Series: The Kingkiller Chronicles #1
Published by DAW Books (3.27.2007)
Genres: Adult, High Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 662 pages
Narrator: Yetta Gottesman
Source: I own it
Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.
The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature.
A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.
DNF @ 50% (second try)
I give up.
I gave it a valiant effort. I really did. The first time I made it right around the 100 page mark before I gave up from boredom. But, this book has a ridiculous amount of raving reviews, so I thought I’d give the audio a shot in hopes that it’d be better.
I wasn’t a fan of the narrator at ALL. He was SO boring! Some of the accents and certain voices were cool, but his regular narrating voice was dull AF. Nope, not a fan.
On top of that, at the THREE HUNDRED PAGE MARK absolutely positively nothing had happened?! Like there was one major life-changing event that happened to the MC and that was literally the only thing I could tell you happened in that whole 300 page span. Oh and did I mention our MC Kvothe is The Absolute Best at Everything Ever™ and like super awesome and super smart and just all around perfection? La-dee-da. How indescribably boring.
I didn’t care for the way the story was told, either – the timeline switched back and forth between Kvothe’s life as the barkeep, in the present, and the story of his past life as he was telling it in the present. Sometimes a story within a story can really work, but with this one I felt incredibly disconnected from everything because it had already happened. I just wasn’t invested.
I think it’s safe to say at this point – two tries across two formats, 300 pages and a whopping 13 hours of my life I’m never getting back – that this book is a solid Not For Me. Time to move on.
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
Series: Kingdom of Cards
Published by Wednesday Books (8.25.2020)
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Format: eARC, 464 pages
Source: From Publisher
In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.
As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.
The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost
The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told
The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide
Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.
DNF @ 125 pages
I’ve been slogging through the 15-25% mark for over a week now and I think it’s time to cut my losses and move on. It’s not bad, it’s just not doing anything whatsoever for me.
I had a really hard time keeping the characters straight. There’s not even that many of them, but they all felt the same and I just plain couldn’t tell them apart. They’re also very bland and lack personality, including the main character. Her sidekick, Aaros, seemed to have come out of nowhere and they struck some kind of partnership even though they are complete strangers. I also had trouble grasping the magic system. Most men are the magic performers, and while women aren’t not allowed to perform, per say, it’s frowned upon. There’s a lot of sexism in the magic system. But…why? Is it an old-timey setting, where women still didn’t have many rights? I didn’t have a grasp on the world at all. I don’t know if my focus was so off I missed it (which I’m pretty sure I didn’t), or if it just plain wasn’t there. But I felt like at 30% I should at least be understanding the world a little. I didn’t even know how the magic works or what kind of setting we were even in.
On the bright side, I didn’t know who the romantic interest was at the point I gave up. (Which is good because I like being surprised by which way it goes, but also bad because it has the potential to be a love triangle, ew.) There were several possible males introduced, and one female (which might not even been romantically inclined at all whatsoever, but they had chemistry and I’m hoping it turns out to be her because the boys suuuuck), and I honestly have no idea which way it will lean. I just don’t have any desire to continue or find out where the story goes.
I think fans of Caraval and Ace of Shades will probably love this one! It makes me so sad that I’m not enjoying it because I was really looking forward to it. Bummer.
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Published by Del Rey (7.23.2019)
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook, 338 pages
Length: 11 hours, 4 minutes
Narrator: Yetta Gottesman
The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.
Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it—and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan god of death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City—and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
DNF @ 40%
This book just did NOT do it for me. On the surface, I should have enjoyed it. Mayan mythology and a cool setting with a death god. Sounds awesome! However, it just fell so flat for me.
The prose felt very dry and sophomoric. There are no contractions whatsoever, which made it EXTREMELY stiff and formal, and sorry, but it also made it boring. The narrator did not help this fact at ALL, because she over enunciated and brought focus to the lack of contractions in a manner that made her sound like she was exaggerating everything. Which made it SO hard to take her seriously! I think it’s probably the worst narrating I’ve ever heard in an audiobook. I thought maybe she was ruining the book for me, but looking back there’s really nothing compelling about the story that makes me want to continue with a physical book.
Whomp, whomp. Moving on!