Fantasy & Beyond

A Book Forum for Speculative Fiction

Discuss SFF books and authors here.
By Peat
Idle thought that popped into my head. A lot of us are primarily fantasy readers because we know what like, dagnabbit. But that doesn't mean we're always right.

Are there any reads you really took you by surprise on just how much you liked it? Or the opposite, books you were sure you'd love but really didn't?
By ultamentkiller
Licanius Trilogy. Was recommended this series by someone on Reddit because I was desperate and wow it's so good. I thought it was going to be 4 stars at best but it had a lot of great twists and cool philosophical concepts.
A call back to the Fantasy Faction forums in 2016. Really didn't think I would like Tales of the Ketty Jay. Read the first book and felt it was 3.5 stars at best. You guys told me it got better, and it did. It's so much fun and I love the characters. Wish there were more books like it. Especially ones with a cat pov.
Shockingly Bad: Nevernight. I wasn't aware that this book was so polarizing before I read it. I thought I would love it based on how the narration was described and the concept. But wow. Yikes. I wish I could burn it out of my head and make room for a better book.
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By ScarletBea
This is a very difficult question for me, given my memory... :peek:
I'd almost give the easy/coward's response and say that all first books of a series are a surprise, but I think that nowadays the surprises come from the settings. I normally expect something new in plot and characters, but the actual world, the location, always ends up being "an earth" - until it isn't!
By Elfy
I had to give this one some thought. A couple that surprised me in good ways were Dave Duncan's The Magic Casement, which is the first book in his A Man of His Word quartet. I wound up loving it and everything that Duncan set in his world of Pandemia. I picked this book up purely on the strength of the Don Maitz cover, so it could have been a real dog of a book with a beautiful cover, but it wasn't. Another one was Katherine Neville's The Eight, and that became one of my all time favourites.
Some I just bounced off hard were: Prince of Thorns, pretty much everything about this book missed the mark for me. Malazan, I wanted to like it, so many people did and said so many good things about it. I slogged through 2 and a half books and then midway through the 3rd thought, 'you know what? I just don't care about any of these characters and what they're doing', put the book down and have never looked back. Sanderson's Mistborn. I read 2 and a half Sanderson's and I saw people say that they improved the further you got, but it didn't happen for me. The magic system was clever, but the writing was clunky and the characters didn't click for me.
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By DaveBates
I find I don't tend to cling to much in a love or hate sense in any medium, but having read a lot more recently, one book that did stand out was Mickey7 by Edward Ashton. I read sci-fi mostly as a curiosity on the side of fantasy, but this one really engaged in in what was an interesting concept with quirky characters. I would certainly recommend it to those who might dabble into sci-fi as an easy read.