SciFi and Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Recommendations and Lost Books > Back to reading, any tips on authors/books/groups?

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message 1: by Wim (last edited Aug 09, 2018 04:05PM) (new)

Wim | 6 comments Hi all,

After not reading books for 15 years, being occupied with work, other hobbies, Netflix etc, i started to miss the lovely world of stories. Because of this i am going to buy me an Ereader tomorrow and would like to ask you for tips to read.

Authors (including max 5 star rating) which i did enjoy in the past were:
- Feist 5*
- King 4*
- George RR Martin 5*
- Robin Hobb 4,5*
- Eddings 3*
- Jordan 3*
- Jeffery Deaver (The Bone Collector) 3,5*
- Weis & Hickmann 3*
- Tolkien 4*

I am 48 of age now and wouldn't mind if things get a bit darker, like with RR Martin, where the hero dies on a regular basis ;). Its not important for me if the hero survives a serie of 12 books, i like the unexpected.

Would love if you have some good tips for me, i guess the genre i am looking for is called Dark Fantasy on GoodReads. But please, if you have any other recommendations, please don't hold back.

Also recommendations on groups would be appreciated, i noticed there is a biiiiig community here and got lost in all groups ;).

Thanks for reading


message 2: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (last edited Aug 09, 2018 04:45PM) (new)

Allison Hurd | 13034 comments Mod
I see a bit of the grimdark in there, too!

Mark Lawrence is on our shelves and pretty well liked in the genre. (Red Sister in particular)
N.K. Jemisin might be at home on your shelves (The Fifth Season is amazing)
And this is a little "lighter" but it's amazing epic fantasy, which it seems you have some of in there The Way of Kings

Welcome back! Hope you finds lots to love :)

UGH! ETA I'm a bad moderator. Both our books this month are doozies, you should try them and share your thoughts!!

The Changeling is a mix of horror and dark fantasy (on the more magic realism side)

Parable of the Sower is a dystopia we read for our cli-fi theme and it is darkdarkdarkdark. But people have been saying how powerful it is.


message 3: by CBRetriever (new)

CBRetriever | 4625 comments Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear

Anything by Joe Abercrombie - he has several good series

Flewelling Lynn's Nightrunner series


message 4: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments I’d definitely recommend Mark Lawrence.


message 5: by Kaa (new)

Kaa | 1454 comments N.K. Jemisin, definitely. The Broken Earth trilogy is wonderful and brutal.

I'd recommend The Mirror Empire and The Library at Mount Char for dark fantasy, although Kameron Hurley's dark sci-fi is good, too.

You may also enjoy Jade City, which is pretty dark and has a lot of the intricacy and scope of epic fantasy without really being epic fantasy, and The Grace of Kings, which is excellent and very epic, although not as dark as some.


message 6: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 2285 comments And of course this group is the best for a fan of SFF.

Another great group is Play Book Tag... each month a theme, or 'tag,' is chosen, and readers can read whatever we want that fits the tag. And we can read other books, too, and post reviews... and play challenges.... All those activities earn Participation Points, which enable the more active participants to have more of a say in which 'tag' is chosen each month.

Last month we read Dystopia, this month we're reading Espionage. Novels, non-fiction, children's books, even short stories all qualify... each member chooses for him/her-self how strictly to interpret the tag, depending on enthusiastically they want to broaden their horizons and/or earn those points. Very friendly and active group.

I've been a member only several months and I already feel as if it's one of a few groups I'll hang onto for years, just like this one.


message 7: by Trike (new)

Trike I got ya covered:

The Demon Cycle — 5 book series recently finished by Peter V. Brett. First one is The Warded Man. Demons rise from earth every night and one teenager dedicates his life to destroying them. He grows up over the course of the first book and then things get really bad. War among humans, and the demons mobilize to kill everyone.

The Apocalypse Door by James Macdonald. Modern Fantasy about a Jesuit priest and an assassin nun who take on Baphomet, who might be a demon or an alien AI. It’s James Bond with a crucifix.

Bookburners: The Complete Season 1 — a massive mosaic novel in a similar vein of Apocalypse Door, about a Vatican-sanctioned group who sequester evil tomes. As long as it is, there is no fat in it. Action-packed and relentless.

