Today, the guys in the Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday group had a great topic: Books You Feel Differently About Now! This can be books that you feel differently about after you’ve re-read them or just had more time to think about them. It can be books you gave a low rating to initial but now appreciate more, or a story you loved when you first read it, but now see many problems with it.
Obviously, this topic is a fairly broad one, and so I narrowed it down by deciding to focus on books I read for the first time in the last five years. No need to go back any further than that, since we all know our opinions about books from our younger years will definitely have changed quite a lot. So, let’s get to it!
5. DRAGON HUNTERS
After having loved When the Heavens Fall, I had really high expectations for book two. Maybe, too high. And when Dragon Hunters focused on another section of the world with all new characters and a different type of plot, I was not quite as infatuated with it. Thankfully, Marc Turner gave me an opportunity to beta read Red Tide, the third installment of the series, and it brought into focus the trajectory of this epic, causing most of my gripes about Dragon Hunters to evaporate.
4. HALF A KING
I was hard on this book after I read it. Christened it GRIMWHINE! And while I stand by much of my criticism, I realize now most of my angst was due to unreasonable expectations for Half a King. The Joe Abercrombie hype I’d been hearing setting this novel up as to be a big letdown. But after several years of contemplation, I realize this initial volume in the Shattered Sea series is a good fantasy. Not great, but definitely good. Maybe a little whiny at times, but still good. Something I wouldn’t hesitate to tell others to give a try. But don’t get me started on the next two books in the series, because it hasn’t been long enough yet.
3. SEVEN FORGES
As anyone who views my blog from time to time will probably know, I’m a big fan of the Seven Forges series by James A. Moore. It is my favorite sword-and-sorcery series on the 21st Century. So far, anyway. But when I closed the book on its initial volume, I had real doubts this amazing world and its mesmerizing denizens would ever realize their full potential, because the book Seven Forges did have its problems. Thankfully, Mr. Moore put it all together in the next three installments, taking me on a grand ride and making me appreciate the foundation he laid for it all in this novel.
2. KING OF THORNS
I have to go ahead and admit that I really hated this book when I finished it. Where Prince of Thorns had awed me with its gritty, bloody brutality and its brilliant but insane main character, King made me cringe in nearly ever way. Thank God, I eventually broke down, read Emperor of Thorns, and understood what Mark Lawrence was doing the whole time. All of which is my long winded way of saying I actually like King of Thorns now. Don’t know why that was so hard to type. 🙂
1. BEYOND REDEMPTION
I really liked this novel when I experienced it. Grimdark debauchery and brutality, madness and mayhem at its finest. But I didn’t fully appreciate Michael Fletcher’s amazing writing ability. Now, having read even more of the grimdark genre, I stand in awe. How Mr. Fletcher could created a world of madness (where those with the greatest insanity have the power to recreate the world around them) and craft a compelling story within that framework with characters readers despise yet still want to read about is utterly amazing. For that reason, this book continues to rise within my mind, and I hope other grimdark lovers will discover its divine madness.
That is my top five. What are yours?