Author Topic: Loved it! Thoughts...  (Read 2004 times)

Offline SetStndbySmn

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Loved it! Thoughts...
« on: October 15, 2015, 01:00:40 AM »
I just finished TAW, and I must say it was my favorite read in years.  Here are some thoughts I had in review:

-I loved the different perspectives, especially with the presence of characters that are insensible to normal characters- i.e. Cats/etherealists.

-It was definitely the kind of read I was thankful to have a Kindle for; as someone with as little regard for nautical terminology as Harry Dresden, I was glad to be able to highlight and define such things on a whim.  It was, however, very difficult to make sense of the maps on my little Kindle Paperwhite.

-I actually like the setting more than that of Dresden.  The earlier Dresden books have a certain amount of baggage to them, and while it is somewhat cool to see an author's skill blossom over the course of a series, it's hard to argue with a world newly minted at a time when he is beyond exceptional at his craft.

-I think some kind of data-book for Cinder Spires would be amazing and appropriate; unlike Dresdenverse where the major powers are hyper-obsessed with keeping nearly everything about themselves a secret, it seems like much more of the political and militaristic infrastructure in Cinder Spires would be a matter of public record- which we aren't privy to as readers yet.  The sort of things I'd love to devour are details on Spires (flags, government structure, alliances, economy, culture, etc), airships (classes, famed vessel examples/service histories), military hierarchies and estimated strengths, footnotes on significant historical conflicts, a bestiary of surface creatures, etc.  Words cannot express how quickly I would buy such a thing.

-It would be cool to see some short stories such as the Olympian airship race, Bridget/Rowl adventures, the Perilous incident, Espira training marines for the Albion mission, Captain Castillo perspective chasing Predator, verminocitor tall tales, and more!

Offline Dina

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 01:50:15 AM »
Maps?

Also, I loved that the world is not explained at the beginning, that we need to do some effort to imagining it and understanding how it works.
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline SetStndbySmn

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 07:21:22 PM »
I'm referring to the maps of Habble Morning / Landing.

And I agree for the beginning.  But thereafter I'm hungry for more :D.  As someone who loves wargaming, imagining the Cinder Spires factions brought to life on tabletop would be extremely cool.

Offline Dina

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2015, 07:23:45 PM »
I mean, I also read the book in my kindle (not paperwhite) and it has not maps.

And yes, I am hungry for more too!
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline SetStndbySmn

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2015, 07:27:25 PM »
When my I opened my book to the "beginning" on my Kindle, it was past the maps and at the prologue.  I had to backpedal to get to the maps.

Edit: just checked mine- for me the maps are after the table of contents, but before the prologue.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 09:02:08 PM by SetStndbySmn »

Offline Dina

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2015, 07:30:50 PM »
My kindle also opened in the prologue but I did that to see the cover and the dedication (to two Silent Paws) but I don't think there are maps. I don't have my kindle with me here but I'll check when I arrive home. Perhaps I skipped it. I am sure I searched for them at the ending of the book, where I expected to find a map, and there were none. Thanks for the info anyway!

Edited: Oh yes, the maps were there! After the table of contents. That is why I didn't find it. Anyway, I had already seen Pris maps on her page. Still, I don't see the details well enough.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 12:06:28 AM by Dina »
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline Ananda

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2016, 04:59:47 AM »
This is the only review thread I could find, so I'll just post here.

I got around to finally reading this book in december after having set it aside with a bad impression a bit previously.

Unfortunately, my initial bad impression never got better and I have to say that I really did not enjoy the book. As usual, Butcher is good with his action scenes and so, but the writing just wasn't there for the rest of it for me. Maybe it was because he chose to write in third person and just couldn't pull it off, but the characters were all like cardboard figures and complete stereotypes for the sort of characters you'd expect. There was zero depth or subtlety.

The book also seemed to be aimed at young teen readers. I know I watched an interview sometime last year where he said he wanted to write a book for young people: was this it? In that same interview, when asked why he started a new series, he replied, perhaps flippantly, thst it was to pay for a divorce. This, I believe!

There were some funny lines along the way, but there was a lot of obvious stuff, too. The, 'then why'd you marry her' line was so obvious in coming from nearly the first line about the woman, for example. There were several such places where you knew exactly what would happen.

Anyway, I wanted to like it, but just could not. I wasn't expecting a literary masterpiece because that's not what Butcher does. He writes fun popcorn fiction. However, I was still hoping for more than a paint by number piece.
 

Offline Fedd

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2016, 03:33:50 AM »
Sadly Im with Ananda here. Ive loved nearly every book in the DF and codex alera but could not enjoy Cinder spires. Dont care for the genre I guess, and the dialogue was very repetitive. The warrior born character gets introduced fairly early on and yet every scene with them in it, their powers have to be described yet again. The book was fairly tedious, and the characters were completely one dimensional.


