Book Recommendations

  • This is for those books you think might be under appreciated or not well-known.

    I'll kick it off with this:
    The Peacemakers (The Nemesis Engines, Book 1)

    Fair warning: my friend wrote this. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    It's somewhat marketed as 'steampunk,' but there's very little of that there. Honestly, to me, it's much stronger in the pulp category. If you like alt history and pulp ala Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, you'll probably enjoy it.

    I hope he finishes book 2 soon, but he's a v. busy man.

    EDIT: Link fixed. Apparently my clipboard still had the link to one of my short stories. cough Sorry!

  • God's Demon by Wayne Barlowe, about a rebellion in Hell against Beelzebub.
    I found the book through his art, which is just fucking cool, and it is a really good read. Souls are a tiny bit reminiscent of oWoD Wraiths in that they get turned into building materials and such, there's body horror and hints of gore and Hell honestly feels like Hell. There's enough grimdark and hope in equal measure without getting too weirdly religious and preachy, which I've noticed a lot of fiction set in Christian mythology gets. He's been working on a sequel fooooooooreeeeeeever and I am still waiting for it as anxiously as I was when I first read the book years ago.

  • Shameless plug for my book: Martian Dreams, about a medic who gets caught up in a brewing revolution on Mars. It was a prequel for Martian Dreams MUSH, if anybody remembers that.

    I'm also a big fan of the Pike Logan adventure series, about a team of counter-terrorism operatives.

  • Pitcrew

    The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century

    A Scholarly book that is quite interested in examining society, crim and punishment of 16th century Germany through the lens of a dishonored class- an executioner.

    Also the only book where I've read that someone used a dog as a murder weapon. Let me be clear here, the person did not sick a dog on someone and that killed them. The murder weapon... was the dog. Hilariously enough this is very important for the focus of the text as this comes back to haunt his family because his family is tainted with 'death' and ends up condemning him to a life of being in the executioners guild.

    The book is full of black humor sorts of anecdotes too. And uh.. terrible criminals and crimes, so you know.. be prepared for that, but for a factual book, quite good.

    It was Mr. Jones, outside the farm house, with the dog.

    If you want to feel bad and want to kill yourself, Lost Girls: Sex and Death in Renaissance Florence tugs at the heartstrings really, really badly. Such a downer of a book, but also entrancing in it's own, horrifying way.

    What do the people of Florence, Italy do with the most unwanted sorts of people; Orphan girls? This book examines the 'future' that these young women have to look forward to, and ultimately examines how just hopelessly fucked these poor girls were. And these girls were the lucky ones that were able to get accepted into an orphanage.

    The amazon review does have a few misleading lines in it, especially at the end of the second paragraph, but the worst part is, it's more sort of accurate in a way-oh man, this is so depressing.

    But if you know a red pill, throw them this text.

  • Pitcrew

    Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab.

  • The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch.

    A refreshing fantasy series which focuses on a small band of thieves with distinct and entertaining personalities. The world itself comes off as quite unique and well realized mixing, themes which I personally have not often seen in Fantasy. For example a clear inspiration taken from the Sicilian Mafia and generally organized crime beyond what one typically imagines for a fantasy setting, also highly varied depending on where in this fantastical world they are.

    I would describe it in a way as what people today call "low fantasy", as in magic generally is not highly involved in the series. Atleast to a start, and the more fantastical and magical elements are not the focus as much as larceny and the art of the con.

    The books handle relationships, both romantic and platonic in a wonderful way through highs and lows dealing with a band which are sworn together against the world. I would especially praise the way in which Lynch handles the central romantic relationship of the series. It boldly points out flaws, issues and problems with how the characters act towards eachother. The main character's romantic interest is also, to me, an intriguing and very powerful female character who is also quite well realized as much as she plays into and sometimes inverts various literary stereotypes. Although I will say, she as a character is introduced properly later than the rest although very much present throughout.

    The series is a planned to be in seven parts, and so far the first three books have been released. The last being in 2013, so it has been a long wait. Each has an overarching theme which somehow makes use of their criminal talents.

    The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006) is a revenge story.
    Red Seas Under Red Skies (2007) is a heist story.
    The Republic of Thieves (2013) is a spy story.

  • Admin

    Along with Kingkiller Chronicles (which is fucking amazing) my other favorite book series' latest instalment is coming out very soon so I wanted to recommend it.

    Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson is the third book in the Stormlight Archive series. It's so original - it's fantasy set in a world periodically ravaged by superstorms, where humanity is engaged in a war with a race they don't understand, themselves separated into castes based on the color of their eyes.

    The spotlight is shared by several really interesting characters, both male and female, each with developing special abilities and all interwoven into a massive plot by Sanderson (it's his forte, the guy is really good at spinning threads and then bringing them together) which is set to last for ten books... and he will pull it off, too. The guy is a writing machine.

    I can't recommend it enough.

  • Pitcrew

    @arkandel Augh, I have the first two sitting on my table to read at the insistence of my boss. I need to get to that, they sound so good.

  • Admin

    @sunny They are massive books, too. Massive. I hope your table is sturdy.

  • The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks.

    I am not not re-reading it because of my new, shiny vampire.

  • @arkandel

    It's weird how good Kingkiller is, because the main character is like the worst Mary Sue I've seen in ages.

  • Pitcrew


    He really is... but it is very well written.

    ***=Kingkiller spoilish***

    click to show

  • Admin

    @olsson Opinions on that vary (but I don't want to spoil why here), but it doesn't matter too much because Patrick Rothfuss is engaged in a game of chicken with George R.R. Martin about who publishes their next book last, and they both refuse to lose.

  • @arkandel said in Book Recommendations:

    Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson is the third book in the [Stormlight Archive]


    Sanderson is my fave between Mistborn and Stormlight Archive. Stormlight is very Wheel of Time-y feeling to me.

    I will say, I felt like the Stormlight stuff started out agonizingly slow. But it is definitely worth it.

    I really dug the Demon Cycle series too. (First book is The WARDED Man in english, not The PAINTED Man.)

  • Admin

    @tempest Yeah, that was a great series too.

    Have you tried the Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron? Another favorite of mine - fantasy once again, humanity is fighting a losing war with nature - and they're losing, badly. The forests are reclaiming the world, creatures of the Wild are pushing civilisation back into their castles... very cool, occasionally grimdark stuff. Excellent depictions of battles, too.

    Oh also! The Broken Empire series is currently in its third trilogy - but they can be read mostly in any order since they're about different characters. That's the most underrated stuff most people should know about since the author is crazy creative - there are so many ideas and wacky notions in there, from characters whose minds are getting read locking the memories of their own plans into boxes so they can't be stolen by their enemies, a reality cracked by nuclear explosions in the past besieged by horrors trying to break in, super-intelligent rogue AIs attempting to hijack control of the world... and it's fantasy. The protagonists are fighting back with swords and bows.

  • Pitcrew

    @tempest said in Book Recommendations:

    @arkandel said in Book Recommendations:

    Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson is the third book in the [Stormlight Archive]


    It comes out in a couple weeks - Nov 17. Sanderson is a BEAST.

    To add to this thread, if you haven't hit up Leigh Bardugo's Grisha books and, even better, her sequel series starting with Six of Crows, you are seriously missing out.

  • Pitcrew

    Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy and all the stand alone books set after it/the short fiction to go with it. Just an awesome take on the typically fantasy story. Gritty, funny, and thoroughly entertaining. If i had to pick a favorite author it would be a tough choice between him and Sanderson.

  • Pitcrew

    There is no debating it, Kvothe is the mary-est mary sue in all the land. I enjoyed those two books, but just...barely. Rothfuss' prose is great. It's really, really good, and he introduced a couple of other characters that I liked a lot, but UGH. Fuck off Kvothe with being the best and the cleverest and the danny rand and the most irresistible and the smartest. That character is straight out of fan fiction.

    I think it speaks to just how good the prose is that it kept me engaged despite the horrible train wreck of a protagonist. I wish he'd just write seven books about Elodin.

    First Law is great. Stormlight Archives are far and away the best stuff Sanderson has written. They are good.

  • @kanye-qwest said in Book Recommendations:

    a couple of other characters that I liked a lot, but UGH.

    I don't remember her name, but I really, really dug the chick he got his student loan from.

  • Pitcrew

    @kanye-qwest Wow, we agree on something there. Kvothe is the worst kind of wish-fulfilment character in modern fiction, IMO. You might enjoy the main character in Song for Arbonne.

    @Tempest Do you mean Denna? Because she's another infuriating trope.

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