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The Reader's Lounge

Level 34
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Sep 6, 2006
Messages
8,873
what other secretes do writer uses to keep readers reading?
Good writing!? :p

It's a good question, and one worth discussing, but I would suggest we move it to another thread as I feel the intention of this one is to make recommendations or reviews of books.
 
Level 36
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Nov 24, 2007
Messages
4,387
but I would suggest we move it to another thread as I feel the intention of this one is to make recommendations or reviews of books.

Nah, I don't think this is a big enough discussion to detach from this thread, and while yes,
this thread is mainly for suggesting and recommending books, it's also about discussing
books. Hence a discussion about how authors write their books would be okay I'd say.

Good writing!? :p

Certainly, but what is good writing?

What I've come to discover, through my aspiring writer amateurism, curiousty is a key
word for keeping your readers engaged in what you write. Dropping some few
expressions and titles and information tidbits without explaining too much about it
will often make a reader want to know more about what that is. As an example I want
to bring up the opening sentence in my favorite novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora:

"At the height of the long summer of the seventy-seventh year of Sendovani, the
Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest
at the temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy."

This introduction is stuffed with intriguing factors, it makes the reader wonder:

- Who or what is Sendovani and Perelandro?
- Who is the Thiefmaker, and why is he called exactly that?
- Who is the Eyeless Priest, and why...
- The book is called "The Lies of Locke Lamora", so "the Lamora boy" must be the
lead character, right?
- What is Camorr?

Obviously this is only one example of ways to keep a reader interested, but a very
good one I think, one that is actively used by authors such as Scott Lynch, Brandon
Sandersen and George R. R. Martin, and more.
 
Level 19
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Jul 2, 2011
Messages
2,162
I read a book once with a very interesting hook, not as good as the book I mentioned before but an interesting one.

Instead of posing a question, this book began by offering an impossible goal. The main character proclaimed that they would become king of bla... what ever this land was, and it seem an impossible goal because everyone hated him and he was quite moronic and useless as a human being.

Which was what kept me reading, how is it that this idiot will become king?

Another book I read used a different strategy, similar to the question posing idea I had earlier and this goal orientated hook. They had the book start by explaining how this city was built and every contingency to prevent it being totally destroyed by the enemy. It seemed like an impossibility for the city to be captured by the enemy or destroyed, yet that was what the hook was. A group of seers said, despite the cities fortifications it will fall in 20 days

Which became the curiosity, how is it that this city will fall exactly? Unfortunately this book involved magic and the enemy obliterated it magically without tact or imagination.

But regardless, we now have four concepts of hooks

Goal orientated
The impossibility achieved
Questions
Mysteries

All of which seem to hang on curiosity

What are some other means of hooking your readers?
 
Level 8
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
428
This thread is great! :D I used to read the seven Harry Potter books, and I am quite disappointed, that they left many parts of it, when they made a film "series" from the book. Subjective words can be found down below:
What I missed or what I considered to awkward?

- Vernon's early chapter in the first book... about he saw the wizards, who celebrated Voldemort's fall.
- Harry's suffering, when he and Dudley discuss about muggle schools and Dudley bullied him.
- In the adaptation, Harry caused Marge to float outside of their house, while in the book, she floated inside the house. It may only for overwhelming the viewers, I think.
- Where is Peeves?
- In the 3th book Marge's tyranny to Harry lasted all week. In the film, all the incidents happened in the same day. Film showed Harry quite hot-tempered here.
- I missed the "magic word" character, probably it may condensed into the preparation of the arrival scene (Chamber of Secrets)
- I missed the chapter 3 and 4 from the fourth film. Where Weasley family met Dursley family.
- Also awkward thing: Why Wizards has no any interests about modern things? I mean they are feudalism people with modern-age... sure we can see a small mention, where Dean Thomas is a fan of an english football club. But the people here are really ignore the outside world.
- How Harry's parents collects a tons of money? As far as I remembered they are aurors, that work is so well-paid? Or they do bets? Or James had a wealth, which goes through the past generations? I not remembered exactly.
- Dumbledore's motivations are became clear in the seventh book, although it is not the best idea to give Harry to Dursleys, even if they are the last living relatives. I read the seventh book years ago and I not clearly remember, but if I knew, that Dumbledore gave me to a overly-irritating family, I sure will be angry and call him to numerous things.
- Why Slytherin so "one-dimensioned"? I mean we know a pretty few student to there... also I found awkward, that school rivalry. In real life classes are not so football team like. Gryffindor vs Slytherin (hope it is a good reference :D )

