DNF-ing Books

Did Not Finish.

To me, that’s the worst thing you can say about a book.  It means there wasn’t enough there for you to get through it.  The plot and the characters and the world and the writing weren’t enough.  Not one single aspect.  As an aspiring author, I think that would be the worst review I could get, worse even than a one-star.  At least a one-star reviewer got through the book.

So I hate DNF-ing books.  Hate it.

But recently, I’ve been doing it more often.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Good Books That Aren’t Spec-Fic

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly bookish meme hosted by the broke and the bookish.  Each week, there’s a different topic.  Come up with your list of top ten, post it, and then add to the link at b&b’s masterpost, then bounce around and see other people’s lists.

This week’s theme was Ten Books I Enjoyed Recently (last yearish) That Weren’t My Typical Genre/Type of Book.  So since I normally read speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy), this is everything but.

So, here we go:

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Review – The Blackthorn Key

The Blackthorn Key (Christopher Rowe, #1)The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

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Review – Dead Heat

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4)Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega 4) by Patricia Briggs
Synopsis from Goodreads:
For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

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Review – Station Eleven

Station ElevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Synopsis from Goodreads:
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Book Couples

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly bookish meme hosted by the broke and the bookish.  Each week, there’s a different topic.  Come up with your list of top ten, post it, and then add to the link at b&b’s masterpost, then bounce around and see other people’s lists.

This week’s theme was anything related to Valentine’s Day, so I went with Top Ten Book Couples.

Obligatory warning that some of the below relationships might be spoilers for those who haven’t read the book(s).

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