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Article: One Star Book Reviews

Reading Realms takes a look at a few books that didn't quite live up to hopes and asks others to chime in with similar stories.


Genre:  varies

Rating: 1 smiley


Cover Blurb:

As anyone following this section would notice, most of my reviews are above three stars (or smileys as the case may be). Though I do occasionally get advance copies of books to read I usually only request ones that seem interesting to begin with and truly most of my reading time is spent reading what I want to read. I pick up books like many others though- a cool title, cool cover and good cover blurb can get me to pick something up that ends up boring me to tears. Since I am not very patient with boring reads, most of these books get put aside and never finished or reviewed. In this article I wanted to discuss the reasons I didn't finish a book and ask anyone to chime in with similar stories concering book reads or disagreements with my own views if they enjoyed a book I couldn't finish.


Review



TWELVE by Jasper Kent

I picked up this novel because the blurb on the back sounded interesting to me at the time.  The story seems to deal with vampires, though in a more old-school way; not the modern romantic way, and blended it with Russian folklore.  It is also set during the war between Russia and France in 1812.

I made it about a hundred pages in (the book is just over 400 pages) and did feel like the author did a good job of blending this story into our real world history and seemed to have a good understanding of the russian people.  It felt right.  Unfortunately for me it just plodded along and boredom got the better of me.

Anyone who reads my reviews will know I tend to latch onto characters and really drive to follow their story more than the main plot often.  I think the fact that I really didn't find any character worth latching onto in this is what finally did me in.  Though the premise and initial interaction with 'the twelve' was good; the main character the story seems to focus on could not hold my interest and as he moved about his own business or even got into more interesting altercations I just didn't care that much.

I'd really like to take another crack at this book one day and would be interested to know if anyone else might have read it and what they thought.
 



PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Another book I really plan on revisiting as well, but I really was pushing myself through it.  It's more urban fantasy than anything else, though not full-blow Dresden like fantasy.  Actually I guess it came across as if you were reading any modern clancy-like book that happens to squeeze in some supernatural.

It follows the leader of an elite unit (well he becomes the leader as this first book goes along) that fights these strange threats for the government that crop up -- stuff that can't exactly become public knowledge and takes the best of the best type of soldiers to fight.

I thought the main character was ok, I didn't fall in love with him; but he was interesting enough.  My biggest issue with the story was the shift between 1st person and 3rd person constantly.  I'm fine with reading one or the other, but not both at the same time.  Honestly it felt like the author wrote a book in first person that was half as long as he needed and then went back and added in bad guy POV's in third person to flesh it out.  And not liking any of the villains didn't help either; they just didn't seem interesting to me.

I made it half way through this book and will probably finish this at some point, but even if the ending blows me away I don't see this getting over the three star mark.  At this point though I just couldn't sit through another couple hundred pages.



THE DARKNESS THAT COMES BEFORE by R. Scott Baker

They say don't judge a book by it's cover... usually they mean that in the opposite way it applied here though.  I actually bought this book years ago because it had a really cool title and cover, the author has several books out so I figured the mix of popularity and coolness meant a decent book.  Boy was I wrong.

I have actually tried to read this book three times now over the years.  Most recently a few months ago when I started doing reviews for the outhouse and reading more variety.

I did make it a bit further in on my last attempt, but not very far.  I don't think I made it ffty pages in at most.  It is just so boring.  I really am interested to see opinions of those that might have liked this; but I haven't come across anyone who has read it.   If I was trapped on an island and only had this book to read I'd use it as firewood, but keep the dust jacket since it looks cool.



THE UNREMEMBERED by Peter O'Rullian

I really, really, really wanted to like this book.  Perhaps I hyped myself up for it too much, but I was hoping to get another epic along the lines of 'Wheel of Time', 'Game of Thrones' or 'Way of Kings' on my shelf and it was certainly pushed as that.  I remember posting several articles here for promo pieces for this book and loved the little blurbs I saw about it here and there.

Like the book before, I don't think I've made it but fifty pages in and the biggest problem here was the writing style.  I definitely am not wanting to come off insulting and this is just my personal view; I'm not trying to act as if I know best about writing -- all I feel I can do is give my opinions about what I read... But I just felt like the author was trying to hard.

Perhaps the way it's written is truly the way he thinks and writes, but it seemed very unnatural and came off a bit fake to me.  Overly descriptive and too artsy for my taste - like even the descriptions had descriptions.  It just too long for anything to happen and even after all I read I wasn't even sure if I'd come across a character worth reading about.  If a scene cannot be pictured naturally as it's read and simply gets more confusing as it's described then something is off in my opinion.


IN SUMMARY

I've always though reviewers are best when you find one that likes similar things to yourself and they tell you their thoughts honestly.  I've met too many people in this world that can't stand things I love and love things I can't stand to think my opinion is the end all, be all of books.  There are many popular authors I haven't been able to get into at all that are best selling authors that tons of people love.  I definitely don't want to scare people off from trying these books, but welcome anyone to give it a go and offer a different viewpoint.

Bottom Line:

I've always though reviewers are best when you find one that likes similar things to yourself and they tell you their thoughts honestly. I've met too many people in this world that can't stand things I love and love things I can't stand to think my opinion is the end all, be all of books. There are many popular authors I haven't been able to get into at all that are best selling authors that tons of people love. I definitely don't want to scare people off from trying these books, but welcome anyone to give it a go and offer a different viewpoint.

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About the Author - Jeremy Shane


Jeremy was born in a small mountain village of a strange foreign land called Weystvurginea.  Banishment for liberal views saw him spend years wondering the east coast until he decided to bike to California.  When he saw how long a trip it was, he drove instead.  Now he's living it up in a low humidity climate, sometimes working on his photography and when not, he writes for us covering books (by way of his blog: Reading Realms), gaming, tv, movies, comics, conventions in the SoCal area, and creates a weekly webcomic: A Journey Through Skyrim.  If you look for him offline, start in the L.A. area; online start at: www.jeremyshane.info for his profile and all the social networks he's on... or just follow him on twitter, he seems to be on there a lot: @jeremyshane.

 


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