DNF Q&A: Fantasy Standalone Falls Flat

I received this book for free from Razorbill. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DNF Q&A: Fantasy Standalone Falls Flat
Soundless

Written by: Richelle Mead
Published by: Razorbill
Release date: November 10th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Source: BookExpo America 2015
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

DNF Q&A

The DNF Q&A is an infrequent feature here at TWBI — instead of reviewing DNF’d books, I will post answers to a few pertinent questions in order to explain what made me ultimately set the book aside. Feel free to comment and suggest additional questions for future Q&A posts (may they be few and far between!), or just ask some questions specifically about this book!

 

Did you really give Soundless a chance?

I tried. I tried really hard. I wanted to love this book!! But I made it to page 72 and just couldn’t go on. For those who are all “but Soundless is fantasy, fantasy books are long, give it a chance” I can only say — Soundless is short. My ARC is 266 pages. I… like… what?! So yeah. I read 27%, which was enough for me to decide that if I didn’t like it by then, it wasn’t going to grow on me.

Have you enjoyed other books of the same genre?

I said above that Soundless is fantasy — that’s how I first heard it described and that’s how I’ve seen it marketed. But honestly… from what I read, it felt a bit more like historical fiction — no fantasy elements at all. (I’ve since heard that those fantasy elements kick in a little bit at the end.)

Had you been looking forward to this book in particular? Why?

Yes! I was excited to see that Richelle was writing a fantasy because I love fantasy. I tried her Vampire Academy series a long time ago, but didn’t finish the first book — it just wasn’t for me. So when I heard Richelle was writing a fantasy based in Chinese folklore, I was really excited. But, well… we all know how that worked out for me.

Continue reading

DNF Q&A: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman

DNF Q&A: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman
Seraphina
Seraphina #1

Written by: Rachel Hartman
Published by: Random House
Release date: July 10th 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 512
Source: Gifted from a friend
Add on: Goodreads

In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

DNF Q&A

The DNF Q&A is an infrequent feature here at TWBI — instead of reviewing DNF’d books, I will post answers to a few pertinent questions in order to explain what made me ultimately set the book aside. Feel free to comment and suggest additional questions for future Q&A posts (may they be few and far between!), or just ask some questions specifically about this book!

 

Did you really give Seraphina a chance?

I made it to page 290 of 512. I actually gave this book MUCH more of a chance than I normally would, considering how much I wasn’t enjoying it.

Have you enjoyed other books of the same genre?

Absolutely, yes. I love fantasy books. But the problem was, other than the presence of dragons, this didn’t feel like a fantasy to me. Sure, the countries were made-up, and yeah, dragons!! But it really read like historical fiction, to me. Plus, the plot was definitely almost exclusively along the lines of “murder mystery”, which isn’t always my cup of tea. Yes, the murder had wider implications for the realm or whatever, but it was still basically a whodunnit (at least, as far as I made it, it was). (Yes, this is apparent from the synopsis. Yes, I probably should have gone into this a little more warily.)

Continue reading

DNF Q&A: THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin

I received this book for free from Little, Brown. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DNF Q&A: THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin
The Walled City

Written by: Ryan Graudin
Published by: Little, Brown
Release date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Source: BookExpo America 2014
Buy: B&N, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
Also by this author: All That Glows, Wolf by Wolf


730. That's how many days I've been trapped.
18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.

DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

DNF Q&A

The DNF Q&A is an infrequent feature here at TWBI — instead of reviewing DNF’d books, I will post answers to a few pertinent questions in order to explain what made me ultimately set the book aside. Feel free to comment and suggest additional questions for future Q&A posts (may they be few and far between!), or just ask some questions specifically about this book!

 

Did you really give The Walled City a chance?

Yes. I made it about 37% of the way through.

Have you enjoyed other books of the same genre?

Well, I’m not 100% sure what genre The Walled City fits into – it’s set in near-modern times. It’s not dystopian, fantasy, or sci-fi. Maybe just a thriller? A survival story? Whatever it was, it sounded like something that would be gripping, and gritty, and right up my alley.

[It was pointed out to me that maybe this is more “historical fiction” – it’s possibly set in the 80’s, and is definitely based on a real place and on people who may have lived there. (See the answer to my next question, below.) If it is historical fiction… hah. I laugh, because Historical Fiction and I don’t normally get along anyway, sooo make of that what you will!]

