Weekend Report

The Whining is over

I think I can finally say that I’m over my cold, though I did take meds today, but at last I feel, why, almost normal. I am a wimp about being sick. Abu the kitty is settled in and a very happy, charming cat. He’s disconcerted with me for putting Advantage on him (flea killing crap) and has kept a low profile, though at the moment he’s chewing on the buttons of my sweater.

I’ve been working on The Next Historical, which I am thinking of titling Infamous. We’ll see if that sticks. Now that I’ve figured out my hero, I’ve still got to redo the initial chapters to reflect that and it’s giving me fits, but then the early stages always do. Anyway, should be an awesome story. I deleted all my chapters with the hero since they were based on my (airquotes)synopsis(airquotes) and that never happens. On the other hand, I had to write them  in order to find out who he was.

Recent Reading

I made the mistake of starting Brent Weeks’s The Black Prism on Friday which I can report to you was quite good. It’s a 620 page behemoth that made me wish I’d bought it as an eBook because there was really no way to get comfy in bed with this book. I finished it about 2:00 AM Saturday. It’s a great follow up to his Assassin series. The one thing that bugged me was that the direct thoughts of the POV characters were not italicized and 1) there were a lot of these direct thoughts and 2) it made it easy to miss the transition to narrative or another POV. It tripped me up a lot. Really a lot. I wish his editor had spoken to him sternly about how confusing that was.

The female roles and characters were far more traditional than in his previous series. The main female character was very strong and not girly, but the world was more traditionally male oriented, too. I’m not convinced she was a sufficient counterbalance for all the other familiar female roles. I think it might be because the young mage role was so familiar — young hero of secret royal/magical parentage, not thought to be magical but, of course, he is, and wildly so. That role was inhabited by a fat character, which was interesting, and I really, really enjoyed the way he interacted with women — well done and not cliched at all. This is primarily because traditional roles or not, Weeks fully realizes his female characters, and this always makes for interesting goings on when the characters are interacting. The main male character has a nice twist that was easy enough to anticipate, but there’s a really nice switch up going on there that should play out in interesting ways.

Hardback vs. Paperback

The fact that the Weeks book was HUGE made me wonder about buying the 2nd one in hardback. I probably will because the series is good and I’m looking forward to the next installment. But jeez. I also recently read another hardback (a romance) that was just meh that had been in my TBR for months, and I have to say I’m not buying this author in hardback anymore. The last three have not been worth the money or the size inconvenience and though I enjoy the books, they’re just not meaty enough anymore. The depths of the earlier books just isn’t there. If I’m going to lug around a hardback and shell out extra money, the story had better be darn good. Yes to Weeks, No to the other.

Giving up?

That thought made me think about when I stop reading an author or series. There are a couple I’m on the fence about and some I’m rabid about. My recent meh experience makes me wonder if I’ll even bother reading the series anymore. I’ve always liked this author’s stories more her writing — in that the emotional intensity of the relationships made up for the weak craft. Now I’m not feeling the emotional intensity anymore and the weak writing just doesn’t carry the story. We’ll see. On the other hand, if Berkley brought out MelJean Brook in hardback, I’d buy without a blink and I buy Lee Child in hardback. When do you give up on an author or series and why?

My SQUEEE moment

John Scalzi posted a picture of his ARC of Patrick Rothfuss’s sequel to Name of the Wind. I kind of couldn’t breathe when I saw it. OMG!!!!!!!!!

And now I have to get some sleep which I didn’t last night thanks to Brent Weeks and his Black Prism.

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5 Responses to “Weekend Report”

  1. Janet O'Kane says:

    I gave up reading Mo Hayder after her second book, ‘The Treatment’ because the premise was just too revolting even to put down in words here. A pity: her first, ‘Birdman’ was excellent.

  2. Janet: I read some of the Amazon reviews for The Treatment and though I like a good suspense/crime novel, I think Hayder sounds a bit too dark for me. I can’t read Elizabeth George for somewhat similar reasons. Everyone seems to agree she’s a great writer, though.

  3. My 14 yr old son and I recently finished THE BLACK PRISM also and agree wholeheartedly with your review. Especially the part about the lack of italics–I found myself re-reading more than a few passages. But I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story overall, just like in the Assassin’s series.

    And having been on Kingkiller watch for more than a year and a half as well, we were both cheering at Scalzi’s picture of Patrick Rothfuss’s second book.

    With the shocking similarities in our (yours and mine) taste in reading, I’m beginning to think that I’m your less talented, evil twin trapped here in the great frozen tundra of Chicago ;-).

  4. Pamela:
    Oh, how fun that you and your son could enjoy the book together. Mine, alas, just isn’t a reader.

    I just finished Sanderson’s 1st volume in the Way of King’s series and will have my comments up soon. 800+ pages!

    Also, sorry, but I am already the evil twin of any evil twin relationships.

  5. Luc (my son) is a big fantasy reader and I’ve just picked up the third book in the Wheel of Time series for him. I’m insisting that he read them in order before he gets to Sanderson’s excellent wrapup/twofer to close it out. I almost took a picture of The Name of the Wind, which is at the foot of his bed where he keeps dropping it after he falls asleep reading.

    It is loads of fun being able to read books with him and I used to read out loud to both him and his younger brother. But the older son would sometimes find the book and read ahead (or finish!) which made the younger son quite put out, lol. So, now we just read and then trade books. He’s also recently finished the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies by Robin Hobb, which we both loved.

    *Sigh* Well, I’ll keep my place in line for the evil twin relationship because you just never know, right? ;-).