In case you missed my previous blog, a few weeks ago I decided to try an experiment. I was going to pick up ten Kindle samples of books that I would never have bought on my own but that keep being recommended to me over and over again by book sites, book blogs, friends etc…
Initially when I planned this out it was going to be in four parts. Now it’s going to be longer. Rather than reading all 10, reviewing all ten, reading the next ten and reviewing the next 10 I’m going to limit the reviews to five books each while the initial lists of the samples will remain at 10.
I’m not going to re-insert the links and synopsis for each of the books. If you want more information on the books visit the link above to my previous blog.
1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone:
The sample of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is…a conundrum. Sometimes it sounds like really badly written fan fiction:
““You’re impossible to scare,” (Kaz) complained, giving her the pout he thought was irresistible. Until recently, she wouldn’t have resisted it. She would have risen on tiptoe and licked his pout-puckered lower lip, licked languorously and then taken it between her teeth and teased it before losing herself in a kiss that made her melt against him like sun-warmed honey.”
I don’t used this phrase very often but: Ew. It’s not well written or smart or endearing at all. Romance and love and lust and sex can be written well, don’t get me wrong. This, however, is not an example of that.
Then she has moments where Karou(the main character) is talking about myths and magic and things not known to the world at large and it’s fascinating and I want to hear more about the Gods and her teacher who lectures her, literally, on not putting unnecessary things (like penises) inside of you.
I’m not kidding. These are things that happened.
Karou also seems to be a Mary Jane character. She’s smart and she’s “strong.” (depending on your definition) She has magic and her drawings and writings-based on her real experiences in her “secret life” are the talk and envy of the school. Oh, she is also absolutely gorgeous.
I’m not interested in her. The best thing she does is make Kaz-her cheating ex-boyfriend, itch in some very uncomfortable places while he is nude modeling for an art class.
Overall I’m not impressed. I do want to know more about her “secret life” I just don’t care if she is in it or not. I very likely will not be purchasing this book unless I find it used at a book store for pretty cheap.
Which is sad. I keep seeing quotes from Daughter of Smoke and Bone around and I’m like “That is really nice. I really like that.” But I don’t think enough of the book-based on the first 3 chapters-is actually like that or worth suffering through to get to those little moments.
The download of Cinder I ended up getting was a five chapter long preview from the publisher since that was available for download more easily (for some odd reason) than the actual Kindle sample.
I was actually amazingly impressed by this sample and will definitely be buying the whole book.
It is a Cinderella spin-off(obviously) that doesn’t feel like you’re reading a fairy tale. The Sci-fi blends beautifully with the fantasy and the characters are interesting. Cinder is a character you can root for almost immediately and the secondary plot that deals with a plague infecting the world is just as engaging as the main storylines.
I actually can’t wait to continue this story.
(Side Note: After finishing the story before posting this blog, I actually bought the trilogy. I read Cinder in a day. Reviews for that trilogy coming soon)
3) Angel Fall:
I don’t have a lot to say about this particular book.
The sample of Angel Fall, while feeling very much like the Last of Us game sans Zombies and with several dystopian cliche’s thrown in, is actually fairly engaging. It is not terribly memorable and, while I doubt it will ever be a book that is in my top 10, definitely has the potential to be a fun and quick weekend read. I will, at some point, likely be buying this one.
4)Throne of Glass:
This sample was another one, similar to Angel Fall, is not really a memorable sample. While I didn’t hate reading it, it isn’t likely to stick with me for very long. The author seems to want us to believe the main character is tough but she doesn’t give the readers any reason to believe she’s tough other than she’s well known for being tough. Admittedly, the sample was only three chapters long so the main character doesn’t have A LOT of chance to show us what she can do. That being said, there was more talk about her strength than proof of it. The prince, who you meet rather quickly, is very cliché. That’s not necessarily a terrible thing. He’s the good prince born to the evil king who is just trying to make it right. That character can be done well. Whether or not he was will only be told with time.
I will, I think, eventually pick this up. I am interested enough in some of the allusions to past events that lead to the main characters imprisonment that I’m willing to give the author a chance to show me what the main character can do. It’s not high on my priorities to read but I will eventually get there.
4) Bone Season:
I was actually shockingly disappointed by the sample of Bone Season. It felt clumsy and awkward. Way too much information about the world that just didn’t matter or make sense at one time and then not enough information about the world at other points. I have no idea how anything in this world works, despite the overhanded attempts to make me understand. Shannon showed politics but not the relevance of the politics to the situation she was describing. And then, information I really did need to understand a scene-things like character abilities and how that effects the people around them-were left completely untouched. Unlike some of the other books on this list that I was disappointed by, I will not be picking this up. Books like Throne of Glass and Angel Fall at least gave me the hope that they would be good books over the long term. I have no such confidence in Bone Season.
5) City of Stairs:
City of Stairs is one of the books I was most looking forward to. I have heard great things about it from some of my favorite fantasy authors since before it was even available.
I read the sample and it is very different-at least so far-then what I was expecting. Not in a bad way. I’m actually really intrigued by the premise so far. The “Divinities”-Gods, from what I can gather, have all more or less been shunned. Any image of any kind depicting anything that could be construed as representing the Divinities is strictly forbidden.
On top of that there seems to be a murder mystery type storyline that is going to come in.
It’s different than what I was expecting but I’m still excited to pick up the full book.
So that’s the first five from my samples list. I intend to work through the next five faster but I also have several full books I’m reading and already engaged in.
See you next time,