I haven't liked any fantasy books for awhile...
May 4, 2017 7:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm biased against fantasy fiction (and especially dislike coming-of-age narratives), but I would like to give the genre another try. The last fantasy novel I liked was Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (which is in my top 5 favourite books of all time). I also like weird fiction (China Mieville & the Southern Reach trilogy). Sadly, N.K. Jemisin hasn't worked for me. What recent-ish fantasy should I try?

I like the A Song of Ice and Fire series, despite its recent tendency towards bloat, but the books I like best predate J. Strange.

I could not stand the Kingkiller Chronicles.

I already read a lot of things that have like fantastical touches in an otherwise realist or sci-fi settings, so I'm really looking for more "this is definitely fantasy" books.
posted by flibbertigibbet to Media & Arts (50 answers total) 85 users marked this as a favorite
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Butcher's The Dresden Files, maybe, hard to say from your criteria--if you don't like the first one, you won't like any of them

Tropic of Night
posted by radicalawyer at 7:24 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

A Lee Martinez makes me laugh out loud. Also, have you read The Hobbit? I mention this just in case you haven't, and think it's anything like the Lord of the Rings which spend half of forever talking about what kind of trees they're trudging past. The Hobbit is tight.
posted by turkeybrain at 7:24 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Stormlight Archive is a fan darling these days. I've enjoyed it a lot so far, and many of us are anxiously awaiting the next book in half year or so.

Great world building - a lot of fantasy gets away ignoring things like "how to these creatures actually live in a sensible world", but Sanderson basically created a believable planet and ecosystem to drop his adventure story in to. Also has a consistent magic system that is fun to learn about. Also has spectacular giant battles and duels and chases etc. Many characters are likable and enjoyable, unlike the Martin stuff, which suffers for largely being Horrible people doing Horrible things to each other. imo.

There's a little coming of age stuff, but it features two lead protagonists (a man and woman), easily passes the Bechdel test, thanks to super cool lady who's sort of professor princess mage. Definitely worth a look for anyone who wants to check out some of the best of modern/popular fantasy.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:25 AM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

The Lies of Lock Lamora is very fun, basically puts classic heist/con-man story frameworks into a fantastical setting. Rollicking adventures, funny bits, charming rogues, betrayal, knife fights, daring feats, etc. Does feature some growing up. That's gonna be tough to avoid really.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:28 AM on May 4, 2017 [8 favorites]

I bet you would love The Windup Girl.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 7:30 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Second for caution that if you don't like the first couple of chapters of Dresden, abandon ship. I like it okay, but the author Jim Butcher isn't interested in complexity.

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere? American Gods and Anansi Boys? And for the love of Christ do not revisit Leo Frankowski's time-travelling engineer books - the suck fairy has obliterated them from orbit.

And since I don't do a lot of reading out of the mainstream, I will also keep an eye on this thread.
posted by turkeybrain at 7:35 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

You might like Three Parts Dead. Reminscent of Mieville.

Uprooted is definitely some amazing fantasy (not sci fi) writing.
posted by gnutron at 7:45 AM on May 4, 2017 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I also like weird fiction (China Mieville & the Southern Reach trilogy).

Maybe this isn't new info because you did use the word 'weird,' but just in case - China Miéville and Jeff VanderMeer are both part of the 'New Weird' subgenre of speculative fiction. If you haven't poked around that keyword, definitely do that! Another good search term is 'slipstream,' though that tends to lean a little more toward sci-fi than fantasy on average.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:45 AM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm really not a fan of fantasy lit, but a friend recently talked me into reading Mistborn (2006), by Brandon Sanderson. It's the first book of 2 trilogies, the second of which is set a good time after the first. I read through the first trilogy and enjoyed all three; they have a novel (to me, at least) notion of magic in that some people are granted powers by consuming certain elemental metals. As the books progress, new metal-related magic is revealed.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:48 AM on May 4, 2017

Best answer: I also seem to bounce off of N.K Jemisin, even though I really want to love her stuff, so I feel pretty qualified to recommend things!

Seconding Lies of Locke Lamora. The first book is brilliant. I would also second Stormlight Archives with the caveat that it's very very long and some of the prose isn't great.

I note that The Traitor Baru Comorant hasn't been recommended to you yet, but I think you should give it a go. It's got some problem elements but it's mostly incredibly well-written and compelling, and it has that sort of weighty darkness that A Song of Ice and Fire has but Stormlight Archives and Kingkiller lack.
posted by AmandaA at 7:48 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

I also heartily recommend The Library at Mount Char for some offbeat fantasy.
posted by gnutron at 7:48 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I guess I object most to coming-of-age narratives about a Chosen One or a kid who is unreasonably good at everything he or she (generally 'he', let's be honest) tries, which seems to be common in the highly-recommended fantasy books I've tried recently and drives me bonkers. 'Precocious' is a key word to avoid.

