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Need some recommendations
Started by: srankmissingnin

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srankmissingnin
VP of Comic Knowledge

Gender: Male
Location: Canada

Need some recommendations

I'm looking for something new to read and I'm open to some suggestions. My preferred genres are darker and more cynical sword and sorcery (ie: David Gemmell or Joe Abercrombie) and historical fiction (ie: Conn Iggulden or Bernard Cornwell), but I read a bit of everything.

I HATE first person narrative, so please avoid recommending books written in the first person if possible. I couldn't even bring my self to finish Morningstar because of the first person narrative, and that was written by one of my favourite authors.


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Old Post Jan 19th, 2013 05:01 PM
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Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

Why do you hate first person narrative?


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Old Post Jan 19th, 2013 11:28 PM
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srankmissingnin
VP of Comic Knowledge

Gender: Male
Location: Canada

Because it's terrible? cool

Every time I read something in the first person it just comes off sophomoric and irritating. It's like a voice over narrative in a movie, for whatever reason I find it to be a sloppy story telling mechanic.

Maybe it reminds me of all the terrible books I had to read in public school?


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Old Post Jan 19th, 2013 11:42 PM
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Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

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quote: (post)
Originally posted by srankmissingnin
Because it's terrible? cool

Every time I read something in the first person it just comes off sophomoric and irritating. It's like a voice over narrative in a movie, for whatever reason I find it to be a sloppy story telling mechanic.

Maybe it reminds me of all the terrible books I had to read in public school?

You probably haven't read any good first person books then. If you only read genre fiction, then it's not surprising--my favorite genre fiction author, Jim Butcher, writes in first person, and I can be annoyed by it because sometimes he tries too hard to sound offbeat and funny, and because he falls into the trap of focusing on the same things over and over again. But that's genre fiction.

First person calls attention to the narration so the fact you're reading a story becomes more obvious, and it can emphasize the weaknesses of the writing more than third person. It's not that first person is sloppy, it's that it's more difficult than third person, so bad writers struggle with it. But if a first person narrator does the job well then the commentary becomes more interesting than the plot. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov for instance--the plot is incredibly simple, but the odyssey of the narrator and his worldview make it worth reading.


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Last edited by Omega Vision on Jan 20th, 2013 at 03:19 AM

Old Post Jan 20th, 2013 03:04 AM
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Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

As to a recommendation, I haven't read much Dark Fantasy, and I've read very little historical fiction, but there is a book by Robert Conroy called 1901, which is an alternate history story wherein the German Empire invades New England in 1901 so as to strongarm America into handing over Puerto Rico and the Phillipines (there is actually some evidence that the Germans did consider something like this, though it was probably never anything more than a wildcard Plan-C concocted by the Kaiser's most hawkish generals). It was entertaining, and a pretty quick read (I think I had a broken leg when I got to it, so I tore through it).


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Old Post Jan 20th, 2013 03:21 AM
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Lord Shadow Z
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Re: Need some recommendations

quote: (post)
Originally posted by srankmissingnin
I'm looking for something new to read and I'm open to some suggestions. My preferred genres are darker and more cynical sword and sorcery (ie: David Gemmell or Joe Abercrombie) and historical fiction (ie: Conn Iggulden or Bernard Cornwell), but I read a bit of everything.

I HATE first person narrative, so please avoid recommending books written in the first person if possible. I couldn't even bring my self to finish Morningstar because of the first person narrative, and that was written by one of my favourite authors.


I can get what you mean regarding Morningstar because it's probably the only book of his that's written that way. It threw me when I read it recently because of that but it's still a top-notch book.

I would reccommend:

'The Last of the Renshai' by Mickey Zucker Reichert. (1st of Series)

Very heavy on the sword-fighting in terms of the action and description of skill, violent and really enjoyable.


'Green Rider's Call' by Kristen Britain. (1st of Series)

More lent to magic and discovery than action but it does have an imaginative story, likeable characters and forbidding darker aspects. There is action but it's a bit scattered around, but well written.


'The Paladin: Book 1 of the Whiteblade Saga' by Adam Nichols (1st of Trilogy)


I actually can't remember much about this one because I read it ages ago but I know that I enjoyed the trilogy very much. I always get it confused with Gemmell's two 'Hawk Queen' books not because of the plot, but the main female protagonist reminds me of Sigarni from the HQ books.


'Hawk & Fisher: Haven of Lost Souls'
'Hawk & Fisher: Fear and Loathing in Haven'
'Blue Moon Rising'
'Beyond the Blue Moon'
'Down Among the Dead Men'

All of the last examples are from Simon R. Green who writes excellent fantasy,as well as his Deathstalker Saga which is a mesh of sci-fi/fantasy. The books above are great on action, magic and supernatural concepts. The tone can be cynical and dark but Green always has elements of wry humour and strange tangents/characters interwoven in his novels.

None of these are first-person narratives so I'm sure they'll suit what you are looking for. I don't really mind first-person, it's quite common in action/adventure/crime books but what was really weird for me was reading a first-person monologue with no dialogue. It was a good book but a bit different.

Old Post Jan 25th, 2013 10:34 PM
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Scarlet Fox
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You should read the Sword Dancer series. It is Fantasy like cause its got magic and Sheet! But its mostly sword fighting and the fights tend to be very well written.


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Old Post Feb 7th, 2013 10:31 PM
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§hroud
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Indeed

Old Post Mar 22nd, 2013 09:45 PM
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Vensai
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Location: Middle-Earth

What everyone else said. Anything more specific though? I have some ideas but don't know what kind of plot you want.


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Old Post Mar 22nd, 2013 11:02 PM
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Martian_mind
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The 'Second Apocalypse" series by R.Scott Bakker.

It starts out a bit dense, but once it gets going holy shit.


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Old Post Apr 21st, 2013 08:04 AM
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CryptKeeper
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You want dark sorcery? Try reading the Eric series by Michael Moorcock. Elric is an Albino Emperor who wields a black rune sword called Stormbringer. Also a sorcerer, Elric sets out from his Empire to explore the Young Kingdoms, facing plenty of monsters and danger along the way. The foes which Elric slays with his demonic sword provide him strength from the souls it steals.

Old Post Aug 5th, 2013 12:16 AM
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jmoul
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Have you read the Legend of Drizzt series by RA Salvatore? If not, it is quite a good read. (There are 25 books in all.

Old Post Oct 18th, 2013 04:27 PM
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Omega Vision
Face Flowed Into Her Eyes

Gender: Male
Location: Miami Metropolitan Area

I've heard good things about Ridley Walker by Russell Hoban


__________________

“Where the longleaf pines are whispering
to him who loved them so.
Where the faint murmurs now dwindling
echo o’er tide and shore."

-A Grave Epitaph in Santa Rosa County, Florida; I wish I could remember the man's name.

Old Post Oct 19th, 2013 12:45 AM
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