5 Series/Books that I Won’t Finish

throwing papers

So the dreaded reading slump has hit me again;- something which I’m beginning to tie down to high stress times in my daily life. Logically, with my book addiction, you would think it would be the opposite, but apparently my brain can’t read when I’m very worried or stressed.

The same slump has this time extended to my reviews and book blogging. In order to create a break through, I’ve decided to do a fun little book tag which has been all the rage recently over on the booktube (Youtubers who have channels dedicated to books).

I usually will stick a book out no matter how bad, and usually I will stick out a series too. But every now and then I come across a book or a series that I just cant finish. The list below, is an overview of the few books/series I cant finish and the reasons why. The reasons vary, depending on the book. A few I may end up picking up out of pained curiosity to see how they end, but I am 90% sure I am just DONE with these books/series.

Before we continue, I wish to advise that my opinions here are in no way intended as offensive, as you may really like some of these books. These are just my opinions and do not reflect any company or other’s opinions.

  1. The Spellcaster Series by Claudia Gray

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One of my first Blog posts here on this blog was a scathing review on the first book in the series. In summary, I hated it. I perhaps would have liked it when I was 13 and found bland and insufferable Mary Sue characters legitimate heroes. But this book does nothing for a 21 year old post-grad student. The story line held promise, the execution was so awful that it would make Hades cry.

I would not waste my brain cells on any further attempts made by Gray, and I don’t care if the series “gets better”. I simply don’t believe you. This is one of those books that I’d burn happily if I ever needed the kindling.

Characters? Lack luster and have no room for character growth. Most are horrid.
Plot? Just as bad.

Verdict: Case closed! No chance for appeal.

2. Shattered Sea series by Joe Abercombie

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I also reviewed the first book, Half a King, not long into my years reading challenge. In a case of missed connections, I struggled with this book. From the onset, I was overly optimistic, picking up a section of the genre I wasn’t necessarily comfortable with. I’m not a high fantasy sort of gal, but this book had glowing reviews in one of the highest Goodreads star ratings I had seen. This was a good book, but I got bored frequently and often put it down to read others.

Apparently the other two books in the series are excellent, but given my lack of connection to the other book, to me it seems like wasted money trying to follow the series. That’s not to say that others should stay away- I genuinely believe many of you, dear readers, may enjoy this book and series. But before you invest, make sure you listen to your gut on this one.

Verdict: The jury has decided against the defendant. 

3. Penryn and the End of Days series by Susan Ee

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I’ve yet to write my review for Angelfall (the first book in the trilogy), but much like Half a King, this book didn’t grab me. The premise was exciting and everyone has been raving about this series, but I just couldn’t get into it. It must have sat on my bed side table for weeks before I decided I just needed to finish it so I could get it out of the way. Peyrn was a lovely, spitfire heroine, but I didn’t get the chance to properly know her or gain a connection to her. This is what a post apocalyptic movie is when its been directly transferred to a movie companion novel. This is all go-go-go action and not so much pondering on the state of things. I frequently got confused and lost by what had actually happened to make the world end, and while the angel mythology was intriguing, I had to rely solely on my own Biblical knowledge of angels to get some idea of what was going on.

I’m assuming the rest of the books are a same style of writing so I am reluctant to continue on with the series. Not that Ee isn’t a good writer- her skill in her debut novel is remarkable- it’s just that it’s not the style of writing that I usually go for. I’m one of those people that prefers descriptive flowery language. I can definitely understand how some people may like this series- a cool heroine, a nice love interest and a potentially exciting story to follow. This is just not for me.

Verdict: The Jury finds the defendant guilty. Chance of parole unlikely. 

4. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova 

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I was too young when I started this book. I couldn’t appreciate it at the time. An absolute monster of a book, I was 16 and ambitious; wanting a more meatier historical-tied version of the vampire books I was consuming like I had a series case of the munchies. I did really enjoy reading it, I just didnt ever finish it.

I stopped a little over half way, just simply puffing out of steam. The challenge was too great, and I was bested by this book. I’ve never got around to finishing it, but it’s been so long since I read this book, if I wanted to, I’d have to start again from scratch. Over the last 5 years, I simply just havent found the time to dedicate to this book.

Have I 100% closed the door on this book? No. My memory of the sheer brilliance of it is too compelling to say goodbye to it. I’m just saving this book for a later time, when I have more of it. This book has unfortunately just been bumped down the pecking order of my TBR for so long, that it’s been collecting dust for a while.

Verdict: Decision not reached. Appeal to be made in a few years

5. Girl Online Series by Zoe Sugg

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I reviewed Girl Online in one of my first reviews on this blog. I brought it to read on the train and read it solidly within a few hours. This book doesn’t cater to the taste of bitter 21 year olds. This is also exactly the sort of book you’d expect from someone who garnered her audience through youtube videos. I love Zoe and her videos. I’m a subscriber and watch and enjoy her videos frequently. I just don’t know if writing a book is the best outlet for Zoe’s skills. Zoe is a good blogger, and even though she had a ghost writer helping her here, this book really struggles to pull itself together. Multiple different writing styles, frequent spelling and grammatical mistakes, large plot holes and enough cheese to make your teeth hurt, this book isn’t for anyone who’s over the age of 15.