What I considered amazing:
- Harry Potter, I mean the character. He is a thoughtful, emotional and brave one. We know, that his parents killed and he carried to Dursley's.
- The map of the marauders, however they not used that too much.
- The Spider Boss of the Second Part, he is clearly intimidating.
- Tom Denem, in book he is certainly praised by the Slytherin's students, he is a fair villain. He often gets what he want and never afraid to slay anyone, which makes him terrified in HP universe.
- Mourning Myrtle, he is firstly humorous with the ghost-subtrope (
Make fun to throw things at her)

Ahh... I trying to remember amazing things, but only awkward things jump up:
-
Why Voldemort has no better PR like Nicholas Flamel, I mean if he is a master communicator, he can present his goals somehow other? Why he not just buy an unicorn (IF he wants to be immortal, then he surely collects the relations and money for it) and slay it, while no one see and drink it blood. I know, then the whole plot is meaningless, but it is so good to make theories like this. Please do not come up with the Hawks.

I also read Song of Ice and Fire, four books exactly. Now I read the fifth. In books, I very fond of Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, sometimes Jon and Davos's chapters. They are very "down-to earth" persons. I read the Arianne chapter in the fourth book and find her very determined and brave. She tried to crown Myrcella to make her position better. In fact the Dorne chapters are very complex in books and in show... meh! :D Though show is quite good! (Do not attack me, show fans)
Greyjoy Kingsmoot in books are very long and interesting, numerous claimer appeared and in the end, the patient Euron used the horn and the ray of a new era with Targaryens to conquer the seven kingdoms. Where is Victarion? (I know... show not enough time to show him)
- In show, we get this as Euron:
2ngfxhw.jpg
and a very small kingsmoot, where two claimant debate about who build the fleet (THERE ARE NO WOODS there) and who had a bigger... you know, sorry. Anyway why any Euron supporter does not halt Yara(Asha)? And also
FUN FACT: Suffocation, if the victim somehow survived... causes serious brain damage (biology teacher told it) so only this gives sense, that why Euron hallucinated large forests to the creepy islands.

First three books are more similar to the series, than the latter ones. Maybe the one with Cleos Frey are strange a bit, and with Bloody Mummers and Vargo Hoat. I missed Asha/Yara from the second season, in books she went to parley with Theon. No matter really... the show and the series are very great and popular.

Only Stannis, who is may disgraced in show. In books he is far-more talkative and reasonable, in fifth book he show no sight to burn Shireen (But it may happen in Winds of Winter)

Also ps: I read that somebody wants warcraft creepypasta or at least pretty scary stories, well then check Maps/Too Simple thread, I found very horrific maps. Scarier than any horror-film.
 
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Level 4
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
73
So far this year I have been reading the Warcraft Books and the WoW Books. Really interesting and after playing Wc3 Reign of Chaos and Frozen Throne, everything is making soooo much more sense and learning about the characters histories is amazing. Really appreciated Warcraft a whole lot more after a few books, there are 17 in total and sadly only got 4 left.
 
Level 1
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
6
This thread is great! :D I used to read the seven Harry Potter books, and I am quite disappointed, that they left many parts of it, when they made a film "series" from the book. Subjective words can be found down below:
What I missed or what I considered to awkward?

