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The Reader's Lounge

Chaosy

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Mistborn Overview

I'm going to try and keep this short.

Mistborn takes place in a world where some people are born with magical powers called Allomancy. These people are able to use metal in their body (either naturally or by ingesting metal flakes) to power different abilities. For example Steel allows someone to push on nearby metal. Iron lets them pull on nearby metal. Pewter greatly enhances physical strength. There are 8 basic metals.

The main character is a girl of about 18 (I forget exactly) who works for a small time criminal. She's grown up on the streets and learned to fend for herself by unknowingly using one of the allomantic metals to sway peoples emotions.

The story takes place in a medieval fantasy setting with tones of industrial England (sort of a Charles Dickens feel). I don't mean steampunk, but it has social elements from that time period. At least that's how I felt reading it. The story takes place in an empire ruled by a tyrant god king.

The story does jump between characters, but the majority is from the view of the main girl.

Got me interested, I just hope I can get my hands on a translated version. I doubt my English is quite good enough to fully understand a book in English.

edit: Yup there are translations, neat. Thanks for the recommendation.
 

Ralle

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Harry Potter's original demographic was for children of those ages, yet look what happened? Because of how well done the story was, it transcended to all age groups.

I am a big fan of Harry Potter. But after having read the Patrick Rothfuss books, I am extremely aware of HP being for kids because of all the errors and imbalanced magic.
 
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Harry Potter fits better on a screen than in a book, especially if those books are written
by J.K Rowling. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Rowling is an idiot, she certainly
made an amazing fantasy, and she does know her plot twisting and character
development. But her language. The way she writes her books, my eyes bled on a
regular basis throughout the read.

I don't agree to the statement that "HP is for kids" however, the Harry Potter story is
a deep and dark story, it's too complex in some areas and too frightening in others for
your average kid to understand and enjoy, I'd say. And, also, "errors and imbalanced
magic", that's a laugh. It's fantasy, nothing can be erroneous and imbalanced in a
fantasy universe :p
 
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Harry Potter fits better on a screen than in a book, especially if those books are written
by J.K Rowling. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Rowling is an idiot, she certainly
made an amazing fantasy, and she does know her plot twisting and character
development. But her language. The way she writes her books, my eyes bled on a
regular basis throughout the read.

I don't agree to the statement that "HP is for kids" however, the Harry Potter story is
a deep and dark story, it's too complex in some areas and too frightening in others for
your average kid to understand and enjoy, I'd say. And, also, "errors and imbalanced
magic", that's a laugh. It's fantasy, nothing can be erroneous and imbalanced in a
fantasy universe
:p

I disagree with this man. Primarily why some of the magic in multiple fantasy series seems to awe-inspiring is because of the fact that there is some level of balance. Imagine if in the Harry Potter universe everyone could make themselves immortal, then the magic wouldn't exactly be so special because it would be rampant and break immersion. Balance is key when deciding the powers of a fictional universe because it allows for certain powers when revealed to be fantastic and majestic, if there's no balance there's no "wow" factor.
 

Ralle

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Right, this is exactly what I meant. A low hanging fruit is the time turner, why didn't they just use one to go back in time and kill Voldemort for example? For fantasy to be "correct" they have to always use the right tool at the right time and never invent something new in a later book without making sure it's cohesive with the previous books.

Also, something that is completely wrong in Harry Potter is time and age. For example, how the hell could Harry's parents have left him anything? From the books they were barely 20 when they died. They were both aurors and somehow very famous wizards.

The list of things is much longer, these were just off the top of my head.
 
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You all need to read Brandon Sanderson's three laws of magic. He makes an extremely interesting argument and case for "balanced" magic, and the application of it is seen in all his books.

I would throw up links to his blog about it, but my phone isn't cooperating. A quick Google search will pull it up.
 
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I gottcha Death. Sanderson's first law.

I agree with the general sentiment in this thread. Magic should have balance, but I won't elaborate because you should all just read Sanderson's thoughts.

The TL;DR: "An author’s ability to solve conflict with magic is directly proportional to how well the reader understands said magic."
 
Level 36
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I disagree with this man.

You can't disagree with a fact. Although some religious people try all the time.
A fantasy world is by definition unrestrained, and completely at the mercy of
it's author. That said, I do acknowledge your right to have an opinion about
how good a story is, based on how "balanced" it's magic is.

Those laws seem interesting, I'll give them a read.
 
