What Book are you reading? and rate it.

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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Southwestwall » 12 Jul 2013, 22:03

Good lord, the last book I read was A Game of Thrones, on the trip home from Australia 15 months ago.

I was a selective though avid reader as a kid, then read to fill the duller moments of military life, at least until required to read masses of miserably functional material. Now I find myself scanning at breakneck speed to absorb content fast enough and draw no entertainment from it as a pastime.
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Johnmcl7 » 12 Jul 2013, 23:57

jurassicjim wrote:What are the best Space Marine books? Would mind dipping my ties in, would be right up my street I imagine.

j


Tricky question, how familiar are you with Warhammer 40K?

John
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby jurassicjim » 15 Jul 2013, 11:25

Johnmcl7 wrote:
jurassicjim wrote:What are the best Space Marine books? Would mind dipping my ties in, would be right up my street I imagine.

j


Tricky question, how familiar are you with Warhammer 40K?

John


Kind of familiar, played some of the games, used to have a bit of it when I was a kid, painting the models and stuff. Whenever I see your posts I read them and likewise generally around the internet.

j
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby robbo » 15 Jul 2013, 22:19

Johnmcl7 wrote:Robbo - feel free to rant about ebook prices, personally I wouldn't buy anything from Nook when you can go for larger platforms that are better supported. Given the hassle you seem to be having it sounds like it's worth rooting the Nook and using the Kindle store which I'm guessing you're probably considering already.


I hadn't actually but I will now. Will have a look into it. You done it with yours?

And I hate struggling with a book also. Feel like you are inclined to have to finish it so force myself to speed read through it just to finish it and it becomes a big chore.
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Combat Marmot » 08 Aug 2013, 20:03

I'm currently reading 'The Confusion' by Neal Stephenson. It's part of the Baroque Cycle of books; essentially a series which is a combination of historical fact/characters with fictional ones added in. This one is the second of three paperbacks available in the UK but each one technically contains 3 sub books. They're of the "multiple storylines" type.

I first got in to his books with 'Snow Crash'. His books are very intelligent, often dealing with cryptography/mathematics in the text but this can make them quite heavy reads and difficult to dip in and out of. On the whole I'd really recommend him as an author to a technical reader.

I also enjoy reading Heinlein and get quite annoyed when I try to describe to others that Starship Troopers has some quite "modern" sci-fi concepts in it and all they can think of is the rather cheesy film. I'd also recommend 'Stranger in a Strange Land', it's in a stack of mine to re-read (this is quite a good indicator of a book since I very rarely have an aim to re-read some).
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Fodder » 09 Aug 2013, 06:57

Stranger in a Strange land is excellent and Starship Troopers (the book) has much more depth/detail than the film. Both good though. Time Enough For Love is another Heinlein worth reading, it's a kind of Lazarus Long biography from what I remember.

Been reading another couple of Ryk Brown's Frontiers Saga. Pretty good space opera fair and only a couple of quid on Kindle. Also enjoying the Warrior's Wings series from Evan Currie, also on Kindle and even cheaper.
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Johnmcl7 » 11 Aug 2013, 22:06

Robbo, no I haven't rooted mine as it's taken the books I wanted on it without issue although I was thinking of looking into seeing if there's a reader app I could install on it and the Nook HD+ and sync my progress so whatever I pick up, it's on the right book at the right place.

Combat Marmot - while I love the Starship Troopers for the parody it is, I do think the original book is incredible how forward looking it was. It's not that it suggested the idea of power armour but that the author really thought through how would the suits be stored, how to deploy and retrieve them, how would the operator control the synthetic muscles and how they would use standard functions like communications. It is a shame that despite all that, the book is mostly focused on the politics of that and the combat is largely ignored.

The Warhammer book I've just finished is a slightly different one about a penal legion which is made of up of those who have committed crimes while part of the imperial guard (the bog standard army soldiers). Instead of prison or execution they can serve again to gain a posthumous pardon, they're led by a fanatical Colonel who believes he is genuinely saving their souls as they're thrown into brutal suicidal battles. There is an overriding reason for it all but it's it's a pleasant change as the penal soldiers aren't closely knit with each other and they're not doing it for honour, many of them are brutal criminals and there's considerable in fighting.

I was annoyed last year that Games Workshop decided to cash in on the Heresy series and started only offering new books in hardback. Aside from the additional cost, I didn't want hardbacks as they take up more space and I have 22 books already in the series which are small paperbacks. So I decided to wait the 9 months knowing that once the paperbacks started again, the gap would be regular again so finally the break is over!

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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Johnmcl7 » 09 Sep 2013, 01:01

jurassicjim wrote:
Johnmcl7 wrote:
jurassicjim wrote:What are the best Space Marine books? Would mind dipping my ties in, would be right up my street I imagine.

j


Tricky question, how familiar are you with Warhammer 40K?