- Vernon's early chapter in the first book... about he saw the wizards, who celebrated Voldemort's fall.
- Harry's suffering, when he and Dudley discuss about muggle schools and Dudley bullied him.
- In the adaptation, Harry caused Marge to float outside of their house, while in the book, she floated inside the house. It may only for overwhelming the viewers, I think.
- Where is Peeves?
- In the 3th book Marge's tyranny to Harry lasted all week. In the film, all the incidents happened in the same day. Film showed Harry quite hot-tempered here.
- I missed the "magic word" character, probably it may condensed into the preparation of the arrival scene (Chamber of Secrets)
- I missed the chapter 3 and 4 from the fourth film. Where Weasley family met Dursley family.
- Also awkward thing: Why Wizards has no any interests about modern things? I mean they are feudalism people with modern-age... sure we can see a small mention, where Dean Thomas is a fan of an english football club. But the people here are really ignore the outside world.
- How Harry's parents collects a tons of money? As far as I remembered they are aurors, that work is so well-paid? Or they do bets? Or James had a wealth, which goes through the past generations? I not remembered exactly.
- Dumbledore's motivations are became clear in the seventh book, although it is not the best idea to give Harry to Dursleys, even if they are the last living relatives. I read the seventh book years ago and I not clearly remember, but if I knew, that Dumbledore gave me to a overly-irritating family, I sure will be angry and call him to numerous things.
- Why Slytherin so "one-dimensioned"? I mean we know a pretty few student to there... also I found awkward, that school rivalry. In real life classes are not so football team like. Gryffindor vs Slytherin (hope it is a good reference :D )

What I considered amazing:
- Harry Potter, I mean the character. He is a thoughtful, emotional and brave one. We know, that his parents killed and he carried to Dursley's.
- The map of the marauders, however they not used that too much.
- The Spider Boss of the Second Part, he is clearly intimidating.
- Tom Denem, in book he is certainly praised by the Slytherin's students, he is a fair villain. He often gets what he want and never afraid to slay anyone, which makes him terrified in HP universe.
- Mourning Myrtle, he is firstly humorous with the ghost-subtrope (
Make fun to throw things at her)

Ahh... I trying to remember amazing things, but only awkward things jump up:
-
Why Voldemort has no better PR like Nicholas Flamel, I mean if he is a master communicator, he can present his goals somehow other? Why he not just buy an unicorn (IF he wants to be immortal, then he surely collects the relations and money for it) and slay it, while no one see and drink it blood. I know, then the whole plot is meaningless, but it is so good to make theories like this. Please do not come up with the Hawks.

I also read Song of Ice and Fire, four books exactly. Now I read the fifth. In books, I very fond of Tyrion, Jaime, Cersei, sometimes Jon and Davos's chapters. They are very "down-to earth" persons. I read the Arianne chapter in the fourth book and find her very determined and brave. She tried to crown Myrcella to make her position better. In fact the Dorne chapters are very complex in books and in show... meh! :D Though show is quite good! (Do not attack me, show fans)
Greyjoy Kingsmoot in books are very long and interesting, numerous claimer appeared and in the end, the patient Euron used the horn and the ray of a new era with Targaryens to conquer the seven kingdoms. Where is Victarion? (I know... show not enough time to show him)
- In show, we get this as Euron:
2ngfxhw.jpg
and a very small kingsmoot, where two claimant debate about who build the fleet (THERE ARE NO WOODS there) and who had a bigger... you know, sorry. Anyway why any Euron supporter does not halt Yara(Asha)? And also
FUN FACT: Suffocation, if the victim somehow survived... causes serious brain damage (biology teacher told it) so only this gives sense, that why Euron hallucinated large forests to the creepy islands.

First three books are more similar to the series, than the latter ones. Maybe the one with Cleos Frey are strange a bit, and with Bloody Mummers and Vargo Hoat. I missed Asha/Yara from the second season, in books she went to parley with Theon. No matter really... the show and the series are very great and popular. I needed someone to write my paper for me because I don't have time to do this.