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You can't disagree with a fact.
A fantasy world is by definition unrestrained, and completely at the mercy of
it's author.
You're right, but I think he meant a fantasy world should be restrained to be good, not that the definition of the word fantasy means there are rules.
 
Level 36
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Certainly.

But what he means in the matter is of little relevance to what I meant. If he is going to
state that he disagrees with my argument, then I expect him to do so on the basis of
which that argument was founded, and not twist it to better suit his own argument.

And, to be fair, I'm pretty sure my next sentence, the one that you didn't quote, quite
clarifies that I acknowledged that truth. I just find it a little rude when people twist other
people's arguments, is all.

Also, actually, come to think of it:

Imagine if in the Harry Potter universe everyone could make themselves immortal, then the magic wouldn't exactly be so special because it would be rampant and break immersion.

That could actually be a pretty damn interesting read, I'd say. Given some flesh to fit
the bones, that is, and obviously not set in the HP universe. But given an interesting
plot, interesting characters, interesting intrigues and topped off with the restriction that
nobody can die, not by conventional means anyway. I don't know, I don't think this
argument helps your case as much as it presents an interesting idea.
 
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Whoops, I thought you were talking about Sanderson Keiji. I see now that you weren't, and it makes more sense.

I'm with Ralle and BlackEnvyX though. I don't care for how magic was handled in HP. To quote Sanderson:

Each of these books outlines various rules, laws, and ideas for the magic of the world. And, in that given book, those laws are rarely violated, and often they are important to the workings of the book’s climax. However, if you look at the setting as a whole, you don’t really ever understand the capabilities of magic. She adds new rules as she adds books, expanding the system, sometimes running into contradictions and conveniently forgetting abilities the characters had in previous novels. These lapses aren’t important to the story, and each single book is generally cohesive.


It seemed obvious to me that JK Rowling was simply making it all up as she went. The deathly hallows are a prime example. I loved the books as a kid, and even then it struck me as odd.
 
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what about magic fantasy writers that explain their magic too much, beyond the point where you actually give a damn.

live read a few books which spend the whole first chapter explaining how magic works.

in a way it's good, because you aren't suddenly going to be exposed to any hat trick when the hero/villain is losing. example:' oh no you you have me out number and there is no possible why I can escape, but wait! let me use this new ability I just made up! bamboo shewiz I'm free!'

but it also takes some of the surprise and mystery away.

you as a reader kind of don't want to know everything. else the world becomes boring, but you also don't want to be left totally in the dark.

what is the balance point of explaining magic? I write myself and I find that leaving certain unknowns in the theory of magic is a good thing.

example: magic is comprised of physical and mental energy, but some people when exposed to violent situations release more power then they possess. how you ask? no body knows.

these unknowns let the reader think for themselves, let them draw conclusions of their own theories.

what do you think is the key to balancing explaining magic and leaving mystery and surprise?
 
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Look what my wife got me for Christmas! Signed copies of Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear!
 

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Level 34
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That's sick. I just picked up Elantris from a used book store that was signed by Brandon Sanderson! Only $7!
 
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I recently finished reading the Dark Tower series for the first time. What a trip. A lot of people had trouble with the ending and a certain thing Stephen King "introduced" in the 6th book, but I didn't mind it at all. He DID warn you about the ending. I thought it was all very fitting, and worked well with the book's themes about obsession, fate, and the journey not the destination.

Also recently read Shadows of Self (2nd book in the 2nd mistborn trilogy by Sanderson). Nice book. Short and similar to the Alloy of Law in being action-oriented with bits of humor and drama.

Starting to re-read The Way of Kings now, and then Words of Radiance again too, preparing myself for Szeth's book which is coming this year I think?

Glad to see other wanderers of the Sandersonian cosmere on this site!

Also; what are people's thoughts on Rothfuss's Kingkiller series? I've heard good things but I've also heard that the protagonist is a massive Gary Sue and that sort of thing is a huge turn-off for me.
 
Malazan, book of the fallen. A series about the fate of the Malazan empire, an empire struggling after the fall of it's first emperor Kellanved. The series primarily follows the of lives people in the malazan army. The series takes place in a fantasy setting.

