Posts Tagged DNF

Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami (DNF)

Norwegian Wood is beautifully written – a recollection by a man about the woman he loved and lost. I was trying to read it on a plane – during a business trip – and it was requiring too many brain-cells to process.

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Always Time to Die – Elizabeth Lowell (DNF)


Time enough to die? Perhaps. Time to waste on this: hmm..

Stars: DNF Two and a half of five.

Review format: DNF note plus links.
Summary:With her trademark electrifying storytelling and razor-sharp tension, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell proves once again why she is one of today’s top masters of suspense — in a riveting tale of dark family secrets ready to explode with the devastating force of a Southwestern earthquake.
The powerful Quintrell family of New Mexico has spent decades in the public eye. Now the recent death of the clan’s patriarch, a former U.S. senator, has placed his son, Governor Josh Quintrell, squarely in the spotlight as he prepares his run for the highest political office in the land. It is not a good time to be rattling skeletons in the family’s closets. 
Researching personal histories isn’t just Carolina “Carly” May’s profession, it’s her passion. When the governor’s eccentric Aunt Winifred invites Carly into the Quintrells’ private Taos compound to compile a genealogical record of the illustrious residents, she can hardly believe her good luck. But digging into the past is raising troubling questions about the would-be president’s private life, his late father and catatonic mother, and the grisly street crime that left his notorious drug-addicted sister dead. And it soon becomes frighteningly apparent that the motivation of the dotty old woman who hired Carly might be something more akin to revenge — and that someone is determined to remove the inquisitive genealogist from the picture by any means necessary. 
As a dark world of twisted passions and depraved crimes slowly opens up before Carly, she realizes that there is no one whom she dares to trust — perhaps least of all Dan Duran, a dangerous and haunted mystery man who’s somehow tied to the Quintrells’ past. But she will need an ally to survive the terrible secrets a father carried to the grave and an even more devastating evil that lurks among the living — because following the bloodlines of the wealthy and power-hungry can be a bloody business … and some dead secrets can kill.(overdrive summary)
Provenance: eBook borrowed from the library.

This book’s called “Always Time to Die”.  Perhaps there is, but I don’t have time to read through books that are not grabbing me.

The beginning is overly dramatic – the murder of the already-dying elderly man by a mysterious figure. The point of view hops between the female lead Carly, and Dan the male lead. Carly: feisty. Dan: dangerous and hunted.

The writing is competent and somewhat enjoyable, and there were certainly hints that a romance would sprout, but nothing had happened by the time I gave up on this.  I needed a faster pace and less gothic atmosphere to pull me in.

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Shadow Kin – M.J. Scott | DNF

Did not finish. Not grabbing me by the neck.

The half-vampire, half-elf is a wraith. Or half-human? Did I miss the memo? Name’s Lily, though we don’t learn that for a long time.

I am over a third of the way in (561 / 1415) and it’s still put-down-able. It’s not bad, but I am sure that better books await right now.

First-person p.o.v. mostly from Lily, but sometimes from our male lead, possibly others. Switch is sometimes a little disorienting, but the ebook formatting on my iPhone in Overdrive might also be to blame.

Romance building with Simon sunmage, his brother Guy is a templar. The names Simon and Lily seem just a little banal – is it too much to say it’s making the Whedonesque neurons fire?  Lucius is an OK name choice for lead vamp.  He’s good and creepy.

Elves… LOTS of trope? icons? bandied about. Our heroine is an assassin – note dagger on cover and Electra-invoking leather garbed pose.

I like the world-building – the wraith-vampire-sunlight connection works for me –  blood-addiction – but there’s something that just has not quite clicked for me. I can’t put my finger on it, but the book is not grabbing me.

So, I am putting it aside for later, probably meaning never.

Borrowed from library.

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The Hidden Family – Charles Stross | DNF

Shoulda stayed hid.Don’t call us. No, really: just don’t call us.

Stars: DNF Two and a half of five.

Review format: DNF rant plus links.
Summary: Miriam, a hip tech journalist from Boston, discovered her alternate world relatives in The Family Trade, and with them an elite identity she didn’t know was hers. Now, in order to avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam, known as Lady Helge to the Family, starts applying modern business practices and scientific knowledge to a trade dominated by mercantilists — with unexpected consequences for three different timelines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family. (goodreads)
Provenance: Borrowed from the library.

I gave The Family Trade a three-star rating, and started into the sequel with guarded expectations.

Um, I like the cover a good deal.

Sadly for me, the negative expectations were quickly fulfilled. The flaws of the predecessor were loomingly prominent in this sequel.   I was hoping that the sequel would surpass the original, but it has been very much the same. There wasn’t one big nail in the coffin – more like a thousand paper cuts.

  • None, and I mean none, of the interesting unresolved topics are being taken up yet.
  • The plotting is mechanical and heavy-handed. Oooh, could the foster mother be any more ambiguous and possibly concealing something? Oh, look, she admits she’s concealing something.
  • Secondary characters who were ambiguously threatening in book one… peel off that stretchy mask with the flair of a Scooby Doo villain and gloat over their revealed black-hat status.
  • An entire new venue (third alternate Earth) pops up in the shooting gallery for double your extended-series enjoyment.

Pah. Removing the bookmark at page 117 of 309. I’m heading to the library to pick up Dragon Haven. Next up on my review list: Tanya huff’s The Truth of Valor.

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