in the same world and have the same/similar characters).

The Liveship Traders was extremely good, and I'm halfway done with The Tawny Man series right now. One thing I like about Robin Hobb is that she is just a brutal writer. When you read her stuff you know that at any time any character can, and will, die a horrible death. I feel that this makes her stories a lot less predictable and she continuously surprises me with the twists and turns in her stories. In fact, she is almost too brutal at times making me almost wonder if she just likes torturing her characters.

Anyhow, I would highly recommend these books if you like "high fantasy" books.
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Offline lemurbouy

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2005, 10:03:58 pm »
George R. R. Martin and his Song of Ice and Fire series starting with the Game of Thrones is one of the best fantasy series I've read in a long time.  Similar to Hobb.  Slightly more brutal in my opinion but I haven't read all of the Farseer trilogy yet.  I enjoyed the first and am enjoying the second.  For Sci Fi, Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga is awesome.  Truly awesome.  Lots of adventure and scrapes and just fun and quirky writing.  Pratchett is a must and the latest Discworld book (Going Postal) is amazing. 
Other than that, they're hard to find but the Power and the Prophet series by Robert Don Hughes is very good and has an interesting feel to it, for fantasy.  My parents knew him when they were both missionaries in Nigeria.  He gave a bunch of DnD stuff to my brothers before another missionary burnt them.  Ah, the joys of the mission-field.  That's all from me for now.  -leeman

Offline The Evil Blob

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2005, 03:52:26 pm »
So I guess I'll start up with...

Singularity by Willliam Sleator
I have begun to read Singularity. I'm only on the second chapter, but so far, it's pretty good. The librarian at the library I got the book from said that William Sleator is a very good author, so I think that it will exceed all of my expectations.
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Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2005, 09:56:26 pm »
George R. R. Martin and his Song of Ice and Fire series starting with the Game of Thrones is one of the best fantasy series I've read in a long time.  Similar to Hobb.  Slightly more brutal in my opinion but I haven't read all of the Farseer trilogy yet.  I enjoyed the first and am enjoying the second.  For Sci Fi, Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga is awesome.  Truly awesome.  Lots of adventure and scrapes and just fun and quirky writing.  Pratchett is a must and the latest Discworld book (Going Postal) is amazing. 

Yes, the George R.R. Martin books are insanely good. If you haven't read these books yet, then you must. And even though Martin is brutal with his characters, Hobb is actually worse in my opinion. Wait until you read the Liveship Traders books, you won't believe the hell she puts her characters through. Martin is bad, but Hobb is worse.
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Offline Sensei Jinx

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2005, 06:04:22 am »
Quote
I have begun to read Singularity. I'm only on the second chapter, but so far, it's pretty good. The librarian at the library I got the book from said that William Sleator is a very good author, so I think that it will exceed all of my expectations.

Hey, I'm glad you picked it up. You won't be disappointed. :) (Well, at least I hopey you won't be. ;)) Tell us what you think after you finish it.

Anyway, I'm just finishing up a good book right now that I'll post about in a little bit.

Offline Cend

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2005, 05:57:01 pm »
Steve, I think saying Robin Hobb mistreats her characters is a bit of an understatement. I've read the Farseer books and she just DESTROYS Fitz. It's great though, you never see that kind of writing.

How about Raymond E. Feists books? All good, although I especially enjoyed the Kelewan books (Daughter of the Empire, etc).

Semi-unknown auther, Robert Kearney and his Monarchies of God series. They're kind of an alternate history with a few fantasy elements.

Timothy Zahn's Icarus Hunt. Great Sci-fi adventure/mystery book, pure gold. It's about a ship that's wanted by a government, with a crew of 6 on board and one is a murder but nobody knows who.

For comedy, read Eric Flint's The Philosphical Strangler. Probably the funniest book ever written (although that's just my opinion).

Trying to go through my bookshelf and see what I've got to suggest that's not super well known. And yes I own mostly sci-fi and fantasy.
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Offline The Evil Blob

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2005, 04:08:34 pm »
I have finally finished reading Singularity. Once I started reading it, it turned out to be one of the best books I have read since Black Water, the fifth book in the Pendragon series by D. J. MacHale. I have since begun to read The Boxes, another book by Sleator and it is very good so far.
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Offline Sensei Jinx

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2005, 04:47:52 pm »
Hey, I'm glad you liked it! His narrative is amazing at keeping you captivated throughout the entire book, isn't it? (Heh, especially when the twin stays in the playhouse for a...whoops. I'd better not spoil it in case somebody else picks it up. ^_^) Sleator has an awesome style, doesn't he?

