Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 224517 times)

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artk2002

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #495 on: February 28, 2013, 07:17:30 PM »
Also, if you enjoy his works, you might also try his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle. They are both great writers on their own, but when they work together, you get something really special. I highly recommend Lucifer's Hammer, although it will make you want to start hoarding food....

Niven is excellent on the scientific basis of his writing. "The Integral Trees" was technically accurate, but put me to sleep as a story. I agree that his collaborations are better. I'm a big fan of the Dreampark series.
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Reika

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #496 on: February 28, 2013, 07:22:17 PM »
i would recommend the Mage winds followed by mage storm

I liked the Mage Winds, I was kind of so-so with Mage Storm. The two with Alberich (Exile's Honor, Exile's Valor) were very good. I liked the one about Skif ( Take a Thief ), but the problem is she came up with yet another version of his background.

I'm really enjoying the current Collegium series which takes place when the Collegium is starting to become what readers are familiar with in the "Modern Day Valdemar". Except Misty went sports nuts a few times.

Shea

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #497 on: February 28, 2013, 07:32:33 PM »

What about when the character(s)' death serves no real purpose, not even getting the plot going?

I read a sci-fi novel several years ago (don't remember the title, but I probably still have it), that was about an archaeological team studying a planet to determine why the intelligent species that had lived there had gone extinct. That was actually quite interesting (it turned out that the species had become pathologically obsessed with genetic purity and rooting out mutations, to the point where "shares" in good genetic lines was used as currency. They died out due to massive inbreeding.) There were hints of political upheaval back at the home planet, but the story was mainly about the mission.
Until the last chapter, in which the main character tells us that the ship that was supposed to come get them at the end of their mission never came, their supplies and fuel ran out, everyone else is dead, and he soon will be, too. He's leaving a record of their mission and what they found, but it's unlikely anyone will find it. Just... why? Did I miss something? I must have.

My guess is that it was an ironic twist.  While humans are researching how an intelligent alien species managed to exterminate themselves, humans at home did the same thing.  The aliens did it through obsessing about their genetic lines, humans did it through a segment of the population that insists on killing the rest of the population, as well as each other.

Yeah, that actually sounds like an interesting book. Do you remember the title, Grancalla?


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Elfmama

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #498 on: February 28, 2013, 09:30:59 PM »
I love all of them. In fact, I've made a deal with my mother that if she tries to read the first one I'll try some 'Heralds of Valdemar' book she bought for me.

"Heralds of Valdemar" can be really hit or miss. The very early ones were quite good, then the ones she wrote with her husband went downhill (to me anyway). The newest series, Foundation (I think that's what it's called), has been surprisingly good after the dross she'd been putting out.

I read the Arrows trilogy (Talia) and thought they were just OK. Nothing great but not unreadable. Which books do you recommend from the series?
I don't recommend the Last Herald Mage books.  (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Price, and Magic's Somethingorother)  I never wanted to reach into a book and slap the hero silly more than I did with Herald Vanyel. Honestly.  Three books of "Oh, boohoohoo, the Only Love Of My Life died and I will never be happy again." ::)
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Reika

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #499 on: February 28, 2013, 10:31:06 PM »
I don't recommend the Last Herald Mage books.  (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Price, and Magic's Somethingorother)  I never wanted to reach into a book and slap the hero silly more than I did with Herald Vanyel. Honestly.  Three books of "Oh, boohoohoo, the Only Love Of My Life died and I will never be happy again." ::)

Yeah, now that I think about it. I loved that trilogy when I was an angsty brooding teen, but as an adult, I have to agree.

Though not Heralds of Valdemar, but in the same world, I strongly suggest the Vows and Honor, it was originally a series of stories in Sword and Sorceress, then became a duology, and all of the stories are now in one book. Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and Oathblood.

Lackey really shone with those, making fun of all sorts of tropes.

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #500 on: February 28, 2013, 10:55:14 PM »

What about when the character(s)' death serves no real purpose, not even getting the plot going?

I read a sci-fi novel several years ago (don't remember the title, but I probably still have it), that was about an archaeological team studying a planet to determine why the intelligent species that had lived there had gone extinct. That was actually quite interesting (it turned out that the species had become pathologically obsessed with genetic purity and rooting out mutations, to the point where "shares" in good genetic lines was used as currency. They died out due to massive inbreeding.) There were hints of political upheaval back at the home planet, but the story was mainly about the mission.
Until the last chapter, in which the main character tells us that the ship that was supposed to come get them at the end of their mission never came, their supplies and fuel ran out, everyone else is dead, and he soon will be, too. He's leaving a record of their mission and what they found, but it's unlikely anyone will find it. Just... why? Did I miss something? I must have.