The series is great, it follows several points of views in a universe filled with magic and powerful gods, yet way darker and more tragic than most other fantasy universes. Will describe death, torture, rape ect. in detail, and no one is safe. It is very complex, and if you're bad at names, you'll have a bad time. Nothing is like any other fantasy universe, there is no dwarves, elves, ect. But there is Tiste Andii, Trell, K'Chain, and many more, and none of them fit into any of the clichés.
And it is worth it, probably one of the best fantasy series out there, and darker than almost all of them.

A series no description could ever do any justice.
 
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I recently finished reading the Dark Tower series for the first time. What a trip. A lot of people had trouble with the ending and a certain thing Stephen King "introduced" in the 6th book, but I didn't mind it at all. He DID warn you about the ending. I thought it was all very fitting, and worked well with the book's themes about obsession, fate, and the journey not the destination.

Also recently read Shadows of Self (2nd book in the 2nd mistborn trilogy by Sanderson). Nice book. Short and similar to the Alloy of Law in being action-oriented with bits of humor and drama.

Starting to re-read The Way of Kings now, and then Words of Radiance again too, preparing myself for Szeth's book which is coming this year I think?

Glad to see other wanderers of the Sandersonian cosmere on this site!

Also; what are people's thoughts on Rothfuss's Kingkiller series? I've heard good things but I've also heard that the protagonist is a massive Gary Sue and that sort of thing is a huge turn-off for me.

I just started Shadows of Self, it's good so far.

As for Kingkiller chronicles, yes, Kvothe is a bit of a Mary sue. However, it never feels as if he has some ridiculous, unfair advantage. He is very much an underdog and is constantly fighting a steep uphill battle to accomplish everything that he does. I would highly recommend it, it's a great read and Rothfuss' prose is fantastic.
 
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Malazan, book of the fallen. A series about the fate of the Malazan empire, an empire struggling after the fall of it's first emperor Kellanved. The series primarily follows the of lives people in the malazan army. The series takes place in a fantasy setting.

The series is great, it follows several points of views in a universe filled with magic and powerful gods, yet way darker and more tragic than most other fantasy universes. Will describe death, torture, rape ect. in detail, and no one is safe. It is very complex, and if you're bad at names, you'll have a bad time. Nothing is like any other fantasy universe, there is no dwarves, elves, ect. But there is Tiste Andii, Trell, K'Chain, and many more, and none of them fit into any of the clichés.
And it is worth it, probably one of the best fantasy series out there, and darker than almost all of them.

A series no description could ever do any justice.

In the german version it will be devided into 20 books I think, where 9 have been released already. I stopped somewhere at the beginning of the 8th because I was busy reading other stuff but damn. Never ever have I been so attached to characters in other any book.
 
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Also; what are people's thoughts on Rothfuss's Kingkiller series? I've heard good things but I've also heard that the protagonist is a massive Gary Sue and that sort of thing is a huge turn-off for me.
It's really good. It has faults, but I love them anyways.
 
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Not familiar with it. Care to explain?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics_of_the_Future
Basically he takes his massive wealth of scientific knowledge and his unique stylistic writing and creates a beautiful picture of what technology, civilization and such could possibly be like in the future.
He has quite a few books on various subjects, everything I've read by him has been fascinating.
 
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I found SuperEgo by Frank J. Fleming, on an audible sale. The idea of following a psychopath assassin, seeing and hearing his internal thoughts as to all those odd actions we humans consider normal social behavior or moral, is quite funny. The sci-fi story isn't bad either, and works well. I had some good time with it, and I recommend it, although I can only base my experience on the audio-book.

Also; what are people's thoughts on Rothfuss's Kingkiller series? I've heard good things but I've also heard that the protagonist is a massive Gary Sue and that sort of thing is a huge turn-off for me.

Its quite decent, but slow. Basically waiting for the action is somewhat similar to waiting for whenever the next book comes out, as that is mostly what the first two books are: The setup. But a damn good one.
 
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I used to read a lot when I was in high school. Things like Game of Thrones, Stephanie Plum, Inferno, Angels and Demons, etc.

Now, I don't have time to read and I haven't read anything in 4 years. Although, recently I just found out about audiobooks and I have been listening to them. I just finished The Mistborn trilogy last week and now I'm listening to The Martian by Andy Weir.
 
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Just finished reading Calamity, the last book in the Steelheart series that Gilles and myself have recommended in this thread. Great book, good finish to a series. Nothing too heavy, just some solid, interesting, lightweight reading.

Oh that sounds nice, I must take a look at it. Also it reminds me a bit of Ex-heroes by Peter Clines, but honestly his other book 14, and the not direct sequels to it, is the best he has written. Its a damn good, sci-fi thriller.
 