Heck, I didn't even like Wolfe's New Sun books, which should have been up my alley but they didn't seem to cohere nicely for me ("Reading “The Book of the New Sun” is dizzying; at times, you become convinced that you have cracked a riddle, and yet the answer fails to illuminate the rest of the story."), and it had a touch of that precociousness.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:50 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oh, and other fantasy I've enjoyed lately is all of Charles Stross's "The Laundry" series, Lovecraftian Horrors being managed by the British civil service. It occasionally delves into light comedy, and sometimes turns into deeply unsettling (Stross does that in a lot of his books, but he doesn't overdo it in them). Definitely firmly in the real-life-with-fantastical-touches category, though.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:52 AM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky is a good recent fantasy novel (really, linked vignettes that do add up) that has both a sense of wonder and a sense of humor.
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:53 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Michael Moorcock's Elric books, perhaps?
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:53 AM on May 4, 2017

Oh, and for certain give Tim Powers a try.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:54 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Does it need to be recent? If you find "Chosen One" narratives to be tedious, then I highly HIGHLY recommend "The Pig, The Prince, and The Unicorn", where the chosen one is a baby pig who highly resents being expected to go on a quest to save the world. (It sounds like YA, but it isn't.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:54 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence books.
posted by neushoorn at 7:55 AM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I haven't read this yet (though it's on my shelf) so grain of salt, but I think you might like The Iron Dragon's Daughter. I bought it because I was told it read like proto-Miéville and was a new spin on fantasy.

The story follows Jane, a changeling girl who slaves at a dragon factory in the world of Faerie, building part-magical, part-cybernetic monsters that are used as jet fighters. The plot of her story takes the form of a spiral, with events and characters constantly re-occurring in new settings. The novel constantly subverts fantasy tropes and archetypes. Swanwick admits having written it both as a homage to J.R.R. Tolkien and in reaction to a handful of writers he claims exploit Tolkien's milieu and the readers' imaginations with derivative, commercial fantasy: "The recent slew of interchangeable Fantasy trilogies has hit me in much the same way that discovering that the woods I used to play in as a child have been cut down to make way for shoddy housing developments did."
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:00 AM on May 4, 2017

I'm gonna rewind a coupla decades here and suggest Lawrence Watt-Evans Ethshar series (starts with The Misenchanted Sword), wherein the author essentially takes one fantasy trope per book and deconstructs it / explores how it might really work.
posted by Etrigan at 8:05 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've blown through sixteen books in Robin Hobb's Farseer Universe, starting with Assassin's Apprentice. The Chosen One trope gets played with and subverted a bit, and the two heroes are entertainingly unreliable narrators.
posted by annathea at 8:07 AM on May 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

Have you tried Naomi Novik's "Temeraire" series? Napoleonic war setting but with dragons.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:22 AM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar - quiet, literary secondary-world fantasy

I haven't read City of Stairs (and the other books in the trilogy) by Robert Jackson Bennett but have heard enough good things about it that I'd suggest it.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson - a dizzying sharp fantasy about full of politics and colonialism.
posted by Jeanne at 8:36 AM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series (aka Peter Grant) - Peter is not The Chosen One, but he is a chosen one. He has a learning curve, but he is already of age at the start of the series.

Grandville is a series of graphic novels that are part fantasy and part alternative history. The main characters are all animals, which normally irks me, but they are human enough (walk on two legs and have normal conversations and shoot guns) that it doesn't detract.
posted by soelo at 8:46 AM on May 4, 2017 [4 favorites]

Try City of Stairs and The Dragon and the Coin for interesting female protagonists not named Mary Sue.
posted by bq at 8:51 AM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'll second Uprooted and other books by Naomi Novik, along with the Robin Hobb Farseer books and The Lies of Locke Lamora (mostly the first book, tho).

I am currently dipping my toes into the Lois McMaster Bujold fantasy books after devouring her sci fi. The Penric and Desdemona novellas are good intro books I think. (There's some growing up/being awesome at stuff elements, but that's not surprising if you are carrying around a 200-year old demon in your head.) Also, you may like the interesting religious system in that series.

How about the Tad Williams Memory/Sorrow/Thorn books? Added bonus is that if you like them, his sci-fi books are great too.

