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Vent about the Book You're Reading

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Devor, May 11, 2018.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Malazan books are also somewhat like Russian novels in that a character may have multiple names, depending on who is talking to them.
  2. Dark Squiggle

    Dark Squiggle Troubadour

    All this stuff about names... There was a guy I went to highschool with who called himself Fat Cats, another who called himself Ducky, another was Korah, as in the rebel from the Bible, I was 'Einstein', or 'Giggidy' (A Family Guy reference I did not get).... People do use such names.
  3. I only read the first Hunger Games as well. I just felt very indifferent about it. It was easy to predict the end.

    As for Temeraire...I quit after book 3, very reluctantly. I love the dragons, but I was forced to face the fact that each book took me MONTHS to finish when usually I can finish a book in a few days. The author just insists on dragging out every single detail of the story excruciatingly. The third book somehow managed to be even more dull than the first two. I could only ever read 10ish pages at a time without getting bored. There was never any sense of suspense. It was just painful.
  4. One of my highschool friends was called Poodle by the group almost exclusively. She owned a poodle, but this was before we knew that. I also knew of someone who was only ever called Taco.

    I think the Malazan names annoyed me so much because they were so random and inconsistent. Some of it was stuff that didn't seem to really work as a nickname. And the made-up words seemed weird to me as well.
  5. Mytherea

    Mytherea Minstrel

    All right, so 'cause this thread says vent, I shall vent.

    Sooo, in my browsing through agents and such on querytracker, I came across a success interview and fell in love with the query. Everything about it screamed "totally up my alley." This was exactly the kind of book I'd read to absolute pieces. I needed it now, right now, didn't matter that I was in the middle of reading something else, this book demanded my attention. I fought the initial urge to buy it as an ebook and got it through the library's system instead (which is important) and settled in to start reading something I knew I was going to love.

    After twelve pages, all I can say about it is that it's a few rungs above indecipherable? Really though, it's like the opening has been strapped to a rocket. In twelve pages (which aren't actually "pages", just finger flicks on my phone since I borrowed it as an e-book, so in print, it's maybe five, six pages long, maybe 2,000 words, if that) seven named characters are introduced, two walk-on unnamed characters blow past, the location switches four times, one of the named characters is murdered, the main character doesn't get a name till page eight and then he gets three and is apparently a knight? I don't know. Oh, and gets magic from the murdered guy (well, he already had magic, but got more magic?). Aaaaaaand then a conspiracy is introduced and someone witnesses something they shouldn't and there's a war and a bunch of soldiers coming home but that plot thread gets maybe half a paragraph before it's subsequently forgotten and I'm sitting here, reaching for the hand brake. Stop! Stop, I say! You're going way too frickin' fast! Especially since this is supposed to be secondary world fantasy meaning, more description please? So far, there's an under-described hallway, a (waiting?) room with a desk, a street, and another room with a chair (of some sort, it doesn't get much more description other than 'chair').

    I reach the end of those twelve pages, gasping. Oh, good, I think, there's a line break. This was just some kind of weird, attention-grabbing prologue-thing to get my interest piqued. Now it's going to actually describe things and orient me to where the hell I am and what is going on.

    Ah... no. No, that'd be asking too much. Nope, the story just blazes onward, with me floundering along behind going, What? What the heck? What is this even? Where am I, what am I supposed to be visualizing, who are any of these people and why were seven of them introduced in less than a breath? No, I still don't know who half these people are and I keep having to flip back to figure out who was introduced when and if that woman is the secretary, the nurse, or someone entirely different.

    So yeah. I'm done with this book. I'm an immersion reader. I want to be transported. And I want to sink in to a story. I don't like getting thrown into the middle of things with nothing described, relying on me having watched enough historical dramas set in the late 1800's/turn of the last century to give me a semi-clear picture of what the heck this is supposed to look like.

    Grr. Thankfully I didn't buy the thing. I'd be screaming about my wasted dollars at this point.

    Venting, done.
    TheCrystallineEntity and Devor like this.
  6. Yikes. What book?
  7. Mytherea

    Mytherea Minstrel

    Messaged you with the title.
  8. Well, I just DNF'd Mark Lawrence's Red Sister.