Oh, and yes, The Boxes is very good as well. It's actually the first book of his that I read; I loved it, and proceeded to read his other books. I was skeptical when I saw the cover, which looks like your typical stupid sci-fi book, but I picked it up anyway.

Anyway, he's written a lot of books, but here are some suggestions for other ones he's written that I really liked. (In case you decide to pick up some of his others): Interstellar Pig and it's sequel, Parasite Pig; Blackbriar; The Beasties; The Boy who Reversed Himself; and The Night the Heads Came. All of his books are amazing, but those are some of my favorites.

Offline The Evil Blob

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2005, 08:32:36 pm »
I finished The Boxes. Amazing.

Sleator really has a talent for character growth. It's usually so subtle that you never notice it unless you start the book over from the beginning, but Sleator puts it right out in the open.

Also, is Marco's Millions a sequel to The Boxes? I'm just guessing because of the name in the title and what Annie did at the end of The Boxes that involved millions of dollars.
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Offline Sensei Jinx

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2005, 09:06:34 pm »
Quote
Sleator really has a talent for character growth. It's usually so subtle that you never notice it unless you start the book over from the beginning, but Sleator puts it right out in the open.

Yeah, I agree. What surprises me is how the amount of depth he gives his characters in a relatively short amount of time. ALL of his books, with the possible exception of Interstellar Pig start off almost immediatley with the plot. There's hardly ever any set-up. And yet you really get a feel for the characters in just the first few pages.

Quote
Also, is Marco's Millions a sequel to The Boxes? I'm just guessing because of the name in the title and what Annie did at the end of The Boxes that involved millions of dollars.

Marco's Millions? I've never heard of it. *Google-izes it* Sweet, it looks like it's actually a sort of prequel to The Boxes. Talks about Uncle Marco as a kid.

http://www.sff.net/people/victoriastrauss/ReviewMillions.html

Dang, now I've gotta I read it! My library doesn't have it, so I guess I'm gonna have to buy it. I hope he comes up with a sequel to The Boxes as well. It DID end so suddenly.

It's really kind of sad how underrated Sleator is. I've done some searches for him on the net, and I've seen next to nothing about him. Sure, bibliographies and stuff like that. A few reviews. However, hardly any fan sites about or for him. It's too bad.

Sorry, I don't really want this to turn into a thread that's completely about Sleator. ^_^ I'm just finishing up Shadow of the Hegemon and I'll post about that when I'm done.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2005, 09:22:38 pm by Sensei Jinx »

Offline Morslok

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2005, 05:15:50 pm »
Well, since the topics doesn't say anything about having to be new books, I nominate the Lord of the Rings. I'm not gonna write a review as I'm sure there are many on the internet.

Let's see... Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is a good fantasy series.  I hear tell that book 11 will be out this year sometime.

Also Frank Herbert's Dune. GREAT book. Sci Fi. Classic. Don't know about the rest of the series, as I have only read the first one and part of the second (couldn't make it through, I got restless)
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Offline Cend

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2005, 08:00:28 pm »
Try Man of Two Worlds by Frank Herbert. Excellent book, pretty original stuff too. Anything by Orson Scott Card is quite amazing, very good author.
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Offline Sensei Jinx

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2005, 08:14:46 pm »
Quote
Well, since the topics doesn't say anything about having to be new books, I nominate the Lord of the Rings.
Definitely, I totally agree with you.

Quote
Let's see... Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is a good fantasy series.  I hear tell that book 11 will be out this year sometime.
I read the first three...started the fourth, until I realized that absolutely nothing was happening...I'm not saying it's a bad series, I'm just saying that I need something a little faster paced.

Quote
Anything by Orson Scott Card is quite amazing, very good author.
I totally agree with that. I'm rereading the Shadow series right now, since Shadow of the Giant just came out, and I want to refresh my memory of the rest of the series. Awesome awesome stuff. I don't think I've read any book of his that didn't blow me away. One of the best contemporary authors, IMO.


Offline Morslok

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2005, 08:38:24 am »
I know what you mean Jinx. I started reading the Eye of the World (the first one of the series) and couldn't get past the first few chapters at first, so I set it aside, read Hitchhiker's Guide again (all 5) and then picked it up again and told myself not to stop. Once I got into it, I was hooked. It's a bit slow in places, but pretty deep.