Only Stannis, who is may disgraced in show. In books he is far-more talkative and reasonable, in fifth book he show no sight to burn Shireen (But it may happen in Winds of Winter)

Also ps: I read that somebody wants warcraft creepypasta or at least pretty scary stories, well then check Maps/Too Simple thread, I found very horrific maps. Scarier than any horror-film.

I also read a series of books about Harry Potter. I was very impressed! Of course, the end of these books is a bit predictable, but I'm ready to re-read them once I have more free time.
 
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Level 8
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
428
Geez, I wrote that comment two years ago. Oh man, I lost my creative energies and thoughts in the flow of the days. Now I not completely sure, that I able to write a review like the one above.
 

Ralle

Owner
Level 77
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
10,118
Hah, it is indeed. I listen to all podcasts and YouTube videos where Rothfuss is being interviewed for hints or clues. He's super busy with 3 things:
1. The third book.
2. Spending more time with family and getting healthy.
3. Working with Hollywood on movies, TV shows and games (all about the franchise).

So he's spread pretty thin I think.
 
Level 35
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Messages
6,392
Hah, it is indeed. I listen to all podcasts and YouTube videos where Rothfuss is being interviewed for hints or clues. He's super busy with 3 things:
1. The third book.
2. Spending more time with family and getting healthy.
3. Working with Hollywood on movies, TV shows and games (all about the franchise).

So he's spread pretty thin I think.

I do wish he would speed up the time he spends on the third book - the wait is horrendous:p But I guess that is also part of the reason why the books are so amazingly well written.

-------------------

I have been reading/listening to a lot of books late, of various genres. But a series I would recommend that I believe fits well with the Hive crowd (and theme :grin:) is the BobiVerse series.
 
Level 35
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Oct 9, 2006
Messages
6,392
I actually came across that series a few weeks ago and was like "WTF?". Is it a good story? I mean for someone who enjoys Rothfuss's deep characters and their development.

Well, it is a very different type of story (Sci-fi among other things) - but with a lot of character development (to some extent character development is the main gist of the story) and by extension characters (will make sense when you read it). I "read" it as an audio book), as I originally began after supporting a charity and receiving a selection of books in it, where the first book in the series was part of it.

I do have a fairly varied taste, but I would say one can enjoy it. Should you be interested, the first book I got was DRM free, so I can give it to you.
 
Level 36
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Nov 24, 2007
Messages
4,387
In the long months of winter, when the white winds gather, on the snowy slopes of faraway Norway, in the misty mountains of a little city called Lillehammer, Keiji has been hibernating... and reading.

I recently-ish started reading this little book-series called "The Discworld" by Terry Pratchett, and I am literally blown away by his level of bookcraft, I'm pretty sure it exceeds nine thousand. And although I think you have to be a little bit of a literary-nerd to fully appreciate some of his more ingenious techniques and stunts, there's plenty of good humour to go around for everyone.

Anyway, what is "The Discworld"? I hear you ask. Good question! It's a very long, very intricate, extremely lighthearted and easily read fantasy book series about adventure, friendship, treasure, heroism, leather, gore, crime and more. It takes the very basic adventure concept and all that comes with it (Wizards and wizardry, monsters and half-monsters, heroes and heroic acts) in new and funky directions, with odd twists and funny moments along the way. And at the end of the day, or the book, you'll even have cashed in a pretty sweet life lesson.

It is certainly dark - or rather - certainly a book for the adults, as there is swearing, copulation, ferocious brutality and other aspects you wouldn't want your kids exposed to.
So read it at your own discretion, but if you do, I can personally guarantee you'll be in for one fun ride ^^
 
Level 36
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Nov 24, 2007
Messages
4,387
Heh, yeah.

Many people find Pratchett's style a bit "too much", and it is certainly not for everyone, personally I love it, absurd humour is very much to my liking.

