Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ten Books I Almost Put Down But Didn't

Ten Books I Almost Put Down But Didn't

Honestly, when I almost put down a book, I find myself wishing I had because they seldom seem to improve. I tried to keep this to just the books that I was glad that I finished (and that I read in the past sixteen or so months) but then I realized that I would have two books on this list. This list has actually been very helpful and interesting for me to look at and see truly how few books improve after my first bad impression of them. This has already helped me to drop a couple of books that I was going to try finishing and hopefully being able to look at something like this will cause me to stop reading more books that are not going well.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Around page seventy, I think it was, I just stopped reading this book. It always nagged me from the back of my mind though for several reasons. The first would have to be because we don't have to deal with my dreaded first person POV - and the narration is split between four separate people. So, I eventually picked it up and started reading it again. What do you know? I actually enjoyed it. Enough even, to buy the second in the series.

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
I look at this book and wonder about my knee-jerk reaction to it. I read one chapter and stuck a little note paper into the book and quite happily stuck it back on my shelf. Then I picked it up some time later and tried reading it again and I adored it. I think what got me was how different it was from all the other steampunk I'd read to that date (those were mostly directed towards women and this certainly isn't) and the fact that this book is actually kind of crass at times. Particularly some of the language that is used. It's not curse words - at least not often - but it's not a squeaky clean book, either. And, I'm ashamed to admit, most of the steampunk I'd read before this book had a strong romance factor to it and this one...doesn't.

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
Much like Retribution Falls, I put this book down after one chapter. Unlike RF, I wish I'd never picked up this book again. Besides the main guy that has this very 'throw-in-the-towel' mentality and loves wallowing in self pity, I think the author was something of a misogynist.

The Shard Axe by Marshelia Rockwell
I loved the other book by this author that I read (Legacy of Wolves) and had hoped that this one would turn out as well. Instead, I was left with a noir type story (I hate noir) with an unlikable/attempting to be hard-boiled (I hate hard-boiled) woman that has a mysterious past that she cannot forget. You know, she actually has some of the same self pity as the main guy from TotCM.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Ugh. I don't even. This book was so boring. I read it because, seriously, it was on every single steampunk list I ever found. So I felt compelled to read it. I wish I hadn't. I don't know how you can make zombies boring, but this book certainly did. Not to mention the pain it was reading about the main characters - who were also, you guessed it - boring.

Wings of Twilight by Hans Cummings
I honestly probably would have stopped reading this book - if I hadn't had to read it for a challenge I'm doing. The characters were, mostly, boring. Even the ones that were sort of likable, were boring. And the writing was rather amateurish and, several times, started to give me a headache. (I have problems reading books that give me headaches.)

Darkwalker by Douglas Niles
This was the first book I ever remember reading that I actively wanted to stop reading. However, I had already read the other two in the trilogy, so I felt that I should finish it. However, the way the two main characters acted and how they killed off my favorite character made me loathe and detest this book. I learnt, with this book, how important it is to actually stop reading a book when the signs say it won't improve. (I just wish I'd follow through more often.)

Now, three books I did stop reading.

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
Oh gorgeous cover, how you deceived me! I was actually all set to adore this book and I was having fun with it being a rather shallow romp - right up until the titular 'Jack' was introduced and curse words started hitting the page like crazy. I can deal with some language in my book, but when two out of three words are curses, then I've got to leave, and fast.

The Affinity Bridge by George Mann
The head-hopping in this book was giving me a dreadful headache. It might have been a good book if the author could have just decided on one person to narrate a scene - instead of the point of view changing within a paragraph. (Now that I think on it, it was probably third person omniscient, which is just as bad for me.) I did skim the ending to see the 'reveal' that everyone was talking about - but it was really obvious and I even kind of saw it coming.

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
'Phenomenal International Bestseller' Look at that cover. It's about H.G. Wells' time machine. The only reason it was a best seller was because the idea sounded fifty times better than it truly was. Maybe that isn't entirely fair for me to say, considering I only made it to the third chapter before a squick-tastic scene between the main character and the whore he fell in love with after merely seeing a portrait of her caused me to resoundingly close the book.

I know I kind of cheated, but I've only been a member of Goodreads for a couple months over a year, and honestly most books before that have entered into a milky fog that I really cannot recall my thoughts while reading them. Just whether I liked them or not by the end of the book.

Ultimately, I would only recommend the first two books on this list, with the stipulation that you're actually interested in the genre/story. The rest...I recommend avoiding like the plague.

How about you? What books did you almost give up on and how did that turn out? Any books you did give up on?