Friday, July 30, 2010

So Bad I Won't Give You The Title

I'm happy to say I finally finished the boring book I've been dragging through for the last week.  I don't know why I insisted on finishing the damn thing.  I'm getting better about setting aside books that don't grab my attention.  Life is too short for dull books.  But old bad habits die hard.

The biggest problem with this one was there was no conflict, no ratcheting up of the tension as the book progressed.  Which is kind of weird considering it was about a small band of friends trying to stop a demon horde from invading their small town.  Seems like there'd be plenty of conflict and tension there, doesn't it?  But it didn't play out on the page.  The two main characters meet and are instantly in love.  No internal conflict for either of them, nothing external to prevent them getting together.  Well, they can't be together forever because he's only on Earth for a week, but that doesn't stop either of them from taking the plunge.  It leads to lots of internal dialog, but not much actual tension.  The time lock- he only has a week to stop the demon invasion- should have amped things up, but it didn't.  The only consequence if he fails is that he goes back to limbo, where it's eternally boring.  His prize for defeating the demons is to go on to heaven, where he doesn't show any great desire to be, either.  He pays lip service to wanting to win, but there's no sense of urgency, no life or death consequences.

Another major problem is that until the final battle they never really succeed or fail.  There are a half dozen battles with the demons leading up to the climax.  In each one the good guys get weaker and the lead bad guy gets stronger, and yet each time the battle comes to a draw.  The swordsman keeps freaking missing every time he swings.  The hero keeps running out of magical powers half way through the fight.  And yet they never try a new strategy.  They go to where the demons are, they fight for a while, they all go home.  Rinse, repeat.  The stakes are never increased, although I guess when you start off with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, it's hard to go up from there.  The whole thing was just very blah and flat.  If demon invasions are boring you know the author is doing something wrong.  And then in the final battle scene they still do pretty much exactly what they've done all along, except the heroine grabs the sword (which she was told not to do because anyone but the swordsman would die from handling it) and she kills the demon.  The dude who has centuries of training can't kill the demon, but the girl who's never touched a sword manages it with one swing.  And the magic sword doesn't kill her.  If I weren't reading on my Kindle I would have been forced to fling the book against the wall at that point.  I hate it when an author sets up rules for their world and then violates them when they get inconvenient.  At that point everyone but the heroine is dead, except SURPRISE! they aren't.  And then she wraps up with something so magnificently cheese-tastic that I'm pretty sure I've seen it on at least half a dozen different cartoons.

Really, it was that terrible.  I'm so glad I get to read something else now!


  1. Oh, honey, you're MORTAL...if it sucks, don't finish reading it!!!! I do not feel that you should have to suffer...reading is meant to be enjoyable.

    Meanwhile, dh talked me into reading his fave Wheel of Time series and we're on book 8 now and it just occurred to me that the mc has spent the last seven books killing off the Forsaken (bad wizards) in such a way that they can COME BACK gaaaaaaahhhhh! What. A. Waste. Of. Time.

  2. "I hate it when an author sets up rules for their world and then violates them when they get inconvenient."

    Biggest. Pet. Peeve. EVER.

    There seems to be a lot of this I-can't-believe-I-finished-that-stupid-thing-I'll-never-get-that-time-back stuff going around this week. You're the second person I've heard say that and I can add my own voice to the clamor. The only reason I finished was that I "know" (through the interwebs) the author. I wanted to love it, I really did, because she's such a nice person. But it was just so Horrible. It was painful how horrible it was. I kept waiting for it to get better, for there to be some sign that an editor actually touched it at some point during its inception, but it never happened. It only got worse.

    I am now spending all my spare time trying to make sure that, should I ever be published, no one says this stuff about me. *please God, and thank you*

  3. When the book gets bad, throw it against the wall. There are too many books and too few hours to spend time reading something that does not transport you.

    But, at least you can apply all the "things not to do" that you've learned from this book to your own writing. :) Hope the next story is a better read.

  4. I know, it's a terrible habit to continue the torture when I'm this unhappy with a book. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I'm better about it than I used to be. I don't know why I insisted on finishing this one. Usually I only get stubborn about the ones I've purchased, because if I paid good money for it, by damn I'm going to read the thing. But this was a free promo ebook through Amazon, so I didn't even have that excuse.

    I'm cleansing my reading palate with some Loretta Chase right now. Much better!


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