But I also love how he hides deep and meaningful stories under the surface of his more lighthearted and silly humour.
 
Level 51
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Dec 8, 2008
Messages
4,360
Tried Pratchett couple of times now, but I could not yet surpass the first 100 pages. We'll see if that fancy collectors edition will ever be released from it's dusty prison for a longer period of time. Fun fact: friends and family have all loved and devoured them - all except for me.

Also: Stormlight Archives. (And Elantris). Sanderson is slowly becoming more and more one of my favourite ones. It's kinda hard to judge books originally written in english and then readin them in german but I just love his style. One could say that it's a bit generic and his craft definetly relies on his excellent worldbuilding and magic-systems (also: it took me 6 books to figure out that most of his books share the same universe and allomancy and storm-magic thingy are just on different planets - always love connections like that) but his stories just work. He also has a hand for creating deus ex machinas that really don't feel like ones (so are they even ones? I dont know) but his stories and storylines just make sense.. in a way. They often line up so perfectly together that it's just a joy to read them.

Still hoping for a new part of the Mistborn Series although I'm kinda forgetting the characters after a while in the new era, which makes returning to it a little bit confusing every time.

And I also devoured the Black Tower last yead which was absolutely phenomenal.

Will get back to Malazan Book of the Fallen now after a couple of years, although it rpobably will end up in a lot of rereading as I have no idea where I stopped and I've forgotten so many things.
 
Level 36
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
4,387
I also love his literary references, or parodies? Like Eric the Great (Faust) and Maskerade (Phantom of the Opera), there's probably more too, I haven't read all the books yet.

Going by my girlfriend, the Bromeliad is supposed to be a great book as well, also by Pratchett but unrelated to Discworld, I haven't read it myself, but it sounds interesting, it's supposed to be a children's book, though, if what I've been told is correct. But I think it's probably in the same sense that the Hobbit is "supposed" to be a children's book.

I've also started reading Good Omens by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman in preparation for the mini-series on Prime, which I can't wait to see, it's a quirky doomsday novel about an angel and a demon working together to try to stop the apocalypse from happening, what I've read so far is hilariously ingenious. I absolutely recommend it.

Also: Stormlight Archives. (And Elantris). Sanderson is slowly becoming more and more one of my favourite ones. It's kinda hard to judge books originally written in english and then readin them in german but I just love his style. One could say that it's a bit generic and his craft definetly relies on his excellent worldbuilding and magic-systems (also: it took me 6 books to figure out that most of his books share the same universe and allomancy and storm-magic thingy are just on different planets - always love connections like that) but his stories just work. He also has a hand for creating deus ex machinas that really don't feel like ones (so are they even ones? I dont know) but his stories and storylines just make sense.. in a way. They often line up so perfectly together that it's just a joy to read them.

Stormlight Archives is absolutely a series worth reading for anyone that likes high fantasy with a dash of dark fantasy in the mix. Sanderson is a brilliant author and his books never disappoint, I wish you could read them in English, though, books should always be read in their original language. I have personally considered many times to learn how to read German properly just to be able to read Kafka in German.

I must admit though, that even though I was extremely stoked when Oathbringer was published I haven't actually gotten further into it than a couple hundred pages, somehow I just lost interest after a while. That's probably more due to the fact that there was other books I rather wanted to read at the time more than that I found it boring. But I do remember thinking it was going a bit slowly, maybe Robert Jordan's style rubbed a bit off on him when he finished the Wheel of Time :p

I haven't read Elantis though, I've been meaning to for quite some time, that and Warbreaker.

Still hoping for a new part of the Mistborn Series although I'm kinda forgetting the characters after a while in the new era, which makes returning to it a little bit confusing every time.

