This Week, I Read… (#48)

128-the-darkest-lie

#128 – The Darkest Lie, by Gena Showalter

  • Read: 11/18/16 – 11/19/16
  • Provenance: Owned (paperback)
  • Rating: 2/5 stars

This is another used-sale book I picked up not because it begins a series, but because I’d heard good things about the author. Like with Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series over the last few weeks, I’m reading this to get an idea of the author’s style, not quite so much for the story itself.

Unlike my time with Mead, I’m not impressed.

Gideon is the host for the demon of Lies, and so, he can’t speak a word of truth without causing himself great pain. Okay, interesting. The greater bulk of his dialogue, then, has to be read with this in mind, and early in the book, it’s “translated” in his thoughts, or repeated back in its true form by another character, to help the reader adjust. I fully expected this to taper off as the book went on and it could be assumed the reader became fluent in Gideon-speak, as it’s called by another character.

Nope. Translation continues from page one right to the end. It’s some serious hand-holding by the author that I got tired of quickly.

Plus, Gideon calls his penis Mini Me. Twice. Yuck.

129-beyond-temptation

#129 – Beyond Temptation, by Kit Rocha

  • Read: 11/19/16 – 11/20/16
  • Provenance: Owned (ebook)
  • Rating: 3/5 stars

I didn’t enjoy this novella quite as much as the previous works in the series, though it’s by no means bad. I just didn’t click with Noah and Emma as a couple as well, mostly because the speed of their “romance” is forced by a convoluted backstory that has to be revealed in an infodump in order to fit into a novella-sized tale.

Would I have liked this better if it were full-length and we got time to explore the characters properly? I honestly don’t know, because I didn’t find Noah appealing in the slightest, with his guilt complex being the only real obstacle to him being with Emma. I’m not sure that could have supported an entire book, which is likely why it wasn’t written as one–but the shortness of the piece means some storytelling shortcuts, too.

130-the-slow-regard-of-silent-things

#130 – The Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss

  • Read: 11/20/16 – 11/21/16
  • Provenance: Library (hardcover)
  • Rating: 5/5 stars

I was warned before reading this that it wasn’t like the Kingkiller Chronicles. Not much happens–there aren’t even any characters besides Auri, and it’s not her origin story, as some people hoped before the book was published. (For the record, I would read that story.)

But I’m glad it’s not, because I adore this book just the way it is. It’s not for everyone–there’s no arguing that. The people who don’t enjoy it have valid criticisms on its flaws, about how it’s barely a story at all, because so many things that usually go into a story are absent.

But it’s beyond beautiful, and those of us who love it, myself now included in that group, are going to love it anyway.

Rothfuss writes like he feels about words the same way Auri feels about her objects–a sort of deep, abiding affection and the intense need for everything to be in the right place. How could I not love something that loves words so deeply? Because so do I. I love words.

In addition, this glimpse into Auri’s daily life gave me something else, beyond beauty–a reflection. Auri’s mental instability might be due to a magical accident (or that magic might have drawn out issues already present within herself–where’s that origin story when you need it?) but her portrayal accurately depicts a lot of what I feel inside myself when I’m feeling anxious, or worse, actually having a panic attack.

I know that feeling when something is wrong, but I can’t put my finger on what it is, and I have to find out before anything else will feel right. I know that feeling when something is wrong, and I make it worse trying to fix it, and I’ve ruined my whole day. I know the feeling of euphoric relief when something that’s been horribly wrong is suddenly right.

I’m no waif who lives underground, but I see a lot of myself in Auri, and somehow that makes us both more lovable.

131-junkyard-dogs

#131 – Junkyard Dogs, by Craig Johnson

  • Read: 11/21/16 – 11/23/16
  • Provenance: Borrowed from family
  • Rating: 1/5 stars

I’ll be honest, I probably didn’t give this enough of a try. It came to me in a stack of books from my mother, who thought I might like it.

And I might have, but I didn’t. I was bored by page 75 and couldn’t even stick it out to my usual page-100 stopping point.

I’ve had middling success with picking up series in progress before, but coming in at #6 didn’t work for me, here. The tiny dribbles of description noting what had happened to each character in previous books weren’t enough on their own to allow me to learn about these people–and they shouldn’t be, really, because they’re only supposed to be reminders for readers who’ve been following the series faithfully.

But I broke when I got to a passage where a new female character, who is obviously incredibly significant from the tone of the dialogue with the main character, is never referred to by name. Obviously we’re supposed to know who she is by her brief physical description (her hair color is the only thing mentioned) and how she speaks. But I’ve never met her before! How can I know why she’s important?

I can’t. And it’s not really the fault of the book that it couldn’t hold my attention, given the circumstances.

On the other hand, I did try to watch the first episode of the TV series on Netflix a few years back, and I was bored twenty minutes into that, too. I never finished it, and I was starting at the beginning, so maybe the world of Longmire just isn’t for me.

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