Reading time 3 mins

I really HATE writing this post. Part of the reason I started reviewing things was to put my honest opinion out there. So, unfortunately, bad reviews are a thing that needs to be done. I DNF (did not finish) a book when I can’t take it anymore. These books put me into a slump. Seriously, I can’t recommend any of them.

I tried! I did! And here are ALL THE REASONS I couldn’t finish.


 

Recent DNFsThe Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins
Published by Penguin on March 1st 2016
Pages: 576
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Epic, Occult & Supernatural
eARC provided by Troubador Publishing Ltd

What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons? Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and—with her twin, Anya—unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.

As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld, while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today’s world—and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.
The Last Days of Magic introduces us to unforgettable characters who grapple with quests for power, human frailty, and the longing for knowledge that has been made taboo. Mark Tompkins has crafted a remarkable tale—a feat of world-building that poses astonishing and resonant answers to epic questions.
From the Hardcover edition.

DNF at 42%

Hello to info dumps. This book read like part fiction/part textbook. I appreciate the research that probably went into writing this, but I didn’t care for the delivery. I just want more fiction in my fiction. I might have been able to push through the reading of this, but the jumps in the timelines killed it for me.


 

Recent DNFsNowhere Girl by Susan Strecker
Published by Macmillan on March 1st 2016
Pages: 304
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Contemporary Women
eARC provided by Thomas Dunne Books

In Susan Strecker's Nowhere Girl, sixteen-year-old Savannah Martino is strangled to death in an abandoned house. The police rule Savannah’s murder a random attack of opportunity, which prompts the small New Jersey town to instigate a curfew and cancel football games. Isolated and afraid, Savannah’s sister, Cady, continues to communicate with Savannah through dreams. Cady knows Savannah in ways no one else knew: The beautiful, ethereal twin everyone thought was an angel was actually on the road to self-destruction.
Years later a chance encounter while researching her latest novel coincides with an unexpected call from the once-rookie cop on Savannah’s case, Patrick Tunney, now a detective, who tells Cady that Savannah’s case has been reopened. Through new evidence, it has been determined that Savannah’s death wasn’t a random attack and that whoever killed her sister loved her.
Despite years of interviewing convicted killers, profilers, and psychiatrists for her bestselling thrillers, Cady isn’t prepared for the revelation that someone close to her could have killed her sister. Cady is drawn into a labyrinth of deception and betrayal reaching all the way back to her childhood that will force her to find the strength she never knew she had in order to face the truth.

DNF 31%

This book got so much love on Goodreads. I thought it was a shoe in. However, reading this book produced a lot of eye rolling for me. I just couldn’t get into Cady, I found her to be whiny and predictable. She’s a writer and/or a detective, but not smart. I didn’t like any of the supporting characters either. The “mystery” didn’t hook me at all.


 

Recent DNFsWeathering by Lucy Wood
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC on 2015
Pages: 304
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism
eARC

Pearl doesn't know how she's ended up in the river - the same messy, cacophonous river in the same rain-soaked valley she'd been stuck in for years. Or why, for that matter, she'd been stupid enough to fall down those rickety stairs. Ada, Pearl's daughter, doesn't know how she's ended up back in the house she left thirteen years ago - with no heating apart from a fire she can't light, no way of getting around apart from an old car she's scared to drive, and no company apart from echoing footsteps on the damp floorboards. With her daughter Pepper, she starts to sort through Pearl's things, clearing the house so she can leave and not look back. Pepper has grown used to following her restless mother from place to place, but this house, with its faded photographs, its boxes of cameras and its stuffed jackdaw, is something new. Fascinated by the scattering of people she meets, by the river that unfurls through the valley, and by the strange old woman who sits on the bank with her feet in the cold, coppery water, Pepper doesn't know why anyone would ever want to leave. As the first frosts of autumn herald the coming of a long winter and Pepper and Ada find themselves irresistibly entangled with the life of the valley, each will discover the ways that places can take root inside us and bind us together.

DNF 23%

I am sure some people will enjoy the descriptive details in this story, but I couldn’t focus on the story. At. All. I tried reading this several times and I just couldn’t follow it. I was like 5 chapters in and I still had no idea what the story was about.

The noise started up again, a sort of rustling somewhere in the house. She followed it past a closed door, past the stairs, making sure she stood on the carpet’s big flowers rather than the gaps. The hall curved and at the end of it where stone steps going down to another room. Inside, there were thick orange curtains and shelves full of books and boxes. A row of glass birds. A toolbox with the lid open: a hammer and screwdriver and broken watches inside……….

Etc, etc on and on and on. What were we doing? I forgot already.


 

Recent DNFsThe Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
October 27th 2015
Pages: 512
Genres: History, United States, Colonial Period (1600-1775)
ARC

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials.
It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death.
The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic.
As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, THE WITCHES is Stacy Schiff's account of this fantastical story-the first great American mystery unveiled fully for the first time by one of our most acclaimed historians.

DNF 110 pages

I tried so hard to read this book. I have literally been “reading” it since September of last year. I tried so many times to get into this. This is dry historical retelling with tons of facts and guesstimates about the Salem Witch trials. I can tell the author did tons of research for this book, (especially considering the annotations to facts and references on almost every page). It was dry though, really super dry reading. Like eating burnt toast in the desert.


 

Have you read any of these? How do you feel about DNFing a book?

 

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