Also recommending Jade City by Fonda Lee. 1960s gangsters, a cross between The Godfather and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Slightly lighter but still with plenty of action and evil bad guys, the Riyria Revelations by Michael Sullivan are quite good. The first two books are collected in Theft of Swords.


message 8: by Kaa (new)

Kaa | 1454 comments Ooh, yes, Bookburners and anything else by Max Gladstone. The Craft Sequence is wonderful. The first few books are separate stories from different parts of the same world, but as the series goes on it starts to weave together.


message 9: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments As Cheryl says you’ve hit the jackpot with this group. Friendly and active which is good.

Oh and according to one of my other groups Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft is supposed to be good. I haven’t read it yet though. And Grey Bastards by Jonathan French. And there’s a lot of them over there that like the Malazan books by Steven Erikson.


message 10: by Gabi (last edited Aug 09, 2018 08:33PM) (new)

Gabi | 3405 comments I'd say Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler would be fitting.

And welcome! I am exactly the same as you: only started reading again one month ago after a long time of abstinence.


message 11: by Wim (last edited Aug 09, 2018 10:49PM) (new)

Wim | 6 comments Gabi wrote: "I'd say Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler would be fitting.

And welcome! I am exactly the same as you: only started read..."


Jacqueline wrote: "As Cheryl says you’ve hit the jackpot with this group. Friendly and active which is good.

Oh and according to one of my other groups Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft is supposed to be good. I ha..."


Kaa wrote: "Ooh, yes, Bookburners and anything else by Max Gladstone. The Craft Sequence is wonderful. The first few books are separate stories from different parts of the same world, but as t..."

Trike wrote: "I got ya covered:

The Demon Cycle — 5 book series recently finished by Peter V. Brett. First one is The Warded Man. Demons rise from earth every night and one teenager dedicates his..."


Cheryl wrote: "And of course this group is the best for a fan of SFF.

Another great group is Play Book Tag... each month a theme, or 'tag,' is chosen, and readers can read whatever we want that fits the tag. And..."


Kaa wrote: "N.K. Jemisin, definitely. The Broken Earth trilogy is wonderful and brutal.

I'd recommend The Mirror Empire and The Library at Mount Char for dark fantasy, althoug..."


Jacqueline wrote: "I’d definitely recommend Mark Lawrence."

CBRetriever wrote: "Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear

Anything by Joe Abercrombie - he has several good series

Flewelling Lynn is on our shelves and pretty well liked in the genre. (Red Sister in particular)
[author:N.K. Jemisin|291..."


Oh boy, seems i got a lot to do (read) ;). Thanks all for giving me some pointers, now to visit the author and book pages and make a choice. But first, lacing my shoes to go out and buy me a new toy ;).

Will be back in a few hours with the reader. Really looking forward to make digital book shells etc ;). My inner child is happy haha.

Enjoy your Friday, and for those who didn't realise yet..... Its almost weeeeeekend! ;). Oh, and English ain't my native language as a Dutchie, some choices may be a bit weird in my use of words.


message 12: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments Have fun buying your ereader Wim. And lots of people on here have English as their second (or third) language. You’ll be right.


message 13: by Thaddeus (new)

Thaddeus White | 96 comments I'd go for Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 291 comments Hey Wim


welcome back :)


I definitely second Joe Abercrombie - very dark and hilarious by turns, I think quite complex sword sorcery fantasy.


Similarly, K.J. Parker, especially the Scavenger trilogy but the Engineer trilogy are almost as good. These lack the humour of Abercrombie, which is surprising as Parker is a pen name for Tom Holt


I also second Red Sister (I'm really looking forward to the sequel) and I adore N.K. Jemisin


Off fantasy, I highly recommend John Connolly's Charlie Parker books - very dark detective fiction, although I believe it slowly moves into supernatural - and Michael Marshall. The Straw Men is simply one of the finest serial killer vs detective books I have ever read.