Had you been looking forward to this book in particular? Why?

Yes. This book was one of my most exciting acquisitions from BEA, and I was really looking forward to reading it. The titular “Walled City” (called the Hak Nam Walled City in the book) was actually based on the Kowloon Walled City, a real city — or more like ungoverned cluster of buildings — that existed in Hong Kong, until it was demolished in 1994. The Kowloon Walled City housed 33,000 people within 0.01 square miles. (I’ll give you a sec to think about that. …Yeah.) It was a truly horrifying place, with extremely high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug use. So a YA book set in this city? WOW OKAY count me in. It sounds dark and gritty and I really wanted it to be awesome.

Continue reading

DNF Q&A: STORM SIREN by Mary Weber

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DNF Q&A: STORM SIREN by Mary Weber
Storm Siren
Storm Siren #1

Written by: Mary Weber
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Release date: August 19th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Source: NetGalley
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

DNF Q&A

The DNF Q&A is an infrequent feature here at TWBI — instead of reviewing DNF’d books, I will post answers to a few pertinent questions in order to explain what made me ultimately set the book aside. Feel free to comment and suggest additional questions for future Q&A posts (may they be few and far between!), or just ask some questions specifically about this book!

 

Did you really give Storm Siren a chance?

I read about 35% of Storm Siren, yes. I wanted desperately like it, but as much as I liked the main character and a couple of the secondary ones, I kept having to put the book down again and again, for a few reasons…

Have you enjoyed other books of the same genre?

Yes please give me all the YA fantasy.

Had you been looking forward to this book in particular? Why?

Yes – the synopsis won me over pretty much immediately, and I love the cover. For some reason, I was a little wary of it despite my excitement, but I set that aside because of how good it sounded. *sigh*

Continue reading

DNF Q&A: ROYALLY LOST by Angie Stanton

I received this book for free from HarperCollins. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DNF Q&A: ROYALLY LOST by Angie Stanton
Royally Lost

Written by: Angie Stanton
Published by: HarperCollins
Release date: May 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have... is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

DNF Q&A

The DNF Q&A is an infrequent feature here at TWBI — instead of reviewing DNF’d books, I will post answers to a few pertinent questions in order to explain what made me ultimately set the book aside. Feel free to comment and suggest additional questions for future Q&A posts (may they be few and far between!), or just ask some questions specifically about this book!

 

Did you really give Royally Lost a chance?

Yes. Oh, yes. Yes, I did. I read 33%. And for a while there, I thought it was going to work out. …No, I should rephrase: I desperately wanted it to work out. I wanted a cute, adorable, fluffy contemporary romance, and I wanted it so badly that for the first 20% or so, I forced myself to look past multiple flaws and tell myself that I would like this book gosh darn it. I wanted fluff, it was fluffy, I was enjoying it! (Hint: I wasn’t.) By 30%, I could no longer keep lying to myself. I couldn’t do it. There’s only so much ridiculousness I can take, and by the time I decided to DNF, this book had surpassed that.
Continue reading

DNF Q&A: THE TAKING by Kimberly Derting

I received this book for free from HarperTeen. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

DNF Q&A: THE TAKING by Kimberly Derting
The Taking
The Taking #1

Written by: Kimberly Derting
Published by: HarperTeen
Release date: April 29th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads

A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

DNF Q&A

The DNF Q&A is an infrequent feature here at TWBI – instead of reviewing DNF’d books, I will post answers to a few pertinent questions in order to explain what made me ultimately set the book aside. Feel free to comment and suggest additional questions for future Q&A posts (may they be few and far between!), or just ask some questions specifically about this book!

 

Did you really give The Taking a chance?

I feel like I gave it an adequate time to draw me in, and it failed to do so. I read 30%, and ultimately put it aside because it failed to make me care, about the characters especially.

Have you enjoyed other books of the same genre?

Yes! Sci-Fi is a favorite genre of mine. Admittedly, I haven’t read any books about alien abductions (assuming that’s what this actually turns out to have been — it’s implied, but obviously I didn’t finish it so idk for sure). But I was pretty sure that this contemporary sci-fi would appeal to me. =/

Had you been looking forward to this book in particular? Why?

Yes! Aliens (maybe)! Mystery! A little romance! It just sounded like fun — and I think it probably would’ve been, it just wasn’t for me.
Continue reading