Thursday, July 18, 2019

#SPFBO5 Round 1 Update - Second Batch of DNFs

After eliminating four books from contention a couple of weeks ago, I've been steadily plowing through the remaining books in our group.  I have read some pretty decent titles so far but also some that I have sadly had to add to the elimination stack.  As things stand with me right now with regard to the books that have been assigned to Team RockStarlit Book Asylum, a total of eight now are DNFs and six are still under consideration to read in full and review as possible semi-finalists.  The following is a list of the next four of my DNF books along with brief explanations as to why I decided not to proceed with them.  Again I feel the need to emphasize that they have not been eliminated by our group as a whole, just by me personally.  So without further delay, here they are:



THE ELDRITCH HEART by Matthew S. Cox - The writing in this book was actually quite good.  I thought the prose flowed nicely and it was a decent enough effort.  What ultimately did me in with this book was that I never really got invested in what was going on and at times was a bit bored with the lack of action.  There were some positives, for instance having two main characters who are LGBTQ was a plus and a diverse element that we are thankfully seeing more of in the genre these days. Expanding on this aspect, the plotline of Oona's father the King demanding that she marry a prince to forge an alliance and that being a major bone of contention due to her love for the other main character Kitlyn was refreshing and a nice twist from the usual standard fantasy trope.  But the story didn't resonate with me enough to want to read any further than about the first third of the book.  
(My Score: 4/10)




THE WEREWOLF WHISPERER by Camilla Ochlan & Bonita GutierrezThis one had an uphill battle with me from the get-go simply because I am not a huge fan of Urban Fantasy.  For me to enjoy an Urban Fantasy book, it really has to blow me away and the story has to be utterly compelling.  Unfortunately this book struck none of those chords with me.  The two main characters are fun-loving and snarky but there wasn't a lot of depth to them in my opinion.  They almost seemed like caricatures and this didn't help me get invested in what happened to them during their adventures.  There is also a significant amount of bitingly dark humor in this book which at times got distracting.  I really never could get past what I perceived as frequent periods of unnecessary banter and the werewolf angle wasn't enough to keep my interest.  Just didn't do it for me and so I had to check out and move on.  
(My Score: 3.5/10)




OUR BLOODY PEARL by D.N. Bryn -  This book had a few issues that caused me to abandon it.  The first is that often there were moments of "telling" rather than "showing" and I don't usually enjoy that method of storytelling.  I would much rather have to figure things out on my own than have my hand held with too much description.  Things happened or were established and it was just expected that the reader should accept it without anything tangible leading up to those events.  Another reason why I did not finish this book was that it was just a bit on the juvenile side for my taste and dealt a lot with young love/relationships.  I also felt that the dialogue got a little long-winded at times (getting back to the aforementioned tendency toward too much description).  If you like mermaids and YA fiction, you might enjoy this book, but for me this was a pass unfortunately.  
(My Score: 3/10)




THE THORNING CEREMONY by Andrew Einspruch - I don't know if this book didn't connect with me because it is a prequel and I had no real knowledge of the main series going in, or if it just wasn't my type of book.  It did appear to me at times that there were holes in the narrative that I may have been able to fill in having some prior knowledge.  Also an issue with reading a prequel to a series that you haven't read is there is sometimes a lot of background info given but not a clear story to follow.  I found that to be the case here where the characters were the main focus in lieu of a consistent storyline.  As a result, I found myself being more confused than not and so I decided to move on and pick up the next book in the stack.  
(My Score: 2.5/10)


And there you have my next four #SPFBO5 DNFs.  This puts me at the halfway point for our group of 30 assigned books, so I'm kind of right where I want to be pace-wise.  Hopefully in the coming weeks I can weed out some more titles and then start to focus on finishing the books that are still in the running, reviewing them, and choosing a semi-finalist or two to submit to the rest of the team.  That's the plan anyway.  So stay tuned for my next reading update and be sure to also follow our team's progress on RockStarlit Book Asylum! 

Happy Reading,
Nick

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