I'm sure you'll find something to your liking from all our suggestions! One thing that has helped me expand my range and introduce me to new authors is following the group reads in my various groups, although it also means I'll need to outlive Methuselah to clear my shelves...


message 15: by Wim (new)

Wim | 6 comments Paul wrote: "Hey Wim


welcome back :)


I definitely second Joe Abercrombie - very dark and hilarious by turns, I think quite complex sword sorcery fantasy.


Similarly, [author:K.J. Parker|240..."


Hi Paul,

Very nice post, thanks for the friendly advice! Bought myself two books this morning which i will start on.


message 16: by Wim (new)

Wim | 6 comments Paul wrote: "Hey Wim


welcome back :)


I definitely second Joe Abercrombie - very dark and hilarious by turns, I think quite complex sword sorcery fantasy.


Similarly, K.J. Parker and The Wise Man's Fear

Anything by Joe Abercrombie - he has several good series

Flewelling Lynn is on our shelves and pretty well liked in the genre. (Red Sister in particular)
[author:N.K. Jemisin|291..."


Ok, i can go for weeks if not months on your recommendations. For now i got my Kobo Aura One charged up and bought Patrick Rothfuss his The Name of the Wind of the Kingkiller Chronicles & Red Sister from Mark Lawrence.

Now off to work a bit more and cant wait to hit the couch tonight or bed ;).

Thanks for the advice!


message 17: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments Great choices Wim. I finished Red Sister last night. I enjoyed it very much.


message 18: by Kateb (new)

Kateb | 893 comments Your book list of what you liked looks like my bookshelf a few years ago, since I have retired I have also tried to increase the authors I read

My fav at the moment is John Conroe's Demon Accord and Joel SHepherd's Cassandra series.

Both are adventurous, but a bit different to the normal. I love the magic , demons, etc in the Demon Accord.

I have read many of the books being suggested but I do like a bit of "speed" in the story rather than prose.


message 19: by Wim (new)

Wim | 6 comments Everyone thanks for the Mark Lawrence suggestion.

Loved reading Red Sister and gave it 4 stars. Could have been a bit darker to my tasting but i really like the character developments, the growing friendships amongst the convent inhabitants and the different skill sets used, sometimes combined.

Looking at how Mark Lawrence writes technically, i really like the way he shifts through present and past without leaving me puzzled.

Not going to buy Grey Sister immediately, i first have to read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss now. And perhaps book of the Month September. Going to look for that topic in a few.


message 20: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments Glad you enjoyed Red Sister Wim 😃 I’ve been meaning to start Name of the Wind properly myself. I picked it up and read a little bit of it and then got distracted and haven’t got back to it. So many books and so little time.


message 21: by OldSchoolScholar (new)

OldSchoolScholar | 9 comments Having just woken up from suspended animation after 15 years. Hmmmmm. Well, seems like you left off with some great authors. Sorry to say that all I can come up with is Stephen King or Neil Gaiman. Both have some great dark fantasy novels.

I can give some advice on what to avoid though. At the top of my list would be Patrick Rothfuss. Borrow the book from a friend before you shell out some hard earned $$$$ for it. You will be sorely disappointed coming off of Weis and Hickman or Eddings, and then reading Rothfuss. First-person, dialog driven character development--coupled with observational occurrences set in a world where voodoo dolls is the most fantastical element, does not make a great fantasy novel.

Get yourself some Stephen King or Neil Gaiman. Top notch storytellers. And after all, storytelling is what fantasy is all about.


message 22: by Kateb (new)

Kateb | 893 comments OldSchoolScholar wrote: "Having just woken up from suspended animation after 15 years. Hmmmmm. Well, seems like you left off with some great authors. Sorry to say that all I can come up with is Stephen King or Neil Gaiman...."

I have to agree with this, I find that there are people who enjoy long descriptions and there those of us who like a bit of "speed" in the story.

all the books you claim to have liked in the past really don't lend them selves to Rothfuss style of writing. I have a sister who loves his stuff and disliked your list of authors. We try and share books but years of doing so have taught us where the overlap occurs. Raymond Fiest is about it.


message 23: by CBRetriever (new)

CBRetriever | 4625 comments but I love both Martin and Rothfuss and Hobb and Tolkein

and I'd recommend Rothfuss to anyone who likes Martin or Hobb


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