DNF: Written in Hell (Melissa)

Written in Hell

Written in Hell 
written by Jason Helford
published by Jason Helford, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: Chapter four.

Why I stopped reading: I . . . I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t like the story, I didn’t like the prose, heck, I didn’t even like Nathaniel.  It was all I could do to stop myself from picturing Fedora Guy and wondering why I started reading in the first place. Then I got a text or something and used it as an excuse to stop reading. Sorry, Mr. Helford.

 

Melissa

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Written in Hell is 4 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. The average rating on Amazon is 4.7 stars. There were no reviews or ratings listed at Barnes & Noble. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: “The entire narrative is irreverent fun, with mild overtones of Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Robbins … An entertaining, inventive and occasionally over-the-top fantasy novel.”
-Kirkus Reviews

Written in Hell follows writer Nathanial Blovey on his strange and perilous adventures through Hell. Nathaniel’s book, a collection of lewd tales set in the old west, failed miserably, prematurely ending his career; however, unbeknownst to him, his stories had become a huge success in Hell. The Devil decides to send him a one-way invitation to her realm, to write for her, and to keep his damned fans happy. There is only one problem: he has writer’s block. With a firm deadline imposed by the Devil herself, Nate has to find a way to keep the most terrible of bosses happy, and survive his trip through Hell. While there is no fire and brimstone, and a burgeoning civilization is growing, Hell is still a very dangerous place for a soft man like Nathaniel.

Written in Hell is a creepy, fun and thought-provoking journey through Hell, with a guide who can’t help but anger people everywhere he goes. It takes you through a new and creative re-imagining of Hell.

 

Happy 2

 

DNF: The Saga of Urunem by Caton Hartworth

The Saga of Urunem: Revelations

The Saga of Urunem
written by Caton Hartworth
published by Caton Hartworth, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: page 100

Why I stopped reading: I’m certain Hartworth’s writing style was a conscious choice meant to inure me to Urunem, but it was a bit too much for me. I had to spend too much time deciphering the prose to enjoy the story, and I didn’t want to continue.

 

Melissa

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Saga of Urunem is 4.33 stars. There was one 5-star review on Amazon. There were no reviews listed at Barnes & Noble. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: “All beings in that place knew that the winds of change were coming, and there they were, standing on the precipice of all the ages before them, waiting to be swept up by the gale and take the leap of faith into the maelstrom of the future; that deep black lake where even the Weavers’ gaze could only pierce but a little.”

The Speakers have been the people’s connection to the High Ones for millennia. Ever since the days of the Old Wars, the Speakers have joined with the fair children of Urunem, the Sons and Daughters of the Trees, ancient wights, and the mighty Beast-Folk, to stand against those beings that usher forth from the harsher wombs of the Earth. Legendary warriors, healers, and wardens of the sacred, beholden to a deep and ancient wisdom, the Speakers with their divine power have always sought to enact the will of the High Ones. However, when an unexpected and devastating attack on the Morkvatn Seminary occurs on the Day of Great Light, the Speakers are left in turmoil. The wise and ancient High Speaker Asmund, fearing the prospect of a future attack, ventures into the cursed forest of Morkvatn to seek ultimate wisdom. When he returns from his trials a near god, he and High Speakers Bjarni and Alvilda begin an investigation to discover the source of the new threat. What they discover is a dark and awesome power that has been growing in secret; a power that could unite all the dark forces of the world, end the reign of the Speakers, tear apart the threads of fate, and threaten the existence of the High Ones themselves.

Prepare to enter a world that is ancient and cruel, gritty and unforgiving; where the keepers of light and wisdom are ever assailed by the forces of chaos and destruction. Written in epic and dazzling prose, and featuring a deeply realized world, The Saga of Urunem: Revelations will keep readers transfixed from start to finish with its diverse and unique cast of characters and the skillful balance of action, mystery, and profound questions of faith, fate, and the universal balance of power.

 

Happy 2

 

DNF: The Keys of Cobolt by D. K. Roman

The Keys of Cobolt: Hunt for the Solar Warrior by [Roman, D.K.]

The Keys of Cobolt 
written by D. K. Roman
published by D. K. Roman, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: Page one.

Why I stopped reading: There is a typo in the first paragraph of the first page. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Also, is it just me, or is the TITLE misspelled on the cover page?