    This book has been showered in five star reviews since it came out and holds almost a 4.3 average rating on goodreads. I thought I would love it but after 160 pages I can't convince myself to plow through.

    It's so dull. Nothing happens. I don't care about any of the characters; they're very one-dimensional and just bland. The writing is mediocre and a lot of aspects of the style seem amateurish. This writer just doesn't have a solid, evocative writing style; it's kind of clunky and drab. I must have a totally different copy than everyone else. I can imagine someone with a different perspective than me giving this four stars maybe, just out of having not experienced other, better books, but in what world is this a five-star book?

    Not to mention this was marketed as "grimdark" and it's just absolutely not? Honestly it's very YA-ish both in content and style. I've read YA that is far darker and with better worldbuilding and more complicated writing. So much for adult novels being more sophisticated. This hasn't much substance to it.

    My biggest problem with this book, though, is that barring a massive, possible God-orchestrated coincidence, this author basically plagiarized his entire plot and concept from a book published the previous year. Which was FAR better and actually dark and gritty.

    That book is Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and here's a incomplete list of the things the books have in common

    -the entire concept (young girl who is a murderer and fleeing the retribution of nobility in a late-medieval-type world, being inducted into a religious order/convent/monastery of some sort dedicated to training young people either to serve a mysterious god or to be deadly assassins)
    -just the whole vibe of the nobles and "high society " in this world is THE SAME
    -girl's story begins with a hanging (so similar it makes me cringe)
    -world building centers mostly on weird shit up with the sun/heavenly bodies (nevernight's world has multiple suns, red sister's has a red sun and some weird moon which gives heat idk)
    -girl has extremely dangerous magic, which showed itself in response to a traumatic event and which she tries to keep secret
    -story begins with girl being 9-10ish but she matures
    -the teachers in the convent/whatever have weird names
    -getting poisoned in poison class (except in nevernight people actually died lol)
    -just all of the being taught stuff except this book makes everything incredibly boring and has the girls learn geology
    -basically all the drama between the girls being trained and the training itself is violently familiar as in close to identical

    Honestly the two books are so similar i'm having trouble remembering which details were in which. They're basically the same story. I am very well aware that everything's been done before, but you shouldn't exactly copy the plot and ideas of another person's book. That's just not a good look especially for a bestselling author. I've read some very derivative books, but i'm horrified.

    The only ways Red Sister really diverges from Nevernight in concept is when it borrows from overused cliches (there's a Chosen One thing being thrown around, the main character is poor and doesn't know of her unique heritage)

    There are so many just plain bad devices used in this story. There are so many flashbacks that are irrelevant to the plot. The main character makes up two different false stories about her heritage (when the first is busted she defaults to the other) and both take PAGES for her to tell. We know the story is false both times (though the first one did leave me confused as hell) and there's really little plot relevance at all to having her lie let alone do it twice, but the author treats us to pages of her made up story both times. It's done very badly too: he keeps narrating in almost the exact same style, but it's in quotation marks, which leads you to try to picture the main character actually spitting out the vocabulary and sentence structure that the author would use in writing. She's 9. It's dialogue. No one talks like an author would when writing a book. But he doesn't attempt to tell it in her voice at all and it's just. very badly done. If i was an editor i would have told him to set both scenes on fire. It's a mess. You know how they tell you to "show" and not "tell?" Im starting to painfully understand why that's so important because so much shit is just blandly shoveled in the direction of the reader. The writing is just not good at all.

    I'm just horrified that this is so popular and loved and for some reason thought of as "dark and gritty." What? There's nothing dark and gritty in this book, at least not in the first 160 pages.

    Especially since Nevernight was actually dark and gritty, suspenseful, had well-drawn characters, had good worldbuilding and (imo) writing, and is mostly forgotten except for a small following keeping watch for the third book.

    I started skimming because my eyes just wouldn't stick to the page lol. I've rated it two stars, but i'm starting to think hard about why it deserves the second star. There's nothing good about it except the basic concept, and thats probably copied imo. Even if it wasn't, it's already been done WAY BETTER.

