Here’s the first batch of books that have either:
1) Been very hyped up,
2) On my TBR list for longer than 2 years and
3) Possibility of losing interest
When your TBR gets really huge, it can be really intimidating and make you unsure of what to start next. So I read 5 samples on my Kindle (or audio books) to help me decide if I want to read the whole thing or not. I mentioned in my introduction post that I hope to have this weeding update go on monthly for a while. If you missed my introduction post, see it here:
These are in no order. There will be a very brief synopsis, an estimate of how many chapters are in the sample and the final decision of whether to keep it on my TBR or not. If I’m ever uncertain, I’ll just grab a library copy and read a few more chapters to fully decide. Here’s the first five books!
1. Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Published: April 2014
Goodreads Synopsis: .In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned. Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Thoughts on Sample: I got the audio book for this from the library a couple years ago and when I was bored recently, I decided to give it a try since it was still in my computer. I learned to the first 5 chapters and I was bored. The narrator was way too mousy and often mumbled. It was also difficult to tell who was talking and I got the sisters mixed up often. Plus, the writing felt more middle grade than YA and the pace never picked up, even when they entered the forest. Not for me.
Verdict: CHOPPING BLOCK
2. A Thousand Nights (A Thousand Nights #1) by E.K. Johnston
Published: October 2015
Goodreads Synopsis: Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next. And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom.
Thoughts on Sample: The prologue of this book was very ominous and it drew me in. It sounded like a non-human narrator tell the story, which was different for a retelling. It does have the trope of the main character being the “plain sister” when the other sister is so pretty and the plain sister gets to go on the journey instead. But we shall see what I think.
3. Bloodline (Bloodline #1) by Kate Cary
Published: August 2006
Goodreads Synopsis: Thirty-five years have passed since the death of the Master. But now a new evil walks among the living. . . .When nineteen-year-old John Shaw returns from the trenches of World War I, he is haunted by nightmares not only of the battlefield, but of the strange, cruel and impossible feats of his regiment’s commander, Quincey Harker. Harker’s ferocity knows no limits, and his strength is superhuman. At first John blames his bloody nightmares on trench fever. But when Harker appears in England and begins wooing John’s sister, John must confront the truth and stop Harker from continuing Dracula’s bloodline.
Thoughts on Sample: I read the prologue and first couple chapters. I wasn’t impressed at all. The feel of WWI never felt real to me. The action was very clipped and far between. The author didn’t go far enough to describe the horrors of the war. The characters also sounded the same with no distinction. The writing was in a simple, but amateur writing with no voice to it and no suspense with the vampire element.
Verdict: CHOPPING BLOCK
4. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
Published: March 2017
Goodreads Synopsis: She is the princess of Bharata—captured by her kingdom’s enemies, a prisoner of war. Now that she faces a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. But should she trust Vikram, the notoriously cunning prince of a neighboring land? He promises her freedom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together they can team up and win the Tournament of Wishes, a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor. It seems like a foolproof plan—until Gauri and Vikram arrive at the tournament and find that danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans, mischievous story birds, a feast of fears, and twisted fairy revels. New trials will test their devotion, strength, and wits. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
Thoughts on Sample: I listened to the first 8 chapters of this book and I just don’t think the writing is for me. The characters feel very “over the top” and not as genuine as I had hoped. Everything seemed a bit too dramatic for me to feel any tension. I know I’m in minority but I was bored a lot while listening to it. The mythology is kinda cool, but the predictability that the guy and girl fall in love and survive this tournament just made me lose interest.
Verdict: CHOPPING BLOCK
5. Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard
Published: January 2013
Goodreads Synopsis: Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on.
Thoughts on Sample: To put it simply: way too weird for me. The creepy “hearing bugs so I have to silence them” thing is so odd and creepy. It was really jarring and didn’t make me want to continue. Plus, the pacing just didn’t draw me in to keep going. Maybe Alice in Wonderland just isn’t for me. While I do love Roseblood by her, I won’t be diving into this series.
Verdict: CHOPPING BLOCK
Round 1 of my weeding is complete. It took longer than I thought to finally get this up, but now the wheels are turning. I hope to do another one this month to make up for being behind. If you’ve read any of these, let me know what you think. Should I read the ones I didn’t like? If so, what made you like them?