<sigh>

 

Melissa

What others have rated this book: There is one 4-star rating on Goodreads. The book is not listed on Barnes & Noble’s website. There are no reviews listed on Amazon.

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Forced into the questionable world of gods and mythical creatures by a psychotic Egyptian immortal and a mysterious Norse god, detached teenager David Cobolt suddenly finds himself dealing with the trials of locating a long lost god. With a demonic god pressing a knife to David’s foster family’s throat, David must face demons, the undead and other morally ambiguous immortals in order to awaken a god many call a tyrant. Along with a demigod who harbours deep rage and a dark secret , he travels across Europe and Africa in order to handle a civil war amongst the gods that he’s becoming increasingly trapped into.

David slowly realises his trust in others is beginning to fade along with his confidence in his own morality in the face of the war he is thrown into and actions he is exposed to…

 

Happy 2

 

DNF: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
published by Little Brown UK, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads
Where I stopped reading: About a third of the way through

Why I stopped reading: I was unimpressed, and I realized I was only reading so I could say I’d read “all the Harry Potter books.” I’m a fangirl, but I’m not fangirl enough to keep reading a mediocre book.

 

Melissa

 

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for this book is 3.88 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. Amazon’s reviews averaged 3.6 stars. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were 3 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

 

Happy 2

 

DNF: Death by Hitchcock by Elissa D. Grodin

Death by Hitchcock: An Edwina Goodman Mystery

Death by Hitchcock
written by Elissa D. Grodin
published by Cozy Cat Press, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: page 45 of 207

Why I stopped reading: Reader abandoned the novel due to lack of developing story and failure by the author to seriously create any interest in the characters within the first 45 pages. With respect to the author, the first stages of the book come across as rudimentary and uninteresting, appealing to no one outside perhaps a very narrowly defined segment. Think Murder She Wrote for cat-loving teetotalers, or perhaps a real life Dolores Umbridge . . . as the target reader. The juvenile character treatment and naming conventions (i.e., “Chaz Winner,” “Mary Buttery,” “Honeysuckle Blessington,” “Nedda Cake,” “Bunny Baldwin”) distracted the reader to the point of dangerous eye rolling. The book comes across as a slightly more mature version of Nancy Drew (although a spattering of teenage vulnerability and cleverness might have woken this novel up a little). Faced with the prospect of plowing through another 150 pages of shallow plot and yarn-woven characters, the reader cried uncle and tagged as DNF.

jeffsig

 

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Death by Hitchcock is 3.62 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. 62% of the reviews on Amazon were 5 stars. At Barnes & Noble, there was one 4-star review. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Physics and film seemingly have few academic features in common. However, when local siren Bunny Baldwin, a student in the Film Studies Department at Cushing College, is found strangled to death on opening night of the Hitchcock Film Festival, Physics professor Edwina Goodwin puts on her detecting hat. Using her scientific sleuthing skills to assist her almost boyfriend Police Detective Will Tenney, the pair work together to investigate the campus murder. Edwina wants to know–why did the murderer tie a strip of film around the victim’s head? Why did the killer time the murder to coincide with the showing of the famous Hitchcock film Spellbound? Was Bunny really killed by strangulation or did the unusual drugs found in her system suggest poisoning? Why do all the suspects have a seemingly airtight alibi? There are certainly sufficient suspects as Edwina quickly ascertains. The head of the Film Studies Department was having a torrid and practically public affair with the victim. His wife was apparently furiuous, but not enough to keep her from also engaging in sexual hanky panky. The victim had stolen a screenplay written by her roommate, Mary, to secure a Hollywood agent. Mary is out for payback. A quirky older woman who uses plants and other natural remedies to cure various ailments followed the head of the department around like a moon-struck calf. And, of course, there’s the film department’s boy savant who plays chess with Edwina and keeps her updated on the various players. Can Edwina use her knowledge of physics to unlock the strange features of this most unusual crime? When a second murder occurs, it looks like she may–if the killer doesn’t find her first.

