Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dreaded DNFs (2)

Since I'm planning to blog about my DNF (for those who don't know what this abbreviation means, it's Did-Not-Finish) reads, I might as well make an official banner. I'm not sure if it's the books I pick up recently aren't all that interesting or is it just that I'm in a reading funk, but almost every book I pick up nowadays I DNF it. I've been so busy recently but I still try to squeeze in some reading time every morning or while I'm commuting -- I even brought a book to my teacher's wedding reception! Yes, book nerd for life for the win~.

Howwwwweva, none of the books is doing it for me. ARGH I'm so desperate to be pulled into another kickass heroine's world. A good romance. A good action sequence. A good escapade. Anything! I even try picking up huge-ass famous books but I'm still not getting anywhere. Sigh, any good recs, anybody? :(

Skulk by Rosie Best
Published: October 1st, 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Blurb from Goodreads

When Meg witnesses the dying moments of a shapeshifting fox and is given a beautiful and powerful stone, her life changes forever. She is plunged into the dark world of the Skulk, a group of shapeshifting foxes.

As she learns about the other groups of shapeshifters that lurk around London – the Rabble, the Horde, the Cluster and the Conspiracy – she becomes aware of a deadly threat against all the shapeshifters. They must put aside all their enmity and hostility and fight together to defeat it.

AWESOME cover, exciting premise, execution? Not so much. I mean, the world Meg is in is surprisingly shallow, her mom is unconvincingly tyrannical and her dad conveniently detached and unfeeling. The descriptions and action are also written in a way that is remarkably unengrossing and I just couldn't relate to Meg in any way. Poor development all the way around.

Stopped at 32%. See, I did try.

Dark Magic by Christine Feehan
Carpathian Book 4
Published: May 31st, 2007 by Piatkus Books
Blurb from Goodreads

They were masters of the darkness, searching through eternity for a mistress of the light...

Would she find magic--or madness--in his dark embrace?

Young Savannah Dubrinsky was a mistress of illusion, a world-famous magician capable of mesmerizing millions. But there was one--Gregori, the Dark One--who held her in terrifying thrall. Whose cold silver eyes and heated sensuality sent shivers of danger, of desire, down her slender spine.

With a dark magic all his own, Gregori--the implacable hunter, the legendary healer, the most powerful of Carpathian males--whispered in Savannah's mind that he was her destiny. That she had been born to save his immortal soul. And now, here in New Orleans, the hour had finally come to claim her. To make her completely his. In a ritual as old as time...and as inescapable as eternity.

K, I saw this at a Times book sale and decided to skip the first 3 books in the series. I occasionally like to read bout a dominant, intimidating hero and an independent heroine who fall irrevocably in love, but Feehan is pushing the limits of dominant in Gregori. Granted, he has moments of tenderness and care but he crosses the boundaries into arrogant jerk (and not the kind that gives you the sexy butterflies in yer tummy yummy) territory far too often. Sometimes I just want to slap him upside down for all his annoying ego and authoritarian male attitude.

And, nearly the entire plot for the first 70 pages of its 350 pages is about Gergori's arrogance and how he claimed Susannah even before her birth. Please.

Stopped at page 70.

Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
The Black Dagger Brotherhood Book 8
Published: April 27th, 2010 by NAL
Blurb from Goodreads

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. Long divided as a terrifying battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

I knowwwww, I know, how can I not like John's book right? I stopped with this series after Zsadist's book even though I loved everyone one of the first three instalments in this series, but I couldn't summon the interest to pick up V's, Butch's, Rhev's and Phury's(?) books. I didn't want to skip so many books though, so I just didn't continue with BDB. But after reading all the reviews of the bloggers and Goodreads users whom I share similar reading tastes (see, I do my research to reduce DNFs, but this still happens. Grr) and an average 4.2 rating from ~55,000 readers? I thought this was a sure win but nothing exciting ever happens! John gets a tat, he's depressed but determined to find Xhex, and Xhex is just trapped in that room with only her thoughts. And the flashbacks to Darius' past? They're cool and morbidly fascinating but nothing beyond that.

Stopped at page 96 of 653. I still plan on revisiting John and Xhex tho, cause I have faith in this series.

For the sake of kicking myself out of this reading funk, I've been careful about only picking books that are traditionally published (sorry self-pub authors! It's not that I don't have faith in your books, it's just that I'm afraid of picking up a badly edited one and there are more badly-edited books in self-pub than traditional. SORRY, but I'm hardpressed to get out of this funk that's been clinging to me like a leech), have ratings higher than a 4 and very exciting premises. But it's still not working! The only book I've finished recently is POISON DANCE by Livia Blackburne, which is a novella.

What are your most recent DNFs? Any good recs? Something like DEFY by Sara B. Larson and UNCHAINED by J. Lynn, though I havent' read DEFY, I can feel that I'll like it already. Haha, but it refuses to be released and I don't wanna request for an ARC just in case I don't like it and then I'll feel bad for writing a less than stellar review.

Anyhoo, thanks for visiting and reading! Check back for the next Christmas Countdown post later tonight (for me, morning/afternoon for those in the US I think)!


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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