Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deal-breakers, or Books I Didn't Read

In the past week or so I've picked up three different books that looked interesting at the library. Each seemed interesting when I read the back flap, but I ended up abandoning all three. I'll readily admit that part of it was circumstance - I just came off of a couple books that were really, really good, so I'm pickier than usual. However, there were reasons beyond that for why I put them down. At least two of the three would have been put-downers regardless of mood, and so it makes me curious whether or not you would have done the same.

Book 1: The Harsh Cry of the Heron by Lian Hearn
It seemed promising because the back flap says the main character has a secret - he can only be killed by a member of his own family.
It lost me in about three pages thanks to a zillion exclamation marks - just about every other line of dialogue ended with a ! Also, there was the part where the narration was talking about how the main character sparred with his wife so their daughters could see how a woman could be a fighter. Then, a few paragraphs later there's the part about how the daughters are going to a special assassin school - i.e. they're already fighters. It's not the hugest thing, but the logic glitch combined with the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!s, were enough together to pull me out of the book.

Book 2: Cyndere's Midnight by Jeffrey Overstreet
It seemed promising because it has beastmen in it, which can be fun.
It lost me when I started to see how the premise was going to work and I just didn't get into the characters. Some POV jumping right away didn't help.

Book 3: Wraith by Phaedra Weldon
It seemed promising because it's an urban fantasy with a female protagonist - the type of books I'm keeping an eye out for as I work on the Cass book - it's good to know what's out there that's like your stuff, after all.
It lost me when the protagonist started getting on my nerves. She's 28, but she spews out this constant stream of airhead teenage vocabulary - words like "neato" and "oogy" all over the place. Now, while I don't mind the odd cornball word, when they're in every other sentence and make me think, "What is she, twelve?" I have to put the book down. Cutesy and noir do not play well together.

How about you, have you got any recent deal-breakers that made you stop reading?


Debbie said...

All three sound like good candidates for abandonment. I tend to abandon a lot of cozy mysteries. Authors seem to think that cozy means insipid.

I'm always pleasantly surprised when I do find one that works. Can't wait for DB to finish hers.

The One and Only John said...

Usually a book loses me when I see it was written by Stephanie Meyer or Dan Brown.

Jenny said...

Mr. Darcy: Vampire

I pretty much knew it was a deal breaker when I picked it up, but I gave it a full chapter. My hope was that maybe someone had actually captured a Jane Austen style voice and added vampires, but no such luck. Doubt I'll give any of the others any chance....