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I've been reading a book that I got for free at a giveaway called Informal Logic, a Handbook for Critical Argumentation by Douglas N. Walton, published by Cambridge University.
"This is an introductory guidebook to the basic principles of how to construct good arguments and how to criticize bad ones." It's very well written and highly dense in information. I highly recommend it and I'm going to read it at least a couple more times.

What results in a book being added to the original post of this thread?
 
Level 36
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We don't really have a system for it, if you want me to add a book, just tell me.

It would be nice if you wrote a short review of the book too, so I could add a link
to it as well.

Now, I don't have time to read

There's no such thing as not having time, you can always make time.
You've more likely lost interest, or think it's not important enough for
you anymore. In any case, don't hide behind lies.
 
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There's no such thing as not having time, you can always make time.
You've more likely lost interest, or think it's not important enough for
you anymore. In any case, don't hide behind lies.
Well, now that I think about it, reading is at the bottom of my list of hobbies. Thankfully audiobooks let me multitask. Dunno if that counts as "reading" a book, but it works for me.
 
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Audiobooks and Ebooks + the good old ones all work I assume?

As such I could recommend: A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Everyday Life

I've heard it as an audiobook, read by the author (very British). Its more like a documentary, in that it attempts to describe a day, from early morning until you go to bed again, taking a very close look at the different things that you may encounter during this period. Such as, why is it named the toilet, why day light saving? Who first came up with the idea a pen... and so forth. It goes into a lot of detail shedding light upon details and meanings behind words we have long since forgotten. It can be a bit mindboggling at times, but I still recommend it. Very interesting, assuming of course that you have some passing interest in history of sorts.
 
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Audiobooks and Ebooks + the good old ones all work I assume?

As much as I (still) dislike the idea of audio-books, I guess it's okay.
Seeing as there is so many people who listen to them these days.

You want me to add that recommendation to the main post?

If so, please tell me where you think it fits and who wrote it.
 

Chaosy

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As much as I (still) dislike the idea of audio-books, I guess it's okay.
Seeing as there is so many people who listen to them these days.

You want me to add that recommendation to the main post?

If so, please tell me where you think it fits and who wrote it.

I can understand some perks with audio books, but I still prefer a real book. Same goes for ebooks.
 
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Just finished the Reckoners Series by Brandon Sanderson. It's about super heroes, but it's nothing like comic books. The "heroes" are all evil. The main character struggles as a human against super humans (think superman). His obstacles always seem impossible, but the book constantly surprises you.

It was really good. Until the end. The end wasn't bad, but I found it way too fast and less exciting than the rest of the books were. The books constantly surprised me, and while I didn't guess what would happen in the end, I found it lack luster. I was still really happy with the series. Highly recommend.
 
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I wonder sometimes, 'how do writes grip you so that you will never put that book down'

I recently read an extremely boring book by Stephen king(or is it Steven?) the book was so poorly put together that epilogue was 10 pages of explanation as to what actually happened in the story. the thing is, even though it was a horrible book I couldn't put it down.

the author started the book with an interesting style. he began with a question,'little did I know this would be the last time I saw her alive' so you begin to wonder what is going to happen next? hence the question.

now I wonder, what are some other writing tricks for hooking a reader no matter the quality of work?
 
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It was really good. Until the end. The end wasn't bad, but I found it way too fast and less exciting than the rest of the books were. The books constantly surprised me, and while I didn't guess what would happen in the end, I found it lack luster. I was still really happy with the series. Highly recommend.

Those are my feelings as well. It was a great ride, and the books are solid throughout, but compared to the "Oh, Shit" moments of the previous books, this third one just fell a little flat. It was still a good book, but definitely not the best of the series.
 
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I recently read an extremely boring book by Stephen king(or is it Steven?) the book was so poorly put together that epilogue was 10 pages of explanation as to what actually happened in the story. the thing is, even though it was a horrible book I couldn't put it down.

I don't really want to start an argument here, but you can't say that Stephen King
writes bad books, he is recognized as one of the greatest authors of our time. Like
him nor not, you can't deny that he is a good author. Please refrain from presenting
your opinions like facts, I don't mind opinions, but don't present them arrogantly.
 
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I agree his a good writer... I'm just saying that book was absolutely useless but despite that I couldn't put it down.

what other secretes do writer uses to keep readers reading?
 
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