John


Kind of familiar, played some of the games, used to have a bit of it when I was a kid, painting the models and stuff. Whenever I see your posts I read them and likewise generally around the internet.

j


I found some of the Warhammer books a bit tough to get started with in the sense I wasn't understanding them fully and what makes it more difficult is that the books always reflect the current Codex which can mean quite significant changes depending on what year the book was written. I was a bit puzzled by the newest Grey Knights novel the Emperor's Gift as the Grey Knights are quite different to the previous books not only utilising new weaponry but also much more open with their psyker powers which was due to heavy changes in the codex. The Necron have been completely rebooted and their backstory entirely rewritten.

Anyway, these are some of the books I've enjoyed - let me know if any of them appeal to you and I can see about sending an electronic version onwards.

Spoiler:
The Night Lords trilogy (Soul Hunter/Blood Reaver/Void Stalker) - If I was going to recommend one trilogy it would be this one which seems a strange choice as I'm not a fan of traitor marines but that says a lot about the books. The Night Lords are slightly different to the rest of the traitor legions as they'd already turned against the Imperium before the Horus Heresy started, they believed the best way to keep worlds in compliance was through brutal violence. They didn't just beat rebellions back they completely destroyed them leading to worlds to fall back into compliance even just on the news that the Night Lords were on their way. Fellow legions however didn't agree with this approach and distanced themselves from the Night Lords, when the Heresy occurred the Night Lords stood under Horus but never embraced Chaos and see daemons and possessions as weakness.

Something that bugs me about the Chaos depictions is that they're very flat and seem little more than blood, spikes and daemons but what I like about the Night Lords books is that it properly expands on what the day to day life of a Chaos marine is like which is not easy, far away from any proper support and lacking any sort of cohesion they remain very isolated. Due to time spent in the warp for the Night Lords the Heresy is a recent event whereas for the Imperium it's been a massive 10,000 years so they're still very bitter about it and still want to make the Imperium pay. The characters in the books are great as there's no 'chests swelling with pride' or honourable combat, they'll do whatever it takes to survive and not at all bothered about losing fellow soldiers. It starts off well but unusually for a trilogy it builds up well and has a fantastic finish.

Emperor's Gift - A Grey Knights standalone novel and unusually looks at the more controversial side of the Inquisition, they're not really the heroes and while they are always trying save the Imperium the approaches they have to take are questionable. There is a slight twist which relates to Ravenor but not having read Ravenor doesn't lose that much.

Angels of Darkness - A Dark Angels standalone novel that was controversial at the time although a lot of it has been retconned since then, I like this novel as it's not a straightforward bulldoze in , kill everyone, save the day and in particular this could only be a Dark Angels story whereas many of the books feel generic and could be about any chapter. The novel follows an Interrogator-Chaplain whose job it is to track down the Fallen, those within the Dark Angels that turned against their fellow marines. It swaps between two time periods, the current one and 15 years before when he was interrogating a member of the Fallen he'd captured. There was a follow up to this book which I was pleased about but sadly it's a fairly conventional and rather dull book.

Storm of Iron - effectively a Battles book before that became an official thing, this book follows the Iron Warriors take on an Imperial Citadel but after the introduction it switches back and forth following the viewpoints of both the defenders and attackers as they trade blows. I bought the book as it features the Dies Irae which was the Imperator-class Titan that led the attack on Earth during the heresy (and also features during the early Heresy books) but thought it a pretty good read.

If you've always wondered what it was like during the Heresy era when the Primarchs still led their legions and the Emperor was alive, the new Heresy series is worth a look. Frustratingly Games Workshop realised they were onto a good thing and started needlessly dragging it out so the initial few books have great pace and storylines but after that the quality goes all over the place with some great books, some mediocre and some just garbage. The first few books are definitely worth a read.

There's a few non Space Marine ones worth considering as well. The Eisenhorn trilogy follows an Ordos Xenos Inquisitor and gives a glimpse of normal life in the Imperium as Eisenhorn prefers the sneaky approach to the all guns blazing some of his fellow Inquisitors opt for. The Ravenor trilogy was a spin off which some prefer although I didn't find as good. The Gaunt's Ghost series which is around 14 books in and no sign of ending follows a newly found regiment who are experts in tracking and stealth but struggle with both the politics of their situation and the actual combat.
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Tappy » 09 Sep 2013, 09:55

John, I know it's not your preferred army, but have you read any of the Eldar books by Gavin Thorpe, the Path of the Eldar ones? I like a lot of things I've read by him, and he was always insightful and fun when he did bits for White Dwarf (and he seems to have a great taste in armies, and a good surname...)