Really? I mean, the first trilogy was amazing and the second trilogy was decent, though more interesting than actually any good, in my opinion. He kind of lost it in that trilogy I feel like, it was cool to see the mistborn world in a futuristic steampunk setting and he did a good job filling in and creating the story from the first trilogy to the second, but the actual story itself wasn't that great, and all of the powers and so-such, while initially interesting with the mixing and all that, became kind of a cluster-fuck of stuff. But hey, maybe he has some better stories to tell.
 
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Rui

Rui

Level 41
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Jan 7, 2005
Messages
7,550
Ah, I knew the Hive had a thread for literature -- I was searching for it the other day :p.

I actually have a pile of books to go through, and can't find the motivation to read them, with all the papers I've got to read for university. But I'm keeping an eye on the titles you guys have mentioned. Maybe I'll grab one to spur me up.
 
Level 35
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Messages
6,392
Ah, I knew the Hive had a thread for literature -- I was searching for it the other day :p.

I actually have a pile of books to go through, and can't find the motivation to read them, with all the papers I've got to read for university. But I'm keeping an eye on the titles you guys have mentioned. Maybe I'll grab one to spur me up.

Of course it did :smile: Personally I enjoyed reading something else, just to have a difference from "mandatory" reading, although the best was when I could combine fun with subjects I did actually have to read about, to find another angle. But I guess that depends on what you study :grin:

I started reading it at some point but gave up. All the silly complexity he adds to his world with two of every season and the world being an actual disc. I didn't like it. He made that up for the hell of it. I think for stories I am more character driven than silly worlds for the reason of being silly.

His books are actually mostly character driven then anything else. He just loves to take a fairly mundane theme, flip it on its head and see how it goes by placing a cast of characters into it. That said it is a bit hit and miss for me. Some of them works really well, and others not so much. Terry Pretchet was a huge gamer and several of his novels take inspiration from them, for instance the book Snuff is heavily inspired by his adventures in Oblivion and Skyrim. He was also a modder and through an interaction with another modder he has a part in a companion mod for Oblivion and Skyrim.

One of my favorites that got me into his world was the book Monstrous Regiment, which is about a girl who joins the army and what she encounters. It is a brilliant commentary on society while also being a humorous story.

But ye, one needs to start the reading the right book for him to work. Reading subsequent novels once you have gotten an understanding of the surrounding world changes the books and I found myself enjoying some books of his that I didn't like before, thanks to knowledge about the characters involved and their motivations.

You can also just avoid his Discworld series entirely and read some of his other books that are very very different from them. Currently I can just recall Nation as one I could recommend.
 
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Level 35
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Oct 9, 2006
Messages
6,392
I started re-reading Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien, and I'm almost done.

With the current stay indoors when everything goes back to something we got used to, I might start covering up with other book genres.

I can recommend the biography about Tolkien as well. More so with the books fresh in memory.
 
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Started reading in english now, which is weird, as I've been used to consume basically all other media in english (videos, games, forums, movies, television) for many years now.

Started off with a few shorter books by Sanderson (Snapshot and the first of the Reckoner Series) as well as his really amazing Skyward and Starsight (which could have been a tad longer for my taste, but great nonetheless).

Finally also got to the Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss... and I love it! His descriptive and thoughtfully written style is a very well welcome difference after Sanderson's more simplistic and pragmatic style. Already finished the first book and I'm halfway through A Wise Man's Fear as well.

After that it's proably gonna be more Reckoners and maybe... maybe I'll start The Wheel of Time. We just recently bought the whole series (my wallet bled lol) but I've heard mixed things about it. My mother read it before me and said while they were great, she really had to fight her way through the middle and the last couple of books.
 

Ralle

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Messages
10,118
Finally also got to the Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss... and I love it! His descriptive and thoughtfully written style is a very well welcome difference after Sanderson's more simplistic and pragmatic style. Already finished the first book and I'm halfway through A Wise Man's Fear as well.
Glad to hear it. I listen to these books as audiobooks almost every night and when I wake up in the middle of the night. They're put me in a state suitable for sleep to sweep over me.
 

