Books I Didn’t Finish: Jan-March 2014

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on April 12, 2014 | 4 Comments

Okay, so I’m a little behind on these posts, as you can see from the title >.< Usually I do them every month, but I kept forgetting!

White Space by Ilsa J. Bick
Series: Dark Passages #1
Genre: Science FictionYoung Adult
Published by Egmont USA (2.11.2014) 
eARC, 560 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Add to Goodreads 

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.

Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.

 I seriously made it through 4% of this book (about 23 pages). Maybe I should have given it more of a chance, but I just couldn’t take it anymore.
The terms Dark Passages, Peculiars, Sign of Sure, “any other Now,” and White Space were all thrown at me with no explanation whatsoever. In fact, nothing was explained. I had no clue what the hell was even going on, and the prose was just one giant clusterfuck. It may as well have just been random words on a page for all the sense it made.
There were also no quotation marks used in dialogue. All dialogue was portrayed in italics, and after a few pages it really started to annoy me. Kudos for trying to be original, but it just didn’t work for me. 
If someone asked, I couldn’t tell them what this was about. I couldn’t even tell you what happened in the 4% I read, because I have NO idea.

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid 
Series: Insignia #1 
Genre: DystopianScience FictionYoung Adult 
Published by Katherine Tegen (7.1.2012) 
Hardcover, 446 pages
Source: I own it
Add to Goodreads 

More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.

Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?

 I wanted so badly to like this one, but after 70 pages, I just…didn’t. I was bored out of my mind, and I didn’t particularly care for Tom’s voice. I can’t even decide why; there was just something about it that grated on my nerves. I also wasn’t really invested in the world. It wasn’t set up well enough for me, and I wanted things to be explained better. I wanted to know more about the war, and what year it was, and the background behind everything. Maybe it was explained later on, but I just didn’t feel like reading any farther and wasn’t about to force myself to continue.
I’m sad that I couldn’t get into this one, because Ashley loved it. I definitely want to pick it back up someday and try again!

salvageSalvage by Alexandra Duncan

Genre: DystopianScience FictionYoung Adult
Published by Greenwillow (4.1.2014) 
eARC, 520 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Add to Goodreads 

Ava is the captain’s daughter. This allows her limited freedoms and a certain status in the Parastrata’s rigid society-but it doesn’t mean she can read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. When Ava learns she is to be traded in marriage to another merchant ship, she hopes for the best. After all, she is the captain’s daughter. Betrayal, banishment, and a brush with love and death are her destiny instead, and Ava stows away on a mail sloop bound for Earth in order to escape both her past and her future. The gravity almost kills her. Gradually recuperating in a stranger’s floating cabin on the Gyre, a huge mass of scrap and garbage in the Pacific Ocean, Ava begins to learn the true meaning of family and home and trust-and she begins to nourish her own strength and soul. This sweeping and harrowing novel explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family and, after a tidal wave destroys the Gyre and all those who live there, ultimately sends its main character on a thrilling journey to Mumbai, the beating heart of Alexandra Duncan’s post-climate change Earth.

 I was really looking forward to this one because the setting is in space. I made it 7%.
My first problem was all of the ridiculous and cumbersome names. Lifil, Llell, Jerej, Turrut, Modrie…it’s like someone just bashed their face into a keyboard and said, “There you go, that’s your character’s name!” As if those weren’t bad enough, then we meet someone named Solidarity with the Stars. Seriously. This ain’t Dances With Wolves!
For being in space, the world building was horrible. I expected it to be set up with descriptions of space to give me a picture in my head that they were actually in space, but all I got was “The morning before our ship, Parastrata, docks the skyport, I rise early.” Seriously. That’s it. The rest was just mundane crap that had nothing to do with being in space. Plus nothing was explained. What is the Void? What does being “the so girl” mean?
And this:
If you weren’t looking close, you’d think we were sisters, all dressed alike, except my skin is dull and dark, like my mother’s was, whereas theirs holds a translucent pearl.
So basically she’s black and they’re white? Then how the hell would someone mistake them for being sisters?? That makes no sense! I’m pretty sure she was black, anyway (the main character I mean…I don’t even remember what her name was). It mentioned something about her “odd skin.” But if it’s futuristic, are we really relapsing to the point that black skin is odd? And there was also a lot of sexism: Men fix things and women clean, and it was frowned upon (and maybe even punishable?) for the roles to be switched. Seriously? After all the years of working toward equality for genders and races, this is what the future looks like? It just wasn’t viable to me.
The phrase “right so” was WAY overused. After about the 10th time in just as many pages, I wanted to stab myself in the eye.
I dropped my head and my voice. “I’m sorry. I mean, please, so, don’t trouble yourself with it.”
Luck laughed. “Did you just call me so?”
I nodded and peeked up.
“You’re some odd girl,” he said.
Wtf does that even mean? Apparently “so” had some important meaning, but it was never explained. That’s one of my pet peeves in science fiction and fantasy: If you’re going to create a world, you need to explain the terms. Don’t toss your readers into the ocean and expect them to learn how to swim!
I was bored out of my mind on top of being annoyed, and couldn’t find any reason to continue.
Jessi (Geo)

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4 responses to “Books I Didn’t Finish: Jan-March 2014

  1. Aww, I got Salvage on my shelf, but reading it, I’m not even sure I would want to read it anymore :(
    The description sounds kinda forced (Especially with that look-like-sister part -_-), and what’s up with that names and that ‘so-so’ things? O.O

    Anyway, thanks for sharing!

    Neysa @ Papier Revue

  2. I DNF White Space too for the same reasons. I believe I stopped around 30 pages or so, which is far beneath my normal DNF mark (around 100 pages) All those terms, frustrating and confusing. Haha, those names in Salvage sound strange!

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