 

efchappy

DNF: The Boy Who Granted Dreams by Luca Di Fulvio

The Boy Who Granted Dreams

The Boy Who Granted Dreams
written by Luca Di Fulvio
published by Bastei Entertainment, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: 25%

Why I stopped reading: I should have liked this book, but I couldn’t get into it. There is a lot of rape and violence that takes away from the story and its characters. I know that sometimes a character can overcome a certain situation, but this book was not moving fast enough and there was no promise of overcoming anything. So sadly, I’m not going to finish it.

ginasig

What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Boy Who Granted Dreams is 4.09 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. 61% of the reviews on Amazon are 5 stars. At Barnes & Noble, there is one 5-star review. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: 1909. Ellis Island. Arriving off one of the many transatlantic freighters are Cetta Luminita and her illegitimate baby boy Natale, fleeing the poverty and violence of their Southern Italian hometown. Having sacrificed everything, and endured every possible shame, Cetta has but one wish: that her baby should be an American, and grow up with the freedom to decide his own destiny. As they alight, US Immigration officials give Natale a new name: Christmas.

Growing up in the Lower East Side of New York with his mother, who works as a prostitute, Christmas is determined to be a success, whether a decent person or a gangster. The city is ruled by gangs from each community, Italian, Jewish and Irish, and survival is dependent on ruthlessness and strength. But Christmas has a vivid imagination, and an ability to tell stories that people want to believe…and thus is born his imaginary gang, the Diamond Dogs, which earns him respect within the ghetto. All this changes the day he saves the life of a rich Jewish girl Ruth, and despite their different backgrounds, he falls hopelessly in love with her. When circumstance tears them apart, Christmas vows that he will find her, by any means possible.

A sweeping saga of love and hate set in the Roaring Twenties, The Boy Who Granted Dreams is the story of Christmas and Ruth; the story of the dawn of radio, Broadway and Hollywood; and above all, a story about believing in the power of dreams.

 

efchappy

DNF: The Blue Line by Ingrid Betancourt

The Blue LineThe Blue Line
written by Ingrid Betancourt
published by Penguin Press, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble (Nook) (print), Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange f
or an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: page 70 of 360

Why I stopped reading: I just could not get into this book. It had too much information about Argentina’s Dirty War. I know that is the time period for this story, but I expected it to be more about Julia’s gift of visions and the later interventions than about the details of the political unrest. I wanted the magical realism, the love story, the visions.

chrissysig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Blue Line is 3.74 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 5 3-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were ? stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: From the extraordinary Colombian French politician and activist Ingrid Betancourt, a stunning debut novel about freedom and fate

Set against the backdrop of Argentina’s Dirty War and infused with magical realism, The Blue Line is a breathtaking story of love and betrayal by one of the world’s most renowned writers and activists. Ingrid Betancourt, author of  the New York Timesbestselling memoir Even Silence Has an End, draws on history and personal experience in this deeply felt portrait of a woman coming of age as her country falls deeper and deeper into chaos.

Buenos Aires, the 1970s. Julia inherits from her grandmother a gift, precious and burdensome. Sometimes visions appear before her eyes, mysterious and terrible apparitions from the future, seen from the perspective of others. From the age of five, Julia must intervene to prevent horrific events. In fact, as her grandmother tells her, it is her duty to do so—otherwise she will lose her gift.

At fifteen, Julia falls in love with Theo, a handsome revolutionary four years her senior. Their lives are turned upside down when Juan Perón, the former president and military dictator, returns to Argentina. Confronted by the realities of military dictatorship, Julia and Theo become Montoneros sympathizers. Julia and Theo are radical idealists, equally fascinated by Jesus Christ and Che Guevara. Captured by death squadrons, they somehow manage to escape. . . .

In this remarkable novel, Betancourt, an activist who spent more than six years held hostage by the FARC in the depths of Colombian jungle, returns to many of the themes of Even Silence Has an End. The Blue Line is a story centered on the consequences of oppression, collective subservience, and individual courage, and, most of all, the notion that belief in the future of humanity is an act of faith most beautiful and deserving.

 

efchappy

DNF: Deceit and Other Conveniences by Alex Adelson

Deceit and Other Conveniences: Love and War on Wall Street

Deceit and Other Conveniences
written by Alex Adelson
published by Windessa Press, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: 1.9% of the way through the book on my Moon+ Reader app

Why I stopped reading: You know the old adage, “Show me the story, don’t just tell me?” I feel like Adelson missed that memo . . . the story might be interesting, but the writing was just, well, boring.

melissasig
What others have rated this book: There are no reviews for this book on Goodreads. 58% of the reviews on Amazon were 5 stars. At Barnes & Noble, there is one two-star review. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t. 