I'll take a look at my bookshelf tonight and add if I think of anything else.
posted by gemmy at 9:22 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Your reading taste sounds a lot like mine! Here are a few favorites not listed yet:

M. John Harrison’s Viriconium books are very literary, very strange, and beloved by Miéville other New Weird types. They’re trippy and surrealist and sometimes stray into horror.

Rosemary Kirstein’s Steerswoman books may appeal to you too. They’re real page-turners, and they start with a lot of traditional fantasy tropes but turn into something quite different.

I like Swanwick a lot, but would start with Stations of the Tide instead of Iron Dragon’s Daughter. Both have SF-fantasy crossover but Stations is richer & funnier, IMO.

Lastly, one that’s shelved with hard SF but is also strange & allusive & vaguely fantastic: Ian McDonald’s Desolation Road. It’s a Western / magic realist tale of the growth of a town on Mars, and it’s loopy.

(Also, I found some great related recommendations in this post a few years back. Note the many plugs for perennial favorite Kelly Link.)
posted by miles per flower at 9:27 AM on May 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

The Sandman Slim novels by Richard Kadrey are pretty dang good. As are the Bobby Dollar books by Tad Williams. For that matter, the cyberpunk Otherland series might also fit the bill.
posted by Autumnheart at 9:40 AM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

You may like Natasha Pulley's The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. (I found it a little slow at the beginning but wound up enjoying it a lot.)
posted by ferret branca at 9:46 AM on May 4, 2017

(Only noticed you'd specified "recent-ish" after typing comment, feel free to skip my '70s/'80s suggestions flibbertigibbet)

I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered a volume containing Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood and its first sequel in my local library a few years ago. Fantastic events ostensibly in the real world, it has a flavour of its own, but evokes the weird threat of Old Man Willow from LotR or the Wild Wood from Wind In The Willows or Malus of Doctor Who. Its "man-alone-vs-mythic-wood" narrative might be a bit too insular though.

If you don't mind something short while you hunt for another read, it's been a few years but Alan Garner's The Owl Service ostensibly for young people is another great read which engages thematically with myth as well as the (then) modern world.
posted by comealongpole at 10:01 AM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Rogues of the Republic series by Patrick Weekes - Diverse ensemble cast in Ocean's 11 style fantasy hi-jinx.

The Dagger and the Coin series by Daniel Abraham - If you dislike the fantasy concept of 'The Chosen One' you will see it perverted to good effect here. Also, it posits what happens when ancient prophecy runs up against modern economics.

The Powder Mage series by Brian McClellan and The Shadow Campaign series by Django Wexler - I include both in one recommendation as they are both fantasy series based/informed by the French Revolution. Powder Mage deals more with the toppling of old orders (which I think is a theme in my recommendations) while Shadow Campaigns is more about building up new. They both have vague Napoleon stand ins, magic, people with secrets, and so on. There are no callow youths coming of age, but characters definitely grow up and evolve through the books.

The Crimson Empire series by Alex Marshall and pretty much anything in the First Law series by Joe Abercrombie. These are of the post-Song of Fire and Ice fantasy ilk - so bloody battles and bastard protagonists abound. Magic has a cost, as does winning. Abercrombie is pretty much the standard for the genre now that GRRM is semi-retired. Another series to look for is Glen Cook's Black Company but that may be a bit older than your time frame.

Dis-recommendations. I include these not to be mean, but they tend to fall under the whole "You have your entire life to write your first novel" trap. The first books tend to be really good. The second... not so much... and then there's more. There are some good things in each of these, but...

The Raven's Shadow series by Anthony Ryan. The first book, Blood Song, is really good. The other two? Yeesh. Pacing problems and new characters and plot shifts abound.

The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. Again, the first book is really good and fits the Horatio Hornblower With Dragons! premise. But then the scope of the novels expands and the setting starts to fall apart. It's like around the second book, all the characters looked around and said, "Oh shit! Dragons!" and you end up watching the setting get pounded in to shape before your eyes.

Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series by Brian Staveley. The first book, while good-ish (lots of coming of age stuff) forgets about a main character for awhile, and when she gets remembered in the later books, it sort of shifts the whole flow around and you end up resenting her a bit which is unfair. I think if this story was re-edited now, it'd be a lot better.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:37 AM on May 4, 2017

The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison.
posted by Banknote of the year at 12:42 PM on May 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

I also love China Mieville and adored J. Strange, and am all about weird fiction, so I'm just going to throw out some fantasy stuff I liked for you to peruse.

Seconding American Gods. No coming-of-age stuff there--bit of "Chosen One" but not in precocious way. Shadow's not good at anything but coin tricks. It also definitely leans into weird fiction a bit. I think Neil Gaiman and China Mieville have very distinct, not-really-related styles, but I always group them together as "those two guys that are really good at writing weird, interesting, fantastical shit."