My guess is that it was an ironic twist.  While humans are researching how an intelligent alien species managed to exterminate themselves, humans at home did the same thing.  The aliens did it through obsessing about their genetic lines, humans did it through a segment of the population that insists on killing the rest of the population, as well as each other.

Yeah, that actually sounds like an interesting book. Do you remember the title, Grancalla?

Dangit. I went rooting around in my bookshelves looking for it, but no dice. Either it was a library book, or it's stashed in the attic. This is gonna bother mw, now...
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lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #501 on: February 28, 2013, 11:12:33 PM »
I don't recommend the Last Herald Mage books.  (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Price, and Magic's Somethingorother)  I never wanted to reach into a book and slap the hero silly more than I did with Herald Vanyel. Honestly.  Three books of "Oh, boohoohoo, the Only Love Of My Life died and I will never be happy again." ::)

Yeah, now that I think about it. I loved that trilogy when I was an angsty brooding teen, but as an adult, I have to agree.

Though not Heralds of Valdemar, but in the same world, I strongly suggest the Vows and Honor, it was originally a series of stories in Sword and Sorceress, then became a duology, and all of the stories are now in one book. Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and Oathblood.

Lackey really shone with those, making fun of all sorts of tropes.

I remember Kethry and Tarma from Sword and Sorceress! She had some really good stories with them. I think I will look the books up as well. I see a large book order in my future.

Corvid

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #502 on: March 01, 2013, 12:12:44 AM »
This is kind of odd, maybe... But sometimes, I guess in an attempt to be careful and inject realism, the author will over-describe what's happening. Like, a character is making themselves a snack, and another character walks in and starts a conversation. And interspersed with the conversation is the one character getting out a knife, getting down the jar of peanut butter, opening the bread bag, etc.. Okay, fine, there's a word for that in TV at least, so your characters aren't just standing there static, talking at each other.

The author of one light little e-series I've been reading has the annoying habit of describing the meal preparation in excruciating detail every time the main character decides to fix a meal, which is often.  It's even worse than it sounds because not only does the main character never make anything particularly complex or gourmet, she tends to make the same basic dinners again and again.  Really, I don't need to read in detail, over and over, how she put together the salad or the baked potatoes, I really don't.  This is all in the first person too.  "I scrubbed the potatoes, then rubbed them with butter and salted them lightly, wrapped them in aluminum foil, and popped them in the oven next to the chicken.  Then I washed the lettuce and set it to drain while I chopped the tomatoes and green peppers for the salad."  That's not a direct quote, but you get my drift.  And I'm not exaggerating, either.

Ereine

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #503 on: March 01, 2013, 04:01:20 AM »
In this one book I read (i believe i mentioned it on here before, about how misunderstandings kept happening throughout the book) the Lady of the House wasn't even a Lady at all, before they were married! She told him she was a Lady but she wasn't. Her husband did some snooping and found her father and the other "Lady" who was a former uh... worker of a certain industry. Also, the girl he married wasn't a worker in this industry so no reason to take on the title of Lady other than to lie to him about her parentage so she could marry a rich man and have a life of luxury I guess...

That sounds like a free e-book I just read. In that book the girl's father was a baronet so I think that author was just confused about titles and thought that baronet's daughters were ladies (I'm reading another book at the moment in which the author seems to think that an earl's granddaughter is a lady as are bastards). I think that it can be seen as justifiable artistic license as it allowed the heroine claim a good birth without actually revealing who her father was. As for the other lady, I think that she was actually one, she was from a well-born family, a former friend of the hero's mother (if it was the same book, something like Duke's Inconvenient wife) and almost married the hero's father until a scandal forced her into prostitution (or rather, becoming a courtesan).

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #504 on: March 01, 2013, 12:05:42 PM »
I mentioned above how I hate sloppy historical research, and I just remembered another example.  This was supposedly nonfiction, based on the author's real experiences.

Except, almost right at the very beginning, she talks about visiting Mount Vernon, and being intimidated by the enormous beds and the cavernous bedrooms.  Well, at the time, I had also just visited Mt. Vernon.  By today's standards, the beds were tiny.  They didn't have king size.  They had beds that would just hold an occupant, but you shouldn't toss or turn much because there was barely an inch to spare.

So I am thinking, either you are the size of a mouse, or you are making up this part.  And if you are making up this minor part, why should I believe anything else that you claim happened to you (hauntings, ghosts, possession)?  And if you are only mouse sized, your problems exceed the paranormal.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #505 on: March 01, 2013, 12:42:07 PM »
Snerk. On a different note, I used to think all those stories/shows where the descendant looks exactly like their ancestor (played by the same actor, if TV/movie) were just exaggerated to convey the supernatural situation. Then I found a picture of my great-great grandfather, who looks very, very similar to one of my cousins. Granted the guy has a big bushy beard, and if you shaved it off and stood them side by side I'm not saying they'd look like clones. But, my ancestor had a pretty common name and I was looking through a lot of photos without knowing if they were the right guy, and when I came across this one I was like, crud monkeys, it's Cousin Bob. And I'm usually pretty bad at recognizing stuff like that.