I've wanted to read that George R. R. Martin stuff, but never got around to it, I will try this summer I guess (in between video games).
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Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2005, 07:43:09 am »
I've wanted to read that George R. R. Martin stuff, but never got around to it, I will try this summer I guess (in between video games).

Read it ... NOW! George R. R. Martin is so much better than Jordan you'll never read The Wheel of Time again. His first book (A Game of Thrones) is a little slow, but it gets good fast. I read that series three times already and I can't wait for A Feast for Crows (the 4th book) to come out in July.
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Offline Morslok

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2005, 08:53:24 am »
That was a surprisingly emphatic response.

I guess now I HAVE to look into it, lest I anger the almighty Steve. ;D

Concerning slowness in books, I find that often the books that are the best do start off rather slow. Or simply at least.
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Offline Morslok

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2005, 08:22:50 pm »
I started reading the Song of Ice and Fire series, and so far it's pretty good.  It seems more hardcore than, say, the Lord of the Rings.  It's enjoyable, and I'm on book 2, just got it Thursday before watching Star Wars Episode 3.

Sorry I didn't follow your advice right away, as you suggested I should, Steve.  However I have a fairly credible cop out.  I had to study for finals.  Yeah, I know, it's kinda weak, but it works (most of the time).

-Morslok
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Offline Danzik

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2005, 08:55:36 pm »
This is a great thread.  I think I'll go pick up Singularity and check back here after i finish it.

Offline Gaming Steve

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2005, 09:26:50 pm »
I started reading the Song of Ice and Fire series, and so far it's pretty good.  It seems more hardcore than, say, the Lord of the Rings.  It's enjoyable, and I'm on book 2, just got it Thursday before watching Star Wars Episode 3.

Sorry I didn't follow your advice right away, as you suggested I should, Steve.  However I have a fairly credible cop out.  I had to study for finals.  Yeah, I know, it's kinda weak, but it works (most of the time).

-Morslok

Heh, well it gets pretty crazy now. Book 2 is just nuts, and book 3 is insane. Can't wait for book 4, just a few months away I believe...
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Offline Danzik

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2005, 11:39:35 pm »
Just picked up HammerJack by Marc D. Giller. 
   Seemed interesting enough in the store.  First 100 pages of 355 just arent that at all.
   Pretty much it's turning into an everyone in the future is hopped up on synthetic drugs, typical small resistance that wants to destroy technology and this shadow company creates an overly powerful AI.  The only interesting character in the book so far just died an unfitting death by falling out a spaceship.  That and i keep getting lost every few pages because the author keeps putting in gadgets and tech that he doesnt explain and leaves it to the reader to figure out.
   It does seem work in a wierd sort of way.  It seems like the story is almost over but there are 255 more pages.  I just wonder what's in the rest of those pages to keep the story going which gives hope that the book will get better.

Offline zaphod

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2005, 09:50:10 am »
Damn you people, I have far to much to do, and now you taunt me with good books to read.  I took me over a year just to get around to reading Prey.  I'm now in State of Fear and who knows how long it will take for me to finish it.

Offline Danzik

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2005, 02:33:36 pm »
Forgot about this thread.  I fiinshed HammerJack and don't recommend it.  Never did get interesting.  Reading Ringworld now, seems like this book is going to be much better.

Offline lemurbouy

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2005, 06:54:29 pm »
I tried reading Ringworld and found it ridiculously dry and boring.  I've always had trouble with the Harder scifi writers like Niven.  I'm reading Wen Spencer's Tinker right now which would be more fun if I liked Elves and/or lived in Pittsburgh.  If you do, then you might enjoy it.  -leeman

Offline DarkLordofChaosX

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2005, 02:07:04 pm »
I definetely agree about Lord of the Rings, the books far outdo the movies (which were still pretty good). Can't count the number of times I've read Tolkien's work.
One of my more recent favorites is Eragon, by Christopher Paulini. I believe that the second book in the trilogy is coming out in August sometime.
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Offline Leng

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Re: You know it had to happen...it's the Rate a Book Topic!
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2005, 02:44:09 am »
I seriously disagree with fans of the Wheel of Time.  The problem isn't that it gets tedious, it's that the "heroes" are evil and manipulative.  And it's not done ironically, it's as if the author actually approves of their actions and presents them as if they were completely noble.  Personally I do not consider institutional coercion, stalinist purges, forced-labor camps, turning petty leaders into dupes and paper-dragons, and well, authoritarianism, to be the marks of a hero.
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