Also seconding Sandman Slim though I haven't read it in ages so I can't really relate why I liked it so much. I know part of it was "guy who actually goes through character development and tries to better himself," which seems to be absent from a lot of fantasy narratives.

I haven't read a lot of Catherynne M. Valente, but from what I have read, I think she might be up your alley. Similar style to Mieville, though a bit more dreamy and less gritty than he tends to be (I personally prefer that, but YMMV). I can only vouch for the amazing short story collection The Bread We Eat in Dreams, the novella Speak Easy, and the novel Palimpsest, but for me those were the perfect blend of weird fiction and fantasy.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman has a chosen one but he's not the main character, and the entire story is basically upturning the chosen one trope. If you like that, check out more of Terry Pratchett's work--it's very much about upturning fantasy tropes left and right.

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly is 100% a coming of age story, but it's pretty much the farthest you can get from "chosen one/kid who is unreasonably good at everything he or she tries." It's also a coming of age novel in a much more... real, way, I guess? It's about dealing with grief and loss and is handled in a way that I don't think puts it in the same category of basically any other coming-of-age fantasy novel I've ever read. Also has a some quirky stuff that appeals to my weird fiction side. Such as communist dwarves.

Also, you probably already know about this, but in case you haven't read Mieville's Un Lun Dun yet, you definitely should. Its 100% about deconstructing the chosen one trope. It's Mieville's only YA novel, so it's probably going to be a step down from what you're used to, but it's an amusing bit of poking fun at fantasy as a genre, and I think you'd enjoy it.
posted by brook horse at 1:05 PM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Greer Ilene GIlman's Moonwise.
posted by clew at 1:38 PM on May 4, 2017

If you enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, perhaps give Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown a try. It's similar in flavour -- regency fantasy -- while being very original and charming in its own right. Postcolonial, feminist, and smart.

Another vote for Naomi Novik's Uprooted. Alongwide Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, I think it's one of the best fantasy books of the decade.
posted by stellarc at 2:18 PM on May 4, 2017

Best answer: I am reading Susanna Clarke's book of sgort stories that take place in the same world as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, called The ladies of Grace Adieu. Its quite good so far!
posted by Elly Vortex at 3:36 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I highly enjoyed Jodi Taylor's the Chronicles of St Mary's series. It's a sci-fi-ish topic, but they read more like fantasy.

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'
posted by a humble nudibranch at 3:37 PM on May 4, 2017

The Cavern of Black Ice by JV Jones is a very good dark fantasy yarn in the vein of AGOT.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:52 PM on May 4, 2017

I would warn against both Butcher (The Dresden Files) and Bacigalupi (The Windup Girl) if you dislike misogyny. Both are terrible in that regard.

I also don't think they fit your criteria that well, either. The Dresden Files is fairly standard, workmanlike urban fantasy featuring a magic detective - it has none of that weirdness to it that you seem to want. The Windup Girl is firmly sci-fi, not fantasy.

Some of my favorite fantasy novels are Brust's Vlad Taltos novels, which are about a human assassin living in a society of magical, long-lived beings. They're more on the fun romp side of things than the weird and thought-provoking side, but I thought I'd suggest them anyway. There is also a series (starting with The Phoenix Guards) set earlier in the world that are a pastiche of Dumas and hilarious - and which I like better than even the main series. If you enjoyed Jonathan Strange, these earlier books might appeal to you - they are taking the piss a lot, but they have a mix of magic, politics, and unreliable narrators that is pretty great.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:24 PM on May 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A second vote for Sofia Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:19 PM on May 4, 2017 [3 favorites]

Recent-ish "definitely fantasy" books that are not coming-of-age stories which I would recommend, in no particular order:

Joe Abercrombie's "First Law" trilogy -- among the best of the grimdark school

Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone -- wildly imaginative, fantastic setting; there are sequels (sort of) but this one is the best

Martha Well's Raksura series -- another series with a great and original setting, and excellent plotting

Laurie J. Marks' Elemental Logic series -- complex novels of war, magic, and reconciliation

Catherynne M. Valente's Palimpsest (and many of her other works) -- she's something of a chameleon in terms of style, and has written everything from New Weird experimentalism to Oz-flavored children's books

Sunshine by Robin McKinley -- the vampire novel for people who think they hate vampire novels (and also those who love them; it's just seriously good, trust me on this one)

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (this does have some coming-of-age elements, but I would not call it a Chosen One Narrative)

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins -- gruesome and fascinating

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton -- basically if Trollope wrote novels about dragons