While I imagine that Sugg’s skills have progressed since the first book was published, I watched her vlogs while she created the next book Girl Online; On Tour. The whole writing process seemed so rushed that I can just imagine it would be a struggle to read. I didn’t think the first book needed a sequel, but apparently Sugg’s fans won against common sense.

I love you Zoe, but I think I’m going to have to pass on the book sorry.

Verdict: The Jury has voted against the defendant. No chance of appeal. 

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Review: Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead

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Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead

or: eh? Wait what just happened?

Goodreads   ||    The Book Depository

Synopsis: Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham is the best at banishing entities trespassing in the mortal realm. But as the Thorn Land’s queen, she’s fast running out of ways to end the brutal war devastating her kingdom. Her only hope: the Iron Crown, a legendary object even the most powerful gentry fear…Who Eugenie can trust is the hardest part. Fairy king Dorian has his own agenda for aiding her search. And Kiyo, her shape-shifter ex-boyfriend, has every reason to betray her along the way. To control the Crown’s ever-consuming powers, Eugenie will have to confront an unimaginable temptation–one that will put her soul and the fate of two worlds in mortal peril…

The third book in the Dark Swan Series, this book had to deliver a lot. After a stellar second book, my expectations were high. This book left me… well, kind of at a loss.

Don’t get me wrong, Mead’s skill hasn’t diminished… it’s just that the story is starting to feel a little far fetched now. And the major plot twist of this story? Predictable.

I was most looking forward to the Iron Crown in this book; hello, a super magical crown, that no one else can touch, with cosmic power? HELL YEAH. Mead promised a quest for this and I was kind of tricked into thinking that it would take up a good portion of the book… No. It lasted for three chapters if you were lucky. It was so anti-climatic it was almost funny.  The monsters weren’t scary- just recycled from Greek mythology. Easily disposed of and not much of a road block. Then the only other two obstacles? Dull. Boring. Unsatisfying.

I wanted to see Eugenie kick major ass here but she was given zero opportunity to by Mead, who just rushed this section beyond belief. This could have potentially been the defining moment of the series… but it so wasn’t. Mead missed this opportunity totally. In fact, Mead seemed so focused on making this book about a love triangle that I was kind of disappointed. Mead is usually so skillful in this area and this kind of seemed… not her best work. At all.

Eugenie had minimal character development, as did Kiyo (his major character change was so predictable you could see it from a mile away). In fact the shining light of this book? Jasmine. Eugenie’s f-ing sub plot villain! I actually like Jasmine now which is both surprising and quite frankly, alarming.

On Goodreads, I gave this book 4 stars after I finished, partly because I was confused, and partly because I didn’t give myself time to think about what was bugging me about the book. I now give this book 3 stars. But Ashleigh, you just complained about it, why are you giving 3 stars? Because even with the problems in this book, there were some parts I really liked.

I really liked how Mead summed up and wrapped up the war. Nicely and neatly done. Could she have spent some more time describing battles and have Eugenie more apart of her own war? Yes. But am I mad she didn’t? No not really. It kind of fits Eugenie’s flighty character to not be so involved in her own problems. The storming of the castle part though was excellent, and was the type of scene and world building that should have made up the rest of the book. In order not to spoil it for anyone, I ultimately think Mead made the right decision on certain characters’ fate.

Now, lets move to the elephant in the room. The love triangle. I’ve always been Team Dorian. I think he’s a better fit for Eugenie, and I think Kiyo is just a dramatic element created to make problems. Now I’m sure there are others who would certainly disagree with me, but this isn’t the place for battling for either team, as I’m not sure I really care about the outcome. In the second book, I much preferred the dynamic between the three and much preferred how Eugenie acted with Dorian. I think Eugenie’s strengths as a character come through when paired with Dorian; she’s less whiny, more focused and doesn’t have those annoying wank fests about where she ‘belongs’. Because this book was all about her break up with Dorian, i’m sure it’s obvious what my sentiments are.

I don’t like Kiyo and finally, the end of this book has justified why. Was it predictable? Oh most definitely. Am I pissed of that the thing happened with Kiyo? Hell to the yes. Has Mead set up enough drama to validate the presence of the next book? Yes. Can I predict how the series is going to end? Yes. It’s going to shock me if things don’t occur the way that it makes sense to.

All in all, I’m sure it’s fairly obvious I’m rather disenchanted by this book. Mead seems to have slipped up here. The reason? I think it’s because this is a back up series that was written in-between Mead writing for her main focus; Bloodlines and Vampire Academy. I understand why this one is kind of sub-par- you have to run out of creativity eventually while you’re perfecting your best work. I’m glad her focus was on Bloodlines and Vampire Academy because she did her best and they were perfect but that’s another post entirely and I wont wank on about them here.

I will inevitably read the final book in this series. Mainly because I’m weirdly curious how much more dramatic it can get, and mainly because I want to get proven right by how it’s going to end. It’s a book, however, that’s been seriously bumped down the list because of all the other books I’d prefer to read first. I will eventually get there though i’m sure.

Read: Australian Paperback Edition (New Cover)