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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The DNF Files

The DNF Files

In 2011, we have read some pretty amazing books! But there are the very few books we've encountered this year that didn't quite float our boat. Here are some of our DNF (did not finish) and finish-but-wish-I-didn't books.

Deceived by the Others
by Jess Haines
(H&W Investigations # 3)

Deceived by the Others was a DNF for me. But there are reasons why:
1. This being the third book, I was hoping that something in Shiarra would change. What I loved about the first book is the fact that Shiarra is a human who is actively taking part in a paranormal world. While I thought she held her own in the first book and she did okay in the second book, I just didn’t feel like Shiarra developed much over the course of the first two books. She’s still quite vulnerable, and while I loved this in the beginning, now I don’t.

There were countless times in the first few pages where Shiarra is warned by multiple parties that something bad is heading her way and yet she completely ignores this to go to vacation with her boyfriend! Here’s a lesson that Shia needs to learn – You’re a human. And when supernatural creatures are tell you that shit is coming your way. You listen.

2. Shia’s relationship with Chaz, her shifter boyfriend has been an ongoing thing. And while this is an urban fantasy series and not a romance one, I just want to ask Shia, WHY ARE YOU WITH HIM? Chaz is rarely around enough to make me love him. And when he is around, he does that possessive growl thing that irritates me. He allows his temper and jealously to get the best of him. It just doesn’t seem right if he’s supposed to be the leader of his pack. When all you do is growl and hang on to Shiarra, it doesn’t make me swoon over your protectiveness. It makes me want to punch you. So here’s my message to Chaz – Stop being a pouty baby. You can’t get jealous over Shiarra when she handles business with Royce. You’re not even around enough to have a say in her life.

3. Idle banter is fun. Most of the time. But when I can summarize the first few chapters of your book in one and a half sentences, then you know there’s just way too much inner dialogue that can be cut out. For me, the pacing was just all over the place. Sometimes it was engaging...most of the time lagging.

But this isn’t to say that Haines’s writing style is bad. She has spunk and I enjoyed that with Shiarra. But there is a limit. Her books are easy to read, so if you’re able to get over the fact that Shiarra can be a little ignorant at times, then go on, read this book.

Lord of the Wolfyn
by Jessica Andersen
(Royal House of Shadows # 3)

There is nothing worse than not connecting with characters in a book. This being my first read by Jessica Andersen, I was very excited to read a new-to-me author. Unfortunately, I wasn’t captured by the characters in this story.

I felt that Dayn and Reda were one-dimensional, neither one bringing anything forward to make me want to finish this book. I’m sad to say this because I was really looking forward to reading about shifters, but couldn’t find the will to turn that next page.

This doesn’t take away from the fact that Andersen has an easy to follow writing style that I enjoyed. There’s this urgency to which she writes that definitely has the potential to push the plot forward, but again, when I can’t relate to your main characters, it’s tough for me to care about what happens to them.

I won’t let this one book deter me from reading more of Andersen’s books though. Given that she is J.R. Ward’s critique partner, I’m sure her other books will sparks some interests in my tastes.

by Kristina Douglas
(The Fallen # 1)

This book had potential, it really did! The storyline was there, it was interesting, but it felt a bit under developed. The pace of this book is SLOW. It really only got interesting to me towards the end, which is the only reason I might consider reading the next in this series if it comes out. Might.

Allie was not my type of heroine. She was a bit self centered and at times annoying. And I think the author could've been a bit more creative with how she dies. I mean, of all the ways someone can get killed accidentally, I don't particularly like the "her high heel got caught and she fell right in front of a bus!".

I did like seeing Azazel's POV. Before that I thought he was an ass but then I liked him a bit. I did like Sarah but its sad that the wives only live a bit longer than a human but they still die. So does that mean Allie will never die again since she's dead already?

Raziel is a bit stubborn, however sexy. But I didn't really feel the connection between him and Allie.

Touch of the Wolf
by Susan Krinard
(Historical Werewolf # 1)

Cassidy Holt thinks she has finally found where she belongs when she returns to England. After years of living with human relatives who both shunned her and was afraid of her she feels she has finally found somewhere to call home, especially when she meets, Braden Forster, Earl of Greyburn. Braden is fanatical in carrying on his Grandfather's Cause to get purify the loup garou blood that has thinned over the generations of marriages to humans, pushing their kind to near extinction. As leader of all the loup garou it is his duty to oversee mating and arrange marriages, but after his first disastrous marriage is determined never to mate again. But something changes when he finds Cassidy Holt and he can feel the walls he has built round himself dissolving under her bright gaze.

As you can tell by my star rating I didn't like this book very much. It had nothing to do with the writing itself. Infact the writing was good, it flowed well and the dialogue was well written, in-keeping with the times and yet not so overly done that it make it impossible to decipher. The characters were also well drawn up, they each had distinct personalities and seemed real.

