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Larry Borgia 12-03-2012 01:45 PM

Next books to read.
 
So I'm almost finished with the last paperback Dresden Files book, and I recently finished A Feast for Crows. I'm looking for a new series, or maybe just a new novel for my escapist reading. It should be reasonably well written and exciting, with a lot of action and some fantastic content. Science fiction is fine, but I'm looking for more action and less thought provoking speculation, though some of that is fine. Straightforward non-supernatural or SF thrillers are good too. Any suggestions?

Just FTR

Game of Thrones
What I liked: It's very well written. No clunky passages, no sentences that made me cringe. reasonably well developed characters, and an unpredictable, cliche free plot.

What I didn't: Lots of rambling storylines that go nowhere. Obviously I haven't read the ending, but right now it seems like the whole thing could have been a trilogy. Also
SPOILER:
Everyone you care about dies


Dresden Files
What I liked: Fun trashy entertainment. Butcher can write an action scene that rocks. There are Scary Monsters, and a rich if somewhat haphazard universe.

What I didn't: It's kind of...cheesy, isn't it? Some of the writing drifts into being just too arch and snarky, though usually Butcher redeems himself in the action sequences. Also it really is trashy, not that there's anything wrong with that!

jsgoddess 12-03-2012 02:07 PM

I'd recommend the Felix Castor books by Mike Carey, starting with The Devil You Know.

They are, to me, a more intense, more British, version of The Dresden Files.

Larry Borgia 12-03-2012 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsgoddess (Post 15758104)
I'd recommend the Felix Castor books by Mike Carey, starting with The Devil You Know.

They are, to me, a more intense, more British, version of The Dresden Files.

Wow, that is definitely going on the short list! Thanks.

jsgoddess 12-03-2012 02:44 PM

For a reasonably well-written, actiony SF novel, maybe Valor's Choice, by Tanya Huff. It's got a military setting, lots of battles as far as I remember. It's the first in a series of, I think, six books, but I have only read the first one.

Larry Borgia 12-04-2012 12:25 PM

My one allotted bump, and another thank you to jsgoddess. I've also been checking out the recommendation thread compendium, which is awesome.

bobot 12-04-2012 06:49 PM

I can't explain exactly why, but I think Clive Barker's Weaveworld is a fascinating book.

Little Nemo 12-04-2012 11:34 PM

Benedict Jacka has started a series based on the character of Alex Verus. Verus is a magician/investigator like Harry Dresden. There are three books in the series so far: Fated, Cursed, and Taken. I've only read the first one but it was pretty good.

Another possibility is Justin Gustainis's Occult Crime Unit Investigation books. They're about Sgt Stan Markowski of the Supernatural Crimes Squad of the Scranton PD. The series is based on the idea that supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, wizards, etc are living openly in human society and special police units have been set up to deal with crimes related to them. There are two books in the series so far: Hard Spell and Evil Dark.

wonderlust 12-05-2012 12:12 AM

You might enjoy the wicked good pulp-noir supernatural/horror novels by Charlie Huston, beginning with Already Dead. His writing style is direct, the books are short, and his hip take on conventions pulls no punches. He also has a hard-boiled series if you like him.

wonderlust 12-05-2012 12:19 AM

Additionally, you might like Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series, starting with Magic Bites. A good friend of mine folowed Dresden with this series, and highly recommends it. He says the world is fascinating, and the characters are great.

(I missed the edit window.)

Larry Borgia 12-05-2012 02:07 AM

Thanks to all.

I liked Weaveworld, bobot, so long ago that I've forgotten it. Might be time to check it out again. I met Clive Barker at a club in the 80s. He drew a picture on the back of my leather jacket and signed it. I wonder if it would be worth anything.

Johnny Bravo 12-05-2012 09:04 AM

If you enjoyed the fun trashiness of the Dresden Files, you might enjoy the Sandman Slim books.

They're ultra-violent, ultra-dark, hardboiled, supernatural, neo-noir books. I really enjoyed them all.

Here is a review of the first one. It was Boing Boing's review of the second novel in the series that got me reading them, but there are a few minor spoilers in that one.

Johnny Bravo 12-05-2012 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsgoddess (Post 15758104)
I'd recommend the Felix Castor books by Mike Carey, starting with The Devil You Know.

They are, to me, a more intense, more British, version of The Dresden Files.

Thanks for the recommendation. I just checked with my library's digital lending program and they have a copy available.

I love the internet.

I love it so much.

edit: Damnit. It's an audiobook. Their regular version is currently checked out and I had to go on a waiting list.

:( :( :(

Tanaqui 12-05-2012 10:07 AM

On a similar vein as the Dresden books, I really enjoy an occasional infusion of some noir-esque urban fiction in the form of Simon R. Green Nightside series. They're silly and short, but (at least the first few, that I've read) have been great fun.

Then, of course, there is the classic fantasy noir of Glen Cook, whom Jim Baker was almost certainly inspired by.

Little Nemo 12-05-2012 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tanaqui (Post 15764739)
Then, of course, there is the classic fantasy noir of Glen Cook, whom Jim Baker was almost certainly inspired by.

Or Randall Garrett, who probably inspired Cook.

Khadaji 12-05-2012 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 15763733)
Benedict Jacka has started a series based on the character of Alex Verus. Verus is a magician/investigator like Harry Dresden. There are three books in the series so far: Fated, Cursed, and Taken. I've only read the first one but it was pretty good.

Another possibility is Justin Gustainis's Occult Crime Unit Investigation books. They're about Sgt Stan Markowski of the Supernatural Crimes Squad of the Scranton PD. The series is based on the idea that supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, wizards, etc are living openly in human society and special police units have been set up to deal with crimes related to them. There are two books in the series so far: Hard Spell and Evil Dark.

