Book Recommendation thread!

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Joined:Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:40 am
Book Recommendation thread!

Post by Grimthorn » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:16 pm

So, a conversation in Discord last night made me realize that in the time I've been in TGi, this collection of nerds has never had a spot for book I'm making one.

Books, audiobooks, one-offs, trilogies or series that are dozens of books long. Whatever you like, and think other people may like...give it a short review/summary here. If a series or book takes a while to get good, mention it. If you have a suggested reading order other than the published order, list that as well.

Here's a few to start off, and I'll be adding more over the weekend since I gots a lots, so feel free to throw yours in as well.

Book/Series: The Black Ocean series
Author: J.S. Morin
Narrator: Mikael Naramore
Genre: Space Western
Length: 16 short novels (roughly 4 hours each in audiobook format) plus a solid collection of short stories. Also spawned a handful of spin-off series, which I haven't started yet but are on my wish list.

Summary: This series is most easily described as "Firefly Plus". Morin openly admits during interviews that he started this series, and the universe that unfolded from it, because he was so desperate for more Firefly that he decided to write his own. In the series, humanity is long past the colonization stage. There are enumerable Earth-Like planets, which provide the universe with numerous alien species of sentient humanoids that evolved from different parts of the animal kingdom. There is also magic that operates similar to how it does in the Dresden Files. The crew of The Mobious includes a 7 foot tall feline murder machine, one of the grouchiest, grumpiest wizards in the universe, a drunken 4-armed chimp-like mechanic, a former black-ops pilot who was raised by drifting con artists, and his ex-marine ex-wife, the daughter of an intergalactic version of The Kingpin.

Book/Series: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates
Author: Caroline Carlson
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Genre: Childrens / Fantasy / Humor
Length: 3 books so far. Each around 8 hours / 350 pages

Summary: A fantasy version of Victorian England where magic and pirates exist. Written for a target audience of 8-12 years old, it is extremely funny and all-around enjoyable, and if you do audible, Katherine Kellgren's voicing of the characters is fantastic. Enter Hilary Westfield, the young daughter of a British Navy Admiral and a Lady of High Society. Everything she considers fun, her parents consider to be "inappropriate behavior for a High Society Girl", so she gets fed up and leaves with her magical gargoyle to become a pirate. Unfortunately, The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates (the VNHLP) doesn't allow women - and especially little girls - to be pirates any more than the Royal Navy allows women to be sailors, so she tracks down a Freelance Pirate who left the VNHLP years ago and has him help her start her own pirate crew.

Book/Series: The Checquy Files
Author: Daniel O'Malley
Narrator: Varies
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Mystery
Length: 2 novels, with the third book currently in editing

Summary: The source material for the Starz mini-series "The Rook" that came out this year. There are people in the world who have paranormal abilities. The general populace doesn't know this and England's last truly secret service, The Checquy, works very hard to keep it that way. The first book follows Myfanwy Thomas, a high ranking member of the Checquy who happens to be one of the MANY agents who were "recruited" as children because they have useful paranormal abilities of their own. It opens with Myfanwy waking up in a parking garage with no memory of who she is, much less why she is surrounded by dead bodies all wearing suits and latex gloves.

Joined:Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:40 am

Re: Book Recommendation thread!

Post by Grimthorn » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:32 am

Book/Series: The Librarians
Author: Greg Cox
Narrator: Therese Plummer
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 3 books, ongoing

Summary: These novels are a tie-in for the TNT show of the same name, with new adventures, mysteries and puzzles for the team. If you like the show, you'll love the books. It does take a while to get used to Therese Plummer voicing the characters from the show, but that is at most a minor draw-back.