Brandon Sanderson's The Stormlight Archives -- old-school epic feel to this one

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett -- great characters, wonderful setting, interesting ideas

Pretty much anything by Patricia McKillip (for her more recent-ish stuff, hm, maybe start with The Tower At Stony Wood or In The Forests of Serre) -- the stuff she's been writing lately has almost the feel of a complex fairy tale for adults
posted by kyrademon at 3:44 AM on May 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm reading these: http://www.metafilter.com/166299/Thessaly
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:00 AM on May 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh oh, All the Birds in the Sky! So good!
posted by latkes at 10:18 AM on May 5, 2017

"The Girl With Ghost Eyes" by M.H. Boroson!
posted by Schmucko at 12:10 PM on May 5, 2017

Best answer: I have a pretty similar fantasy background to you except for some reason I also liked the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson but I don't think that's for you.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker was enjoyable. I didn't think it was quite as good as Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell but it was a neat concept and isn't about teenagers.

Maybe also The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but it's definitely a coming of age story.

Oh yeah, and I also enjoyed The Discovery of Witches series but that's a bit embarrasingly romance-y.
posted by carolr at 2:25 PM on May 5, 2017

Best answer: Nthing:

* Elemental Logic by Laurie J. Marks.
* The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
* The Craft Sequence by Mark Gladstone
* The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
* Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch. To be fair, there is some chosen-oney shit going on, but it doesn't really kick in until the 3rd book.
* The Dagger and the Coin by Daniel Abraham
* The Divine Cities by Robert Bennet

Further recommending:

* Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay; if you like it, his psuedo-historical fantasies The Sarantine Mosaic (Byzantine), Lions of Al-Rassan (Islamic Spain), A Song for Abornne (Late Medieval France), Under Heaven (Tang Dynasty China) and Children of Earth and Sky (Renaissance Europe) are of a similar vein. Avoid his Finovar Tapestry Series (cliche high fantasy).
* Inda by Sherwood Smith.
* The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski. Seriously excellent high-fantasy; has little to nothing to do with the video games.
* Shattered Sea by Joe Abercrombie. His First Law books are too ridiculously grim-dark for me to take seriously. These tone it down a bit and are the better for it.
posted by givennamesurname at 6:56 PM on May 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm late to the thread but hopping in quickly to second the Tim Powers rec above - very inventive fantastical takes on particular slices of history. Hide Me Among the Graves was one of my favorite reads in the past year.
posted by shelbaroo at 12:16 PM on May 7, 2017

It's from the 70s and has some of the unfortunate sexual politics you might expect, but I love The Chronicles of Amber. Some similarities to ASOIAF in that it's about scheming royals fighting for power while an existential threat looms in the margins, only it's the royal family of the entire multiverse vs chaos itself. It has some incredibly striking imagery that's stayed with me in the 15 years since I've read it, it moves along at a great clip (very much UNlike ASOIAF), and I found the overall arc very satisfying.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:53 PM on May 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: -A Mask for the General by Lisa Goldstein
-seconding Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein
-thirding A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar
-any novelist whose short stories were on Podcastle and/or Beneath Ceaseless Skies
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 5:41 PM on May 10, 2017

Response by poster: My early successes from the recommendations:

-The Golem and the Jinni: just a lovely story, well-told. I followed this up with The Devourers, which was a lovely bit of contrast and excellent in its own way.
-A Stranger in Olondria: I had actually read this when she was nominated for the Campbell, and quite liked it but had forgotten about it.
-The Traitor Baru Cormorant: controversial, but I'm on the side that loves it and finds its representation of colonialism and being other/not-other to be striking and truthful. His prose is also on point. I'm about 80% in.
-The Night Circus: an old favourite of mine! I guess I had mentally shelved it as 'not fantasy', which is silly.
-American Gods/Good Omens: Despite American Gods seeming like it was meant for me, I didn't care for it when I read it a decade back. Good Omens, however: one of my favourites of all time.
-Kelly Link: yes, love her and have for a couple of years!

Less succesful:

-All the Birds in the Sky: For three-quarters of the book, I found it to be a solid page-turner; I was in! I found it slight, which isn't a fatal flaw, but the final conflict was so blockbustery that it ruined the light breeziness of the rest of the book, for me.
-The Lies of Locke Lamora: Nope. I just disliked this entire thing. I didn't care about Locke, his enemies, etc.
-Sorceror to the Crown: solid idea, but the prose didn't work for me at all. It also felt like it rushed where it should have slowed down.
-The Watchmaker of Filigree Street: sadly, this just fell into the same "it didn't quite click" camp.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 2:43 PM on July 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

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