Ralle

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I am very on the fence about that. I've waited for 10+ years. It will be kinda sad to stop waiting because it's part of the excitement.

I watch every YouTube video with Pat, listen to every podcast where he is interviewed and sometimes also watch him on Twitch for potential breadcrumbs of clues about what's going on in his life :).
 
Level 35
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6,392
I am very on the fence about that. I've waited for 10+ years. It will be kinda sad to stop waiting because it's part of the excitement.

I watch every YouTube video with Pat, listen to every podcast where he is interviewed and sometimes also watch him on Twitch for potential breadcrumbs of clues about what's going on in his life :smile:.

Haha, yea I get that, but luckily I have a selection of books I am waiting for. But it was part of my fascination back when I was reading/buying the Deltora books, that there was always a new one coming out (with 15 books in total - at least as far as I own) and the art work on the book sold the idea that each book was part of a whole. The first one had an empty belt, the next the same belt, but with a jewel on it and so forth. Not the best literature I have read, but damn nice.

Speaking of which a book I am currently fairly into, of which I made an epub file (when I discovered that they were just renamed zip files with some code docs in them, so had to try). Hence I'll attach the first 60 pages here (I also really got inspired to make some form of game from this, as I enjoy the lore idea - but that is a bigger project for later).
The Lord of Mysteries - Just change file type to epub

So yea, even if Hive does not allow attachment of epub, one can just use a zip file as the same :grin:
 

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Level 51
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I am very on the fence about that. I've waited for 10+ years. It will be kinda sad to stop waiting because it's part of the excitement.

I watch every YouTube video with Pat, listen to every podcast where he is interviewed and sometimes also watch him on Twitch for potential breadcrumbs of clues about what's going on in his life :).

I understand the struggle fans are going through; just finished A Wise Man's Fear and I gotta say the series is turning out to be one of my all time favourites.

If the last rumor of august 2020 for the doors of stone is true, then I might have been fortunate to wait such a long time to start :)
 
Level 11
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Dec 21, 2012
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373
Honestly, I read the books and every time a sex scene would come up, I found it amusing. Most of the time, it felt like a dirty old man just needed a thrill.
Agreed. I wouldn't mind a sex scene in a book IF it actually had a meaning. But they are written so explicitly for two reasons:
1) Blatant fan-pandering. A cheap attempt at getting more attention.
2) Author is horny. (Which is gross)

Now, onto books... So I've read Patrick Rothfuss'es "Name of the Wind", and am in the process of reading the sequel. And here's what I think:

The Good.
Beginning with the good things, the way of telling the story is really unique, I think. For once it actually makes sense to have both first person and third person views in a single book. Also, the prose is beautiful. The author's vocabulary is rich, his thoughts are clearly laid out, and the writing really doesn't bore.

The Bad.
On the other hand, there are also quite a few issues I have with these books.


I. Ripping off Harry Potter.

First of, the "inspiration" from Harry Potter is so abundant, that it may almost be considered a rip-off. Consider below:
Protagonist loses parents early on. They are killed by a dark lord that will surely be a major villain somewhere along the line. Protagonist goes to school of magic, where he meets a benevolent head of the school, a rich and pompous (but less competent) rival/enemy, and a very antagonistic teacher, who hates protagonist from the beginning.

And this is just off the top of my head now. There may be even more "borrowed" elements.

II. The Characters.

I frankly found the main characters (Kvothe and Denna) quite distasteful.

Starting with Kvothe:

"I have known her longer, my smile said. True, you have been inside the circle of her arms, tasted her mouth, felt the warmth of her, and that is something I have never had. But there is a part of her that is only for me. You cannot touch it, no matter how hard you might try. And after she has left you I will still be here, making her laugh. My light shining in her. I will still be here long after she has forgotten your name. "
Honestly, this quote made me laugh at Kvothe, and, at the same time, cringe in his place. I don't know if the author WANTED to portray Kvothe this clueless, but he succeeded either way. Not only Kvothe is clueless, but he's lying to himself.