But, what I did not like, were the characters themselves, as well written as they were, I just couldn't stand them! Braden was cold and aloof and as far as I can see had no redeeming characteristics. He did nothing at all to warm myself to him throughout the entire book. He saw everyone around him as a pawn in his Cause, and if they were not useful they were cast aside or ignored, to the point where he cared only that his own brother and sister were married and had children whether they wanted to or not. Now I like the ruthless and tortured hero most the time, but generally they have something about them, some charisma that pulls you to them but for me Braden didn't have that. Until the last 10 or so pages he was a heartless bastard who showed Cassidy nothing of himself but lust.

As for Cassidy, well, she really bugged me as well. At first I didn't mind her naivete and innocence, but after a while, her blinding inability to look facts in the face annoyed me. Braden treated her like rubbish, more or less told her she was no use to him unless she could Change, does she tell him to shove it and they can accept her as she is? No, she just promises to try harder so she can please him. She seemed to wander around in a haze of blind faith and was disgustingly optimistic. Braden showed her no affection and no regard and yet she trailed after him like a lost puppy, in the end I just lost all respect for her. But I guess it worked for her in the end, she brought her man to heel, although why she would want him at that point is beyone me. To me, I don't think it was possible to fall in love with the character and I think she just fell in love with the thought of belonging and transferred it on to Braden, it is the only possible explanation, there quite simply was nothing worth falling in love with.

Okay this review has turned into a bit of a rant, which I didn't mean to do, but whilst reading this book I just got so annoyed and frustrated I had to get it out! This is the first book in the series and although I am mildly curious about Bradens brother and sister I am not sure I will read on

Heart Mate
by Robin D. Owens

(Celta's Heartmates # 1)

 Set on the distant planet of Celta, the human colony has grown in to a new world over the last 400 years. All the people there have small magical ability and alot have a Flair, a personal magical speciality, automatically putting them into the Noble class. They also have the potential to have HeartMates, their fated soulmate. GreatLord T'Ash has finally found his HeartMate and he trying to use all his wiles to try and get her to bond with him, but still trying to hide his past of that as a homeless urchin living in the slums. Danith Mallow is just a normal Miz, middleclass and Flaireless, who doesn't think she is good enough for the GreatNoble T'Ash, with his powerful Flaire and grand name and house.

I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. At first I thought it sounded like quite a sweet and romantic story about two people facing what they see as their faults ad their tragic pasts and becoming a strong united front. But, that wasn't what it was like at all. By the last page I was relieved that I had finished it, and am glad that I didn't buy it. I found the world a bit strange and nothing seemed to flow quite right. I found the secondary characters to be a bit flat and two dimensional. And mostly I just couldn't stand either Danith or T'Ash.

Both these main characters just got on my nerves. Danithas she seemed to reject T'Ash for no apparent reason, didn't try to sort any of her problems out, just run away. And T'Ash, because surely not all men are that stupid, he knows how important family is to Danith, so what does he do? He tries to take her away from the self made family that she has!

As well as the characters, the plot and flow of the story was jerky and problems seemed to come and go with no conclusion, events would start happening, then something else would be happen leaving the previous thread unresolved or unsatisfactorily concluded.

I really didn't like this book and I am not going to be continuing this series, I have seen be given such good reviews but I just couldn't see it, the romance wasn't believable, the characters irritating and irrational and the story, well I have yet to find one!

What are some of your DNF books this year?


Paranormal Haven said...

I was able to get through Raziel but I wasn't thrilled with it so I haven't picked up book 2 and probably won't.

Under the Covers said...

Call me crazy, I actually forced myself to finish Raziel earlier this year and just bought the second one!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!!! I'm a masochist. Or just optimistic.


Sophia Rose said...

Maybe it is because I do not read as many books as other people or because I read such great reviewers like you guys, but I only had two that were disappointing to me and they are both long-time best selling authors. Only one is a PNR/UF genre book. I was disappointed in the last Charlaine Harris 'Dead Reckoning'.

Sheree said...

I haven't opened RAZIEL yet; I've been mesmerized by David Kimmerle's abs....

Blue Shedevil said...

I was sooo on board with Lord of the Wolfen. I finished it but wanted to bleach my eyeballs afterwards. Ugh, the heroine in that book needed to be killed off and feed to zoo lions.

Ren said...

I have 7 DNF books :(
Mostly because its not held my interest anymore and I discovered another interesting books. Blame it to GR, lol.

The most shocking moment when I DNF'd The Darkest Surrender. I know many people love this, but I just can't connect with both characters

Anne said...

I was a fan of Haines' first two books, but always had issues with Shiarra. It's nice that she didn't immediately become a supernatural ass kicker, but reacted like most of us would. However, she is so stupid sometimes, especially in book 3. Will get book 4 from the library.

I read a couple of Jessica Andersen's Nightkeeper books and gave upon them. Bored, bored, bored.

Liz @ Fictional Candy said...

I have Raziel and Demon on my shelf in my bedroom right now, waiting for the chance to be read. I've heard good and bad *sigh*.

Unfortunately, I'm reading a book right now I'm debating now finishing, but I'm giving it a shot so I won't mention the title just yet...

Under the Covers said...

Hi Anne, I'm not sure I will continue the Jess Haines series. When i don't like the heroine, I can't get through the book. It's as simple as that.

I hope to try Andersen's other books one day. Not sure when though.