I enjoyed Jacka's stuff and just about the same time I discovered him I also discovered Peter Grant, who has a series that I feel falls within the genre.

One of the things that hooked me: in Jacka's first novel he does a shout-out to Butcher. It was fun.

(And I've read every one of Cook's.)

I also like the Iron Druid series.

Lastly, even though it isn't in the same genre, I will strongly recommend Butcher's other series, The Codex Alera which I really enjoyed. The first one was very slow and I almost put it down, but once I got through it, I liked the others very much. There is a fun little anecdote about it. Youtube video.

lisiate 12-05-2012 08:38 PM

High on action, low on fantasy? How about Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles. It's Arthur, but in a more grounded way than every other version I've read. Cornwell's my go to author for this kind of thing. His Saxon Tales are also good (although I've only read the first 3 of the 7 out so far) as is the Grail Quest trilogy. While Cornwell's better known for his Sharpe series I prefer his more recent work set in the dark ages.

bobot 12-05-2012 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 15763995)
Thanks to all.

I liked Weaveworld, bobot, so long ago that I've forgotten it. Might be time to check it out again. I met Clive Barker at a club in the 80s. He drew a picture on the back of my leather jacket and signed it. I wonder if it would be worth anything.

I'm sure it is, but I would hang on to that if I were you!
:)

jsgoddess 12-05-2012 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny Bravo (Post 15764565)
Thanks for the recommendation. I just checked with my library's digital lending program and they have a copy available.

I love the internet.

I love it so much.

edit: Damnit. It's an audiobook. Their regular version is currently checked out and I had to go on a waiting list.

:( :( :(

Now I feel all responsible for that. Sorry. :(

:)

Der Trihs 12-05-2012 11:07 PM

You might like Mistborn and sequels; plenty of action and very well written.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Khadaji (Post 15766715)
I also like the Iron Druid series.

Ha, beat me to it; I was going to recommend that. It reminded me a lot of the Dresden series.

Larry Borgia 12-06-2012 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobot (Post 15767122)
I'm sure it is, but I would hang on to that if I were you!
:)

I'll hang on to it. I doubt I could even prove it was his artwork and signature, unless I write to him and he remembers an evening 25 years ago. I'm not wearing it though. I think I'm a little old and paunchy to wear my going out clothes from my 20s.

Thanks again to everyone for your responses.

Johnny Bravo 12-11-2012 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jsgoddess (Post 15767456)
Now I feel all responsible for that. Sorry. :(

:)

A minor bit of necromancy I suppose, but appropriate given the context. I just wrapped up the second book in the series. I'm rather enjoying it so far. I like the limitations that the main character has to deal with. The Dresden series definitely has a bit of power creep going on.

VunderBob 12-11-2012 10:07 AM

Next on my list is Tom Clancy's Threat Vector, as soon as my DiL-to-be gets it for me for Christmas. ;)

XT 12-11-2012 10:49 AM

Quote:

Dresden Files
What I liked: Fun trashy entertainment. Butcher can write an action scene that rocks. There are Scary Monsters, and a rich if somewhat haphazard universe.
Just finished that one myself and it was pretty good, though now I have to wait for the next one which is always a bit of a struggle. I read the latest Iron Druid book before that...if you haven't read the series, you might want to check it out. It's similar to the Dresden Files, but different enough to still be a good read. I especially like the dog, though to get the full effect you need to listen to the unabridged audio books from Audible.com, IMHO.

Currently I'm re-listening to Gathering Storm...after that I'll hit Towers of Midnight, hopefully right in time for A Memory of Light which is coming out January 8th. Probably the most anticipated book for me in years.

Larry Borgia 12-14-2012 12:39 PM

So I did pick up the first Mike Carey novel. Also, the first of Lee Child's Jack Reacher thrillers, though I doubt I'll see the movie.

I didn't mean to bias opinions so much in favor of urban fantasy, though I appreciate all the recommendations. I like other genres, and haven't read any urban fantasy other than the Dresden Files.

I'm going to start Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for my next, more involved read.

Thanks again!

Little Nemo 12-14-2012 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 15796679)
I didn't mean to bias opinions so much in favor of urban fantasy, though I appreciate all the recommendations. I like other genres, and haven't read any urban fantasy other than the Dresden Files.

I'm going to start Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for my next, more involved read.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is a great book. I know it was only published eight years ago but I think it's going to be one of the classics of the fantasy genre and something that people will still be reading a hundred years from now.

Other fantasy recommendations, out of the urban fantasy sub-genre:

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. I just reread this one (I picked up a copy at a library sale). Bujold's mainly known for her science fiction but she's also written several fantasy novels. This one, in my opinion, is her best. A good central character and a tightly-woven plot.

Devil's Tower and Devil's Engine by Mark Sumner. Excellent mixture of the fantasy and western genres. The central premise is the Civil War caused a major necromantic event which caused civilization to collapse in the old west. The books are set twenty years later showing how people are coping with a Old West where magic works. So you have gunfights that use spells and sheriffs that are wizards.

SCAdian 12-14-2012 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 15796824)
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold. I just reread this one (I picked up a copy at a library sale). Bujold's mainly known for her science fiction but she's also written several fantasy novels. This one, in my opinion, is her best. A good central character and a tightly-woven plot.

Haven't read that one, but I really enjoyed The Hallowed Hunt, which is set in the same world.

Am I the only Mercedes Lackey fan around here? The Diana Tregarde series (especially the third book, Jinx High), the SERRAted Edge, Bedlam's Bard....


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