Like, if Kvothe actually said this to any of the men, that were with Denna, those men would laugh at his face. Sure mate, have that "untouchable" part of her. Those men had... all the rest of her, meanwhile. And that's what Kvothe actually wants, too, and he is terribly jealous because of that. This entire quote is merely his silly, pathetic attempt at excusing his lack of backbone. Simply said, Kvothe acts like a dog near Denna. No self-respect, no backbone and not even enough sense to realize he's being used and insulted.


Now, onto Denna:

Let's not beat around a bush and say it like it is - Denna is a prostitute. That is made as clear, in the books, as it can be besides saying it outright. Surely, Denna doesn't spend the nights with her dates playing chess... And not just that - she also robs the men she dates and runs away. Just like that.

And the mildly frustrating thing is, that the book continuously tries to excuse Denna. Constantly portraying her as if she's innocent, as if she should be respected. For example, the way Deoch excuses Denna's parasitic way of life, or how Kvothe accepts it as truth, just irks me. Numerous women in KKC books proved, that there are other ways to survive and live in KKC world, even if a woman is low-born. And for someone as beautiful, cunning and talented as Denna, there are no excuses. Especially taking in mind, that people like Deoch and Kvothe would have helped her without asking anything at all in return.

The writer doubles down still on defending characters like Denna.
"Call a jack a jack. Call a spade a spade. But always call a whore a lady. Their lives are hard enough, and it never hurts to be polite."
"Their lives are hard"? How about soldiers? Farmers? Miners? Sailors? Their lives are hundreds of times harder, and yet, nothing is said about that. Especially considering, that characters like Denna weren't forced into this. They themselves decided to live like leeches.

Conclusion (so far).
The books are nicely written (talking about prose). However, I found the main two characters utterly repulsive, and most of the story told in the first book had rather... uncomfortable resemblance to Harry Potter books.
 
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Ralle

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I have listened to these books more times than you have showered in your life.

I don't think Denna is a prostitute. Not in the typical sense anyway. I believe she's never consented to sex at the very least. She hangs out with men and they give her gifts which she later sells. I don't believe she's a thief in the point in life where we know her. I mean could be, things always turn sour as she says. Could be she really steals from them, but some part of me wants to believe her.

The scenes with Denna and Kvothe do bore me though. Also the scene in the Fae. I typically skip those 5-6 chapters.

"Their lives are hard"? How about soldiers? Farmers? Miners? Sailors? Their lives are hundreds of times harder, and yet, nothing is said about that. Especially considering, that characters like Denna weren't forced into this. They themselves decided to live like leeches.
You don't know much about prostitution if you think farming is harder. While farming is physically harder, it's emotionally as easy as sleeping.

I wouldn't say it's ripping off Harry Potter. There are similarities about a wizard boy going to school. But then you can say Harry Potter is a rip off of A Wizard of Earthsea from 1968.

The fact that there is an evil presence is pretty standard. The fact that it's not a single person but multiple and to most people a children's story makes it a lot different from Harry Potter in my opinion.
 
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If you guys are into dark fantasy, I would suggest my latest favourite: The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan.

The author shows impressive imagination and while the strength of this book definitely lies in its world-building, the story can get pretty gripping as well. The book contains some of the fantasy's most irritating clichés such as overly talkative bad guys explaining their motivations and some of the plot twists can be somewhat predictable, but overall I walked away satisfied.

The main characters are likable - which is something I can not say about many famous series - and they grow to your heart over time.

Give it a try, it's not that beefy and it's a solid read :)
 
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Just finished the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. First book is called Wizards First Rule. My favorite is the fifth book called, Faith of the Fallen. A really deep book in my opinion that really expresses differences in perspectives. It has magic, adventure, war, and interesting creatures. check it out!
 
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