Just wondering if they were worth a punt. Liking the sound of the Dangels book by him you mentioned above.
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Johnmcl7 » 09 Sep 2013, 12:41

I like Gav Thorpe as well and find he's a bit underrated when compared to Dan Abnett and Aaron Dembski-Bowden. I decided to give the Eldar trilogy (Path of the Warrior/Path of the Seer/Path of the Outcast) a go due to that and I think they're very good as the Eldar like Chaos are frequently with little depth and just there to be mown down by heroic Space Marines. Most of the first two books are based on a craftworld and give an interesting view into day to day life of the Eldar and how the concept of the Paths is central to that life. All three books are set at the same time featuring three friends, each book is told from the viewpoint of one of the three characters. It works well as you see in some cases the same event from each of their viewpoints then much of the content is when the character is on their own so you're gradually given the pieces to work out what has caused the main event in the first book near the end of the third book.

A word of warning, Path of the Renegade which confusingly was released around the same time as Path of the Outcast is a completely different series. It instead starts a Dark Eldar trilogy which is followed by Path of the Incubus and will be finished by Path of the Archon next year. The two series are not in any way related and the Dark Eldar trilogy is sequential rather than all told at the same time.

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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Tappy » 09 Sep 2013, 13:57

Johnmcl7 wrote:(...) just there to be mown down by heroic Space Marines.


:lol:

You and your attempts at subliminal propaganda!
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Johnmcl7 » 09 Sep 2013, 17:47

Nah, just the way the Space Marines are frequently depicted - always the heroes fighting down the last man against incredible odds to save the day. That's why I like the novels where there it's not just straightforward save the day scenarios, aside from depicting the Eldar as impossibly quick and deadly enemy they are the Nightlords books are very much the opposite of the usual honourable Space Marines. This is a section where the Night Lords ship is under attack from loyalist forces and a Night Lord veteran takes on a loyalist Terminator champion:

Spoiler:
'I am Tolemion of the Genesis, Warden of the West Protectorate. I am the End of Heretics, the Bane of Traitors and a Loyal Son of Guilliman.'

'Oh' Xarl chuckled through his voxsponder. 'You must be very proud'. He tossed something round and heavy onto the decking between them both. It rolled to knock gently against Tolemion's boot. A helm. A Genesis Space Marine's helm - the eye lenses put out, the faceplate smeared with blood.
'You'll scream just as he did,' Xarl said with a smile.
The Champion showed no reaction. He didn't even move. 'I knew that warrior,' he said with solemn care. 'He was Caleus, born of Newfound, and I know he died as he lived: with courage, honour, and knowing no fear.'

Xarl swept his chainsword across the scene, gesturing at the prone forms of First Claw[his own squad]. 'I know all of these warriors. They are First Claw, and I know they'll die as they lived: trying to run away.'

It was the laughter that did it. His mockery of the Genesis Champion's demeanour wasn't quite enough to incite the Imperial wretch to rage but Xarl's laughter served as the coffin's final nail.

Tolemion advanced, shield high and hammer at the ready. 'Make peace with your black-hearted gods, heretic. Tonight you will know the-'

Xarl gave a distinctly annoyed snort. 'I'd forgotten how much you heroes liked the sound of your own voices.'
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Tappy » 10 Sep 2013, 13:32

Johnmcl7 wrote:Nah, just the way the Space Marines are frequently depicted - always the heroes fighting down the last man against incredible odds to save the day.


I would say Space Marines are depicted as believing they are the heroes fighting down to the last man against incredible odds.

The Eldar Army book guff (by Gav Thorpe probably) describes them as having an air of naivety, blindly virtuous with no virtue. I always liked how there was the otherside to the story. And a lot of this is probably as part of the GW balancing act to try to not have a 'good' group, just many shades of evil.
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby robbo » 28 Sep 2013, 00:02

Just finished reading Watchmen. Really enjoyed it. First graphic novel/comic I've ever really read. Got to get into the Dragon Ball stuff now seeing as I've bought the first 6 volumes in two 3-in-1 books.

Any other graphic novels and/or manga or the like to recommend for a n00b?

Oh, and I have read comics before - loved reading the beano and sonic the comic, reading conic strips in newspapers and wishing I could read Thai in the comic books my cousins were reading - but just not read the novel type.
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Re: What Book are you reading? and rate it.

Postby Tappy » 28 Sep 2013, 09:08

I wanted to get into Marvel comics again and a friend recommended the new Infinity miniseries. Although it is a stand alone series, it is built up in the Avenger series. My friend's idea being that if I enjoyed it, I could get into another series and not feel like I need to read a decade worth of comics! I've only read the first one so far though!
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