The topic this week is one I struggle with all the time: Books I think I DNF’D too soon!
Many of you know I’m an obsessive completionist about my reading; I try really, really hard to always finish any book I have taken the time to dive into. Hell, I even have a shelf on my Goodreads account named “Try Again Later” because when I do stop reading a book I feel so bad I promise myself I’ll come back to it later and finish it! All that means I don’t have a lot of DNF’d novels. The ones I do have I already feel like I gave up on them too soon. So this is a tough list for me to put together, but I’m going to try to focus on the books I’ve DNF’d in last few years, explaining why I did so, and whether I felt bad about DNF-ing them or not.
For those who do not know this already, I tried to read this book every year for three years in a row. Every time I’d get through a few chapters I’d wonder to myself why everyone loved this story so much and put it to the side. Finally I gave up. Bakker just isn’t for me, I suppose. Not sorry I DNF-ed it!
Purchase The Darkness that Comes Before at Amazon
I heard so much about Naomi Novik’s acclaimed Temeraire series that I wanted to give it a try, and this book of short stories seemed like a perfect way to do so. Wrong! Maybe, the fact I had no emotional investment in this world or any of the characters was the problem, but I really didn’t feel bad DNF-ing this one.
Purchase Golden Age and Other Stories at Amazon
Kick ass cover (though it is very reminiscent of Michael Moorcock’s Elric) and an intriguing premise plus a vocal fan base made me want to give this indie series a go. I did, reading a large majority of the story on my family vacation last summer. It just wasn’t for me. Too generic, I’d say. And I don’t feel bad I DNF-ed it.
Purchase The Path of Flames at Amazon
I probably can’t sum up my reason for DNF-ing this novel any better than I did on Goodreads many months ago, so please forgive me when I quote myself, “It read like a YA masquerading as an epic fantasy to me. I’m sure others will adore it, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for.” No, I don’t feel bad for DNF-ing it.
Purchase The Alchemists of Loom at Amazon
A caper fantasy? A humorous, heist tale? Yeah, I think I can call it either of those. And, honestly, I was real excited to pick this up a few years ago. It really seemed like the light, fun fantasy I’d been craving. Alas, it wasn’t to be, and the slapstick laugh-fest didn’t find a place in my heart, but did ensure itself a place on this list. Again, I don’t feel bad DNF_ing this book.
Purchase The Palace Job at Amazon
Gritty and brutal. Huge casts of characters. Epic in scope. A complex plot. All of those things convincing me to give this weighty tome a go. Can’t say exactly why, but after reading around one hundred pages of Durfee’s tale nothing captured my attention, so I DNF-ed it. I do wonder if I abandoned it too soon though.
Purchase The Forgetting Moon at Amazon
This was an epic fantasy with a touch of magic, a good bit of Christian faith, centered upon a Romanesque Empire and a prominent family dealing with internal struggles and warring goblins. It wasn’t a bad story by any means, but it was rather slow developing. I was about 58% in when I called it quits, and I do wonder if I DNF-ed it too soon.
Purchase A Throne of Bones at Amazon
This is a side tale of the legendary war of the elves and dwarfs in the Warhammer Time of Legends. It seemed like a can’t miss after I enjoyed the War of Vengeance trilogy, but this one did not resonant with me, being very insular and narrow in scope. I definitely will be returning to it another time, so I do feel like I might have abandoned it too soon.
Purchase The Doom of Dragonback at Amazon
Having enjoyed the Author’s Definitive Edition of The Unremembered, I couldn’t wait to jump into this follow-up. What immediately struck me was a change in the tone of the story, a focus on new characters, and a shift into more introspective storytelling. Didn’t work for me, so I set this one to the side. I do wonder if maybe I should have given this one more time to develop.
Purchase Trial of Intentions at Amazon
Whatever the reason, this book and I never hit it off. I thought the prologue was great: combat, intrigue, deaths, and a hopeless fight against a powerful enemy, then the actual story began. Two hundred pages of world building and four new main characters whom I never cared about. Perhaps if I kept reading I could have gotten to the exciting parts, but I gave up. Feel bad about DNF-ing it now, because Bookstooge always tells me how great the series becomes.
Purchase Empire in Black and Gold at Amazon
End of list. And please feel free to tell me why I should give these books another try!