Offline Dina

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2016, 03:43:05 AM »
You know, I am very surprised by that criticism, which is repeated. I think the characters are much better than the Dresden Files ones (which I loved!). I can see how Grimm and Folly are archetypical, but the others feel like real people to me. They are, hands down, my favorite part of the book.
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline Ananda

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2016, 04:39:27 PM »
... the dialogue was very repetitive.
This is an issue he has in all of the DF books as well. He will use the same word three times in two sentences, for example. Or, he will say something in one sentence and then repeat it with different wording in the next. It feels like these are instances of him just pushing through lack of inspiration to keep on deadline with the intent to fix it later. I think he would benefit a lot with a stricter editor who is more willing to make red circles around these for the re-write because they just go through now to the detriment of the work. If I am remembering correctly, he even once described a lion's roar as leonine.

And, Dina, I am glad you liked the characters. I think I enjoyed the cat character the most because he seemed to be intentionally designed as two dimensional. I didn't expect any depth from him and wasn't disappointed. He was fun and funny.

The DF characters started out two dimensional as well, I think, but have expanded over the course of the series. The writing is also awful for the first few books and that doesn't help. I think the first person perspective helped hide a lot of the shortcomings, though, because we only know what Harry knows or chooses to share about others but we still get a sense of intimacy because were are inside his head and exposed to all his feelings.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 04:41:24 PM by Ananda »

Offline Fedd

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2016, 05:03:13 PM »
You know, I am very surprised by that criticism, which is repeated. I think the characters are much better than the Dresden Files ones (which I loved!). I can see how Grimm and Folly are archetypical, but the others feel like real people to me. They are, hands down, my favorite part of the book.

You really feel that way? Outside of Grimm and Folly I honestly cant remember a single characters name. The girl who rebels against her mom has a few interesting thoughts/scenes and then behaves the exact same way in every scene afterwards. It was difficult to even tell the difference between the two female cadets at times. The only meaningful difference in their scenes was the Cat.

I feel JB is at his best driving action oriented characters. Not necessarily violent action, but when his books get bogged down in world building and pointless dialogue is when they are weakest. Codex Alera is a great example of this, book one is... not the best, but once he discovered how to constantly keep the characters in motion while still developing the world, the series improved dramatically.

I think Cinder spires can and most likely will improve. JB is a good writer and the series has enough interesting concepts to build upon. The first book just happened to be dreadfully boring in my opinion.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 05:09:43 PM by Fedd »

Offline Dina

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2016, 09:01:57 PM »
Well, yes, I honestly believe that way. Bridget, the vattery girl, is probably my favorite character, because she reminds me, except I would never be so blatantly rude to a classmate. But I have trouble confirming she is my favorite character because I love them all. As Ananda said, Rowl is intentionally two dimensional, and he is a cat. I love cats, so that is it. Gwen is another great character for me, even when I hate her name (Gwendolyn Margaret Elizabeth) because Margaret Gwendolyn LeFay is Dresden's mom). She is completely different to Bridget for me. She is a badass girl and a little rich girl all at the same time. And she can do mechanics!! Her chapter when she plays the Kaylee is amazing and my favorite chapter of all what I've read by Jim Butcher. Benedict is sexy and fun and sad at the same time. It's probably the only one I would really like to have as a friend.
Grimm, of course, is Harry. And I love Harry, multidimensional or not.
Master Ferus is perfect. Folly is fun and nice. Cavendish is terrifying. Bayard, I love Bayard, even when I am afraid he can be a traitor. Kettle, Journeyman, Creedy are regular crew, yes, they could be Salgari characters. I found them funny too.

I understand the books may improve as workpieces but I don't believe I will like any book better than TAW because there is too much tragedy coming and I don't like tragedy. Besides, I don't know who will be the main characters.
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline Fedd

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2016, 03:51:28 AM »
I see your points Dina. Im gonna give it a re read and see if it grows on me, or perhaps I read it too quickly the first time through and missed out on the subtlety. Gwens name bugged me as well. Jim seems to like M- named characters lol.

Ferrus and Folly were both fun and entertaining.

Offline Dina

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2016, 03:59:21 AM »
LOL, I am not saying everybody will feel the same. I just "connected" with that book in a strong way.
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline Fedd

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Re: Loved it! Thoughts...
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2016, 11:40:37 PM »
LOL, I am not saying everybody will feel the same. I just "connected" with that book in a strong way.

Not saying you were  :) but I didnt connect with it at all, and seeing that someone obviously loves it (a fan of the same author since we are on the forums lol) makes me consider that the fault was with me for rushing through it and being prejudiced against the genre.