Tag Archives: disappointing

The Reluctant Reaper: Death Is What Happens While You’re Making Other Plans by Gina X. Grant #review

The teaser for this book sounded really quirky and fun. Like a mish-mash of Piers Anthony and Dead Like Me. I love the Xanth novels. I loved Dead Like Me for the 2 seasons I got to enjoy it (thanks alot Showtime). Combining the two seemed like a good idea.

In fact I still think it is a good idea. Just not as executed in this book.

Gina X. Grant fails to create characters that are sympathetic or even really likeable. Kirsty is an annoying whiner. She also seems incredibly dense. They way her actual death is set up makes her seem like the least observant, slowest person in the world. This is due to the heavy handed way the story is setup. The reader is being smacked upside the head with hints and clues that a 2 year old couldn’t miss. There is no subtlety or craft employed.

So we find ourselves reading a scene with more bad situation warning bells than a Scary Movie sequel and wondering how on earth our protagonist Kirsty could possibly be so naive. And the truth is there is no plausible or logical way she could be.

This is how we meet a reaper named Dante.

Yes – that Dante.

Who in this book is a ridiculously awkward man-boy with no eloquence. Seriously no eloquence from the guy who wrote The Inferno?

I wish I had stopped reading there.

Puns the world over should be rising up in revolt against their shabby treatment in this book. Where Piers Anthony deftly wields puns to create whimsically literal worlds and situations – Ms. Grant lobs them about like a drunken darts player. Instead of being seamlessly woven into the story she is creating they seemed forced and often painfully setup.

I wanted to like, even love this book. But I just couldn’t. Aside from essentially uninteresting main characters and poor use of puns, the story itself felt cursory and pedantic. She attempted to create a new and different idea of Hell. Some of the elements had great potential. Sadly that potential was unrealized.

I still think the underlying idea could be pretty brilliant.

I was provided a gratis copy of this book for review.

Dead Ever After – Charlaine Harris #review

sookieHad I not been reading it on my Nook I would have thrown this book at the wall.

The 13th and final Sookie Stackhouse novel was a complete disappointment. Character choices make no sense. Continuity has left the building.

 

Now – if you haven’t read the book and don’t want spoilers I suggest you stop reading now.

 

I usually try to do spoiler free reviews but in this instance I can not explain my profound disappointment in this book without spoiling.

 

 

 

 

Sookie Loves Eric. Eric loves Sookie. Unless we have entered an alternate dimension it makes absolutely no sense for her to end up with Sam. He is a nice enough guy but he is not her endgame.

Charlaine Harris has spent the last 11 books developing a relationship between Sookie and Eric that is complex and interesting and real. And as a reader I became deeply invested in this relationship.

So when in this last book she decides to for some inexplicable reason turn Eric into some 2 dimensional stereotype of the vampires she created it pissed me off. Abandoning the relationship she had crafted in favor of a cop out pissed me off.

I think Ms. Harris got to a point about ½ way through book 12 when she started thinking “hmm – how do I give Eric and Sookie a happy ending?”

That is her first error. We don’t need a Happily-Ever-After. Human/fairy in love with a Vampire – it is complicated. We get that.

I think she got hung up on having to neatly tie it all up. Does Sookie become a vampire? Does Eric somehow become human? Do they both become trolls? There are a lot of options.

My theory is that she copped-out. She couldn’t decide which way to go with them so she chickened out and decided to go with a safe option. A nice much more human compatible shifter. Someone she can grow old with and die with and have little furry babies with.

Completely ignoring the fact that it makes no sense. Let’s just have Sookie raise him from the dead and that will magically also turn him into the perfect man for her.

But Ms. Harris really underestimated her readers with this one.

We didn’t need that perfect ending – just an ending where Eric and Sookie are together muddling through it like the rest of us.

And what is with the Fairy Claude revenge plot line? Either he is really smart and conniving or he isn’t. You can’t have it both ways. Either way the sheer elaborateness of  it makes no sense for his endgame – a dead Sookie.

Then let’s parade through a whole bunch of characters for no real reason. I like a weretiger as much as the next girl – but what purpose did he serve?

Then we get back to the continuity issues. A full list could be a book. One of the most obvious being that suddenly Sookie can’t hear Shifter or Were thoughts. In the past Sam could actively block her but she could still hear them clearly if he wasn’t. Now suddenly they are just fuzzy abstract concepts.

I am just one voice being added to the many – but I almost wish I hadn’t read it at all. Like many readers I had overlooked the minor continuity issues and occasional weak story or character – because the sum of the parts was worth it.

No more.

I despise the book most for essentially castrating Eric. She stripped the character of every bit of emotional depth and complexity and humanity she had built.

Peregrine Harker & The Black Death

I couldn’t finish this book.

 

After realizing that the first bit was thankfully a fantasy (still a ridiculously trite and insidiously sickly sweet fantasy) dreamed up by our would-be hero I was hoping my first impression was incorrect.

It wasn’t.

The plot idea is sound enough. The writing was dismal. It seemed at the same time both insultingly simple and overly flowery.

Over the course of a day I could force myself no further than page 23 (the beginning of chapter 5).

Perhaps there is a gem waiting to be discovered later in the book – but I couldn’t make myself trudge through anymore in that vain hope.

 

I was provided a copy of this book for review.