There are books I’ve read. There are books I’m reading. There are books I have yet to read.
And then there are the books I’ve begun but never finished. They stare at me accusingly from where they lie next to the ever-growing pile of completed books, never moving, just collecting dust. I’ve renewed them as many times as possible, but soon the librarians will hunt me down with squeaky book carts and date-due slips. What, exactly, am I not reading? And why? Let’s begin.
Larklight is a middle grade steampunk, written in a very old style that I don’t much like. I have seen Reeve’s books in other places, and none of them have appealed to me. I have read one review that said his books were horrible, but beyond that, I didn’t know. So I decided to give it a shot.
No. Suspense: no. Characters: no. World: no. Style: no. It’s nothing. It’s almost painful. Dumas, Tolstoy, and Hugo write in slightly archaic styles that are still readable– that’s why they’re classics. Reeve writes present day stories using strange words when needed to make things sound dusty. The summary is a perfect example: “A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Far Reaches of Space.” Dauntless pluck? No thanks.
Days of Blood and Starlight is the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. (Which is also by Laini Taylor, if you were wondering. I don’t know why you would, but for clarity’s sake.) I struggled through the first one and came to a dead stop on the second. Why? I don’t enjoy it. The characters are good, the writing is excellent, but the story… I’ll sum it up. Strange girl works for strange person and suddenly realizes she is actually an even stranger girl who was once in love with another strange person. The story consists of two characters telling completely different stories, but since they sort of recognize each other in two chance encounters, there should be something connecting them. There isn’t, which provides tension until the end, at which point a plot twist explodes and showers revelations upon everyone. It’s barely even a love story. This would truthfully be classified as paranormal romance. There’s an undercurrent of fantastical mystery, but it’s nothing more than an undercurrent. I don’t enjoy it.
This book has been recommended by several sources. It looks promising– nice and thick and fantasy. Unfortunately, I hate the main character. I hate the love interest who never actually developed into a love interest except through unclear hints. I hate the side characters. I hate the portrayal of all the characters. I dislike the morals, the dialogue, everything. It could have been done well… but it isn’t. I can’t get through it.
Supposedly the greatest science fiction novel ever. Is it? I don’t know. I haven’t gotten past the first five chapters. It isn’t like the first few books, which I disliked characters and style and such– with Dune, it’s simply the size. I don’t have time for such an enormous book.
Those four books are the bane of my existence. I will probably finish each of them, but will I go back for more? No. Except perhaps Dune.