About the book – from Goodreads: A mystery surrounding a Wall Street deal and an unexpected attraction between two unlikely protagonists is the basis for this contemporary American drama. Garrett Carlssen is an entrepreneur from a small town in Pennsylvania, who with his difficult and brilliant partner, Jersey Smart, has built a growing technology business. They need big money to continue growing the company. Enter, a Wall Street Banker, Anne Mills, who grew up in the same town as Garrett Carlssen, but in a different social stratum. She, and her Company, can supply the funds the company requires. The goals of each of these three people are very different and therein lay the seeds of conflict. Wall Street culture, ethics, and methods, along with the psychology of human behavior are the fabric of “Deceit and other Conveniences.”

 

efchappy

 

DNF: The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser

The Beast of Cretacea

The Beast of Cretacea
written by Todd Strasser
published by Candlewick Press, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: The end of Chapter 34 — page 166 of the ARC.

Why I stopped reading: I wanted to like this book. I really did. I had high hopes that my memory of being forced to read Moby Dick in high school would be swept away by a new, awesome, sci-fi version of the same story (ish). <sigh> It’s the COOL version of Moby Dick. I just don’t like it. Mr. Strasser can awesome it up all he wants . . . I’m just not into ocean beast hunting.

melissasig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for The Beast of Cretacea is 4.27 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 5 stars. There were 2 5-star reviews on Amazon. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Master storyteller Todd Strasser reimagines the classic tale of Moby Dick as set in the future—and takes readers on an epic sci-fi adventure.

When seventeen-year-old Ishmael wakes up from stasis aboard the Pequod, he is amazed by how different this planet is from the dirty, dying, Shroud-covered Earth he left behind. But Ishmael isn’t on Cretacea to marvel at the fresh air, sunshine, and endless blue ocean. He’s here to work, risking his life to hunt down great ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth. Even though easy prey abounds, time and again the chase boat crews are ordered to ignore it in order to pursue the elusive Great Terrafin. It’s rumored that the ship’s captain, Ahab, lost his leg to the beast years ago, and that he’s now consumed by revenge. But there may be more to Captain Ahab’s obsession. Dark secrets and dangerous exploits swirl around the pursuit of the beast, and Ishmael must do his best to survive—if he can.

 

efchappy

 

DNF: Dwarves in Space by S.E. Zbasnik

Dwarves in Space

Dwarves in Space 
written by S. E. Zbasnik
published by S.E. Zbasnik, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Where I stopped reading: page 108/1110 per my Moon+ Reader app.

Why I stopped reading: The prose is convoluted and difficult to follow. Add to that the fact that Zbasnik built a universe where cat videos are currency (even if that’s just what they’re calling the actual money), and I, um . . . I can’t even.

melissasig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Dwarves in Space is 4.10 stars. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 11 5-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, there was one 4-star review. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: Thousands of years after the jewelry’s destroyed, the sword reforged, the dragon ridden, and the indecipherable prophecy translated into a recipe for sugared biscuits, the dwarves turned to that final frontier: space. And along came the elves, orcs, gnomes, trolls, ogres, and those vermin-like upstarts, humans. Dwarves in Space is Tolkien merged with Hitchhiker’s and Firefly in a horrific transporter accident.

The Elation-Cru is not the flashiest ship, nor the newest, or even has all of its bolts attached; but she can fly. Well, sort of wade through space, and that’s when all the parts are working. She supports a sugar addicted dwarven pilot, an elven engineer, an orcish doctor, a silent djinn, and the lone human trying to hold the entire thing together with duct tape. Variel, the captain, has been hiding from a secret for the past five years and time’s finally run out.

When she goes against her common sense and fights to save her on-board assassin/renter from a job gone sour, she finds herself before an ex-colleague that knew her in her previous life as the Knight of the realm. The entire ship is sent on a mad dash across the universe — from a decaying space station, home to the wackiest species the galaxy has to offer, down to the Orc homeworld, which wouldn’t be so bad if Variel hadn’t spent most of her previous life fighting in the war against them. Chances of survival are nil and slipping fast.

 

efchappy