    And i thought my WIP was similar, but it turns out they're not that alike lol
  9. I'm serious i'm so mad that this thing is so popular
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    I haven’t read either book. Given the timeline between manuscript completion and actual publication, does it seem likely Red Sister was a direct take off of Neverknight?

    July 2016 for Neverknight. April 2017 for Red Sister.
  11. It's very close, true. But the books are at least similar enough for me to have no interest at all in reading Red Sister.
    Steerpike likes this.
  12. So i was reading an interview from Mark Lawrence and apparently he had all three books in the series written before he even published them! First of all, damn. Second of all, I wonder at how the two books are so similar if the option that he borrowed clearly isn't possible.

    Since he didn't appear to plagiarize, I don't think i have to reduce my rating any more than it is (2 stars on goodreads) but i'm still bewildered at how disappointing this one was.

    I mean, my WIP at the time i found out about both of these followed an assassin-school type topic/main idea, including a setting that was a cathedral (though there's no religion involved), but it's not even close.
  13. I rated it one star i feel so dirty :p
  14. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Honestly, Nevernight sounds so cliche it isn’t shocking at all to see something eerily like it. At one point EoS was ranked near Grey Sister so I checked the books out and... No, not going there.

    But, get used to this sort of thing. When carousing the Hollywood screenwriting scene I met a guy who wrote a screenplay, sent it to Cali, he was flown out there, wined, dined, fawned over, they alked 6 figures, and then! Another studio announced a movie called (if memory serves) Drumline. Boom! It was damned near identical to his screenplay, everyone he’d spoken to said, yeah, shit happens, tough luck, maybe next time. This sort of thing is shockingly common, a million monkeys typing and they’ll produce damned similar stories quite often.

    I can’t call this a vent about a book I’m reading, because I didn’t make it past the first page... It opens with weather, which hey! I’m cool with, but the “yawning puddle” makes me gurgle a bit. Leaping over a yawning puddle... This is freakin’ reaching, man. Either the character is Evil Knievel and this is a monster puddle... Or, okay... I survive the yawning puddddddle, I’ve seen worse, I can forgive it. The writing is meh but okay, and a few paragraphs later, there is a sentence that just... Yikes. Awkward, most likely the result of an incomplete edit. Sure, that shit happens, it happens to Brandon Sanderson in a different more forgivable way, but all this on page one? And then, another pet peeve my inner editor can’t bypass... click... done. Sad to say, this is similar to my experiences with most books.
  15. What's EoS?
  16. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Eve of Snows, book I released about 5 months ago. When it hit #1 in category in the UK, Grey Sister (and lots of Diana Gabaldon books) and EoS were in the 1-2 area, I often check out books in the nearby ranks and on EoS’ also boughts... the aforementioned book above recently took #1 on the also boughts from nowwhere, and I took a look. Was not impressed. But then, Name of the Wind doesn’t impress me either, and many thousands love it, LOL. To each their own.
  17. Ohhh! I heard something about your book I think...Congrats, I'm a bit out of the loop on Scribes's doings.

    I can't find a reason to feel interested in Name of the Wind? Just doesn't sound like i'd like it and i've gotten pretty good at discerning that sort of thing.

    Anyways, cliche or no, I did love Nevernight. Rare that I find a book that's better than okay. Have to jump on em.
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  18. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    I always want to like epic fantasy, but my inner editor is a nasty ol’ cuss. Name of the Wind, it isn’t so much the writing but the character and story which leaves me flat.

    Cliche is fine, until they’re piled one on top of the other it can get annoying... but then again, Avatar was a walking cliche in pretty CGI and it was still entertaining... but books don’t have the luxury of visuals, LOL.

    No idea if Eve would interest you, but hey, check it out. You never know.
    DragonOfTheAerie likes this.
  19. If i don't like any of the characters in a story, I can't get through it. Bottom line. Unless i'm feeling particularly masochistic and haven't made it to my goodreads goal yet...

    I'll do so ;)
  20. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Yeah, I read one book out of pure masochism recently to see if it had some redeeming quality with all its positive reviews... it did not. LOL. But it wasn’t huge either. If it’d been any longer I might not have made it.


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