Book/Series: Black Tide Rising series
Author: John Ringo
Narrator: Tristan Morris
Genre: Zombie Apocalypse
Length: 6 novels, plus short stories

Summary: Zombie Apocalypse At Sea. I'm not real big on the zombie apocalypse genre, but this series had me hooked from the start. Part of the reason is that, much like The Walking Dead, it skips over the apocalypse and goes straight to the post-apocalypse survival. The first few chapters of the first book deal with the lead-up to the zombie outbreak and a family of preppers making it out to sea with enough supplies to last a few months before they have to start scavenging. It then skips several months ahead to them running low on supplies and starting to scavenge other boats in the area. Through the course of the series they find more survivors, build a small fleet and eventually reconnect with what is left of the US government. The characters are entertaining, even when mary-sues, but part of what I enjoyed about the books was that they deal with moral issues in a very head-on way that I had not previously seen in the zombie genre, with the acknowledgement that in a reality where the human species is facing extinction, there comes a point where you have to decide which moral principals are a necessity and which ones are a luxury.

Note: If you read/listen to these and enjoy them, be wary of moving on to any of Ringo's other works. The politics in this series are very minimal, but some of his other works are basically political circle-jerks disguised as sci-fi novels.

Book/Series: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Genre: Space Opera
Length: 5 books, ongoing

Summary: The soundbite description of this series would be "Game of Thrones meets Hunger Games, in space!" Far in the future, humanity has colonized the entire solar system, but exists under a caste system based around the new "races" of humanity that have been created through genetic engineering. The first book is the story of a young man from the labor caste of the Reds who is surgically changed into a Gold - a member of the ruling caste - to work his way through a Hunger Games-esque "school" that young Golds must survive before they can become true members of the ruling caste. The series continues from there as the rebellion finally finds it's champion.

Joined:Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:40 am

Re: Book Recommendation thread!

Post by Grimthorn » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:47 am

Book/Series: The Dark Profit Saga
Author: J. Zachary Pike
Narrator: Doug Tisdale Jr.
Genre: Satire
Length: 2 books, ongoing

Summary: The Dark Profit Saga is a satire of fantasy RPG/MMO settings and game mechanics. It's such a great satire that you'll find reviews from people who don't understand what satire is who say it's just a shitty world of warcraft fanfic. The books follow a party of adventurers on a quest they've been assigned by the adventurer's guild. What they don't know is that the whole economy is on the verge of collapse because all the big monsters with treasure hordes have already been slain, so they're being sent on a what is supposed to be a suicide mission to cause a bunch of tribes of orcs, trolls, etc. who have their Non-Combatant Papers, to become combatants once again, thus re-invigorating the economy that runs entirely on the loot gained from monster treasure hordes.

Book/Series: Magic 2.0
Author: Scott Meyer
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Genre: Scifi humor
Length: 6 books, ongoing

Summary: There is a file out there on the internet that is ever-changing and ever-growing. It is a repository of every bit of information there is about everything that exists in the world....and it can be edited. A nerdy young man finds the file and gets himself into trouble with the law, and decides to escape trouble by going back in time to medieval England to use the power of the file to live as a wizard....and when he gets there, he promptly finds out that he isn't the first - not even close.

Book/Series: Iron Druid Chronicles
Author: Kevin Hearne
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 9 novels, dozens of short stories. Series finished. Possible spin-off hinted at by author.

Summary: Nearly 2,000 years ago, Atticus O'Sullivan stole a prized magical sword from one of the Tuatha De Danann, and promptly fled Ireland to escape the god's wrath. Several hundred years later, he became the last surviving Irish Druid, when the Christians finished "converting" Ireland. Today? Today he runs a shop in Tempe, Arizona selling magically infused teas, antique books and all sorts of fake new-agey stuff...while still hiding out from an Irish god that really knows how to hold a grudge....and they just found him.

Ford LeLache
Joined:Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:56 am

Re: Book Recommendation thread!

Post by Ford LeLache » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:20 am

Book/Series: Otherland
Author: Tad Williams
Narrator: N/A
Genre: Sci Fi / Fantasy
Length: Trilogy, but the books are pretty big.

Summary: VR Gone wrong, synopsis from first book; "Shrouded in secrecy, it is home to the wildest dreams and darkest nightmares. Vast amounts of money have been lavished on it. The best minds of 2 generations have laboured to build it. And somehow, bit by bit, it is claiming the Earth's most valuable resource - its children"

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