So a few months ago that might have been a fiction peeve of mine, but now I realize it apparently is kinda true, that strong family resemblances can last through several generations.

Heck, I've seen people get up in arms because characters looks eerily like their parents. I can understand when everybody's kids all look exactly like them, but as someone who's 30 years and 50 lbs from being her mother's clone, I can't exactly say 'that doesn't happen'.

My middle son is almost the spitting image of my dh.  The only difference between the two is that MS has hazel eyes and freckles that he inherited from me, whereas DH has blue eyes and no freckles.  There's a picture of my DH as a child, in b&w and he looks exactly like MS.   Also, MIL tells me that DH is a spitting image of his father.  Apparently those genes are quite strong.  2 of our 3 boys have blue eyes, but that's also partly because there's just a lot of blue eyed genes in their makeup.  My father had blue eyes and both of DH's parents were blue eyed.  Also my father has blonde hair, DH's bio-father had blonde hair and MIL says her hair was blonde when she was a child.  So the fact that we have 3 blondies is no surprise, though the youngest has a hint of red from me. :)
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lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #506 on: March 01, 2013, 12:48:44 PM »
I mentioned above how I hate sloppy historical research, and I just remembered another example.  This was supposedly nonfiction, based on the author's real experiences.

Except, almost right at the very beginning, she talks about visiting Mount Vernon, and being intimidated by the enormous beds and the cavernous bedrooms.  Well, at the time, I had also just visited Mt. Vernon.  By today's standards, the beds were tiny.  They didn't have king size.  They had beds that would just hold an occupant, but you shouldn't toss or turn much because there was barely an inch to spare.

So I am thinking, either you are the size of a mouse, or you are making up this part.  And if you are making up this minor part, why should I believe anything else that you claim happened to you (hauntings, ghosts, possession)?  And if you are only mouse sized, your problems exceed the paranormal.

Sounds like the author visited some stately houses and decided to extrapolate. Nice.

Leafy

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #507 on: March 01, 2013, 08:42:30 PM »
When a male author tries to write a female main character but gets bogged down with male stereotypes of women. A book I read a long time ago (another one of those amateur sleuth ones) did this. I could not work out why the main female character would suddenly start screaming at the men in her life when nothing had happened. She always apologised later and took the blame for being 'unreasonable' or something similar. The second time it happened I thought "What the heck is going on?" and that was when I noticed it was a male author. I did not try another of his books.

Lynn2000

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #508 on: March 04, 2013, 10:26:33 AM »

What about when the character(s)' death serves no real purpose, not even getting the plot going?

I read a sci-fi novel several years ago (don't remember the title, but I probably still have it), that was about an archaeological team studying a planet to determine why the intelligent species that had lived there had gone extinct. That was actually quite interesting (it turned out that the species had become pathologically obsessed with genetic purity and rooting out mutations, to the point where "shares" in good genetic lines was used as currency. They died out due to massive inbreeding.) There were hints of political upheaval back at the home planet, but the story was mainly about the mission.
Until the last chapter, in which the main character tells us that the ship that was supposed to come get them at the end of their mission never came, their supplies and fuel ran out, everyone else is dead, and he soon will be, too. He's leaving a record of their mission and what they found, but it's unlikely anyone will find it. Just... why? Did I miss something? I must have.

My guess is that it was an ironic twist.  While humans are researching how an intelligent alien species managed to exterminate themselves, humans at home did the same thing.  The aliens did it through obsessing about their genetic lines, humans did it through a segment of the population that insists on killing the rest of the population, as well as each other.

I once read a book of short sci-fi stories by different authors, and every single one had some kind of ironic twist at the end. I don't recall that being the point of the collection, at least. Individually each story was good and thought-provoking, but by the time I was halfway through the book, I was just like, "Okay, what's the twist going to be here? They're dead and this is just a recording? No, wait, the bartender is really a Martian. Or, it's all just a simulation to test whether you should really become an astronaut. Yawn." It was really annoying because I wasn't reading each story for itself anymore, I was trying to figure out what the twist was going to be, and sometimes the twist ended up being much more conventional than I had wildly hoped for. Hard to fault the authors for that, I guess...
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Elisabunny

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #509 on: March 13, 2013, 03:54:25 PM »
The stupid questions thread reminded me of this one:

Amish romances that insist on throwing Amish words into conversations.  Keep in mind, the people involved are not speaking English to outsiders, in which case it does make sense that they might interject Amish words.  No, they are Amish speaking their own language to each other!  There is no good reason to translate part of the conversation but not all of it.  And no, I don't think the author showing off that she (usually a she) knows some of the dialect is a good reason.
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